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Current weather for Redfish in the Tampa Bay Area

We are getting some consistently warmer weather and the results have been great catches of Redfish in Tampa Bay, especially on the flats. As we edge closer to summer the winds are light and higher tides seem to fall during the day. This mixed with a great spring mullet run, is the result of great Redfish fishing in the spring. You can expect great Redfish fishing all the way into the summer months so get out and enjoy some great fishing.

mullet in seagrass

How to Target Redfish

Redfish are one of the best fighting fish and when you find big schools of fish you will have an epic day of catching. This can be a bit more difficult than it sounds as Redfish tend to move around and can be a bit inconsistent. There are a number of conditions that can move a school of fish. One of the biggest problems in our area that consistently breaks schools of fish is people running up and down the flats all day long. Reds are notorious for splitting up from a school especially when boat traffic is heavy on the flats. Using a trolling motor or push pole to edge your way into a spot will take more time but the end result will be more fish. Using a stealthy approach is essential to any type of inshore fishing especially when targeting Redfish in Tampa Bay.

back of the boat on the water

Bait and Tackle for Redfish in Tampa Bay

The bait of choice would have to be greenbacks, but reds are big on scent so using cut bait is also a great option. Pinfish, Ladyfish, and Threadfin Herring are just a few types of cut bait that work well. The tackle of choice would be a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook matched with 30 lb fluorocarbon leader. This set up will be a great combination, and lead to many hook ups while Redfish Fishing in Tampa Bay. Four horsemen Floats work really well on the higher tides when you are fishing tight in the mangroves and free-lined baits when fishing potholes on the lower tides. Fishing leading into the New and Full Moons will be your best bet to find those BIG schools of Reds but you can catch them just about any time this month.

Tampa Bay Redfish

Bonus tips on catching Redfish in Tampa Bay

Places of interest include oyster bars, potholes, troughs, and residential docks. Redfish use these areas as highways to move in and out with the tides. Mixing these areas with the right tide will increase your chances of catching nice Redfish.  Finding areas that have a good tide is another key element to catching Reds. Tide movement is one of the most important things you need to catch fish. Redfish have a slot size from 18 to 27 inches and a bag limit of 1 per person. These regulations are the key to our Redfish in the future. Make sure to read up on the regulations of all fish before heading out.  It will save you fines and help preserve fishery for years to come. Tightlines!

Captain Jason Prieto has been guiding for 20 years as a full time. If you are looking to book a great day of fishing you can reach him at 813-727-9890 or

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