A slight cold front shouldn't stall the progress we've seen on the flats lately. The warm streak we've had has turned on the fishing in north Pinellas. Bait has been spotty, with some days better than others. It will also get consistent as the sardines settle on the shallow flats, allowing just a few casts of the net to load up. I always prefer a mix of baits this time of year. Live shrimp are still performing great because the fish haven't turned their focus to the quicker live sardines and pinfish. However, the larger redfish are blending into the mullet schools and are hammering live pinfish, cut baits and sometimes greenbacks. On moderate to high tides, reds are hugging the mangrove shorelines, especially the mouths of tidal creeks. These creeks flood with the rising tide, giving reds and mullet a period of protection. As the tide falls, the water pours out, and the fish dump out with it. Timing the turn of the tide can result in incredible fishing. Snook are staging in the mouths of the bays and rivers, getting ready to move out to the beaches. They are starting to devour live sardines and even large shrimp, gaining strength for summer spawn season.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.