Continuing hot weather is likely to make fishing challenging during the midday hours for the next several weeks, but anglers who like to pole or wade the flats can look forward to the waxing moon next Thursday, bringing strong tide flows with big outgoing currents mornings and evenings for three days on either side.
The combination of low sun and cooler air, along with lots of bait movement, usually means a good bite in the cuts between islands, the sloughs and the runouts through the outer bars. A soft-plastic jerkbait rigged weedless is one of the best artificials, and the DOA Shrimp is also effective when cast uptide and drifted down.
Anglers fishing cut bait around deep mangrove edges and docks on high tides are doing well on redfish in many areas along the Intracoastal Waterway and in the backwaters of Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor, and snook are busting live sardines in the potholes and island cuts on strong tides.
For trout, seek hard-bottom areas like those off Rattlesnake Key and bounce a jig in 8 to 10 feet, or fish live sardines with a bit of split shot to take them down — you’ll catch plenty of mangrove snapper on the sardines, as well.
Late-season tarpon continue to show around the larger bridges in Tampa Bay after sundown, where a live mullet or a big threadfin is key to a hookup. There are also plenty of mangrove snapper around most of the bridges, subject to chum blocks and live sardines.
Tribune correspondent Frank Sargeant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org