Nick Stubbs Sig

Guide bites

Capt. Chuck Rogers (813-918-8356): Capt. Chuck says he’s been doing well on mangrove snapper. All the bridges in the upper part of Tampa Bay are holding fish. Use shrimp or small, live sardines around the pilings. Lots of small snook are on the mangroves when the water is up. He’s finding them from the Gandy Bridge up to Rocky Creek and Double Branch at the top of the bay. Water temperatures in the upper bay have come up as the rains have let up, so expect 85-degree water above the Courtney Campbell Causeway. A few cobia are being seen trailing rays in the bay and schools of jacks between 5 and 10 pounds are crashing bait schools.

Capt. George Hastick (727-525-1005): Capt. George reports the snook fishing has been almost too good. He’s catching and releasing scores of fish at Weedon and Picnic islands using live sardines. The reds are around, but he’s not been chasing them due to the ease of catching snook. Some oversized fish have been around Picnic Island. Mangrove snapper fishing doesn’t get any better. The fish are on the bridge pilings throughout the bay, but also around mangroves on the higher tides. There have been some tarpon around the St. Petersburg Bay Reef.

Tackle shop roundup

Gandy Bait & Tackle (813-839-5551): Robert took a trip to fish the Tampa Bay shipping channels at the Y cut near the Sunshine Skyway and took some mangrove snapper to 16 inches, along with a couple of gag grouper that were just undersized. They lost some bigger grouper in the rocks. Dead sardines worked on the snapper, while the gags took live pinfish. Schooling mackerel were all over the area. The trout bite in the Bay has picked up a good deal. One of the guys from the shop was wading at Dog Beach at Picnic Island and landed and released 22 trout between 17 and 19 inches using paddle-tail jigs. He found a few reds there, but was not able to draw a strike. The flats off the American Legion post south of the Gandy Bridge on the Tampa side have been holding some schooling reds. Snook seem to be everywhere, and lots are being caught on live sardines. Picnic and Weedon islands, as well at the flats off Fourth Street on the Pinellas side of the Howard Frankland Bridge have been good bets.

Riviera Bait & Tackle (727-954-6365): Jacob reports anglers continue to do well on trout at Weedon Island. Live shrimp has been getting it done. Mangrove snapper fishing is solid, with anglers doing well on the Bay bridges fishing live shrimp or cut bait around pilings. Mackerel schools seem to be growing by the day and redfish action has been good from St. Pete up to Old Tampa Bay. Snook anglers have been doing well in Coffeepot Bayou and at Weedon Island, with live scaled sardines working best. Trout fishing has picked up over the past week, with good catches in various places, but particularly north of the Gandy Bridge on the Pinellas side of the bay. Anglers are reporting some tarpon rolling around the St. Petersburg Bay Reef and a few of the fishing guides are reporting tripletail around range markers and crab buoys from the St. Pete pier out to the Skyway.

Mitch's Bait & Tackle (727-826-0265): Ryan says the best catches of reds and snook have been at Weedon Island, where a few trout are being taken, as well. The mackerel are schooling in the open bay on either side of the Gandy Bridge. Word has been a few pompano are being taken on the beach on the gulf side at Fort DeSoto.