Well, much to my chagrin Redfish, Snook, and Trout are now open for harvest in the Tampa Bay area. Not to start this report out on a sour note, but I would have liked to see these species continue to repopulate unpressured for harvest for a few more years. As a full-time guide being on the water nearly everyday I’ve seen firsthand how relieving some pressure on these fish populations such as snook has allowed these fish the opportunity to have a larger breeding stock to repopulate after that horrible red tide from 2017. Our snook fishery is now teeming with healthy fish and this has given way to being some of the best fishing in the last 5-7 years that I’ve been on the water.
Trout were inexistent on my charters for a number of years since the red tide but even within the last 8-12 months we have come across some double digit days that are reminiscent of the days before the 2017 Red Tide and although I don’t believe their numbers are back to where they should be to be back open for harvest, it is my hope that anglers will be more cognizant of the amount of fish they keep and not try to repeatedly “fill a cooler”.June has started with great weather and great fishing! I still don’t think I can recall the last day we had rain, which is crazy for this time of year. Nonetheless it hasn’t been scorching out yet so no complaints on Mother Nature’s end. The big breeder Snook are back to being stacked in the passes and littered down the beaches. These fish get tricky because they get lockjaw when they congregate in big schools at slack tide waiting for the tide to move and new opportunities to feed.
There is a new hatch of bait making its way across the flats and the big black ball of schooled up fry bait are being pushed down the beaches by predators including Jack Crevalles, Snook, Mackerel, and Ladyfish. The big schools of Bonito have finally moved away from Egmont Key however, the big jacks, Sharks, and Tarpon can certainly still be found. There is a celestial event to look forward to on June 10th when we will be able to witness the “Ring of Fire” as the first solar eclipse of 2021. A full “strawberry moon” will then follow this event on June 24th.
These events will have an effect on the fishing, as fish will choose these big moon phases to spawn. Snook for instance will move into high tidal flow areas and the female will release her eggs into the tide as the males fertilize the eggs with the flow. These events lead to some hungry fish both pre-spawn and post-spawn. Tarpon on the other hand will typically move offshore during a full moon to partake in their spawning rituals in large groups. Therefore look to target these big ones the week leading up to these events and the week following as well.
The Suzuki Repower Fishing Report is sponsored by Mastry Suzuki Repower