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Warmer Weather Makes For Spring Fishing Early

2018 brought a cold start to the year. It was one of the coldest months since 2010 when the big Snook kill happend. Many including myself thought we were in for a long cold winter and some wondered if we would have another Snook kill. February hit and it was like someone turned on the sunshine and heat. Since we have not looked back with tons of Snook and Trout being caught day after day. If feels good to be in Florida.

Trout fishing this month is great. This is a month when the big breeders show up and use the outer flats of Tampa Bay to breed. Looking for thick grass with good tidal flow is key. Using greenbacks is always my first option as chumming always makes it easier to gather up the fish into a feeding frenzy. Artificial baits will also be productive and help cover more ground as well. I have had good success throwing the Zman Streakz matched with a weedless hook in the thicker grass. Another great Trout rig would be a Cajun Thunder Back Bay tied with 30lb Fluorocarbon leader and a ⅛ ounce Jig head with a Houdini Paddlerz. Using the popping technique will be a deadly combination on Trout.

Snook fishing has made a heck of a comeback. Since 2010 kill we are catching and seeing a bunch of healthy Snook day in and out. LIve bait is the ticket for Snook and this time of year a frisky Greenback will be hard for them to turn down. With the warmer weather this year fish have moved on the flats earlier than normal so going into the beginning of March we are in full force with Snook. Using a basic free lined set up will be simple but very effective. Water this time of year is very clear so using longer leader with smaller hooks will make a difference on those though bite days. A Daiichi #1 or 1/0 circle hook should be the perfect match.

Shallow water Grouper fishing in the bay is another hidden gem this time of year as well. Fishing the edges and rock piles in the bay will surprise you. Tampa Bay has hundreds of rock piles,ledges,wrecks and reefs that all are productive one time or another. This can be a bit challenging but with a little time on the water and the use of modern technology you will find the hill a little easier to overcome. I have become a better reef and wreck fisherman simply due to the use of my Simrad Evo 3 and its Structure Scan and chirp technology. Mix this with Rhodan Marine System GPS anchor and you will be able to find spots fast and cover more spots in a day. You will also find a bunch of other fish while fishing these areas. Don’t be surprised to pull up Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper, Sheephead and many others.

Captain Jason Prieto is a native resident of Tampa and has fished
Tampa Bay and its surrounding waters for the past 20 years. He is
owner and operator of Steady Action Fishing Charters which is based
out of lower Tampa Bay. To book a charter, you can reach him at
813-727-9890 or If you would like
to catch him on the internet tune into Tampa Fishing Outfitters
Fishing Show On Facebook live and You tube from 6 to 7Pm every
Wednesday evening Come join us in the fun..