Later April and May 2012
Fishing the later part of April in the Tampa Bay fishing region ended up like it started out in the beginning of the month, lots of catch’en action with all of the inshore species showing up and chewing on any bait thrown their way. I fished with both sardines and shrimp and was catching snook, redfish, trout, flounder, scattered mackerel and pompano. Most of the areas I fished were in and around Clearwater and south St. Joseph Sound.
The weather was beautiful and it continued into May as well. Water temperature in May is around 80 to 85 degrees in the Tampa fishing area and all of the fishing action has settled down to more normal trends. It’s always a good idea to use the tides to target any of the inshore fish and that will be the trend as we enter our summer conditions.
Here are some of my client’s catches for later April and early May. Also don’t miss several videos in this report of catching redfish.
Cam joined me for a day to track down redfish and trout. We moved around different shallow areas looking for redfish as they are always on the move and never holding too long at any one spot. Cam, an experienced fisherman himself, was fishing shrimp under a float and caught several redfish and trout throughout the day. He caught his biggest redfish to date, a nice 25 inch fish and we filmed the action. Cam also added a fat 22 inch trout to the collection.
Catching the redfish video can be seen here on YouTube. http://youtu.be/Wgquh8pct3c
Roger and sons, Jake and Ryan, came out for some fishing action on a beautiful spring day in May. The sons struck first and landed a couple of small redfish and trout using live shrimp. We moved around to different locations inside Clearwater Bay, catching trout, reds and a few flounder. Roger nailed a nice 29 inch redfish using white bait on a sandy grass flat at high tide. Ryan and Jake finished the day with two 20 inch trout.
Daniel and wife, Kathy joined me on their anniversary to have a fun day on the water and catch some fish. We spent some time looking for snook at Clearwater Pass, and had no takers. We saw dozens of fish lying on the bottom as we moved over the area on the way out. Next spot was more productive. Daniel boated a nice 21 inch trout but not to be out done; Kathy landed two 23 inch gators. Daniel caught his biggest trout at 24 inches and Kathy won the largest fish award by catching her beautiful 25 inch gator trout.
Matt and Bert teamed up on a day in early May. The wind was howling so we focused on the protected side of the bay and targeted redfish and trout. The experienced anglers did a great job landing numerous trout and reds throughout the bay. Trout were in the 16 to 20 inch size and the reds were 22 to 24 inches. They had great fortitude for hanging in there because it paid off.
Jerry joined me for a ½ day trip in Clearwater. We went straight for redfish on the flats and he didn’t waste any time landing 9 fish in short order. All fish were in the 22 to 25 inch size. Then some rain came in and shut the bite down and the next few spots were dead. Jerry took advantage of the action when it turned on and did a great job boating the reds.
Kody and Krystina were taking some time off and came out on the water to do some fishing. We used the outgoing tide to ambush redfish, flounder and trout. Kody’s largest redfish was 27 inches and Krystina’s largest trout was 24 inches. Both anglers caught several redfish and trout and Krystina added a nice flounder to the mix.
Bill and Tom joined up and wanted their first redfish. Bill landed a 24inch red and Tom boated his 22 inch fish. They also landed some nice trout mixed in with the redfish and a fat flounder.
Patrick and son Remy, came aboard and we headed out to look for our targeted fish of the day, snook, redfish and trout. Both anglers started the day out catching some nice trout. Then Remy finally tagged his 24 inch snook and did a great job landing the fish. The bite slowed and we moved inside Clearwater Bay searching for reds. The father and son team wasted no time and landed ½ dozen redfish. Patrick had the big red award with his 28 inch fish and Remy boated several nice 25 inch fish. Remy ended up with a nice three fish slam. Patrick recorded Remy catching one of his redfish on video and posted the video here:
As we enter into late May and June, look for targeting the west coast slam of snook, redfish and trout to be the norm. The snook will be in the shallows just inside the passes and along the beaches. Use large scaled sardines for best results. Redfish will be around oyster beds and up in the mangroves at higher tides and trout will be scattered around the grass flats throughout the bays. Both of these fish can be caught on shrimp, sardines and various jig colors.
Let’s go fishing and get slammed.
Capt. Gary Burch