Fall Patterns Close By

Fall fishing patterns are very close, yet summer is still holding on. The days are getting shorter, along cloud cover and rains, the water temps have been hovering in the low 80’s. Though mid days are still hot, there is plenty of fishing action to be had. Snook are firing off in the morning on any tide, incoming or outgoing. Scaled sardines are very plentiful so filling the baitwell has been easy, especially with bait schools along the beaches in north Pinellas. I like to anchor uptide of an area holding snook and chum with a good amount of stunned baits. The snook will begin to pop the surface as they chase and inhale the baits in the tidal flow, giving away their location and willingness to eat. On a recent trip using this method, we were pleasantly surprised by a school of redfish mixed in with the snook right along the sandy shore. A few rocks and a patch of grass was all they needed to congregate in the trough near the sunbathing tourists. Trout are very plentiful over the grass flats nearest the passes. Trout are also still along the beaches around the rock jetties, devouring the small hatchling sardines and glass minnows clouding the waters near the structure. Spanish mackerel, bonito and mangrove snappers have been a focus for nearshore anglers. Kingfish are just around the corner. Heading into the fall season is always exciting as the flats and the fish begin to come to life with the slight cooling of the waters.

Capt. Brian

Inshore to Nearshore Success

Summer temperatures on the flats have been in the low 90s by midday, forcing anglers to seek cooler water around the nearshore artificial reefs in north Pinellas. Loading the baitwell in the early morning with small to medium whitebaits and heading a few miles offshore can guarantee rod-bending action. Rocky hard bottom and the structure of the reefs hold a variety of fish to catch. Mangrove snapper, small grouper, grunts and flounder are available. Using a heavy split shot, 30-pound leader and a small hook, drop bait to the bottom and reel one rotation to suspend the bait slightly. Light tackle rods can usually handle most of the nearshore species; however, a large grouper or cobia can sometimes get the upper hand. Mackerel are starting to show up, chasing the hordes of small hatchling baits around the reefs. Long shank hooks or a short length of light wire can prevent most breakoffs. Though the flats are warm, the grasses nearer the passes have held high numbers of trout, small mackerel and ladyfish. The beaches are still holding a few snook, though the numbers are dwindling as the snook begin to transition inshore after the spawn season. Incoming tides are cooler than outgoing, and morning bites are best before the sun gets too high. Always hydrate well, even on days with cloud cover and rain.
That’s what’s happening out here these days! Don’t let the summer pass you by without booking your special day on the water! Call me at 727-365-7560 or e-mail brian@captbrian.com. Let’s go fishing!

Capt. Brian

Adjusting to the Heat

The summer heat has influenced most fish to move to specific locations. That’s usual for this time of year. The hot backcountry waters force many fish toward the cooler moving waters of the passes and beaches. Temperatures can reach just above 90 degrees on the flats during the middle of the day, so many fish become lethargic, seeking the shade of mangroves or deeper edges along the flats.
Snook fishing has been especially good. Snook move out to the sandy beaches, which makes it easier for males to find females for spawning. They are still responding to freelined sardines. Grunts caught previously in pinfish traps work very well also. Be sure to use at least 30 lb. leader and a 2/0 hook when casting larger baits. I prefer the circle hook style to prevent deeply hooking the fish. Be prepared to catch trout, flounder and even small tarpon while fishing for snook. Look for rocks along the shore, including the jetties that can be found along the north Pinellas coast.
This past week I’ve been involved in taking kids fishing for summer camps. Running out to hard bottom near artificial reefs has given us plenty of action. We’ve caught grunts, squirrelfish, sea bass, small grouper and sharks, all on cut squid. It’s very rewarding to see the kids reel in a fish on every drop, especially when they are smiling, laughing and having fun the whole time.
Don’t hesitate to book your special summer day on the water! It may be hot but the breeze is blowing and we can always pull up to the beach for a quick dip in the clear coastal waters. Call now at 727-365-7560 or email here, through my site. I look forward to hearing from you all soon! Let’s go fishing!!!

Capt. Brian