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The Bite in the Bay March 2012

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On: Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 9:06AM | By: Captain Woody Gore

Snook: It looks like we're going to miss any really cold weather this winter. The water temperatures have moved into the high 60s and the fish are eating. With all the warm weather Snook fishing's been very productive, especially if you have scaled sardines (whitebait). You'll find them around the same places as the summertime. Top baits still include live greenbacks, shrimp, small and pinfish dead-sticking cut baits.

Artificial lures especially MirrOLure's slow sinking twitch bait the MirrODine. With a twitching retrieve, these baits dart from side-to-side, imitating a wounded baitfish.

Redfish: There seems to be plenty of redfish roaming around. I haven't found any big schools, but plenty of ones, twos and threes. Grass flats with broken bottom, submerged oyster bars and mangrove shorelines are excellent starting points. Docks, especially old docks seem to attract Redfish and Sheepshead. Skip artificials around and under the docks, twitch it a couple of times; if a Redfish is there he'll grab it in the first two or three twitches. Greenbacks broken in half, shrimp, cutup dollar-size pins, and patience usually produce a couple of nice Redfish.

Spotted Sea Trout: Good clean moving water and a popping cork with either live shrimp or artificial Gulp Shrimp prove deadly in catching Spotted Sea Trout. Soft plastics especially paddle tail's work great. Fishing them on a jighead, slow cranked with a twitch or bounced off the bottom, produce some good sized large Trout.
Recent Changes affecting Spotted Sea Trout began February 1, 2012. They include:
• Redefining the areas where Spotted Sea Trout are managed by splitting the state into four management zones instead of three (see map);
• The recreational season will be open year-round statewide (this includes the removal of the February closure in northern Florida, and the November-through-December closure in southern Florida);
• Raising the recreational bag limit in Northeast Florida from five to six;
• Changing commercial seasons based on region—lengthening them from three months to five months in the Northwest and Southwest zones (June 1–Oct. 31 for both) and in the Southeast region (May 1–Sept. 30), and from three months to six months in the Northeast zone (June 1–Nov. 30);
• Allowing Spotted Sea Trout to be sold 30 days after the close of the regional commercial season with the proper paperwork.
• Changing the commercial vessel limit to 150 when there are two commercially licensed fishermen aboard.

Cobia: With the warm water in the Gulf I'm surprised we haven't seen more fish stopping off in Tampa Bay on the migration route south. Large shrimp on a ¼ oz. jighead, free-lined pinfish of a small or chunk of crab normally does the trick.

Sheepshead: Fish are showing up around the bay, so try
fishing markers, bridges, docks, seawalls, rock piles, oyster bars or practically any type of barnacle encrusted structure. Shrimp and fiddler crabs seem to be the bait of choice. If you have shrimp left over after a trip, freeze them in plastic bag, then when you get to your favorite spot, chop up the frozen shrimp and use them for chum to get the bite going. Remember, be mindful of the current; you don't want to push them off your favorite rock pile.

Give Me a Call & Let's Go Fishing - 813-477-3814



Stephy21 | 1:22PM (Tue, Feb 21, 2012)

These kind of articles are the best they always let me know when the fish are bitten.

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