Posts Tagged ‘Fishing Tackle’

Snook and Redfish Bite is on!

The Tampa Bay redfish and snook bite has been on fire. Look for the bite to stay consistent as long as the weather doesn’t take a turn for the worse.

Tampa Bay Redfish

Tampa Bay Redfish

It is that time of year for the Tampa Bay redfish to school up on our local flats as they prepare to spawn. When you get lucky enough to find these schooling reds, get ready because it is “game on”. Live scaled sardines (aka white bait) are the bait of choice on our Tampa Bay flats. Light tackle spinning gear with 25lb fluorocarbon leader and a 2/0 Daiichi circle hook is our tackle of choice. Tampa Bay redfish are ranging from eight pounds up to 15 pounds.

Tampa Bay snook are on the move and eating as much as they can to prepare for the winter. Finding the snook is the biggest challenge this time of year. Most snook are on the move, staging and preparing for the first cold fronts to push through. If you can find these fish, most are willing to eat, as they need to pack on the pounds to make it through the winter. With season set to close December 1st, now is the time to get that keeper

To book your Tampa Bay fishing charter, call 813.732.5971 or visit

Tampa Bay snook

Tampa Bay snook


Tampa Bay Redfish

Temperatures have been hot but so has the fishing charters in Tampa Bay. The Tampa Bay redfish bite has been on fire. We are wrapping up our summer time fishing and getting ready to transition into our fall redfish run.

The redfish spawn starts in September and lasts through November. Redfish school up on our area grass flats to feed and prepare to spawn. We will see fish ranging from 4lbs up to 20lbs. We will be fishing light tackle gear. Penn Conflict spinning reels and Penn Legion rods. 1/0 Daiichi circle hooks with 18”-24” 25lb Berkley Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader. Bait of choice will be cut pinfish or live sardines.

Tampa Bay Redfish

The Tampa Bay snook bite should start to heat up as temperatures cool down a little. Most fish are starting to move from the beaches and staging in there fall areas. Snook will be eating heavily to prepare for the cooler months ahead. Fish will range from 3lbs up to 12lbs with some bigger females over 15lbs. We will be fishing with the same gear as the redfish.

Trout fishing charters has been steady all summer in Tampa Bay. As temperatures fall, look for schools of fish to move onto our grass flats along with the big “Gator” trout. Trout are great species to learn how to fish artificial lures. They are easily fooled and will usually eat throughout the day. I usually start with topwater plugs in the morning, then move to soft plastic jerk baits, as the sun gets high in the sky. They will also eat live or cut bait.

To book a Tampa Bay fishing charter with fishing guide Captain Will Shook, call 813.732.5971 or email


Fishing Has Been Hot!

The bite has been hot coming out of spring. Look for things to stay hot all summer.

The redfish bite has been strong all spring. We will continue fishing redfish most of the summer. We are fishing light tackle spinning gear with live and cut bait, with great success.  We mainly have been getting overslot fish, ranging 10lbs up to 15lbs with a few keepers mixed in. Fishing the grass flats, ranging in depths of 2′-3′, have been productive. A grass flat with good tidal flow and what we like to call a “alive”, are good characteristics for holding redfish.

Tampa Bay Redfish

The snook bite has slowed down a little for me but should start to pick up. Snook spawn season starts this month and fish will schooled up eating heavily to prepare for spawn. We will be fishing around our area beaches, passes and bridges for snook. Good tidal flow is a most for catching good snook. Live bait has been the key to getting snook to eat. Light tackle spinning gear is the setup. Fish range from 25″ up to 35″ with some bigger 40″ available. It is catch and release only and we are sure to handle each fish with extreme care. Take a quick picture and release unharmed.

The trout fishing has been consistent. Fishing the grass flats has produced some nice fish. As temperatures on the flats get to hot, look for the bigger fish to move deep. Trout are ranging 17″-20″ with some bigger one mixed in. We can stay on a consistent bite all summer.

May starts tarpon season. Will started out the season with a couple tarpon ranging in the 80lb class range. We lost a dozen fish well over the 125lbs class. Look for things to heat up and continue through June. We have started to fish the beaches and passes. Live threadfins, live crabs and cut bait, are baits of choice. Most fish are caught on spinning gear. A fight ranging between 15-35 minutes is not uncommon. Our fish range from 60lbs up to 200lbs. I still have some availability in May and June. Call me know. 813.732.5971


Fall Fishing 2013

Tampa Bay fishing charters has produced some nice catches. With the warmer than normal weather, the redfish, snook and trout bite continues to stay hot. If the warm weather continues, look for us to continue to fish our fall patterns with great success.

The redfish bite continues to keep rods bent. We have been fishing the shallow water grass flats of Tampa Bay and catching some nice reds. Fishing live or cut bait has produced some nice Tampa Bay redfish. Redfish are not sensitive to the cooler water temperatures so we will continue to fish for redfish through the end of the year. Fish have been ranging in size from 5lb up to 15lbs.

Tampa Bay Redfish

Snook have been on the move preparing for the winter. Most fish will move to our Tampa Bay area rivers searching for warmer waters. Snook are sub-tropical fish and can’t survive in waters below 47 degrees. If you want to catch winter time snook, fishing the rivers is where it’s at. Fishing the mangrove trees and oyster bars will produce nice winter time snook.

Trout are our go to fish during the winter. The bigger “Gator” trout invade our shallows during the cooler months. Fishing live or artificial baits produce well. Look for trout to get more active the cooler the water temperatures get. Fishing trout on light tackle spinning gear can be very fun and sporty. If you are looking to take some fish home, trout offer great table fair and with a bag limit of four per angler, you can get plenty for a meal.

Captain Will Shook owns and operates Tampa FL Fishing Chartres and specializes in flats and backcountry fishing for Redfish, Snook and Tarpon in Tampa Bay. To book a charter, call 813.732.5971 or visit:


September Report

Weather stays hot…but so does the bite. Redfish and snook are the headliners this month. Light tackle Penn Battle spinning reel, 8’ Penn Legion rod, a 25lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader, and a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook have proven to be the perfect snook and redfish setup. Fishing light tackle offers a sporty and challenging battle for the inshore species.

34" Tampa Bay Snook Fishing

Tampa Bay fishing charters for redfish have been on fire. We are fishing shallow water grass flats in the 2’-3’ range. Cut bait has been the bait of choice. The redfish sizes are ranging from 4lbs up to 15lbs, with an average of around 7lbs. The Tampa Bay redfish bite will continue strong all fall.

Snook fishing has started to heat up. Most fish have spawned and are on the move, but if you can locate some fish, they should be willing to eat. Live scaled sardines have been the bait of choice. The key is to have plenty of bait to chum with so you can draw them in and entice a bite.  Fish the edge of the grass flats, oyster bars, and potholes. Snook are ambush predators. Find any ambush point with good tidal flow, and you are sure to find some snook.

Call full-time Tampa fishing guide, Capt. Will Shook, to book your fishing charter. 813.732.5971


It’s Hot…So Is The Redfish Bite

Fishing Tampa Bay in August can pose many challenges. It is how you adjust to those challenges that can make you successful.  We are in the dog days of summer and it is HOT! There are a few ways to beat the heat, and getting an early start is the most important one. We have been starting our Tampa Bay inshore charters around 7:00 a.m. and are normally off the water before noon.  This gives us the opportunity to fish the shallow waters before the sun heats the flats up.  When temperatures on the flats get too hot, we shift our attention to deeper waters.  Finding areas with deeper grass flats around the 4′-6′ range with good tidal flow, should hold fish.

Tampa Bay Redfish

Although temperatures on the flats in the morning have been ranging from 82-86 degrees, the redfish bite has been very productive.  It has been hard finding the fish, but when you locate them, they have been willing to eat.  On our last few charters, we have been catching some nice keepers and a few oversize fish.  Working the schools of mullet with cut bait has been the key.
The snook bite has slowed down a little for us, but we are catching a few each trip.  Most fish have spawned out and are on the move.  Fishing live bait has produced some nice fish.  A 30lb Berkley Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader with a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook is a great snook rig.
The trout, spanish mackerel, jacks, and sharks have kept rods bent.  I have found that the deeper grass flats in our area have been holding plenty of fish.  The key is to have plenty of bait to chum with.

To book a Tampa Bay fishing charter with FULL-TIME fishing guide, Captain Will Shook, call 813.732.5971 or email


Summer Time

Fishing Tampa Bay during the summer can be challenging, but with a little planning you can be successful. The key to summertime fishing is to get out early, before the heat and afternoon thunderstorms come.  Another key to summer fishing is to fish the flats early in the morning. As temperatures rise on the flats, move to deeper, cooler waters.

40" Tampa Bay Snook

Tampa Bay snook fishing this summer has been great. We are not seeing the huge number of small ones this year but are catching some big ones. Fishing live sardines on a 30lb Berkley Pro Spec Fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook has been the ticket. We are using light tackle spinning gear while targeting snook, which makes for an exciting and challenging fight when trying to land a trophy sized snook.

The Redfish bite has been hit or miss, but look for these fish to start to school up as spawning approaches in the fall. Trout fishing has slowed a little, but getting a few keeper size fish each trip has been normal. If you are looking to keep rods bent, the spanish mackerel have been plentiful.

To book a Tampa Bay fishing charter with Capt. Will Shook, call 813.732.5971


April 1 Fishing Report

The Tampa Bay fishing charters redfish bite has been hot regardless of our colder than normal temperatures. We have been around 15 degrees below normal, but it hasn’t bothered the redfish. They have been hitting a variety of baits. Live scaled sardines and cut bait have been our baits of choice. We have been fishing a 25lb Berkley Pro Spec fluorocarbon leader and 1/0 Daiichi circle hook with great success. An 8’, 8-17lb class Penn Legion rod has been a must to make the long cast. Look for the redfish bite to continue all of April.

Tampa Bay Monster Redfish

38" Tampa Bay Redfish

Snook fishing has slowed down a bit due to the colder temperatures. As the weather continues to get back to normal, the snook fishing should follow.

The trout fishing has been consistent and should continue throughout April. St. Pete fishing charters has produced some nice trout caught on both low and high tides. Fishing live scaled sardines has worked well. Finding the schools of mullet and working the school has been the best way to find quality fish.

To book a fishing charter with Captain Will Shook, call 813.732.5971


February Fishing Forecast

February is upon us, but it feels more like March.  Temperatures were about 15 degrees above normal last month.  Not sure if February will stay true to last month, but if so, spring is coming early.  The fish in our region last month have been in a transition phase.  Most fish have been on the move, thinking spring has come early, so it is important to move around to find fish.  The snook bite continues to be steady, redfish have been hit or miss, and the trout bite has been outstanding.


The trout bite has been solid all year and should stay that way this month.  Areas from downtown to Joe’s Island are holding some nice trout.  We are getting them on a variety of baits.  White bait and shrimp are the live options.  Soft plastics rigged on a jig head are another.  I prefer fishing trout with soft plastics because you can cover more ground.  I like to use a D.O.A. C.A.L. Shad tail, pearl body with ¼ ounce chartreuse or red jig. Experiment with colors and other baits to find your favorite.

Tampa Bay Fishing Charters

Tampa Bay Redfish Charter


We are still fishing for snook with success and it’s January.  If the warm weather sticks around, continue to target snook.  Snook have been moving around a bit, but if you can find them, you will have success. A couple of things to look for when trying to find snook are moving water and ambush points/structure. Areas in and around Alafia River, Little Manatee, and Cockroach Bay have been holding fish.  The key is to have live white bait.  A perfect setup is a 25lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader with a #1 or 1/0 (depending on size of bait) Daiichi circle hook.


It’s that time of year and the sheepshead bite should be in full swing.  These fish will be preparing to spawn so they will be schooling up and eating on most reefs and rock piles.  They will also be hanging around most residential docks and other structures inshore.  Shrimp is the most common bait, but fiddler crabs may be more productive.  Size limit is 12” and you can keep 15 per person.  Be sure to only keep what you plan on eating and enjoy.

Best of the Rest

Flounder continue to keep rods bent.  Fishing the potholes on the flats continue to produce keeper size fish.  A pearl D.O.A. C.A.L. Shad tail under a popping cork has been working great.  Redfish have been hit or miss, but we are getting a few each trip.  Free line shrimp on 20lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader and a #1 Daiichi Bleeding Bait Hook.  If we get a major cold front and temperatures fall quickly, look to fish the TECO Power Plant.  The warm water discharge will hold a wide variety of species.


January Fishing Forecast

We are at the end of another great year of fishing.  I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  December was a warmer month than normal and the bite in our region showed it.  The redfish, snook, and trout bite has been outstanding.  If January stays warm, the bite should continue to be hot.  If temperatures cool to normal, it’s time to switch to winter tactics and species.


With the new rules from the FWC, the trout fishery will remain open all year.  A bag limit of 4 fish and a slot of 15”-20” remains the same in our region.  Trout are not as affected by water temps as other species, so look for the bite to be consistent whether the temperatures become cool or stay warm.  Live shrimp or artificial baits will work great.  I prefer a D.O.A CAL ¼ ounce chartreuse jig head with a pearl shad tail.  Areas around the Kitchen, residential canals around Apollo Beach, and Joe Island should hold plenty of trout.

My son Tyler first Snook


A species almost forgotten by me has made its way back into my heart.  It seems like the flounder bite continues to get better each year and with a lax bag limit (10 per day, 12” minimum), they are a great species to target this time of year for dinner.  I prefer to target flounder inshore.  I look for grass flats with plenty of potholes and work each pothole.  I prefer a Gulp! Shrimp rigged weedless with a 1/8 weighted Daichii Butt Dragger.  The key is to work as many potholes as you can.  Other areas with hard bottoms or sandy patches will hold flounder as well.

Power Plant

You will see this section in the next couple of forecasts.  I will update it with what’s biting.  The TECO power plant in our region has plenty to offer this time of year.  The hot water runoff from the power plant keeps the waters in the area around 75 degrees.  The warm temperatures attract many different species…Snook, redfish, trout, pompano, permit, cobia, sharks, and the list goes on.  It can also get crowded with beach fishermen.  Just bring along some common sense and be courteous of others.  Also, the manatees will use this area to survive the winter, so be on the lookout and follow all the signs for slow zones.

Best of the Rest

If the weather stays warmer than normal, look for the snook fishing to stay hot.  The key is white bait.  If you can get live scaled sardines (white bait/green backs) you will catch snook.  The redfish bite has been consistent and should continue through January.  Work areas around the rivers (Alafia, Palm, and Little Manatee River).  Live shrimp will work best.  Sheepshead will start to make a strong showing.  Rocks piles, bridge pilings, and docks are a good place to start.