Saltwater fishing: Good catches of sea trout were reported around the Tampa Bay area – The Ledger

Strike Zone: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Compiled By Michael Wilson/Ledger correspondent

1: At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, the silver trout bite has been really good in the mornings and speckled trout are biting at night. Some black sea bass have been caught along with some small bonnethead sharks. Spanish mackerel started biting on Wednesday, reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462- 6466).

2: At Madeira Beach, near shore, the bite for hogfish, sheepshead, and Keywest grunts has been good. Deeper offshore, the red grouper bite has really turned on. Mangrove, yellowtail, and vermillion snapper have also been caught in good numbers. Porgies, a few cobia, and a kingfish were also caught this past week. The kingfish should start showing up in good numbers, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).

3: At John’s Pass, plenty of sheepshead are still biting around the pass on fiddler crabs and shrimp. Pompano action has picked up, with a few caught on shrimp off the north jetty this week. Smaller male snook are biting live shrimp and D.O.A. Shrimp on the back bay flats. Spanish mackerel are starting to show up chasing bait, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).

4: At Fort De Soto Park, the area flats are producing redfish, snook, and trout. Lots of sheepshead and small black drum are around the bridges, docks, and structure. Big black drum have moved in to spawn around the Misner Bridge. Pompano are starting show up around the passes and the bridges. Whiting are on the beaches and Spanish mackerel are biting at the piers, reports the Bait Bucket (727-864-2108).

5: Around the Sunshine Skyway and lower Tampa Bay, trout and snook are in all their spring time spots. Ledges and potholes on the flats are holding trout. Docks in the river, the mouths of the bays, and oyster bars are holding the snook. Mangrove snapper and sheepshead are still at the Skyway and the reefs in the bay. Some Spanish mackerel are starting to show up in the bay, reports Capt. Shawn Crawford of Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters. (941-705-3160).

6: At Anna Maria, trout are starting to show up in good numbers. Anglers should fish deep grass and bottom with ledges and potholes. Snook are starting to work their way onto the flats as well. Spanish mackerel are on the beaches and a few have made their way into the sound, reports Crawford.

7: At St. Petersburg, Pinellas Point has a good bite for trout and redfish along with some snook. The snook bite is better in the residential canals. Silver trout are being caught in the channel by the Skyway. Sheepshead are biting around the bridges and any structure. Mangrove snapper, grunts, and the occasional flounder are being caught on the edge of the channel near Port Manatee. Pompano are being caught around the Misner Bridge and some Spanish mackerel are showing up along the beaches, reports Mastry’s Tackle (727-896-8889).

8: In the north end of Tampa Bay, lots of big trout are being caught. Look for them in three to four feet of water with broken, patchy bottom. Snook action has been good on both live bait and D.O.A. Shad Tails in lighter colors. Sheepshead and mangrove snapper are around the bridges. Some Spanish mackerel are starting to trickle in, reports Capt. Tim Whitfield of Swift Fish Charters. (813-714-0889).


• At Fort Pierce, offshore has seen rough seas, but some cobia have been caught at the 50 foot mark to the south along with a few mahi and some sailfish on the troll. A good number of lane snapper are biting for the bottom anglers. At the inlet, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and some flounder are biting from the jetty. Snook are being caught at night on jigs. Black drum, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and sand perch are biting at the bridges. Trout are being caught in the river to the north around Harbor Branch, reports Clint Walker at the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637).

• At Homosassa, trout are being caught on rocky, outside points on the incoming high tides. The trout have been in tight schools. A few redfish have been mixed in with the trout and will take artificials. The deeper parts of the major creeks and rivers are holding pompano and Spanish mackerel. Fresh shrimp on a chartreuse jig head will get the bite, reports Capt. William Toney of Homosassa Inshore Fishing Charters (352-621-9284).

• At Crystal River, trout fishing has been very good along mangrove shorelines around the St. Martins Keys and rocky shorelines around Yankeetown. D.O.A. Deadly Combos, MirrOlure Lil Johns, and live shrimp are best. A good number of lower slot redfish are biting live shrimp around mangrove shorelines and oyster bars in Ozello, reports Capt. Marrio Castello of Tall Tales Charters (352-454-7719).


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