This time of year, mid-summer, is an awesome opportunity to experience and explore all the ﬁshing adventures Tampa Bay has to offer during these hot months. Here’s the great news about the hottest season of the year: The ﬁshing is amazing.
But there are a few considerations you need to take. One top priority is the time at which you are scheduling your summer ﬁshing excursion. During these hot months, make sure you are ﬁshing moving water. This means either the tide is moving in or the tide is moving out — also known as the ebb and ﬂow of Tampa Bay tides. Sometimes hitting a slack tide at some point in your journey is unavoidable. This would be a good time to hydrate, grab a snack, do a little scouting or make your way to your next ﬁshing spot.
The second suggestion I have is ﬁshing in the early morning or late afternoon. Both you and the ﬁsh can take advantage of the cooler times of the day, beating the heat during what some call the dog days of summer. When it is cooler out, the ﬁsh just get a little spunky.
The last tip on this topic of scheduling your trip would be to ﬁsh in high water, or the top of the incoming tide. We like this time slot because the fresh cool Gulf waters wash over Tampa Bay and bring with them plenty of bait ﬁsh and small crabs, causing naturally occurring feeding frenzies.
Next, I’d like to touch on species that are readily available and prefer the warmer water. It makes sense that we are ﬁshing for tropical ﬁsh in warm water. These species include kingﬁsh around the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and Egmont Key. Gulf and bay ﬂounder are also showing up in big numbers. They tend to hang out wherever rocks meet sandy bottoms. An example of this would be anyplace around shore where you see rock seawalls; you can bet there’s going to be ﬂounder in front of them. Snook ﬁshing is catch and release, but it is also one of the hardest-ﬁghting ﬁsh on the list right now. Most anglers love to ﬁsh for snook because this incredible game ﬁsh puts up that great challenge. This is the time of year that they will also eat cut bait. If you are snook ﬁshing on the ﬂats, simply put a piece of cut sardine on your No. 1 circle hook with a split shot and 25-pound leader, cast it out and let it sit. They will ﬁnd it.
Tight lines and be safe out there. The Sunshine State is truly showing off right now. This weather is what we’re all about here in Tampa, Florida. Don’t forget to hit a sandbar to jump in and cool off!
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