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Tampa Bay Fishing Report May 2020

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Posted by: captainwoody - Comments Off on Tampa Bay Fishing Report May 2020

The Spanish mackerel bite should be in full swing by now. Mackerel seem to be on the tongue of every angler these days and rightly so; these huge bait assassins usually are all over the bay dining on the many sardine and threadfin schools moving into the bay. So, if you’re looking for some exciting, rod bending and drag screaming action, take the family and especially the kid’s mackerel fishing. You’ll have them hooked on fishing forever. Don’t be surprised if you might run into a shark or two, like the one pictured that Capt. Kevin Overstreet’s clients caught on a recent mackerel trip. The teeth on these big mackerel are many and sharp, and that’s why I use 50 to 60 lb Seaguar fluorocarbon and shiny long-shank Daiichi hooks, and we’re still getting cut off, but fun way to lose tackle.

This time of year, you should consistently catch the giants topping the scales between 3 to 7 lbs. These big fish can practically snatch a rod right out of your hand, especially if you take a little snooze with your bait in the water, however, once you recover from the initial shock and awe. You look down and see half your fishing line is gone your fishing reel and realize the rest is on the way out.

If you’re lucky enough to recover in time before the fish cuts your leader, with their massively sharp teeth, the battle could take a few minutes, but you might get your line back and land one for supper.

Mackerel are excellent table fare, especially when cooked on the Bar-B-Que grille. All I do is sprinkle each fillet with a small amount of garlic salt and place them skin side down on aluminum foil for 20 minutes on low heat or until they flake with a fork, and they are ready to eat. Just remember to pull the meat away from the center bloodline, or you can remove it when cleaning.

Redfish: Finally, we are seeing some nice catches of our favorite shallow water bruisers. We’ve had reports of some good action on high water around the mangroves on greenbacks, shrimp, and cut pinfish tossed up close. Reports indicate some big fish are showing up around the Ft. Desoto area and they are anticipating the big schools to arrive almost any day. It’s a matter of looking in the right spot.

Snook: According to reports showing around the bay area. We’ve got news of good days with plenty of fish and many ranging in the 28 to 35-inch slot. Both my son’s Capt. Mike Gore and Capt. Mark Gore are experiencing good snook this year. Of course, the bait of choice is free-lined greenbacks. Greenbacks are on the grass flats around Tampa Bay.

Cobia, Mangrove Snapper, Flounder, and Sharks: Cobias should be showing on markers, flats, and buoy cans, especially those holding bait. Mangrove snapper should be on fire this year as the water warms early. I’m anticipating a good snapper bite all summer. We’re also catching some nice southern flounder on the same rocky bottoms as the trout. The sharks are showing up, and if you’re interested, it can be lots of fun, but be careful they are not to be taken lightly if you handle a smaller one.