The Tampa Bay Times
High winds over the weekend will have local waters churned up, making fishing challenging. Luckily, the flats in North Pinellas County are teaming with fish as water temperatures have fallen to around 80° consistently. It will take a couple of days after the winds lay down for fishing to return to normal again. Redfish have arrived in good numbers and are foraging on all types of bait fish, especially cut baits like mullet and ladyfish. Unusually high tides have offered the ability to fish mangrove overhangs and flooded oyster bars for longer periods of time. Often the fish are in very particular locations and the higher tide allows for more time to locate where they are the most. I always target bushes that are also holding large mullet. Redfish tend to hang around the large schools of bigger mullet. Snook are still eating aggressively. Mostly smaller male fish between 20 to 28 inches. They are schooling around the passes as well as creek mouths and canals along the main shore from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. Sardines have been easy to catch on the beaches in the morning with only one or two throws of the cast net. Chumming heavily with these baits will get the snook popping the surface while chasing them, giving away their location. Mangrove snapper are a recent target, for those wanting to take home fish. Although most are small, a few keepers are being caught around the bridges, deep dock pilings and around oyster bars. Small hooks with a tiny piece of cut sardine will likely get picked on by snapper.