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Weekly Fishing Report: Tampa Bay and area locations

Posted Jun 7, 2012 by TBO.com

Updated Jun 7, 2012 at 05:10 PM

By JIM LEE

Fishing results and tips for freshwater and saltwater spots, including Tampa Bay and area locations:

Freshwater

Despite the weather, bluegill and shellcracker are biting well during this full moon period. Lake Panasoffkee had another great week of shellcracker catches for those that could get on the water. The week was fairy quiet due to the weather. Fish early and late for bass, but don’t forget night bass fishing. You can troll or drift artificial worms in the deeper haunts or wait until the dewfall and fish top water lures for the big boys that finally come near the shoreline. Lakes Panasoffkee, Okeechobee and Istokpoga are always good for bass action. Live shiners seem to get the larger fish most of the time.     

KISSIMMEE CHAIN: Grape Hammock Fish Camp, (863) 692-1500: Bluegill up to 30 fish reported and generally high numbers reported while we are in this full moon phase. Bass action is excellent with limits by most.                 

LORIDA-ISTOKPOGA: Trails End Fishing Resort guide service, (863) 655-0134: Hot time for bluegill. Good catches with lots of limits taken this week. Bass action remains good with goo numbers but not many larger fish. Bass up to 6 pounds are about it.                 

LAKE OKEECHOBBEE: Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort, 800-473-6766: Not many bluegill anglers here, but limits are being caught. Bass action is the game down here with high numbers and bass to 8 pounds are normal.           

LAKE ROUSSEAU and the Withlacoochee: Captain Frank Bourgeois, (352) 666-6234: NO REPORT.                             

LAKE PANASOFFKEE: Pana Vista Lodge, (352) 793-2061: If you can dodge the rainstorms, shellcracker and bluegill are being caught. Top water lures still seem to be the best in the early hours. Try artificial worms later on. Good numbers of 4,-5 and 6 pound bass are being caught.         

Saltwater

Tarpon anglers are still fighting the weather. Winds and rains are keeping many off the beaches and are staying inshore. The thousands of fish in Boca Grande left for offshore, but should be back soon. Most guides that specialize in tarpon had shifted to mostly tarpon fishing, but will have to improvise until the bite gets better. The boat battle at Boca Grand will re-convene soon. Then you can expect over 200 boats back in the pass. Tarpon, bull sharks and hammer head sharks will all be back. Tarpon will be back around the Skyway Bridge and moving along the beaches in a few days.

The summer cobia are here, as are the flounder. While trout fishing have a cobia rig ready. Permit are moving on the wrecks and soon may be closer in on the artificial reefs. In state waters out to 9 miles you can catch red, black, Yellowfin, yellowmouth, rock hind and scamp grouper. The bad news is that most of what grouper you will find will be undersized red grouper. Mackerel are a good easy catch. You can find them in the passes or just troll a Clark or similar spoon. Fish the outgoing tide.

Lower Tampa bay still has cobia, bluefish, mackerel, trout and snook. Snook have moved outside in many areas and are also moving to the barrier islands. Fish the outside beaches at daylight in 6 inches of water. Fly rods work well here. You can also find snook in the backwaters around Ruskin. 

Offshore, Not many gags were found, as the weather prevented most from going out. But they will still be in 50 feet off Bayport. Red grouper are still mostly only 18 inches and under and to keep one they have to be 20 inches.                             

10,000 ISLANDS: Captain Corey McMillin, (239) 695-4420: The snook bite is getting better and better. Redfish are the by-catch while snook fishing. One the flats, when you can get out you can catch trout and perhaps cobia.   

SARASOTA: Captain Rick Grassett, (941) 350-9790 or (941) 923-7799: Due to the weather, Captain Rick only got out a couple of days. One day they jumped 4 tarpon and on other day only one. Pinfish and crabs worked better than flies. By the weekend, the west winds will move back to normal easterly flow and tarpon fishing will resume.   

RUSKIN: South Shore Bait & Tackle, (813) 641-2010: Trout, mackerel and some flounder can still be caught. Reports are scarce due to the weather. Tarpon have moved up into the bay along with blues.  Spanish mackerel, trout, bluefish, flounder are still the old standbys in this area. 

SKYWAY AREA: Captain Sergio Atanes, (813) 973-7132: Rough weather kept the trips down, but you can catch mackerel trout with a few flounder to take home. At the Skyway Bridge by the weekend or soon after, tarpon fishing should resume.                     

LOWER TAMPA BAY: Captain Tony Frankland, (813) 915-8541: Most action was in the back country away from the winds. The snook bite is still good in the Ruskin area. When the weather gets better, go for mackerel, blues and trout out in the bay.                                                   

UPPER TAMPA BAY: Cody’s Bait & Tackle, (813) 884-3100: Those anglers that hid out in the creeks did catch some reds and a few snook. Most of the snook were small, less than 18 inches long. Fishing was good in the creeks and canal ‘A’ plus the residential canals.                 

SOUTH PINELLAS: Captain Paul Hawkins, (727) 560-6762: NO REPORT.

FISHING PIERS: South Pier, (941) 729-0117: Expect the unexpected. Pier fishing offers most of the current species being caught in the bay. Fish the pier for Mangrove snapper, trout, redfish, perhaps a flounder, Spanish mackerel or even a stray tarpon. Grouper are off limits to keep. 

MID-PINELLAS PARTY BOATS: Offshore bottom fishing from Hubbard’s John’s Pass Marina and Kingfish dock, (727) 393-1947: Gag grouper are not in season. But catching is still fun. If it is fishing you want, the gag grouper bite is fantastic this time of year and there are plenty of them. Mostly small red grouper are available by the ton, but are also on the no keep list as well as all other groupers. Gray snapper are big and there are plenty of them to keep. Go offshore for a deep sea fishing extravaganza. Fish the deeper waters for great mangrove snapper catches. Black sea bass, porgies are also on the list.           

GANDY BAIT & TACKLE: (813) 839-5551: The Gandy Bridge is closed to fishing. However, Gandy Bait and Tackle is the place to go in this area for live bait and tackle and information. Weedon Island fishing is good with a lot of redfish taken by wade fishermen. Trout, redfish, and snook are also being caught. Tarpon are beginning to move into Tampa Bay, so get ready to rock a 100 pound fish.                 

CLEARWATER TO DUNEDIN: Captain Brian Mathey, (727) 667-8291: Trips were scarce, but the snook bite is still on. By the weekend, everything should get back to normal, so look for mackerel and some bluefish are in the passes.               

TARPON SPRINGS: Captain Rich Knox, (727) 376-8809 or (727) 808-6688:  Before the front moved in you could catch redfish, trout and flounder. Snook were even easier. This action will return most likely by the weekend. White bait has moved offshore, so use pinfish for snook and redfish. To cover more ground, use a MirrOlure Mirrodine in green & silver, (MR18) as it looks like a greenback. 

KEATON BEACH (PERRY): One More Cast guide service, (850) 584-9145: There is no report from Keaton Beach, due most likely to the west winds that knock them out of action. However soon that will cease and lots of big trout can be caught in this area in 3 to 6 feet of water on pinfish and artificial lure under Cajun Thunder floats. 

HERNANDO BEACH: Captain Frank Bourgeois, (352) 666-6234: Captain Frank is back from the keys but he couldn’t get out to fish up here. In the Keys, he caught good numbers of yellowtail snapper and tarpon. Tarpon like yellowtail snapper. However his fly efforts went south, as the tarpon wouldn’t even take the kitchen sink that Captain Frank threw at them. 

WEEKIWACHEE: Captain Steve Soults, Angling Adventures (352) 686-0853: NO REPORT.                               

FLY FISHING: Tarpon moved off the area and should be back when the east winds resume. In the meantime, Snook are a great fly target. Use a white streamer or chub color streamer. Blind cast the drops and deeper waters for bigger trout.

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