Fishing Report Tampa Bay Area October 2009

Archived in the category: Fishing Reports
Posted by: Captain Woody - Comments Off on Fishing Report Tampa Bay Area October 2009

It’s that time of year, the fish are eating and we’re doing more catching than fishing. This is a great time to fish as late summer and early fall temperatures start dropping. If you want to catch tarpon, snook, redfish, trout, snapper, grouper, or sharks now is the time to do it. “Give Me a Call and Let’s Go Fishing” For charters or articles on catching fish, visit my website www.captainwoodygore.com.img_5058

Tarpon are still around and biting. We’ve caught plenty over the past month. On a recent outing with my son Capt. Mike took his new Ranger out for some break-in time and decided to do some early morning topwater action with our favorite the Top Dog Jr. The snook bite was slow so we decided to look around trying out his new Hummingbird 1197.

While checking an inshore reef south of St. Pete Pier, we noticed schooling tarpon feeding on a giant bait schools. Of course neither of us brought out tarpon gear and you can bet your bottom that won’t happen again. Not able to withstand the personal pressure, we decided to fish them anyway. I tied on the deepest sinking lure in the box a MirrOLure Catch 5 and began casting toward the schooling fish. To make a two-hour story short we jumped five tarpon and landed a nice cobia. Unfortunately, we lost every MirrOlure in the boat, but man… what a ride on tarpon.

Redfish and Snook are all over the area hanging around the many lush grass flats and mangrove shorelines. As redfish move back into the bay it’s not usually easy to find them schooled up on the many grass flats covering Tampa Bay. It’s also the time of the year when the really big reds show up. You never know whether you’re going to a catch one in the slot or one of the giants over 30 inches. These big reds often top the scales at 15 to 20 pounds. The upper bay area is holding good numbers of fish but you must pick your tide days carefully when fishing north of the Courtney Campbell Causeway by boat. The area gets extremely shallow on low water, so fish the higher tides with live bait or shrimp under a small cork.

Snook are in season until December 15 on the gulf coast. With most of the snook we caught averaging in the 22 to 25 inch range. The new slot limits of 28 inches to 33 inches often make it tough to put a slot fish in the boat, but if you work at it, you’ll catch one or two especially as fall approaches. We did catch one or two in the 29 to 35 inch range on live greenbacks. For those who like the night life associated with snook fishing, this is great time. They’re hanging under residential docks watching the light line for a quick meal. Use a shallow diving artificial lure or free-line a big shrimp. Make sure to use a weighty leader like Seaguar 30-40 lb., so you don’t get cut of on the pilings.

As for the others, we’ve been catching good sized mangrove snapper at the bridges with some topping out around 3 pounds. Cobia are showing and for us it usually only takes a chum bag over the side to spark their curiosity. If you hook-up, be ready with another rod and bait as other cobias will be following the action. Mackerel, bluefish, jacks and ladyfish are feeding on bait schools everywhere. If its glass minnows they’re after remember to match the hatch.

Never turn your fishing nose up at ladyfish and jacks especially when kids are involved; they can certainly make or break a trip. Most children are not interested in fishing, however they are interested in catching and they don’t care what it is. When you take kids fishing make sure it’s all about them. You’ll get your turn when you and your buds get out.

If you want to catch fish, have a memorable adventure or perhaps learning some new fishing tips give me a call. I also specialize in group or multi-boat charters. Tell me what you need and leave the rest to me. Fishing Florida for over 50 years I offer professionally guided fishing and teaching charters around Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton, Sarasota, and Tarpon Springs.

To Book Fishing Charters please visit my website CaptainWoodyGore.Com or call me at: 813-477-3814.