The rain has cooled off the bay lately and made the water tannin colored. Don't be concerned. If anything, it's a welcome sight. Bait is everywhere, and the fish are eating the bottom out of the boat. Snook season is now open. The bite has been phenomenal, and I've been catching more big fish than I have in a long time. Look for water changes with all the freshwater pouring into Tampa Bay. This will be a good indication of where there's good water flow. That flow pushes bait around on the incoming and outgoing tides. Make sure to set up where you can present your bait to look the most natural. Cast up into the current and let the bait drift along a point or mangrove line. This will produce some nice fish. Trout bite continues to be hot. It's a mixed bag when it comes to size, but they make for great entertainment when you have kids onboard. Free-lining a scaled sardine or putting it under a popping cork have been productive. Look for grass flats in about 4-7 feet with good moving water. Mangrove snapper continue to be worth targeting. They are all over the bridges. The best results have come using a Carolina rig with just enough weight to get it to the bottom. The grass flats are covered with perfect-sized snapper bait. Shrimp work well, too.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.