tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By DOUG HEMMER
Published December 14, 2005


Today is the last day you can keep a snook until Feb.1. The problem is water temperatures have reached a level where snook are slow to feed. Bait will also be hard to find. If you can find scaled sardines and whitebait, you have a good chance of catching a snook.

Most of the bigger schools have moved into the upper parts of Tampa Bay. There are still a few schools hanging in the docks close to the creeks and canals leading to back bays. The surprise is the number of snook still hanging in areas near the beach. Some of the summer haunts are holding hundreds of keeper snook. Take the time to scout these areas and fish the spots where you can see snook. The best action has been a scaled sardine free-lined into a heavily chummed area. Try to keep your live chum low to the water when tossing it from the boat. A high toss will attract sea gulls and terns that will dive on the baits and spook the snook. Around the docks use a large live shrimp or a grunt. Use the shrimp free-lined and cast it under the dock. The grunt can be rigged to heavy tackle and a weight and cast close to the dock.

Your best bet for action is to fish with a jig for trout, ladyfish and bluefish. The productive areas are north of Weedon Island and north of the Dunedin causeway. Look for areas where the birds are diving. The trout will be next to the bottom and the ladyfish and bluefish will hit the jigs worked closer to the surface.

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