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Daily fishing report

© St. Petersburg Times
published March 4, 2003

The return of bait fish has sparked a feeding frenzy across area flats. Large schools of white bait can be found near the Sunshine Skyway bridge. These can be caught using a small mesh net that's 8 feet or larger. The edge of the flats near the bridge will have schools that need to be chummed. Once chummed, you'll be able to catch these with a smaller net.

Snook are moving out of rivers and creeks in upper Tampa Bay. Live chum potholes and deep cuts where the water dumps into the bay. Free line baits on light tackle while keeping the chum line lively by throwing a handful of bait every five minutes. When you see surface strikes, cast bait into the action. Some days they will feed heavily, others they won't. Look for action to increase in the coming weeks. Schools of redfish are moving across the flats of lower Tampa Bay. High tide has been the time at which they have been most inclined to feed. Live chum the area and fish white bait or shrimp under a cork. Chumming with diced shrimp will help keep the reds in your area. Present the shrimp under a cork to keep it out of the grass. Placing a small split-shot near the hook will help keep the shrimp from jumping out of the water when a red moves in to feed.

Schools of large mackerel are moving through Sarasota Bay and should arrive in Tampa Bay soon. Reports have placed kingfish in 100 feet of water, 35 miles south of St. Petersburg.

-- Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.

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