Let’s get the ugly business out of the way first. The Red Tide along the west coast of Florida has remained outside of Tampa Bay so far. Pinellas County beaches were hard hit this past week as was the Intracoastal Waterway. We all remain hopeful that it will dissipate soon, however it is impossible to know what to expect. Back in 2005 we had an equally if not worse Red Tide and it did enter the Bay. I remember thinking that every fish was dead for miles. I think everyone was surprised how quickly the ecosystem bounced back. Let’s hope that is the case this time.
What the Red Time Means for Us
The good news is we are fishing 10 to 15 miles from the affected areas. We have been all over the redfish bite, and it has been nothing short of awesome. The fish are schooled up in the hundreds. We are catching them on live bait, artificials, dead bait and even fly. It’s absolutely prime time for redfish in Tampa Bay. Most of the fish are over the legal limit. The average fish in the school are 8 to 12 pounds. Many are 12 to 18 pounds, and a few are even bigger than that. The snook bite has also been robust. We are landing around 10 to 20 fish per morning. With the Red Tide around the area, but not immediately in our area, we are still releasing all fish caught. It’s the prudent thing to do until we see some sort of end to this issue.
The full moon at the end of the month will be our last really good giant tarpon bite. These next 2 weeks will be some of the best tarpon action found all year. I hope to share some photos and video in the next post. Until then, give us a call for some fun outstanding fishing. The Red Tide hasn’t ruined our party and we are hoping it stays that way.