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The Bite In The Bay- May 2013 Forecast

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On: Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 9:34AM | By: Captain Woody Gore

As the waters warm, bait shows up on the flats, winds lighten and if recent trips are any indication, then its good fishing ahead.

Snook season is officially closed. However, we’re definitely catching some nice fish with even a few lunkers mixed in with the juveniles. We’re even beginning to catch a few on artificials around the mangroves and docks. Good tidal grass flats, passes or cuts from upper Tampa Bay all the way to Sarasota should prove productive. Anglers using and chumming with greenbacks usually produce plenty of action, but use caution when tossing out chum baits; too many and you’ll fill em’ up.

Spotted Sea Trout should continue improving especially as the bait moves onto the grass flats. Look for broken bottom grass flats with sandy potholes or hard rocky bottoms. These areas produce some good size fish. You can also expect plenty of action on artificial lures by jigging the bottom using soft plastics or an artificial shrimp under a popping cork. If live bait is your thing, small greenbacks or shrimp free-lined are good alternatives, but remember a juicy medium shrimp under a popping cork always produces fish.

Redfish should pick up this month using live and dead baits or artificial lures. Although it seems they’ve had lock-jaw; recently we’ve been getting some to eat using live or dead baits, but you’ve got to be patient. Check your favorite oyster bars, cuts and broken bottom grass flats on the last of an outgoing tide and the first of an incoming. Do not forget, Redfish often feed with large schools of mullet as they stir up the bottom.

Spanish Mackerel/Bluefish: As the massive schools of Threadfin Herring invade Tampa Bay the Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish bite goes crazy. It’s not unusual to limit out in a couple of hours on moving water using live threadfins and greenbacks and have a blast doing it. I’ve been using 60-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader, shiny long shank 2/0 hooks and # 2 or 3 split shots with good success. If live bait is not in your repertoire then tie a silver spoon onto an 18" small wire leader and catch all you want. A word of caution about Mackerel, they have razor sharp teeth and plenty of them, so be careful when handling them because they can inflict a nasty and often infectious bite.

Kingfish action should be good on any nearshore hard bottom holding bait. They often move into Egmont Channel and lower Tampa Bay as the water temperatures reach the 70s. Rig up and experience some awesome action on this speedy action fish.

Tarpon should begin showing up around the Skyway and along the beaches. They also begin moving inside around deeper flats and hard bottom or artificial reefs holding baitfish. Expect plenty of activity throughout the summer using free-lined threadfins, pass crabs and greenbacks.

“Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing” Captain Woody Gore is the areas top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Bradenton, and Sarasota areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories.

Single or Multi-boat Group Charters are all the same. With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done. Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM, send an email to or give him a call at 813-477-3814.


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