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.
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.
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 CaptainWillShook@gmail.com