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Doldrums? Try Our True Tropical Refresher
|Water temperatures have not cooled off much
recently with a dry weather pattern dominating as of late. The good news is the winds have
been constantly light in the mornings providing warm, but perfect conditions for spotting
giant tarpon in Tampa Bay. There is no getting around the last weeks of summer doldrums in
Florida fishing. If it is going to be a little trying, might as well go for the payoff of
a giant tarpon.
Daybreak, tide changes and the solunar periods have seen these fish active on a consistent basis. Overall, it has been one of best late seasons on tarpon in several years. Naturally, the fishing, or I should say catching, fluctuates from day to day as a typical in any fishing. This has to do more with the fishs temperament than availability as a few top spots have held fish daily for several weeks now.
65M MirrOlures and ¾ once Cotee jigs have been top producers when slightly twitched along the bottom. When the fish are showing well, pinpoint casts 10 to 15 feet in front and beyond rolling fish will get the bite. When the fish are less active on the surface, there is no choice but to go to work blind casting. Even on days when the fish are laying low, as many as 4 fish have been jumped in areas holding good numbers, though luck becomes more of a factor.
The concentrations of bait fry have moved offshore somewhat the past week, taking with them the mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, bluefish and sharks. Best bets for this type action will now be found on the nearshore structures, particularly the artificial reefs. On the reefs, a lively mackerel slow trolled over the high points of structure will get plenty attention from jumbo sized barracuda.
Redfish are schooling on the spring fed flats to the north. Action is best on the last 1/3 of flood tides around oyster bars, plush salt n pepper bottom and small islands. Palm size pinfish are great baits for these reds if decent sized sardines are not available. A few scattered snook can be found around the passes and along the deeper cuts inshore. Typically this is a slow time for snook as they are spread out. Over the next few weeks the fish will be triggered by the daylight to darkness ratio and begin to tighten up in better numbers, coming to a fall peak with the first passing cool fronts. Mangrove snapper fishing will meet its inshore potential over then next 8 weeks.
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