Fall season Spanish mackerel remain a solid bite around the Tampa Bay region. Ideal water temperature should keep the bite hot until the next big cold front.

1. At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, Spanish mackerel are biting well early in the day. There were a few cobia caught this past week as well. At night, there are lots of trout and ladyfish being caught, reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462-6466).

2. At Madeira Beach, offshore the kingfish and Spanish mackerel are still pretty thick around the near-shore reefs and bait schools. “The gag grouper bite has been out of this world, and the scamp and red grouper are biting real well too,” reports Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947). Big tripletail are being caught around the weed lines and crab buoys. Big flounder are coming in on the drift trips and the hogfish bite remains steady, Hubbard says.

3. At John's Pass, Spanish mackerel are still around the jetties, but have tapered off inside the pass. Gotcha Plugs and white bait are the best baits. Pompano have been caught this week from the jetty on Doc’s Goofy Jigs. The snook bite has picked up during the day, but the bite remains better at night on the peak tides with live bait. Sheepshead are showing up in good numbers, reports Hubbard.

4. At Fort DeSoto Park, Spanish mackerel are being caught at the piers. The snook bite has been pretty good. The big snook are coming off the beach and hugging the mangroves. There's also some redfish mixed in with them. Around the Pass a Grille area, there are lots of triple tail on the buoys and the crab pots, reports Capt. Brett Norris of Rock Bottom Charters out of O'Neill's (727-512-4415).

5. Around the Sunshine Skyway and lower Tampa Bay, there's lots of Spanish mackerel in the bay. Flounder are on the inshore reefs, the bridges and any structure or hard bottom. Keeper gag grouper are pushing into the bay for anglers trolling and bottom fishing. Black sea bass are also being caught with the grouper. Good-sized trout are being caught on the edges of the flats with good running water. Snook are all along the estuaries of the Manatee River, reports Capt. Shawn Crawford of Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters (941-705-3160, www.captainshawn.com).

6. At Anna Maria, Spanish mackerel are on the beach, and there’s another big push of kingfish heading south. “This past weekend, some tournament anglers ran 60 miles north to catch the winning kings, so they’re on their way,” reports Crawford. Snook are really moving onto the flats on their way to the back country. There’s a good trout bite on the flats in 2 to 10 feet of water. There’s also a bunch of bluefish around the bay.

7. At St. Petersburg, schools of Spanish mackerel are all over the place. Trout fishing has been good on the grass flats adjacent to dock lines around Pinellas Point and Tierra Verde. Most fish are in the 16-inch range, but there’s some big trout up to 25 inches as well, reports Capt. Brett Norris of Rock Bottom Charters (727-512-4415).

8. In the north end of Tampa Bay, Spanish mackerel are all over the bay. There’s a bunch of big trout and some redfish around Rocky Creek and the Fourth Street flats. For the trout, look for good bottom troughs, potholes and edges along the flats. Small snook are all over the place. The bigger snook are moving back up into the rivers, creeks, and canals. You’ll find them in any area that has warmer water, reports Capt. Jake Whitfield Florida Outdoor Adventures (813-997-5980).

 

Elsewhere

• At Fort Pierce, offshore there's been a good bottom bite for lane snapper with some muttons and mangroves mixed in. For those trolling there’s been a good mahi bite with fish going 8 to 10 pounds and some occasional cobia. In the inlet, there’s a really good snook bite on croakers. There’s also a lot of slot and over-slot redfish in the inlet. On the south jetty, some nice flounder on live shrimp are being caught, reports Clint Walker at the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637).

• On the Space Coast, black drum averaging 18 inches and up to 26 inches are being caught on shrimp and cut mullet just after first light and after sunset. These fish are feeding along channel dropoffs and structure such as bridge fenders and lit docks at night. Snook are being caught after sunset at the port and the residential canals. Live shrimp or bright-colored jerk baits are your best bet around lit structure, reports Capt. Keith Mixon of Mixin' Work With Play Fishing Charters (321-212-8484).

• At Homosassa, Spanish mackerel are abundant on the near-shore rocks and coastal flats. The mackerel on the flats are mixed in with trout over hard bottom in 3 to 5 feet of water. On the bottom around the near shore rocks, there are grunts and a few sheepshead biting as well, reports Capt. William Toney of Homosassa Inshore Fishing Charters (352-621-9284).