Even though it is still hot in Florida, several days of rain and cloud cover have cooled the waters a bit in North Pinellas County. Fish are responding on the flats especially on high water. Live bait is very plentiful yet small, and many flats are full of hatchling baits. 1/4 mesh cast nets will prevent a lot of hang-ups by the small bait fish. Although they make great chum, they aren’t easy to put on a hook and cast. Redfishing has improved with several larger fish moving in to the area. There are a few schools of redfish pushing the water on the stronger moon phases. I look for groups of mullet which will often be where the redfish are holding as well. Snook are leaving the western beaches and moving through the passes back towards their transition areas before winter. Although the colder months are still pretty far away, the snook have spawned and will move east towards the mainland as they do each year. The larger sardines are still the bait of choice when you can find these finicky fish. They definitely aren’t eating as often as they do in the middle of their spawn season. Trout fishing has been spectacular on the interior grass flats and has also has produced several other species such as ladyfish, mackerel, bluefish sharks and jacks. When the bite is slow for other species, the flats inside of the passes have been high action on recent trips.

  So that’s what’s happening! I look forward to fishing with you all through the fall months! Call me at 727-365-7560 or email me soon! I can’t wait to hear from you! Capt. Brian


Summer has set in and the fishing is just as hot. As scheduled, tarpon are moving along down the north Pinellas beaches and into our passes. The numbers are growing and will only get better in the coming weeks. Pods of fish are easy to sight cast if you are in their swimming lanes, just one to two hundred yards from shore. Leading them with artificial swim baits or live crab, threadfin herring or sardines is the most productive way to get bit. Unfortunately, not every group of fish will decide to eat. It takes a lot of patience and a several presentations to get a hook up as well as a very stealthy approach. But there are those days where the fish tend to eat more often, especially leading up to the stronger moon phases. Just prior to a new or full moon will stimulate most fish to eat better. Crabs begin to flush out into the gulf on the strong falling tides, creating a feeding frenzy for tarpon. I will often have a long dipping net to secure a few crab for casting. You’ll need to remove the claws before trying to put them on a hook or you will get a pretty painful surprise. Drift fishing the passes is also an effective method. Employing a large float with 5 – 6 feet of leader to the hook will place the bait in their path. Also, freelining large cut threadfins is working too. We are sight casting less when fishing the passes, yet if the fish are coming through you will definitely see them rolling.


The flats and nearshore waters are brimming with bait in North Pinellas County. Schools of threadfin herring are moving through the passes along with hordes of glass minnows. The minnows aren’t typically a bait I use, however snook, mackerel, trout and redfish all devour mouthfuls of them when they are nearby. Chumming for bait on the flats is still producing a live well full of greenbacks which are more resilient than most other baits. Trout have made the transition towards the beaches, abandoning the islands in St. Joseph Sound. The swash channels and rock jetties are holding good numbers of the larger variety and the nearby grass flats adjacent to the passes are holding high numbers of smaller trout. Throwing a handful of baits in the area will soon get them popping the surface in pursuit of an easy meal. I instruct my clients to count to two or three when they feel a bite before they reel, allowing the circle hooks to do their job. Snook are congregating around the points of the barrier islands. They haven’t yet fully committed to the beaches although they are not far away. Most of my hook ups have been on larger greenbacks or threadfins. Redfishing has been hit or miss, better around the stronger moon phases. There aren’t many large schools of redfish to target, mostly small groups of ten fish or less. Fishing the mangrove line on the high tides are producing fish when moving methodically down the way until you find an overhang or oyster bar holding fish.