The Tampa Bay Times

Fall is in the air and fishing has exploded on the flats. Greenbacks are flourishing on the beaches although they are mostly small. A 1/4 mesh net is a must right now, however in 3 to 4 weeks the bait will be just right. There are still a few snook remaining along the beaches but the majority are in transition heading east from the barrier islands towards to their normal hangouts for fall into winter. There are throngs of small snook around the mangroves especially at the points on the falling tides. Heavy chumming will get them busting the surface, giving away their location. Freelining baits into the action will get a hook up very quick. There are a lot of bigger female snook around also. We are finding them in the sandy potholes looking to ambush on the lower part of the outgoing tides. Larger sardines or pinfish have been working best. Red fish are beginning to school up in numbers. Most fish are at the lower slot range 20 to 24 inches but there are plenty of them. Again, oyster bars, points of the mangrove shoreline and blended in with mullet schools are three of the best places to locate redfish in north Pinellas. On high tide, chumming any overhanging branches and skipping baits under the limbs will get hits quickly if the fish are there. If not, make a short move to the next overhang. Often redfish will congregate together and the next branch could be holding several redfish providing quick action.