The Tampa Bay Times
Fishing had been very strong in north Pinellas prior to the high winds and rain. Redfish were eating on the outgoing tides along the mangrove overhangs. Cut pinfish, sardines, ladyfish or mullet have all been getting hit. Most trout have moved to the west, abandoning the spoil islands in St. Joseph Sound. Live sardines or threadfins have been getting chased and devoured by trout along the edges of the grass flats near the passes. Snook are stacking up in the normal spots around the points of the barrier islands, getting ready to fully commit to the beaches as it continues to warm. However, the recent high winds can stir up the waters, changing the conditions and making it difficult to catch fish until things calm down again. Backcountry waters will be protected the most, providing anglers with a chance to catch fish until the exposed areas clear up. There are still good numbers of snook, redfish, sheepshead, and trout in the back bays and residential canals. Although the temperature has been warm, it’s not quite consistent enough for all of the fish to move out of these areas. Artificials such as jerkworms, paddle tail patterns, and artificial shrimp will be the most productive. In the canals, docks that have deep water nearby are the best to target. Bays and bayous have mangroves and oyster bars to work. Live baits are extremely effective if available, however the high winds may prevent boaters from finding areas to catch live bait. Artificials will produce plenty of bites until the exposed areas are clear again.