The seasonal mangrove snapper bite has really turned on for Tampa Bay anglers. Good reports of snapper are coming from both inshore and offshore locations.

1: At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, Spanish mackerel are biting good in the mornings. The mangrove snapper are really starting to bite and there’s some trout and snook also being caught. The pier is now open 24 hours a day from 6 a.m Thursday to 10 p.m Sunday; and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 6 a.m to 10 p.m., reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462- 6466).

 

2: At Madeira Beach, near shore, the Spanish mackerel are plentiful. Mangrove snapper are biting good and easily chummed up to the surface. Deeper offshore, the red snapper and mangrove snapper are biting good. The gag and red grouper bite is also good, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).

 

3: At John's Pass, the water inside the pass is super clear and there are lots of sheepshead cruising the seawalls along with plentiful snook and mangrove snapper. Some cobia have been spotted on the beaches along with pompano and whiting being caught from the jetty. “Tarpon are pretty thick in Blind Pass and along the beach. We’re also starting to see them in John’s Pass early in the mornings. The hill tides are flushing crabs and they’re feeding well,” reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).

 

4: At Fort DeSoto Park, the mangrove snapper have moved in good and they’re being caught at the bridges and the area docks on the outgoing tides. Big trout are hitting around the area docks as well. Lots of pass crabs are flushing on the outgoing tides and the tarpon bite is good at the bridge. Snook, trout, and small redfish are biting good on the mangrove flats. Tons of mackerel are out at the pier, reports Capt. Claude Hinson of the Bait Bucket (727-864-2108).

 

5: Around the Sunshine Skyway and lower Tampa Bay, mangrove snapper have moved in thick around the Sunshine Skyway and the area rock piles. Lots of big sheepshead are still around too. Spanish Mackerel are in the bay. Snook are around the mouths of all the estuaries. Trout are biting good in thick grass in 4-10 feet. Tarpon are biting pass crabs, but will take a live baitfish, reports Capt. Shawn Crawford of Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters. (941-705-3160).

 

6: At Anna Maria, there’s lots of snook out on the beaches down to New Pass. But, south of New Pass there’s red tide. Bean Point has plenty of tarpon. The bite is best early in the morning on crabs, then later on threadfins while chumming. There’s plenty of Spanish mackerel around the bay and the mangrove snapper are starting to show up, reports Capt. Scott Moore of Bradenton (941-713-1921).

 

7: At St. Petersburg, mangrove snapper are biting good around the bridges and structure in the area. “The trout bite is great on the incoming tide on the edges of the flats in the four to five foot depths. There’s lots of bluefish and big Spanish mackerel mixed in, so use live baits with long shank hooks,” reports Capt. Chuck Rogers of Finsanity Charters of Tampa (813-918-8356). Lots of cobia and mackerel on the markers in the bay and there’s some pompano at the Gandy Bridge on the outgoing tide, Rogers said.

 

8: In the north end of Tampa Bay, mangrove snapper have moved in good around the bridges, docks and rock piles with good moving water. Cobia are still thick on the flats. Snook are spawning and in all their usual spots for this time of year. Spanish mackerel are mixed in with trout on the deeper flats. Migratory tarpon are around the bridges and the edge of the channel, reports Capt. Jake Whitfield Florida Outdoor Adventures (813-997-5980).

 

ELSEWHERE

• At Boca Grande, we bay-fished earlier in the week and caught a bunch of mangrove snapper and trout, along with one pompano. “The red tide cleared up and on Wednesday we went four for eight on the tarpon. The crabs were flushing out and the bite was good early in the morning,” reports Capt. Greg Penix of Lakeland (863-860-2502

 

• At Fort Pierce, offshore, the troll bite for mahi is pretty decent. There’s also some kingfish in 50-80 feet. The bottom bite is good for mangrove snapper up to nine pounds, with some lane and muttons mixed in. Near shore, snook and jacks are feeding on small bait off the south jetty. Around the inlet and the bridges, mangrove snapper have moved in. There’s also some sheepshead and black margate being caught, reports Clint Walker at the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637).

 

• On the Space Coast, the early morning and late snook bite has been very good around bridge fenders, inside the port, and lighted docks. Live shrimp, small live pinfish, and scented jerk baits have been the best baits, reports Capt. Keith Mixon of Mixin' Work With Play Fishing Charters. (321-212-8484).