Tampa Bay’s Fishing Report June 2007

2007-06-12 15:34:46
Tampa, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Woody Gore

This month suggest the beginning of our hot… humid… summer days and should bring good catches of Snook, Redfish, Trout and Mackerel throughout the Bay area. All need to do is just go fishing.

When you do remember that word you see in almost every summer report written. It’s called “Dehydration” and should always a concern during the summer. Heat exhaustion and worse heat stroke are sometimes only minutes apart, causing dizziness, cramping and nausea. To prevent it happening to you or someone with you, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and don’t think only water is the only answer… it’s not. You need something like sports drinks to replenish the electrolytes lost during perspiration. Play it safe and know the symptoms.

Although Snook season closed beginning in May there are plenty of them around to catch and release. Whenever practicing catch and release circle hooks and de-hooker’s are both fish friendly tools and should be used whenever possible. If you’ve not made the switch to circle hooks its time you did. They are practically fool-proof, increasing your catch ratio, and allowing the release more unharmed fish. Fishing pressure today almost demands that we do everything possible to ensure we returned them to the water in the best possible condition. Without exception circle hooks work for every species and should become a part of your tackle box.

Dehooker’s are another must have for the tackle box. They allow you to release fish without handling or netting them. They’re easy to make for example the one pictured was constructed from an old rod handle, 3/16 stainless steel rod and some epoxy. Or check with your local retail tackle outlet to pick one up. Dehooker’s are great for releasing those pesky by-catches like Mr. Whisker’s, Ladyfish and Jacks and you don’t have to handle them. Here’s how it’s used:

Simply grab the leader in one hand placing it in the Dehooker and slide it down to the hook. Now keeping the leader taught and using the Dehooker, lift the fish above your hand that’s holding the leader and give a quick snap. Nothing too it… and the fish swims away happy… happy… happy.

Boating & Alcohol… Knowing the Rules of the Road… or Ignorance… For some reason many people associate boating and fishing with alcohol consumption. There are over 12 million boats and personal watercrafts registered in the United States and while the number of lakes, rivers and water ways has not increased, the number of boats and personal watercrafts continues to increase. By the same token, the astonishing thing is the number of people operating these boats and watercrafts with no knowledge of the “rules of the road” for our waterways or the laws governing the operation of these vessels. In view of this fact people are paying the price… some with their lives for the ignorance or others. According to the US Coast Guard, there are over 8,000 boat accidents every year leaving over 800 people dead and more than 4,000 seriously injured.

Annually, over 600 boat accidents are caused by equipment failure. However, most boating accidents are due to unknowledgeable operators, negligence, inattention, careless or reckless operation, and unsafe speed. However one of the major contributing factors is alcohol. The Coast Guard estimates that persons operating boats with a blood alcohol concentration above .10 are more than ten times as likely to be in a boating accident, than those with a blood alcohol level of zero.

I’m saying there is anything wrong with alcohol consumption but there is everything wrong if you’re one doing the driving. Consuming alcohol impairs your ability to make split second decisions. It also creates safety issues for yourself, your family, friends or others. You have a responsibility to others trusting that you have all you faculties and are not operating a vessel mentally impaired from alcohol consumption. Boating under the influence is a major cause boating accidents and punishable by imprisonment, stiff fines or both. If you must drink, “Do It Responsibly & Do Not Drive.”

Snook, Redfish & Spotted Sea Trout:

Remember, Snook season is closed from May, through August. You will find Snook, Redfish and Trout 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 excellent fishing around Weedon Island, Fourth Street, Cypress Flats, Rocky Point, Double Branch, and Culbreath Isle Flats. They’re eating everything in the water but always seem partial to a fresh Greenback, small Threadfin, Pinfish or chunked Ladyfish and Mullet. For those catching their own greenbacks, they are all over the grass flats.

Check around the passes separating the Mangrove islands and remember never crowd the fish. If you do they will move away. Early mornings and artificial lures work well this time of year and the key to artificial is confidence. and that confidence only comes with practice. For Snook try the jerk baits or Shrimp rigged weedless or with 1/8 oz lead head jig, MirrOlure Top-Dog Series, Heddon Spooks. The color selection is not nearly as important as the action. But in general white, silver with black, green with white and red and white are good choices.

Free-lined greenbacks, small pinfish and shrimp in sandy potholes may produce some larger Trout and the occasional flounder. Reports indicate some catches of nice Trout around the artificial reefs.

Here’s a thought about Snook fishing: Since we can’t keep them anyway… why not give them a break for awhile. There are so many anglers targeting Snook almost every one caught has several hook holes in their mouth. Instead of Snook why not check out some of the bruiser Mackerel all over Tampa Bay. (Read On)

Mackerel are in the house… The Mackerel bite in Tampa Bay this time of the year is off the chart. These are some of the most exciting fish you’ll ever catch on light tackle. Larger ones average from 3 to 6 pounds hit hard ripping off 30 to 50 yards of line before you can think about turning them. Find some hard bottom and you’ll usually find huge schools of threadfins or simply look for the birds. Toss out a bag or two of chum and get ready for some rod bending light tackle action. Try using large greenbacks or threadfins with small wire leaders and long shank hooks. I use 50# Seaguar Fluorocarbon leader, long shank hooks. Mackerel are excellent table fare but it’s important to immediately bleed and eviscerate them. Then put them on and in ice. Fillet them and place on the grille with lemon juice and garlic and in about ten minutes their ready.

Cobia often found around markers that hold bait and cruise the grass flats following large rays or manatees. When fishing markers, keep a chum bag over the side, if they’re in the area this should attract them. Toss them a pinfish, greenback or threadfin and hold on.


Tarpon fishing really comes alive in June. They’re all over the place from the beach to the bays and they’re hungry. Threadfin Hearing are abundant and the Tarpon are there for a quick meal. Tarpon fishing around the Tampa Bay area is good all the way to the Courtney Campbell Causeway to the gulf beaches. If you decide to fish the main span of the Skyway remember the restricted areas that include the dolphins. First offense is a warning, second offense they take a photo of you and your boat and a third offense will be real expensive.

Captain Woody says. “GIVE ME A CALL & LET’S GO FISHING.” He’s been guiding and fishing Florida waters for over 50 year’s and the results are always the same “Memorable Fishing Adventures”. If you‘re interested in fishing for Snook, Tarpon, Redfish, Sharks or any of the two-hundred species found in and around Tampa Bay, want information on booking single or multi-boat charters, organizing company or corporate events. Call: Capt. Woody Gore. You can reach him on his @ Mobile: 813-477-3814, Office: 813-982-2034 or Email at WGORE@IX.NETCOM.COM. Be sure to visit his website WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM to see what’s been biting.

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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