The Tampa Bay Times
A pattern of strong east winds this week has forced many anglers to find protection against the western facing beaches or mainland shores. Buildings, mangroves and land in general can act as a buffer to allow some solace from the incessant winds. However, sometimes the fish you are targeting may not be available in the protected areas so I always appreciate whatever fish are biting while seeking cover. On a recent trip we were lucky enough to have a school of large jacks come through. These were the 10 to 20 pound fish. The drags were screaming and smiles were on the faces of my clients. Trout were also available although we were targeting snook. Thankfully, snook have begun to congregate on the beaches around the structures and swash channels. Often times, crystal clear water will inhibit them from eating even the most healthy live bait. Once we changed our leader to 20 pound fluorocarbon, we caught a few of the snook. Redfish have also started to appear on the beaches. Although they tend to school up on the flats around the stronger moon phases, a few are making their way into the same areas that we find snook and larger trout. It’s always a bonus when you can catch all three inshore species in the same location. Live sardines also called greenbacks, have been extremely valuable, although The snook are starting to eat grunts pretty well also. Tarpon are beginning to filter in the passes in north Pinellas but not with a heavy presence yet. They will continue to migrate up from the southern regions and will be caught by fly fisherman and live baiters also.