Snook Ready and Willing to Bite

While fishing the south shore of Tampa Bay and the Little Manatee River with Capt. Jason Prieto, we found plenty of snook on the flats and mangrove edges, like spring time.

Snook action was hot this week for the “Fishing with Bill Miller” film crew. We fished the south shore of Tampa Bay and the Little Manatee River with Capt. Jason Prieto and found snook ready and willing to bite.

White bait was easily caught around a range marker in the middle of Tampa Bay and snook, reds and trout were more than willing to eat their share of our offerings.

The snook appeared to be confused as to where they are supposed to be. Normally this time of year they are hunkered down in the deep bends of the river and channels and in deep water residential canals.

We found them around the mouth of these areas and Prieto said there are plenty on the flats and mangrove edges like spring time. I'm not surprised with the warm winter we have had. We all started the day with jackets on but ended the day with shorts and T-shirts.

   So it is kind of confusing where to fish, winter spots or spring spots. My recommendation is to start in the deeper winter spots and if you don't have action start moving to the shallower spring spots.

   Spanish mackerel, little tunnys and kingfish continue to stay around the area. Find the bait schools off the beaches and out to 60 feet, and you will probably find lots of action. Live bait is great but artificials like spoons will usually fill the fish box.

   Grouper fishing continues to be good in the 40-60 range. In between grouper bites I like to put down a double hooked chicken rig with squid on the hooks to load up on Key West grunts.

   Pompano are reported in the Gulf passes. Drifting and casting yellow or white pompano jigs will usually get some action from pompano, mackerel, blue fish, ladyfish and more. Try tipping the jig with a small piece of shrimp to spice up the action.

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