Hi friends! I would first like to say that I am hopeful that you are all safe and making it through these strange times. We will get through this together for sure! I am also happy to let you all know that Capt. Brian Caudill Inshore Fishing Charters is doing business as usual! There is no better way to escape the news, crowds and negativity than to be on the boat, fishing and smiling as you reel in your catch! The only thing you will have close, multiple contacts with is fish! And I guarantee they are virus free! That being said, I am taking precautions by disinfecting my rods and boat surfaces everyday so we can all feel protected and safe while on the boat. Also, many people have had trouble traveling from other parts of the country which is totally understandable. However, if any of you are local or have made it to Florida from elsewhere and are looking for something to do with the family and kids, don’t hesitate to call or email to book a trip! I have openings available over the next few weeks. It is a great way to get out of the house and experience the outdoors and stay somewhat isolated. So that being said, here is what is going on out here! 

Warm temperatures have helped to stimulate several species of fish in north Pinellas County. The trout bite is still consistent in St. Joseph Sound, however snook are starting to appear beyond the mouths and creeks of the backcountry. They are transitioning to some of the islands on their way to the beaches. Although they will not inhabit the beaches in full force until late spring, it’s interesting to see them this early in the year approaching to the west from the mainland. Scaled sardines are spotty, but when cast netted, can attract an aggressive bite from snook looking for an easy meal after hibernating through winter. Clear waters have resulted in tying lighter leader material to get bites from these crafty and finicky fish. Redfish are making a strong appearance also. The tides have not been very strong or high this week, so perimeter fishing around oyster bars and docks have provided high numbers of redfish. Live shrimp, or cut pieces of pinfish have been my first choice. Larger fish are definitely preferring the pinfish while smaller fish are taking the shrimp. Nearshore fishing has been productive as well. Spanish mackerel are starting to show up, chasing schools of threadfin herring within 3 – 5 miles of shore. If the weather stays mild, we will see kingfish appearing in better numbers very soon providing lots of rodbending action when fishing inshore is overcrowded or slow. 


Wintertime fishing is always a roller coaster ride of cold fronts, mild days, high winds or sometimes no winds. You always have to be prepared for every scenario if you are going to maximize your time on the water. I always like to bring a variety of baits. In the winter time live bait is usually going to be shrimp or pinfish. Artificials will include shrimp mimicking lures, also soft plastics such as long jerk worms or short paddle tails. Top water plugs are fun to use, but don’t get as many hook ups. Gold spoons are in the arsenal, as well as bucktail jigs. In most cases, only a few of those choices will get used in a day of fishing, but it always pays to have several options for different scenarios. If the water I am fishing is very clear one day, and the next is murky due to a change in the wind direction, different colors of soft plastics will come into play. A general rule of thumb is darker the water, darker the bait. Clearer waters will call for a more translucent color. Trout are most likely found in the clear waters of St. Joseph Sound, so white with chartreuse jigs can be deadly. But as the silt is churned up by winds, I will switch to a root beer colored jig and get just as many hook ups when worked close to the bottom with a slower retrieve. Redfish are suckers for a gold spoon so target mullet schools moving along the flats and you are sure to find a few reds willing to chase the flashing spoon.


What an incredible year of fishing in 2019! This has been one of the busiest years in my charter fishing career! And I couldn’t have done it without all of you! Even with the regulations due to the red tide outbreak of 2018, you all stuck with me and fished on a catch and release basis for snook, reds, and trout. I had the awesome pleasure of making several new clients throughout the year also! My daughter turned 13 this year, and I will be heading into my 20th year of professional guiding in the Tampa Bay area! The fishing has been fantastic as we round out 2019, so 2020 should be another tremendous year! The regulations on the West coast of Florida have really made a difference in our population of game fish.

I hope to see many of you again in the spring. Although January, February can have tremendous trout and redfish fishing in St. Joseph Sound. I would also like to give a special thanks to Ozona Fish Camp, my home Marina. It is by far the best departure location in all of Tampa Bay in my opinion! 
Thanks again everybody, and have a Happy New Year! Let’s go fishing!