The Tampa Bay Times
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.