Posts Tagged ‘Mackerel’

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


Tampa Fishing Charters New Boat!

Hey folks! I finally got my new boat on Friday 10/5/12. So now, you all will be fishing aboard Miss Mae, my new 23′ custom built Aeon Marine boat. She has a custom built half tower with a little shade to offer some relief from our Tampa Bay sun. She has all new electronics and safety gear to assure a comfortable and safe Tampa fishing charter with me, Tampa Bay fishing guide, Captain Will Shook.

Tampa Bay fishing guide

Miss Mae

The fishing has been on fire my last couple of Tampa fishing charters. The redfish bite has been hot and should stay hot throughout the next few months. I have been fishing the schools of mullet using cut bait. I use a 25lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader with a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook.

The spanish mackerel bite has been heating up. I fished a few miles of St. Pete Beach and ran into a giant school of mackerel. I have been using a 2/0 Eagle Claw long shank hook with a 40lb Berkley mono leader. The long shank hooks help reduce cut-offs. Look for the King mackerel to start moving into our area as the water temperatures drop.

The Tampa Bay fishing trout and snook bite will continue to heat up as we go through the month.

If you want to book a Tampa Bay fishing charter with Tampa Bay fishing guide Capt. Will Shook, call 813.732.5971 or email me at

Tampa Bay Redfish and Trout Fishing


Tampa Bay October Fishing Forecast

Fall is in the air.  Well, at least what we in Tampa, Florida call Fall.  That means shorter days and slightly cooler temperatures.  As we move through the month, the days get shorter and water temperatures begin to drop.  We will also start to see some mild cold fronts push through, cooling water temperatures. If you haven’t noticed, the common theme this month is water temperature.  Fish don’t have a calendar to notify them of the changing months. Therefore, they rely on the change in the water temperature.  Our temperatures will start to fall into the 70’s signaling to the fish that winter is approaching.  This means they will begin feeding heavily and packing on the weight for the approaching winter.


Tampa fishing guides for redfish were the hot target last month and will continue to be the hot target this month.  The bite has been outstanding in most all areas of Tampa Bay.  In our region, the same holds true.  The water clarity in our region hasn’t been the best, so sight casting schools of fish has been tough.  I have gone back to the basics…find the mullet and you are sure to find some redfish.  It will take some patience and work, but it will pay off.  Cut bait seems to be the best bait, and I prefer pinfish or threadfins.  Fish it free lined on 25lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader with a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook.

Tampa Bay fishing guide

Dinner Time


Tampa fishing charters snook season will remain closed until August 2013.  Catch and release action will heat up this month. The last few weeks of September were a little slow.  I believe they are in a transition period, but when the fish settle down and get prepared for the coming months, the bite should go off.  Our region is a great snook fishery.  It has plenty of estuaries you look for when snook fishing…good tidal flow, ambush points, mangroves, and plenty of food.  If you put all of these things together, you have a recipe for a perfect snook habitat.  I prefer live green backs fished free lined with a 30lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook.  If the live bait bite is not working and you know fish are there, try cut bait.


Tampa Bay trout fishing has slowed a little on the South Shore, but as temperatures cool, look for the bite to pickup.  We are getting into those months when you go out and target that trophy size fish.  As the water temps cool, the bigger fish will move onto the flats in search of food. I like working the potholes on the low, incoming tides.  Live or cut bait will work fished free lined with a 25lb Ohero fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook.  If artificial is your game, now is the time to work on the skills.  Trout are not too picky, so they are a good species to use artificials on.  Topwater plugs are a favorite of mine. Seeing a big trout explode on a topwater plug is exciting.  I usually fish them early in the morning and switch to a soft plastic jerk bait later in the day.

Best of the Rest

The spanish mackerel started to show up in our region late last month and should only get better.  Areas around the Skyway and the main ship channel will hold both spanish and king mackerel.  A chum block and plenty of live bait to chum with will draw attention from both species.  For spanish mackerel, long shank hook and 40lb leader should work.  If you are getting a lot of cut offs, switch to light steel leader.  For the king mackerel, steel leader is almost a must.  A 30-40 lb steel leader will work.  If you are running into a lot of short strikes, add a stinger rig.  Blue fish will also be hanging around with the macks.  Use the same setup as you use for mackerel fishing.

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


August Report

August poses many challenges, but with planning and preparation you can have a successful month. The key is to get out early and get off the water before it gets too hot or before the thunderstorms come rolling through. I like to target snook, redfish, and trout early in the morning. Then, as water temperatures heat up, I move to deeper water and target mackerel, mangrove snapper, and sharks.

SharksFishing guide Tampa FL

Tampa Bay offers great shark fishing for black tips, bulls, and hammerheads. The key is to find areas that hold mackerel, and you are sure to find sharks. I like to use a Penn Senator 112H with 80lb fluorocarbon leader, 110lb steel bite tip, and a 7/0 Daiichi Circle hook. My favorite bait is a fresh cut spanish mackerel head fished on the bottom. Areas around the Skyway, Port Manatee, and the artificial reefs should hold sharks.

Spanish mackerel

The mackerel bite should continue to stay consistent through August. The ship channel, artificial reefs, and range markers should hold fish. A long shank hook with a 40lb leader is an ideal set up. You can try steel leader, but if you are not getting the bites, switch to mono or fluorocarbon leader. Live scaled sardines (green backs) are the bait of choice. Table fair is very good if cared for properly. Ice down your catch as soon as possible to ensure the fillets don’t get mushy. Smoked or blackened is hard to beat.


The redfish bite was good last month in our region. The key is to have a high tide and to fish the mangroves. This month should continue. Live scaled sardines or cut threadfins are the baits of choice. Work the mangroves on high tides and you are sure to find some fish cruising through. Another favorite technique is to work the schools of mullet. Most game fish will work in with the mullet schools looking for baits that the mullets stir up. Areas around Simmons Park to Cockroach Bay will produce fish.

Best of the Rest

Snook will start to move around a lot this month as they come off their spawn. The flats around Joe Island and Cockroach Bay should start to hold snook. Remember that season is CLOSED, so handle each fish with care. Mangrove snapper fishing has been a little off, but we should see fish around the ship channels and artificial reefs. The key is to have plenty of small scaled sardines to chum the snapper up off the reef or wreck. Look for some late season tarpon action as our resident fish start to move up into the bay.

To Book a Charter call captain Will Shook 813.732.5971 or email


Spring in Full Swing

“Spring is here and the fish are biting on Tampa fishing charters. The trout bite continues to be outstanding. We are having days when you can catch as many trout as you want. We are fishing live shrimp and sardines under a cork using 25lb Berkley Trilene Fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook. Light tackle is the way to go.

Tampa fishing guide

29" Snook Tampa Fishing Charters

 The spanish mackerel are here and the bite continues to get better every day. With the bait starting to show and water temps getting warmer, the spanish mackerel are here and offer a good fight. Often over looked by most, spanish mackerel offer good table fair. The key is to bleed them and get them on ice right away. They are good fried and smoked but I prefer them blackened. Along with the spanish mackerel, the king mackerel will soon follow. King mackerelare known for there fast, drag screaming runs. They can range for 7lbs to 30lbs plus. The snook bite looks like it is on its way to recovery. I am not seeing the numbers like we did in the past but I am seeing some nice fish. I haven’t been fishing them hard but had a trip with some decent fish caught with a 29″ being the biggest. We are looking forward to a good spawn season this year and should be headed in the right directions for recovery.


Tampa Bay Mackerel Fishing

Tampa Bay mackerel fishing has been hot and will continue to be hot all summer. Light tackle fishing Tampa Bay for mackerel can be fun and challenging. Most all the Tampa Bay’s ship channels, rock piles and artificial reef s will hold mackerel among other species.

Tampa mackerel fishing

 Tampa mackerel fishing is a blast but they also are great to eat. Tampa Bay offers a wide variety of species during the summer. Shark, snapper, tarpon and of course redfish, snook and trout.  If you want to book a Tampa Fishing Charter, give Capt. Will Shook a call today! 813-732-5971