The Tampa Bay Times
Fishing has been consistent in the north Pinellas region. Bait still tends to be a bit tricky as it moves around a lot. I always give myself time to hit two or three places if my first plan doesn’t work out. Snook have been gathering well along the beaches. The ditches and troughs just along the shore hold hundreds of snook especially if there are rocks or grass patches allowing for some structure. Live chumming can get them busting baits on the top, starting a frenzy. It’s usually not difficult to get a few of the males to eat although the larger females are more skeptical. The deeper points around the passes have held a lot of the females willing to eat grunts or large pinfish. Trout are stacking up as well on the deeper grass flats inside of the passes. Although many are caught in the same area as the snook along the beaches, the smaller trout are inhabiting the flats. I always look for a drop off with moving water. 6 to 8 feet tends to be the best depth for high numbers of fish. Redfish are also cooperating, but better on the higher tides. I will mostly use cut baits laid out along the oyster bars and mangrove edges to attract a bite. Once a few fish are caught, I will switch over to live bait. If you happen to be around a school of fish, they will compete for food and the live bait works well. There have been some reports of red tide creeping up the coastline. Hopefully the blooms will be short-lived although there have been a few reports of fish kills in the Clearwater and Dunedin area.