Daily fishing report

Published April 14, 2005

Snook fishing in Tampa Bay is as good as it gets. Right now, schools of hungry fish are gorging themselves and really have their guard down.

Snook have been extremely cooperative for days on end. They have continued to feed at consistent times of the tide cycle. The second through the fourth hours of the incoming tide has been the major feeding period. After that things have slowed. The bite has absolutely shut down after most of the tide has come into the bay.

Most quality fish are being caught on live scaled sardines. Though difficult to obtain, they are key to springtime success. Fished under a float, they offer the opportunity to witness sudden and violent strikes. The visual aspect of live bait fishing adds an extra dimension to the experience. It is important to not set the hook until the float goes down. Though the live bait is hooked, the natural tendency is for it to flee. This causes balks and miscalculations from snook. Wait for the float to go completely down. There are no "nibbles" when fishing in this manner.

Spanish mackerel have continued to thicken. Fish from 1-2 pounds are the most abundant. Hopefully, we will get into larger fish like last year. This is a great opportunity to get kids into fishing. Mackerel are aggressive and fairly easy to catch. With excited kids, they are definitely a crowd pleaser.

--Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call 813 310-6531 , e-mail dwalker12@tampabay.rr.com or visit www.snookfish.com