A pattern of high winds out of the northeast has kept most anglers inshore this week. That trend will continue through the weekend, though the winds will decrease a bit. Before the wind arrived, mackerel fishing had exploded on the reefs and hard bottoms a few miles offshore. Reports of kingfish biting in close were common, too. Bait schools have been getting pounded by pelicans, making the bait easy to get a cast net on. Occasionally the bait has been scarce, requiring a lot of driving the shorelines. We’ve found it eventually via a bottom machine or diving birds. Winds lay down early in the morning, allowing a short window for nearshore fishing. Chumming for few minutes will bring the fish to you. Long shank hooks are a must to prevent breakoffs. Be ready to head in as soon as the wind picks up. The snook are still inhabiting inside cuts along the passes, yet several small snook are foraging along the eastern main shore in north Pinellas County. They are chasing the smaller sardines and glass minnows that have made their way to the protection of the shallower flats. Redfish are being caught around the rocky structures and the cuts near the beaches. Cut baits laid on the bottom will attract these bottom feeders.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.