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Fishing in Tampa Bay has been really good this year. Catching more snook and bigger trout!! However, Im not seeing nearly as many redfish. Is it me or are others seeing the same?
 

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Ankona Sales Rep
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It's been that way for a while. I saw a few in Mullet Key Bayou the other day, but have not seen many on the South Shore. I have contended that there are 2 factors for that:
1. They are just pressured so much that they are challenging to get to eat anything other than a livebait.
2. The snook population has come back so strong from the freeze closure, that they are overrunning the reds and they cannot compete enough for habitat resources. Areas where reds were once abundant, are now lousy with snook. Not saying that reds are not out there, but they are much tougher in TB than in past years.
 
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I had my spies out at Simmons yesterday and I heard that the juvenile snook were so thick as to almost be a nuisance. The overcompetition theory seems valid.
 

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I've never heard the concept of "too many snook." Fascinating idea... gonna require some personal looking into.
Too many snook, that's a problem I can deal with! Was working from home yesterday and I went out to my dock and saw about a 4 1/2 to 5 ft gar hanging around my floating dock. No snook, no reds, no trout, no Mangroves, not even sheepheads.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Where I am, the ‘glades, sailcats even eat popping bugs...

We gave a “two catfish rule”... catch two and it’s time to move...

We’re finding lots of reds down here - but all of them are dinks... A year or two from now and we should have lots of slot sized fish.
Bob, I think the impacts of Hurricane Irma are starting to show up in the fishery. It brought a lot of fresh water into the Bay. From what I understand, the salinity levels in Florida Bay and water depths in the inner Everglades are at the best levels in the past 20 years. Apparently there has been a huge spawn of fish and crabs. This has resulted in the big number of juvenile snook, reds and trout. Like you said, give it a couple of years and continued focus on water quality and we could have some great fishing. I just wish scientists could figure out how to restore all of the grass flats that were destroyed.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Seems like my area (Matlacha) lost a whole year class of reds over the summer last year. Seeing almost no 21" - 27" fish. Still getting small and big ones (not as many big ones as before) but not ANY of those slot sized ones. Looking forward to a year with no major water issues...
 

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Brandon, FL
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I also fish Tampa Bay but I have not seen any diminished numbers of fish or the size of the fish. I don't fish every weekend so it may not be apparent to me as it would be to someone who is always on the water.
 

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I fish TB a lot and I see the same thing. Tons of snook and the occasional red. Its was opposite three years ago.
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Seems like my area (Matlacha) lost a whole year class of reds over the summer last year. Seeing almost no 21" - 27" fish. Still getting small and big ones (not as many big ones as before) but not ANY of those slot sized ones. Looking forward to a year with no major water issues...
I hear they are completely shutting down snook, reds and trout to help with the recover. A guide than works that area told be yesterday about it, but was complaining about it too. I personally think it's a good thing to help with the recovery.

I also fish Tampa Bay but I have not seen any diminished numbers of fish or the size of the fish. I don't fish every weekend so it may not be apparent to me as it would be to someone who is always on the water.
The redtide never really made it past Cockroach up in the Tampa Bay, so those areas where you would fish are still good. Like backbone, I've had no problems catching all the snook and an occasional red up that way. But down here on the lower south side of the bay, west of the Skyway and further south into Bradenton and Sarasota and the outer islands, there is definitely a noticeable difference in numbers from last year.
 
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