Summer patterns are in full swing in Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay. Bait is becoming plentiful, water temps are on the rise, and the fish are getting active.
I managed to get in several hours of fishing Saturday, Sunday and Monday, starting at around 7:30 a.m at the Merry Pier in St. Pete Beach. Other that a few showers on Saturday, the weather was perfect, and the dock was pretty crowded. While there were plenty of snook and Spanish macs around, I was targeting grouper, using whole frozen sardines on the incoming tide.
Seems that the grouper were hanging underneath the pier, and also on the ledge just north of the pier. I was slammed several times under the dock by a presumed goliath grouper which has been hanging around. And I managed to pull in plenty of 15″ to 21″ gag grouper, while losing some REALLY big fish. Here’s a 23″ gag that didn’t get away:
Mike (from Michigan) and his brothers were slaying the macks- not big fish, but plenty of 10″ to 15″ ones- lots of fun on light tackle. There was a school of snook hanging out under a bait school in the shallows, and several decent sheepshead nipped at the pilings. There were reports of big sharks hooked, as well as some big flounder. All in all, a great weekend for getting outdoors!