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Late Summer Jewels

Well August is here is it’s a time of year when the fish get a break. As kids get back in school and its downright hot the fishing in the bay can take a backseat at times due to life getting in the way. But don’t let that keep you land locked as there are plenty of fish to catch. You can have the bay all to yourself!

This month marks the start of prime red fishing as the big schools move around and into the bay. Look for big Reds to move into the bay and the best part about this time of year is that they eat just about everything in sight. Most schools are typically on the run so in most cases you will find better luck using your favorite Mir lure for hard baits and you won’t go wrong with the Zman products for soft plastics. Key when using artificial is to throw something heavy to make long cast. Live baits work great but bait is typically smaller so if you decide to use live baits try using a Cajun Thunder Floats for added weight on your cast. You can also use chum baits to slow the school down but where these fish are running like Greyhounds if can be though to hold them.

Snook fishing this year is been great. This only downside to Snook has been those slot fish. It seems since 2015 the slot fish have been cleaned out. It will be interesting to see how things fair out in a few years since we have so many fish in the 20 inch range. Live greenbacks are my number 1 choice for Snook this time of year. The only exception is targeting those big females. I prefer a cut Threadfin over just about any other bait. Snook season remains closed until the end of the month so remember to catch and release.

Cobias are another hot species to target during august as the bigger fish love to hang around the markers that line the shipping channel. Cobia fishing is not rocket since but can require burning a lot of fuel. I like to run in my tower from marker t marker and take a look as I’m going to my next inshore spot. BIG pinfish hooked with a 3/0 Daicchi circle hook with medium to heavy tackle will be the perfect match for most fish you will encounter as sizes range from 30 to 50 inches. If you catch a cobia within size and plan on bring him into the boat have a plan because these are one of the most aggressive fish around. Tripletail also stage up around the cans and markers so as you ease up to these areas be ready to flip bait at them. Both seem to be ready and willing when the right bait is thrown at them.
Captain Jason Prieto is a full time captain and has been fishing the waters of Tampa Bay since he was a kid. He is a native floridian and would love to share his knowledge and experience through his charters. If you are interested in booking a trip you can reach him at 813-727-9890 or You can also catch his latest fishing reports by tuning into his radio program Tampa Fishing Outfitter Radio Show on 1040 NBC sports Sundays from 8 to 9AM or on our Facebook live feed Tampa Fishing Outfitter Radio.