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Tight Line Report ~ News ~ Spring 2019

Spring has arrived and it’s the best time of the year for fishing in Tampa Bay.  Water temperatures have risen quickly.  On February 7th temps were around 67 degrees.  Two week later I was reading water temps in the low to mid 70’s. 
The fish and bait are in a transition mode.  They are moving from the winter locations to the spring locations and Snook, Redfish and spotted Sea Trout are gorging on live Scaled Sardines and Threadfin Herring.  Snapper and Sheepshead are still feeding on shrimp in the shipping channel, on ledges, and wrecks.
On my last charter (4 hour charter with 4 anglers) we caught 71 fish.  Sixty-eight Snook were caught and released, along with two Flounder and a 10 lb.  Jack Crevalle.  Earlier last week we found the Spotted Sea Trout were also in a feeding frenzy and the bigger the bait the better.  When the trout bite is on, they seem to like the bigger baits.  I once caught a trout that threw up a mullet that was almost as big as the trout! 

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Baitfish begin moving onto the grass flats and the game fish will not be far behind.  This is the Snook, Redfish, and Trout fishing really picks up.   The fish’s metabolic rate seems to kick into high gear in the spring.  Now through May is my favorite time of year for fishing in Tampa Bay.   It just doesn’t get any better than springtime fishing!
We were blessed last year that the Red Tide never came into the Bay.  I have been fishing the Bay since 1970 and I have seen the devastation caused by previous Red Tides.   The toll it takes on our wonderful fishery is heartbreaking.  So, say a prayer of thanks and let's hope we don’t see Red Tide again for many years!

That’s all for now and as old Salty Sol used to say, “ If you’re too busy to go fishing you’re just too busy”.
This time of year when the fishing is “off the chart” anglers and even some guides forget to treat other anglers with respect.  They jump on their bait spots, they crowd fishing locations, and they fly by other boats that are fishing at warp speed and blow out the fish on the flats.  So, please be courteous to your fellow anglers and remember to have proper fishing etiquette.

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