Snook and Tarpon!!

Hi everyone! Summer is approaching fast and the fishing is fantastic! It’s been a great year so far! If you have fished with me in the past, please visit my TripAdvisor link available near the top of my website. I would really appreciate some feedback if you have time to post a review! I am ready to fill the few holes I have in the next couple of months so give me a call or an email. Here is the latest…

Snook are on the move in Clearwater and North Pinellas. Most of the springtime transition points have been vacated and the snook are staging around the passes and along the jetties and beach troughs. They are few in numbers so far, but once more of the larger females arrive, the smaller males will accompany them in greater numbers. Spawning takes place through the summer months creating a healthy appetite for the linesiders. Also the reason for the season closure on May 1st through September 1st for the west coast of Florida. If holding a snook for a picture, always support them under the belly, horizontally. This puts less pressure on their sensitive jaw and helps to release them as healthy as possible. Several baits can entice a snook to eat in the summer months such as sardines, threadfin herring and pinfish. Grunts are a very attractive source of protein for large snook. Fish the drop offs along the edges of the beach, especially in eddies and vortexes created by strong moving tides. Tarpon are making a slight showing from Clearwater Pass north to Three Rooker Bar. Mid to late May will see an increase in numbers of tarpon as they migrate from the south. Fishing with cut baits also known as “dead sticking” in known migration paths along the beach is an effective way to get an early season hook up, especially if the fish aren’t showing well. As they become more obvious, leading a group of fish with a bait under a cork is a very productive method to hook one of the strongest fish in Florida waters.

Snook on the Move!!

Fishing in North Pinellas is coming on strong. The water is starting to be consistently over 70 degrees at night and into the mid 70’s through the day. This has snook moving from their transition locations out to the passes and beaches. Although they aren’t eating veraciously yet, I expect the next strong moon phase approaching next week to set them off. The snook that are willing to bite have been eating large sardine and threadfins well. Stay as far away from the fish as possible, allowing your bait move with any current into the strike zone. Snook are well known for avoiding baits that aren’t presented naturally. The larger trout usually staged in St. Joseph Sound in the winter have begun to vacate the spoil islands and join the snook along the inside shoreline and troughs near beaches. Several 5 lb trout have been caught this week while fishing for the linesiders. Redfish schools are moving up to the mangroves on the higher tides. Cut pinfish are getting struck by most reds, although chumming with sardines can also get them fired up. Tarpon are showing on the shallow bars, in low numbers so far. May will see an increase in their migration northward. Sitting quietly in the migration lane just a few yards off of the shore and leading them with a crab, sardine or threadfin is a great technique for hooking up. Stealth is so vital to getting a close shot at one of these powerful fish.

Fishing Good in Clearwater Through Fronts, Spring on the Way!!

Fishing  good in Clearwater now that high winds have subsided and the weather is warming. Clearwater fishing Charters and a big RedfishCold fronts are a possibility even into early April so you always need to adjust for success finding and catching fish. The water has become extremely clear forcing us to downsize tackle to 20lb and even 15lb leader. Smaller hooks like #1 or #2 can be hidden easier in live baits. On a recent trip, two rods I hadn’t switched over to lighter leaders were not getting bit at all, although we were surrounded by trout in 3 – 4 feet of water. As soon as 20lb leader was tied on, bites started coming. Tides have affected the bite also. Moving tides are a stimulant that get fish excited. If you are in an area with a stagnant tide, consider moving where the tide moves around a point, closer to a pass. Redfish have been eating through all phases of the tides but higher waters allows them to reach mangrove shorelines and oyster bars where they forage on bait. There are hundreds of snook in north Pinellas, staging along the spoil islands and mouths of the creeks, rivers and bays, ready to move to the beach for spawn season. The water temp dipped into the upper 50’s this week, shutting the snook bite down for a while. Longer days with sunshine should get the water warmed quickly, turning the snook on again. Offshore anglers are reporting mackerel and kingfish within 8 – 15 miles out. It shouldn’t be long before they get closer to shore making it easier to be reached by most recreational boaters.