Mild Weather Has The Fish Chewing

Clearwater fishing charters and a big Redfish!Stable and warm weather on Clearwater Fishing Charters has had the fish extremely active in north Pinellas. Unlike most winter months, the bait has stuck around. Cast netting enough to fish with for the day has been easy. Trout have been absolutely on fire the past week. Slowing only a bit after the strong new moon phase passed by. They are still chasing and inhaling the sardines, also called “greenbacks”. The intercoastal waters between Clearwater and Palm Harbor are holding several fish up to 24 inches though most are 15 to 20 inches. Artificials have outfished live baits at times, especially when the fish are spread out. I like small paddle tail soft plastics with a 1/8 jig head. Redfish are showing up in schools. The high tides are lower than normal this time of year so the schooling redfish are forced to stay out of the trees and mangrove bushes and roam the flats with the mullet. Heavy chumming will attract the fish to your area. Lay out cut pieces of pinfish on a 2/0 circle hooks and wait for a strong pull away. Reds usually hook themselves as they take off with the bait. Snook are also cooperating lately. The water temps have crept into the low 70’s encouraging them to eat. Snook tend to prefer large baits such as threadfin herring, ladyfish or pinfish. The winds are forecast to be high this weekend, look for cover in bays or canals with deeper water that can hold fish. Docks will often have reds, sheepshead and snook underneath. Live shrimp pitched under a dock will get hit by any of those species.

Weather good for Redfish and Trout

Weather good for Redfish and Trout

Weather is good for redfish and trout over the next day and a half on Clearwater Fishing Charters. The water temps are beginning to creep up again in north Pinellas and fishing has been fantastic. The main targets have been Clearwater fishing for Redfish!spotted sea trout, redfish and sheepshead. Trout have been responding well to live shrimp under a cork with a few feet of leader or freelined close to the bottom. Clear waters requires downsizing tackle. 20 lb leader and a #1 or 1/0 hook is working the best. The spoil islands along the intercoastal are attracting several anglers as usual for this time of year. Be sure to move around quietly and give everyone ample space when maneuvering to your spot. Redfish have been holding under the docks and along seawall oyster beds. I use a split shot at the hook to keep my shrimp pinned in one location and wait for a consistent pull. Circle hooks allow the fish to set the hook perfectly in the corner of the mouth, eliminating the need for the angler to do the setting. Also low tide potholes along the flats have produced a few redfish. They are ranging from 17 to 24 inches in these areas.

Sheepshead and Silver Trout

Sheepshead are inhabiting the docks also , as well as any rock piles and jetties. The mitigation reefs south of Sand Key have held sheepies along with silver trout. Once you have found a couple silver trout to bite in these deeper waters you can make a day of catching them. They are also great table fare this time of year. When the weather good for redfish and trout I usually don’t target the silvers. The sea trout are mush bigger and are an easier fish to find this time of year.

Clear Water Makes Spotting Fish Easy

Blue bird skies and high pressure has made it a little harder to get a strong bite going over the last few days on Clearwater Fishing Charters. Clear and calm waters makes it easy to spot fish in, however, they can see and feel your presence as well. Especially in the shallow, more vulnerable depths where redfish and snook are so commonly found in the winter months. Downsizing tackle is imperative to success. I use 10 – 15 lb braided line, 20 lb fluorocarbon leader and smaller #1 hooks in general. And most importantly, position yourself for the longest cast possible, with winds behind you for the most distance. As long as the fish are unaware of the presence of a boat or even a wading fisherman, they are more likely to react naturally in pursuit of a meal.. As sardines and other baits are harder to come by, artificials and live shrimp are the preferred baits. Topwater lures are best in the early morning or late afternoon while the light is lowest. Mid day sun prevents most fish from wanting to come to the surface and risk exposure so deeper diving soft plastics with a 1/8 – 1/4 ounce jighead is necessary. With live shrimp, using a cork with a few feet of leader below is very effective. Trout have been holding in St. Joseph Sound but are very finicky on calm days. Freelined shrimp on the bottom have worked best. Redfish are also showing well around the rocks and oyster bars in the backcountry. Again, patience is key as they are extremely cautious.

 Call Now to Book your Special Day

I’m already getting calls from many of you booking your trips for 2017! I am ready to get you all out there and have a great day on the water! Take a break from the cold, hop a plane or drive southward, I’m here… Call or e-mail 727-365-7560 or brian@captbrian.com. Let’s go fishing!