By DOUG HEMMER
© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 30, 2001
This has been one tough week. Areas of lower Tampa Bay that held snook and reds became barren. The snook that hang on the edges of the flats were nowhere to be found and redfish would not stop moving when spooked. When tailing reds were found, it was hard getting bait close enough without spooking them. If we got a red to strike, the crash would make the school move, making proper bait presentation impossible.
Jig fishing over deeper grass in 4-6 feet was most productive. Strawberry was the hot color in murky water. Pearl or clear glitter worked best in clear water. As the tide came in, so did the fish. We moved up on the flats and switched to a float and jig combination. The grass on the flats is extremely thick this year. The popping of the cork helps lure fish out of the grass where they can see your jig. Most action came from trout, 'jacks, ladyfish and small sharks. It may not sound exciting but it was more fun than poling after fish.
Schools of tarpon are moving along the beach. Small pods are still around the bridges and good numbers can be found rolling in the bays at sunrise. Look for tarpon to start leaving these spots right after the full moon in July.
- Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.