End of January Tampa Bay Fishing Report – 2015
The last week of January started out with a cold fronts moving in and temperatures dropping rapidly. This has made fishing a little bit more difficult, as it is harder to build a pattern. A lot of the fish I have been on have been moving on a daily bases, and the bait has been harder to obtain. Before for the fronts came in the Snook fishing remained good, with trout fishing being steady, and red fishing getting better each day.
Trout fishing has remained steady for the past couple weeks, and limits of trout are being caught on every fishing charter in both the Tampa bay and Clearwater area. Live shrimp has been producing good results either free-lined or fished under a cork. Soft plastic jigs have also been producing just as well as live bait. Darker colored soft plastic jerk baits fished on a lighter jig heads such as a 1/16 or 1/8oz. jig head have been the out producing many other artificial's. Most trout have been between 16-18” with a fair number of fish that have been in the mid 20” range.
Red fishing in the Tampabay area has been getting better and better each day. Most of the fish have still been lower slot size in the area's I have been fishing, but the larger fish are starting to push back in from the reports I am getting from other captains fishing in the south end of the bay. There has been plenty of large fish up shallow on the sand flats in the upper area of bay, and fly anglers and guys willing to sight fish have been getting plenty of shots at these fish. Live shrimp fished on a 1/0 circle hook with a split shot has been the bait of choice as of lately.
Sheepshead and black drum has also been making a appearance quite a bit lately, especially fishing around docks. Live shrimp fished on a 1/0 circle hook with a split shot have been the go to rig. A lot of the sheepshead are keeper fish, and the black drum have been mid 20” range which make for good eating size.
Capt. Jared Simonetti