Several days of rain and cloud cover have cooled the waters a bit in North Pinellas County. Fish are responding on the flats especially on high water. Live bait is very plentiful yet small, and many flats are full of hatchling baits. 1/4 mesh cast nets will prevent a lot of hang-ups by the small bait fish. Although they make great chum, they aren’t easy to put on a hook and cast. Redfishing has improved with several larger fish moving in to the area. There are a few schools of redfish pushing the water on the stronger moon phases. I look for groups of mullet which will often be where the redfish are holding as well. Snook are leaving the western beaches and moving through the passes back towards their transition areas before winter. Although the colder months are still pretty far away, the snook have spawned and will move east towards the mainland as they do each year. The larger sardines are still the bait of choice when you can find these finicky fish. They definitely aren’t eating as often as they do in the middle of their spawn season. Trout fishing has been spectacular on the interior grass flats and has also has produced several other species such as ladyfish, mackerel, bluefish sharks and jacks. When the bite is slow for other species, the flats inside of the passes have been high action on recent trips.

Brian Caudill
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