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J. Addington On May - 1 - 2011

  I was on my way to do a show with TTF Outfitters on wade fishing Tampa Bay when my phone rang. Rick was on the other end giving me directions to meet him the following morning at I.C. Sharks bait shop on Gandy Blvd. “We can put in there,” he explained, “and then make the quick boat ride down to Weedon Island and catch us some redfish”.

Tampa Bay Redfish you say? Say no more.

   

  The next morning arrived and after a couple cups of coffee I made the drive to I.C. Sharks and met Rick. We jumped on the boat and navigated the long channel out to the bay and then over to Weedon Island. We motored up until we were about 200 yards from shore and then Rick used the trolling motor and clever maneuvering to put us right on top of the redfish hole without making so much as a peep. Upon arriving the tide was very low and was just starting to turn. As the current picked up and the tide came in this brought the bite.

  We were using shrimp and couldn’t leave one down for long because we started catching one redfish after another for the next three hours. Sure, we tried other baits but nothing seemed to work like the live shrimp so we stuck with that and before the end of the day was up we had caught fourteen redfish as well as a mixed bag of other fish. But really, who cares about those?

  Let’s get back to the redfishing.

  ”Get em up!” Rick said. “These redfish might not be giants but all redfish have shoulders” he explained as I reeled in my sixth redfish in ninety minutes. After netting it there were some ooghs, aaghs and pictures taken and then it was back in the drink for the red and a quick bait of my line for me. Minutes later Rick was winching in a twenty incher that ran him around the boat several times while playing a monsyllabic symphony with his spool drag. Zzzzzzzzzzzz. Zzzz. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
The name of that song is ‘fish on’ and is a number one hit with all bay area anglers.

  If you are planning to make a trip out to Weedon Island to get in on some of this action then here are some tips you’ll need.

Click Image To Enlarge
 
  1.Study the area. Weedon Island Preserve is approximately 3,700
acres so getting a good look at the area on a map will help you locate the backwater entrances around the island. The map to the left shows three of the best spots to fish for redfish.

2. Be on the spot you want to fish at the beginning of an incoming tide. This is when the redfish will move in and begin to feed on the baitfish, shimp and crustaceans around the mangroves and flats. Use live shrimp under a cork or free lined.

  All in all it was a great day. Fourteen redfish in three hours is a hallmark about this trip that will put it on the top of my list of redfishing trips in Tampa Bay. If you are looking for a redfish hole that is currently on fire….I mean, on fire RIGHT NOW, then you need to make plans to hit Weedon Island soon. When you do be sure to take plenty of pictures and be nice enough to send one in so it can be put on this website!

Have a question? Post a comment and I’ll be happy to answer it…

Feel free to view other Tampa Bay Area Angler hot spots here.

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  • Dave Jayson

    Looks like a great spot! Can’t wait to get out there. Hope the wade isn’t too rocky for you. I know how much you envy my scientifically enginered, fully sealed, diver shoes. As long as I wear socks this time I won’t get blisters.

  • J.S. Addington

    Haha Dave. Those wade shoes of yours are definitely not something I envy. When we went camping you used them for a couple hours and then couldn’t walk the rest of the trip. You need to find a better pair…old tennis shoes or something. lol

    This particular spot is all grass flats but does get a little sandy in the middle of the pass because the water is a bit deeper. This isn’t a spot you can really wade fish too though and will need a kayak or boat. They rent kayaks/canoes at I.C. Sharks bait shop so that’s an idea for us in the future.

  • Joey balogna

    Way to go. Like weedon doesn’t already have enough pressure as it is… All we need is more yahoo’s out there!

  • J.S. Addington

    Hey Joey,
    I’m not trying to insult you but if Weedon Island is your only source for catching fish you probably need this website more than anyone. lol
    Our job here is to help anglers in the Tampa Bay Area catch fish using a variety of proven tactics in areas that are known to have fish. Obviously we don’t reveal every fishing hole we know, but we reveal ones we know will catch fish. This is why this website is growing and continues to grow…because it actually provides value to readers rather than ambiguous “tips” and “how tos” or the next new lure.
    Lastly, if you would like to increase your knowledge of areas in and around Tampa Bay to catch redfish, trout, snook, etc. feel free to visit our hot spots page.
    Good luck and thanks for visiting http://www.bayareaanglers.com!
    Jeff

  • Anonymous

    What type of rig were you using, and suggest for reds for live shrimp and for mud minnows?? My wife and I are new to the area from Mid atlantic coast and fishing here is quite different

  • http://www.bayareaanglers.com Jeffrey Addington

    I was using 12lb mono without a leader. I freelined a shrimp on occasion and when the wind got heavy I put a poppin cork on just so I could get more distance.
    Well, welcome to the Tampa Bay area and thanks for visiting. :)

  • http://affordablemedicareplan.com/medicare-advantage-2012/ Medicare Advantage 2012 

    That is indeed a great spot. Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest open-water estuary, extending over 400 square miles (1,000 km2) and forming coastlines of Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties.

  • http://affordablemedicareplan.com/medicare-advantage-2012/ Medicare Advantage 2012 

    That is indeed a great spot. Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest open-water estuary, extending over 400 square miles (1,000 km2) and forming coastlines of Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties.