The fall blitz has begun with the small bait hatch invading absolutely every piece of water! We can find jack crevalle, spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and sharks actively feeding on these blitz’s around different parts of Tampa bay and our surrounding beaches. Early morning, when the temperature isn’t so hot, will provide the best action and the trick is to look for the birds. The predators below will have the bait pushed to the surface which will draw the birds in for the feast. Fly rod anglers will do well with surf candies or clouser minnows tied out of a supreme hair for durability. Light tackle anglers can’t go wrong with a spoon or a gotcha lure but because we’re catching numbers of fish, crimping your barb or using a single hook is preferred. False albacore should be joining the mix in the next month or two and can be found a little offshore or at the mouth of Tampa bay mixed in with the mackerel.
There are still some snook scattered on the beaches and the best time to target them is in the morning with an incoming tide. The two timed simultaneously will have the fish pushed closer to shore, making them easier to see and present a fly or artificial. Now that there is a ton of smaller bait everywhere, smaller flies and jigs are critical to success. Polar minnows, schminnows, and EP Baitfish do a great job of creating a translucent, small profile and light tackle anglers can’t go wrong with a white bucktail jig or the smaller Mirrolure Mini Dine. Light leader is necessary when targeting them in our crystal clear water and generally a 20 pound leader will suffice because they don’t have any structure to run to off the beach. Docklight snook fishing has been on fire around the new moons and it’s a great way to beat the heat of the day. Snook will feed with more tenacity at night and it’s a great way to catch numbers of fish!