Redfish, Redfish, Redfish!!!

Redfishing has been hot over the last few weeks. Fish are choosing flats with larger striped mullet to school with, hiding among the mullet as dolphin invade the flats looking for easy meals. On the higher tides, look for the mangrove shorelines where mullet are jumping near the limbs or schooling along the branches and over hangs. Cut baits cast into the shadows of the bushes will attract a bite. Fish each section for about 15 minutes while also chumming with cut pieces of bait. If no action, move further down the line. Redfish will often pick a different oyster bar or mangrove cut out to occupy from day to day depending on conditions. Trout are starting to gather along the grass flats inside the passes. Drop offs around the edges of flats are a holding several trout in all size ranges on lower tides. Small pinfish or sardines under a cork are getting hammered. Freeline baits in deeper potholes scattered through out the flats to catch the bigger female trout. Snook are already getting wise to the pressure in north Pinellas. Be sure to make long casts to beach troughs and cuts with current, staying a good distance away from these cautious fish. The turn of the tide has been the best time to target snook. The early morning bite has been the most productive for the linesiders.

Capt. Brian

Dealin’ with the Winds!

Winds are finally subsiding this week. Although the winds have hampered fishing in many areas, adjusting to the elements is key to finding fish and staying safe in the process. Kingfish and mackerel are here, and the lighter winds will allow boaters to troll nearshore wrecks and reefs looking for baitschools getting attacked by birds. Slow trolling live threadfins or sardines can often locate areas where the kings are holding. After a few bites, anchor and begin chumming with cut baits and a chum bag. Cast out flatlines with lightwire and a 2/0 – 3/0 live bait hook, then wait for kingfish and mackerel to hit. This method works really well, bringing the fish to your location. Snook, redfish and trout are the main focus for inshore fishing. Snook are making their way to the passes and nearby beaches. Numbers will continue to increase over the next few weeks as the days stay warm and the winds decrease. Early in the spring, less wary snook explode on handfuls of chummed sardines, giving up their location. If fishing in current, always cast uptide and allow the bait to drift naturally to the fish. Trout are holding in the same locations as the snook along the beach cuts and rocky structures. Redfish are responding best around the stronger moon phases, schooling along the mangroves on the higher tides. Mullet schools have also held larger reds. Gold spoons worked through large mullet schools will get chased and hit by these big reds. A few mid slot fish will be caught as well.

Capt. Brian

Hello Warm Days!!

A warming trend has triggered the fish in north Pinellas. As usual for this time of year, the trout bite has been phenomenal on the warmer days once they are located. Although tides have been a bit weak, the bite has occurred best around the turn of the high tides. The higher outgoing waters pull the warm water from the shallow flats, prompting the fish to eat well. Large live shrimp under a cork or freelined in the deeper waters have produced several trout. The overall size and amount of trout is less than years past, so persistence and patience is key to locating a group of cooperating fish. Long casts are vital to keeping a school in one place. Drifting quietly or using a trolling motor on low speeds will increase success when moving around. Redfish are showing up well in the usual spots. Mangrove shorelines, oyster bars and potholes on the flats at low tides. Docks are also holding several fish in the lower slot range. Cut baits, shrimp, and rootbeer colored jigs are working well. Snook reopened in the Gulf of Mexico waters on March 1st. Although a few have been caught along the north coast, they are still a little wary, not stimulated to eat as often in the cooler waters. As soon as the sardines show up again, the snook will bite will turn on after being dormant through winter.

Capt. Brian