By: Captain Travis Yaeckel

Well it has been a very interesting month on the water. Our first “cold” fronts have arrived and fall is here. The north winds have kicked up and the water is getting clear, in most parts of the bay. Unfortunately, the fishing has been tough. Throughout October, a large number of Tampa Bay fishing guides participate in a host of corporate events and charity tournaments. This year has been one of the worst showings, in terms of fish caught, since I have been fishing them. Honestly, I am not sure the reason. As a true fisherman, I can give you about 100 theories and possible reasons, but only the fish and biologists know the real answers. Don’t get me wrong, we have seen and caught plenty of fish, just not what you would expect for this time of year. It has definitely been a “right place at the right time” type of fishing these past few weeks. On the other hand, even though the bite has been slow, we have managed to consistently bring some nice fish to the boat and enjoy beautiful Florida weather amongst the wind.

Snook fishing continues to be the backbone of fishing along the south shore and upper parts of the bay, most fish 18 to 22 inches. An important key has been to find moving water and fish the “pinch point” where these fish will stage up to ambush their prey. A free-lined live greenback has been my bait of choice and plan on fishing the stronger parts of the tide.

Redfish have been spotty throughout the bay, but in a handful of areas there are some bigger schools. Along the south shore we have been catching fish on the higher water on cut bait casting near or under mangrove cover.

Trout are starting to show back up on deepwater grass flats, creeks, and canals. A small to medium sized green back or shrimp, rigged under a popping cork will get their attention. In the deeper areas free-line your bait with a small split shot. Most fish have still been on the smaller side, but look for the big ones to show up anytime.

Captain Travis Yaeckel is a native resident of the SouthShore area and charters full time for Redfish, Snook, Trout, and Tarpon. He is owner and operator of Instinct Fishing Co.,based out of lower Tampa Bay. To book a charter, call 830-FISH or visit Catch him on Tampa Fishing Outfitters Radio Show on Sunday mornings from 8-9 a.m. at 1040 a.m. Sports Talk the Team