Tampa Bay’s Fishing Report July 2007

2007-07-12 15:35:28
Tampa, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Woody Gore

Fishing’s been excellent all over Tampa Bay. Good reports of Snook, Redfish, Trout, Mackerel, Tarpon and Cobia being caught. Greenbacks are on every grass flats and markers. They are usually easy to get provided you anchor, chum and throw your net. If you’re one of those diehard rodeo folks you might get some bait but you’ll probably get scolded by those using the chumming method. It’s not that they don’t like you… it’s your running motor. If you get too close the sound scares their bait, sending it running. Common sense and courtesy dictates that if someone is anchored and chumming and you want to rodeo your bait… try maintaining a distance of at least 100 hundred yards. This way your happy getting your bait using your method and others are not frustrated because their bait was scared away. It’s just fishing; everyone’s out to enjoy the day, have a good time and by no means is it life or death. Being nice or courteous to others pays dividends ten fold.

Our summertime humidity has arrived as evidenced by the late afternoon rains. Early morning, late afternoon and even night trips make fishing more bearable. As the temperatures climb the shallow water grass flats will become warmer often into the eighties or nineties. Higher water temperatures, definitely slows down the bite and sends fish looking for cooler, deeper water or shady shorelines. As the flats warm during mid-day look more toward the outer drop offs or channels for a better bite.

If the winds not blowing a gale you might want to venture into the open bay taking advantage of the great Mackerel action. Not only is it fun catching these drag screamers, the lighter summer breezes makes it cooler and it gives the over fished Snook a break. Find the large schools of threadfin’s and you’ve found the mackerel.

If you’re using greenbacks keep in mind that warm water holds less oxygen. Check your bait often if they’re beginning to die move off the flats into some cooler water. Do this quick enough and you might save some of your bait. Also consider investing in a small inexpensive swimming pool thermometer using it to monitor the water temperatures in your bait or live well systems. Extra aeration is always an option but the warm water principle remains the same. Another alternative is freezing a dozen or so pint bottles of water and periodically adding these sealed bottles to your well. As they defrost put them back in the cooler for drinking water later.

Snook (Closed Season May, June, July, August) Redfish

Except early mornings Snook and Redfish will definitely be in the mangroves looking for some shade. They also like hanging around deeper swashes of oyster bars during high tides then moving out deeper during the outgoing. Swash channels parallel to the beach offer excellent Snook fishing and they’ll take just about anything tossed at them. Bait and lure presentation is critical so remember… out in front… not behind or on top of the fish. Snook, Redfish and Trout can be found all over Tampa Bay from the southeast shore including the Alafia River, Picnic Island, Simmons Park, Bishop Harbor, Joe Island down into Bradenton and Sarasota. There is also good fishing around Weedon Island, Fourth Street, Cypress Flats, Rocky Point, Double Branch, and Culbreath Isle Flats. The Inter-coastal waterways from Tierra Verde, Pass a Grille and Boca Ciega also offer good fishing, especially at night around the docks and bridges. Look for fair size trout on the deeper edges of grass flats including Pinellas Point, Culbreath Isle, Veterans/Bayside, Weedon Island and the Joe Island Flats. Live shrimp and greenbacks under a popping cork should fit the bill nicely. But free-lined greenbacks, small pinfish or shrimp in sandy potholes might produce some larger gators or a nice flounder.


Cobias will begin traveling the flats so keep watch for large rays or manatees as they tend to follow close behind. Toss your bait or lure somewhere near the fish and the fights on. They’re not picky about what they eat just get it close and make it move. Occasionally you’ll see them around channel markers and shipping channel buoys especially those holding schools of greenbacks or threadfins bait.


Tarpon anglers will find them on the beaches and around the bridges. Bridge Tarpon are always fun and threadfins, crabs and larger scaled sardines tossed directly into their path should do the trick. Be ready to give chase by casting off your anchor line that’s attached to a buoy as you do not have time to pull the anchor. Remember to obey the warning signs posted on the dolphins and supports the fines can be significant.

Fishing the beach for Tarpon means usually means you’ll be cruising with other boats looking for rolling pods. If a pod gets by you don’t chase them, pull away and travel down to get in front of them turning back toward the moving fish. Now wait with baits deployed they will come to you.


If you’re looking for some great light tackle action look no further. Tampa Bay’s full of threadfins and big mackerel. Just drift or anchor around the bait, toss out a white bait or threadfin, shinny spoon or gotcha lure and hang on.

Give Me a Call and Let’s Go Fishing > A native Floridian Captain Woody Gore’s been guiding and fishing Florida waters for over 50 year’s and the results are always the same “Memorable Fishing Adventures”.

For information or to book trips call his cell: 813-477-3814, office: 813-982-2034 or email him at wgore@ix.netcom.com. Be sure to visit his website at: www.captainwoodygore.com it has plenty of information.” Captain Woody is a Company and Corporate Events Specialist offering single or multiple boat charters.

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Woody Gore

About The Author: Captain Woody Gore

Company: Captain Woody Gore Charters

Area Reporting: Tampa Bay, Clearwater, St. Petersburg

Bio: Born and raised in Tampa, Capt. Woody developed a passion for fishing as a child and years later, he is still expanding his fishing knowledge base and skill levels. Now with over 50 years of worldwide fishing experience he does everything possible to create an unforgettable and world class fishing adventure.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Woody Gore