Adjusting for the Heat!

The fishing has been steady in North Pinellas County. Low midday tides are very warm, causing most fish to be lethargic, searching for a drop off or edge of the flat to avoid the hot water. Redfishing has been tougher this week. There are still plenty of snook around the beaches, but in late summer, spawning has occurred and the fish are not eating as often. The smaller male fish are more likely to eat while the females are concentrating on fertilizing and laying their eggs. Last week I had the pleasure to participate once again in a Kids Fish Camp. We fished for snook and redfish for a little while but eventually turned our focus to trout and mangrove snapper. We even fished around the bridge pilings catching grunts, snapper, flounder and a few other species running under the bridges. Sometimes you have to be prepared to change gears when the weather is an issue or the fish in your favorite spot just aren’t biting. Summer storms are very common in July so the ability to look at a radar on a smart phone is extremely convenient and very valuable when you need to see how close storms are to your location. It can definitely affect your game plan for the day. Whether to run south towards a jetty to snook fish, move north to work a trout flat, or to head back to the marina to allow a possible thunderstorm with lightning to pass before continuing.

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.