September 2014 Fishing Report Tampa Bay

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September Fishing Report 2014 – Tampa Bay Area

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By: Captain Woody Gore

Snook: Snook season opens again September 1st:

And for some reason it seems like anglers feel compelled to keep snook as soon as they reach 28 inches. I’m not sure whether it’s a “closed season thing” or what, but it’s certainly not because they taste any better than other fish caught throughout the area. I’ve been eating fish from Tampa Bay and the Gulf for over 65 years and there is other great tasting fish besides snook. Since the 2010 freeze closure, we’ve finally gotten some nice trophy sized fish showing up around the bay area. However, how that the WANTED POSTERS are going up and this incredible sport fish is back on the take list; everything in the slot will quickly begin disappearing and once again we’ll have nothing worthy of a decent hook and line battle.

Snook HeadshotEveryone loves catching a few snook and that’s ok, but given the tremendous fishing pressure throughout our area. We should spread our fishing experience to the rest of Tampa Bay, which by the way, is Florida’s largest open-water estuary covering more than 400 square miles of water and home to over 200 different species of fish. Many being excellent table fare not to mention loads of fun on hook and line.

Let’s Go Snook Fishing: We can expect some decent action especially as the water cools a bit. The bait should be plentiful around the grass flats and markers and if you like to toss artificial’s they can also be loads of fun particularly on early calm mornings. A little searching on your part and you’ll find plenty of larger fish. If you’re so inclined some well-timed night fishing with free-lined baits like pinfish, greenbacks and jumbo shrimp around docks, bridges, and pilings usually produce. Fish the broken bottom grass flats and mangroves for some exciting action. Again live bait or artificial lures should do the trick.Mangrove Snapper Headshot

Mangrove Snapper: If you’re looking for some late summer fun particularly for the youngsters, take them snapper fishing. Not only are these fish fun to catch, but they are great eating. Small free-lined greenbacks or pieces of fresh shrimp around markers, bridges or rock piles will usually result in a limit of fresh snapper. If the tides are strong add enough weight (1/8 – 3/8 oz.) to your knocker rig to keep the bait down. Here’s a tip: Put them in a cooler on a slushy ice mixture immediately, this make them much easier to clean, because it gels the fat in their stomach; keeping it from sticking to your knife.

Mackerel and Blue Fish: Tampa Bay is still loaded with plenty of threadfins, so if you’re looking for awesome, light tackle action Mac’s and Blues are excellent targets this month. With baits scattered everywhere, concentrate your efforts around marker cans, range markers or shallow reefs. On a slower-tide current anchor your boat up current, toss out chum block and a few live chum baits. When the fish start striking cast in that direction and hold onto your rod and reel. Don’t be surprised if you don’t catch some really large ladyfish and yellow tail jacks in the same area.

Redfish: The redfish action should start picking up again this month simply because the water temps will start getting more comfortable for them on the flats. This means they will be steadily moving around the area looking for an easy meal. When they start grouping up always approach carefully; you don’t want to split the school, if you do it’s often difficult to get them back together. Try to picking off the fish at the outer edges; never cast into the middle of a school. Reds eat live shrimp, greenbacks, pinfish and crabs; but remember if they’re not looking for something live, cut bait always works.

Spotted Trout fishing is always productive around lush grass flats. It takes moving water to get them eating, but when they start… its fish-on. Popping corks with live shrimp and greenbacks will produce a mess of trout. Deeper water rocky bottoms and some markers are producing some really nice catches of larger silver trout. Remember if you run out of live bait artificial’s work just as well and you might try a DOA or Gulp Shrimp.

Cobia, Tripletail: are still hanging around the markers, grass flats and cans throughout the bay if you’re interested in using a lot of fuel chasing around and checking things out. These are a species you’ve got to target and look for and many times you’ll wind up doing more fishing than catching. But when you find them they are a hoot to hook and catch. Not to mention great table fare.

“Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing” – 813-477-3814 Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Bradenton, and Sarasota areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories.

Single or Multi-boat Group Charters are all the same. With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done.  Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM, send an email to wgore@ix.netcom.com or give him a call at 813-477-3814.