The Best Tampa Bay Flounder Hole…GUARANTEED!
The most dependable flounder hole I’ve found is near the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I started my day as I do most fishing trips and that includes catching a diverse range of baits. Of course I only use a couple different types of bait for the flounder (more on that in a bit), but it’s nice to have as many different baits as possible to fish with in order to catch fish that might not otherwise care for what I intend feeding to the flounder. Be careful though. The egrets, like the flounder and most the rest of us, love a free meal and if you’re not watching while you’re busy catching bait they’ll be snacking on everything you’ve worked so hard to catch.
In this particular flounder hole the water is channeled between two small islands and when the tide is moving the current is very quick and has, over the years, gouged out a nice deep channel with a sandy bottom. There on top of that sandy bottom lies many flounder waiting to ambush any unsuspecting shrimp or small bait that is brought by through the torrid current. All one needs to do is throw a plump shrimp out with a bit of steel surprise tucked stealthly inside of it. It is advisable to throw well ahead of the current so the shrimp/baitfish has time to get to the bottom when it comes back over the sandy bottom with the current. Of course a split shot will work to help it sink if you are having problems but I’ve found this sometimes cuts down on the flounder bite though it also has the added benefit of cutting down on some of the nuisance fish like lizard & lady fish that seem to hang out in the top part of the water column.
As a result of the swift current and deep water it’s not uncommon to catch spanish mackerel and an occasional blue fish. The current runs hard both on the outgoing and incoming tides so the collection of bait being pulled off the grass flats and into the channel seems to entice a wide variety of fish species so be prepared to use about half your bait on fish you have no real desire to catch…unless you like lady fish.
On this particular day I had about 4 fishing poles with me and I set up one with a large pin fish and some weight and just let it soak on the bottom. Another pole I used a piece of cut bait on as well as more weight and it too was left to soak on the bottom after casting it about thirty yards away from where the pin fish was. And yet another pole I would use with live bait but when the bite cut down on that then I used my fourth and final pole that was ready made with a jig head and soft plastic and with it I simply tugged it across the bottom with a slow retrieve and had a good amount of luck with it catching 3 flounder in the span of an hour.
At the end of my fishing trip that day I caught a half dozen flounder, a couple spanish mackerel and a few other species of fish. All in all it was well worth the trip as it has been everytime I have went back. One final tip I will leave my fellow tampa bay area anglers is if you plan on wading to this spot it is a good idea to bring something with you to carry your gear…particularly if you plan on making a day out of it. Personally I use an inflatable and bring a cooler packed with drinks and lunch. Occasionally I’ll even bring a grill and make myself a nice hot lunch while drinking an ice cold Mountain Dew under one of the shade trees that dot the islands on this side of the Skyway.
Here Is The Best Tampa Bay Flounder Hole I Know Of!
No Excuses! Tight Lines Folks!
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