Tampa Bay Fishing Report April 2008

Archived in the category: Fishing Reports
Posted by: Captain Woody - Comments Off on Tampa Bay Fishing Report April 2008

Spring is here…so dig out those rods and reels and get the boat checked out it’s time for another great summer of fishing on Tampa Bay. Do it now… then when you’re ready to go fishing you will be ahead of the game.

The sunshine state is an excellent place to live especially in the winter! Speaking with others visiting from up north, I get a chill when told about the temperatures in their home towns. It seems like our winters are getting milder and once again, we’ve had a placid winter season with only a few days in the low thirties. Throughout the wintertime fishing been good and will continue to pick up as our water temperatures return to normal, the bait shows up on the flats and the winds begin subsiding.

Fishing the bay for over fifty years I continually marvel at the excellent opportunities the area offers anglers from all walks of life. You’ll find many people fishing from the shore bridges, or piers while others might wade, or fish from boats, kayaks, or canoes. And you’ll find them just about anywhere there is accessible water. Fishing… what a great pastime, not only does it give us the opportunity to catch a few fish, it also allows us to enjoy the wonders of our environment while marveling at the creations natures afforded us. Sometime catching fish is not important… being on the water observing the balance of nature is all that’s required to release the burdens of everyday life. So, when things begin building to a stress level one notch below inner combustion. Step back, grab your fishing gear, and spend some time relaxing with nature.

Greenbacks are at the Skyway, some markers and beginning to show up on the flats. Keep your eyes open as many species begin showing up in April. Everything should be here by April, Snook, Redfish, Trout, Sheepshead, Mangrove Snapper, Mackerel.

Snook (Season’s Open until May 1st)
The magic number for water temperatures seems to be high sixty’s and up and look for them around deep passes early then spreading out into shallower water as the day continues to warm. Live baits always work for Snook but so do artificial lures. Try a MirrOlure MirrODine, Top Dog Jr. and the 7M nad

Redfish (No closed season, one fish per person per day, within the 18” to 27” slot limit)
Like snook the Redfish should become easier to catch as the temperatures climb into the 70’s. They’ll cruise the outer flats on the deeper edges then traveling into the mangroves as the tide gets higher. As I say each month, large schools of mullet are good places to find redfish mixed in together. Try keeping the baits within casting distance, to draw the fish to you. Remember not too much if you over feed them they’ll stopping eating if they get full. Expect some good excitement when pitching soft plastics around the mangroves on high in coming tides or low water outside flats.

Spotted Sea Trout
April produces some good catches on incoming or outgoing tides, using topwater popping plugs on an early morning grass flat. Pop the lure several times let it rest until the rings are gone and do it again. If there are Trout in the area they’ll strike. When fishing topwater lures do not set the hook until you feel the fish.

As always live shrimp are the best bait for Trout. Suspend one under Paradise Popper cork with a medium split-shot about 8” about a 2/0 circle hook then find any good grass flat and catch all the trout you want this month. Remember, small pinfish under a popping cork like the Paradise Popper is an all time trout favorite.

If the winds blowing try using a Wind Tamer Drift Sock to slow down your drift. Everyone wants to catch big trout but remember these large fish lay the most eggs so fish responsibly, try putting the big ones back, besides the smaller ones eat better.

Mackerel, Sharks, Cobia, Kings and Tarpon
With the onset of Threadfins come the Mackerel, Sharks, Cobia, Kings and Tarpon. Cobia will cruise markers holding bait. Mackerel will be all over the bay feeding on bait schools and large kings and sharks will be feeding on the mackerel. Tarpon will show up on the beaches and Skyway first.

“GIVE ME A CALL & LET”S GO FISHING” Capt. Woody Gore’s been fishing in Florida for over 50 years and offers guided fishing charters in Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Clearwater, and Tarpon Springs. Please contact me for more information or to book a trip call or email from my website:
Cell: 813-477-3814 <> Office: 813-982-2034 <> Email: wgore@ix.netcom.com
Website: www.captainwoodygore.com