tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By DAVE WALKER
Published October 10, 2005


Shorter days and recent rains have caused water temperatures to drop significantly and many species to feed and fatten up for the winter season.

As difficult as it is to believe, summer officially is over. Blistering days and horrible Red Tide are only a memory. Anglers can look forward to autumn's spike in fish activity.

Redfish are roving the eastern and northern shores of Tampa Bay. From downtown St. Petersburg to Safety Harbor, including the interbay peninsula, schools of hungry reds are keeping rods bent and fishermen happy.

They will eagerly eat a live shrimp, greenbacks, pinfish or even small threadfins. Artificial lures of choice would be either a gold spoon or one of the many soft plastic jigs. Established oyster mounds and areas of hard shell and rocks are ideal redfish haunts.

A 20-pound section of leader and a small circle hook are a dynamite live bait rig. This can be free-lined or used under a float. The circle hooks rarely pull out and hardly ever gut-hook a fish. They are great for beginner anglers because there is no hook set required.

Large mangrove snapper are being caught in downtown Tampa. Mangos up to 4 pounds are not uncommon. Snapper this size are surprisingly powerful, so a braided style line is advised. Live chum is beneficial. They can be brought to the surface for extra excitement. It is crucial to catch the first few fish, otherwise the bite will slow dramatically.

--Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or at snookfish.com