A Bright Future For Tampa Bay


But let me tell you, Tampa Bay fishing can be…well you know or have probably heard. There are more guides than there are weekend warriors and there are a lot of weekend warriors; crossing the Bay becomes a nightmare as quick as the flick of a switch; and in order to catch good fish it seems you must have the good bait, a blacked out well of white bait that is. With that being said, Tampa Bay has proven to be a very productive fishery when fished right.

The other week, FFP Co-Founder, Tim Sommer, and I were able to get out on the Bay with my good friend, Connor Jones. Connor is a senior at UCF studying Business Management, but in his spare time he kayak fishes the state primarily targeting Redfish, Snook, and Trout. On this particular day, we were fortunate enough to get out on his 17’ Key West to do a little live bait fishing here in the live bait capital of the world, Tampa, Florida.

Late spring is typically a good time of year for finding good white bait, and it didn’t take us long to black out the well. Gotta love being able to catch bait within a mile of the ramp. Something us Caloosa Hatchee boys no longer have the freedom of doing due to a variety of reasons (LAKE OKEECHOBEE DISCHARGES), but that’s a story for another day. Connor had been on a good Snook bite, and was pretty confident the tides and weather would work in our favor.

First spot, first chummers to hit the water, and the Snook were POPPIN’ all around the boat. To our surprise, a kayaker jumped a spunky 20 lbs tarpon nearby and then the bite absolutely went off. Every cast we were hooked into a mid-twenty inch Snook, which are a blast to catch on the Osprey 3000s.

After about an hour of catching mid-sized fish, the bigger fish began to chew. We lost a couple of what looked to be slot fish due to pulled hooks, and then the man in the gray suit ruined our party. We hit a couple of other spots, put a few more solid Snook in the boat and then called it an early morning.

Although the fishing in Tampa Bay can be tough at times, it was encouraging to see the seemingly endless amount of bait, the big numbers of small and mid-sized Snook, and also the overall amount wild life thriving on these waters. As always, it was a blessing just to get out on the water and certainly a treat that we were able to hook, jump, and land a lot of fun sized fish. Until next time…

-Ty Nelson


Gear Used:

7’6” Bull Bay Stealth Sniper

7’8” Bull Bay Stealth Sniper

Osprey 2500 Spinning Reel

Osprey 3000 Spinning Reel

Osprey 4000 Spinning Reel

Owner 1/0 Circle Hooks