Snook, Snook, Snook!

Welcome to the Clearwater Fishing Charter report from Capt. Brian Caudill. Warm weather has stabilized the water temps, sending many fish into their normal pattern of migration in North Pinellas. Every year, large female snook start to trickle out to the west along the beaches, a few yards from unsuspecting sun bathers. Snook had been staging along the spoil islands in St. Joseph Sound and on the inside points of the barrier islands. The next couple of weeks leading up to the new moon, snook should be well on their way to occupying the swashes, troughs and even the rock jetties near the beaches, preparing for the spawn season. Trout also follow a similar migration pattern, often lurking in the same areas as snook. The small bays and grass flats near the passes tend to hold the highest numbers of smaller trout, while the large female fish move to the beach with a few male trout, also looking to spawn through summer. Redfish were schooling and invading the mangrove shorelines prior to the recent full moon but have begun to diminish a bit. They are still eating on the higher tides but aren’t as concentrated, which is typical between the stronger moon phases. A few tarpon have been spotted moving across the sandbars around Clearwater and the north passes. The numbers will increase over the next two week as warm weather continues to encourage their migration to the north. Large threadfin herring are plentiful as bait, as well as sardines and pinfish. Crabs are well known as the favorite bait for tarpon, flushing out of the bays during strong falling tides.

Spring Fishing is Aproaching

Spring is trying to move in, with just a few cold fronts mixed in. The up-and-down air temperatures will slightly affect the water temperature and also affect the fishing. Fishing has been mostly incredible in North Pinellas. All of the species we expect, such as trout, redfish and snook are cooperating. The recent cold front stimulated a great trout bite in St. Joseph Sound. Bait has gotten a little scarce, so live shrimp and artificials have been working, as well as pinfish. The larger female trout are not as plentiful this year, many of the schools are average size fish between 15 and 20 inches. The early incoming tides have had the most success. Moving water is a key component to most of the flats fishing in my area. Redfish are showing up on the high tide and eating well into the falling tides. Cut pinfish, shrimp and sardines are working in all areas for the redfish. Snook are still lurking around the canals, creek mouths, and back bays. They were moving toward the beaches but the recent cold front had turned them around. A slight cold front later this week may slow things down for a couple of days, but soon everything should begin to stabilize.

Warmer Weather and Fish Turning On!

Hi everyone and I hope you are having a great New Year! As most of the country, we have had our fair share of below normal temperatures. My January was pretty slow with some cancellations. But, now things are looking up and I’m getting busy! Enjoy the latest report and thank you for reading….

We are finally approaching some stable weather, and hopefully rising water temperatures will entice the fish to bite well. Our most cooperative species, trout, sheepshead, flounder and redfish have been the usual targets over the last couple of weeks. My most successful days have been while using live shrimp around the islands in St. Joseph and pitching under docks and along the main shoreline for redfish. Most catches have been small for redfish, but occasionally we will get into a school with some larger fish, even over slot! When dock fishing, it’s common to get a nice sheepshead nibbling on a cut piece of shrimp. I usually will cut shrimp in two pieces and thread them onto a small number 2 size hook to allow the sheepshead to eat the whole piece and slowly pull away, putting pressure on the line and becoming hooked. They are very tricky, but with a little practice you’ll know when to start reeling.The trout have all been keepers, with only a few over the 20 inch mark. High tides have definitely been more successful, especially after the sun heats the incoming water on the flats. The water temperature will rise 2 to 3° in the afternoon as the tide moves across the flats, then later falls out towards the passes. Translucent, silver and chartreuse jigs have been working for the trout as well. Presentations must be slower than usual, bouncing off the bottom occasionally. Ladyfish are still swarming in certain areas providing a lot of action on slower days.

So that’s what’s happening! Please get your day reserved before they fill up through the spring!


I have plenty of openings in the next few weeks! Don’t hesitate to call or email and set up your day on the water! I hope to see you out here soon! Capt. Brian