Early spring weather has the flats in North Pinellas jumping. As usual for this time of year, trout in St. Joseph Sound have been a main target. Although consistent, the numbers are not as good as years past. However, schools are moving in and out. The most success has been casting live baits to the deeper edges of the spoil islands. Pinfish, sardines and live shrimp are getting blasted when the fish are in attack mode. Action is best as the tides move in or out; extreme low tide and the peak of high tide are slowest. Redfish have been schooling from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. The groups are small. Mullet schools are plentiful, but redfish arenít always with all of the mullet. I often move slowly through mullet schools, looking for evidence of reds in the area. Larger puffs of mud indicate the tails of redfish stirring up the bottom. Also, muddy waters in the middle of an otherwise clear flat can point to schools of fish foraging on the bottom. Cast to these areas when possible. Unusually warm waters have turned on the snook earlier than normal. Outgoing tides have produced several nice snook. Creek mouths and bays are holding the most. They havenít made their way out to the beaches yet, and the cooler weather might correct the early snook migration.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.