By Captain Stewart Ames
January delivered what is generally expected. As our coldest month of the year, fronts dependably arrived and squashed the fishing each time. One stretch produced 8 straight nights of temperatues into the forties. On the bright side, warming trends between these fronts did offer up some good fishing days. In northern Pinellas County, the primary target remains big seatrout…with scattered smaller redfish and an occassional decent fish showing up.
As February arrived, small pockets of whitebait started to pop up, but not really in dependable enough numbers yet so shrimp, small pinfish and grass grunts were the primary baits being used. On certain days, small grass grunts would take most of the bigger fish, likely a result of the fact that these fish were the only ones that could get their mouths around these larger baits. On days when trout limits were secured, redfish were pursued on residential docks and in potholes along prodcutive flats…with mixed results. The ‘dock” fish were generally undersized. The pothole fish tended to be better quality but were defintely fewer in number. With a warming trend forecast for the next few weeks,everything should get better. Whitebait should become a permanent fixture in the area again and more redfish will enter St Joseph’s Sound, increasing the odds of hooking up on bigger fish. Assuming that temperatures don’t rise too fast, large seatrout should remian well into March. Snook are in residence in typical early spring spots as well and will become viable targets once decent quantities of whitebait are available. Good luck and good fishing.