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Snook season opens on September 1


Not much new to report this week. Snook season opens on the first of September and as is usually the case the linesiders are all over the place at this point on the calendar.

A lot of snook are on the beaches still, just inside the Gulf passes, around the inlets of smaller back bays, and the mouth of the Manatee River. Until we get some cooler water temperatures the bulk of the fish will continue to be found in the same locations.

Success with snook fishing right now is plying the water early and late accompanied by a good strong tidal flow. Being creative with your bait will also help as well. Large white bait is not necessarily the premium bait right now. In fact, fresh cut bait from pinfish, ladyfish or mullet can be the hot ticket right now, especially near the tail end of big outgoing tides.

Mangrove snapper are still the big numbers catch. This has been one of the best snapper summers in recent memory. The toothy panfish are plentiful, running big and real fat. Redfish are spotty and squirrely; again, being creative with your bait will often pay off with a good redfish catch. Sea trout are all over, not really concentrated, and highly mixed size-wise. Spanish mackerel are all over the beaches, Anna Maria Sound and the mouth of Tampa Bay. I enjoyed a couple of good trips over to Egmont recently.

The Hillsbourough County reef produced some great inshore grouper action including a few keeper gags. In addition, there were numerous mackerel, snapper and a handful of flounder. I plied the deep grass edges just north of the pilot boat docks and nailed more trout, snapper, macks, bluefish and big fat ladies.

Even though there has been a lot of rain this summer, it has been spotty and not extremely heavy so the runoff has been reasonably light. This is a good situation because in most locations the water quality and clarity has remained good. One positive side effect of this is no sign of red tide problems in this area. If we were to have an outbreak it would usually happen in late August or September. Keep your fingers crossed for a continuation of good fortune red tide wise.

All indications point to "off the wall" autumn fishing hereabouts. Just keep them "big blows" headed out to sea.

Capt. "Zach" Zacharias

(941) 795-5026

E-mail: zachap@aol.com

Docked on Palma Sola Bay at Parrot Cove Marina/Sunny Shores

115th Street West and 36th Avenue, Cortez, FL 34215


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