Tampa Bay Inshore

For almost the whole day today (26MAR14), the tide stayed low. I took the Gheenoe out to fish the docks along the seawall, but with strong winds and shallow depths, fishing wasn't going to be easy. I had only two rods with me today, a 7' 6-14 St. Croix Mojo inshore paired with a 2500 Shimano Sustain, with 15lb braid. Tied on was a long piece of 15lb pink Yozuri fluorocarbon, size 1 trokar live bait hook, and a small splitshot. I used this rig to freeline chunks of whitebait as I drifted by, in search of some of the snapper I lost yesterday. The other rod I was using was an 8' 10-20 Stellar Lite made by Star Rods, paired with a Penn Spinfisher V 4500. The rod is a bit heavy in hand, but it really pays off when you hook that big snook and need to pull him out from under the dock. I had it rigged with 20lb braid, 30lb fluoro, and a 3/8 jighead with a gulp shrimp.

I didn't come across any fish until I reached about 4-5 feet of water, where I saw a juvenile tarpon roll under a big boat sitting on the lift. The next few docks I either lost fish, or caught little seatrout or caught trash like ladyfish and jacks. Finally, I came across a dock that I thought might hold a snook. Their were four main pilings supporting the dock, and each one was completely covered in oysters. One in particular had a fallen branch caught under it, So I tightened the drag on my Spinfisher and made the cast. Once I felt the lure hit bottom, I made a slow retrieve. Two short quick jigs, then let it settle to the bottom. The second time I popped the lure, something big blew up behind it. I took advantage of having a heavy rod, and easily pulled the snook out from under the dock. Once the fish is out of the structure, he's caught as long as he doesn't jump off (always keep pressure on the fish!!!). Which, unfortunately happened to this snook. I quickly reeled in, and re-casted. I did end up hooking another fish, a 21'' snook. It wasn't what I had caught earlier, but it was still a snook. After not catching any more fish due to low water, I moved to my redfish spot to check things out. I only idled by, but noticed a few rat reds feeding in the turtle grass. Once it warms up more, the reds should make their run and the redfish bite will be off the wall here in Tampa Bay along the flats.

In a couple days I'll make my way to some of the longest docks in St. Pete, and hopefully will come back with a good snook report! By the way, the tarpon AND kings are making their way back. I caught a 30'' king last weekend, and got spooled by a smoker only 7 miles off the beach. Tarpon can be found rolling in the lights of the Skyway pier at night.

That's all for now until my offshore report next weekend. Tight Lines everybody!
Only in a Contender!


2014 Contender 30ST, Twin F300's

2015 Contender 25 Bay, Ice Blue 300 Pro Series Verado
(In the works)


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