For Shore Fishing

There is something to be said for knowing your home waters. Places that close to home or close to shelter, if necessary, to avoid inclement weather. Severe thunderstorms can pop up in no time, and the week of June 22, 2014 has been a good example of how beautiful weather can turn wicked quickly.

June 22, 2014

Coastal waters saw afternoon clouds building into waterspouts just off the beaches. Offshore anglers were left with few choices but running to avoid the bad weather. Boats equipped with radar can at least monitor movement and see ahead, giving more notice. Inshore anglers have an advantage. The solution; know your home waters and where to fish in any weather circumstance. Get to know the nuances of the bottom, depth, contours, structure, and current patterns. Learn where fish stage up at a given point of a tide phase. Know where to find bait. Where there's prey, there are predators, reports Capt. Ray Markham of Backwater Promotions Charters. (941-228-3474) or (941-723-2655).

I look for places to fish that are less than 10 or 15 minutes from home or to safety. That's usually about all the notice you get from an approaching storm. In lower Tampa Bay fishing just north of the Sunshine Skyway in Joe Bay, there is some shelter from the wind but close to my launch. Recent catches of pompano, speckled trout, redfish, flounder, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish, and some catch and release action for snook were enough to keep rods bent for my anglers. Deep grass and patches of hard bottom off Emerson Point and Rattlesnake Key are a 10 minute shot from my launch at Terra Ceia. Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, black sea bass, juvenile gag and red grouper, flounder, pompano, trout, cobia, and tarpon are there to be targeted, Markham said.

If water high water temperatures keep you from fishing your ‘safe place', leave early before sunrise to beat the heat. If the water is shallow, target your area during higher tides for redfish or snook around oyster bars and mangrove islands or points, and the holes and channel edges for trout and flounder. Learn your home waters and you'll always have a fishy safe place, Markham said.


Capt. Ray Markham is a Terra Ceia/Palmetto based fishing guide who specializes in light tackle fishing for such species as snook, redfish, speckled trout, and tarpon along Florida's Central Gulf Coast. Markham, a native of St. Petersburg, has been a professional fishing tackle and outdoors product tester for over 35 years. He has been a saltwater fishing guide for the last 15 years. He runs the Flat Back II out of Terra Ceia and can also be reached at flatback@tampabay.rr.com.


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