Tampa Bay Windy Weather Fishing
For the past few weeks the weather in Tampa Bay has been less than ideal for boating. It has been cold, windy, and wet! The winds have kept most boaters close to shore fishing areas that provide some shelter. Luckily the fish also look for shelter and cleaner water.
Anglers in Tampa bay have been fishing residential docks with shrimp. Shrimp is the perfect bait wether you are inshore or offshore. Shrimp catch everything from bait fish like pin fish to big grouper. Fishing the docks with light tackle like a 10 or 15 pound braided line and a 1/4 ounce weight lets you target any fish that may be taking shelter around a dock. The braided line holds up better to rubbing a piling as opposed to regular mono. The weight lets you cast in a specific spot and it keeps your shrimp from being pushed around in strong wind.
Anglers are catching a lot of Sheepshead around the pilings. They like to feed on the barnacles and growth.
(Anglers tip: if you are looking for a dock to fish look at the pilings for growth. Some docks have protective coverings on the pilings that don’t allow for barnacles to attach. The more food the more fish.
Docks hold a variety of fish but most common this time of year are going to be Sheepshead and mangrove snapper. The trout seem to be a little further
away from the docks so if you don’t get a hit under the dock slowly reel and you might catch a trout. If you find yourself feeding the fish, which happens very often with snapper and Sheepshead, all you have to do is make the bait smaller. Lose the head of the shrimp or bait small pieces and make sure you hide the hook.
When the weather cooperates their are plenty of bigger fish in the bay between 18 to 28 feet of water. Look for the drop off and structure around the shipping channel. You can use the same bait but
might have to increase the weight or the current won’t allow the shrimp to reach the bottom where all the fish are sitting.
Fishing is most productive during a moving tide but you can always chum in a slack tide to get the fishes attention.
Be sure to review the rules and regulations before keeping a fish if you are unsure of size and season. http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/