Mackerel action good on deeper Suncoast grass flats
One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: Joe says the weekend was slow because of winds keeping anglers off the water, but generally the trout bite has been pretty good on the shallow grass flats. Fishing top-water plugs early in the day has been effective, with live shrimp under popping corks the top fish-getter the rest of the day. Mackerel have been plentiful on the deeper grass flats and in the cuts around the barrier islands. A few pompano are still being taken at the Anclote power plant outfall canal.
Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, (727) 942-8944: Capt. Dave says the mackerel bite has been on. Fish are on the deeper flats off Anclote south to Dunedin. Anglers have been chumming and drawing the fish in, but a bonus has been that the technique is drawing in cobia. Several nice catches of cobia have been reported. Scaled sardines are on the flats in Dunedin, and Dave suspects they are around Anclote, as well. Tampa Bay has been on fire for snook anglers. Some have been reporting days with anywhere from 20 to 50 fish when using live sardines.
Anclote Bait and Tackle, (727) 945-1808: Anglers continue to work the trout on the shallow grass flats up and down the coast, using jigs and live shrimp effectively. Reds were bunching up and biting well until the last cold front broke up the party. Now the fish are a hit-and-miss proposition.
Pier 60, (727) 462-6466: Kelli says the flounder and trout bite is the best thing going at the pier. Live shrimp – on the bottom for the flounder, and under a cork for the trout – is working well. Anglers also are taking some mackerel, grunts and sea bass. There have been good numbers of whiting taken at times, with shrimp fished on the bottom the best tactic.
The Long Pier, (727) 391-9398: Beach Bob says the weekend wind has the water stirred up, but water temperatures have come back up to 68 degrees. With a couple of calm days, things should be right. Still, anglers are taking a mix of species, including trout, which are biting well at night. Flounder fishing is solid, and anglers are taking a few black drum and some slot-sized reds. The mackerel were a no-show over the past week, but when the water improves, they should be back.
Nick Stubbs is founder and webmaster of Bitetracker.com, an interactive fishing website.