Captain’s Corner: Fish return to normal migration pattern in North Pinellas

JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
Captain's Corner correspondent Brian Caudill.
JIM DAMASKE | Times Captain's Corner correspondent Brian Caudill.
Published May 2
Updated May 3

Warm weather has stabilized water temperatures, sending many fish into their normal pattern of migration in North Pinellas. Every year, large female snook start to trickle out to the west along the beaches, a few yards from unsuspecting sunbathers. Snook had been staging along the spoil islands in St. Joseph Sound and on the inside points of the barrier islands. The next couple of weeks leading up to the new moon, snook should be well on their way to occupying the swashes, troughs and even the rock jetties near the beaches, preparing for spawn season. Trout also follow a similar migration pattern, often lurking in the same areas as snook. The small bays and grass flats near the passes tend to hold the highest numbers of smaller trout, while the large female fish move to the beach with a few male trout, also looking to spawn through summer. Redfish were schooling and invading the mangrove shorelines prior to the recent full moon but have begun to diminish. They’re still eating on the higher tides but aren’t as concentrated, which is typical between the stronger moon phases. A few tarpon have been spotted moving across the sandbars around Clearwater and the north passes. The numbers will increase over the next two weeks as warm weather continues to encourage their migration north. Large threadfin herring are plentiful as bait, as well as sardines and pinfish.

Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.

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