The summer heat has influenced most fish to move to specific locations. That's usual for this time of year. The hot backcountry waters force many fish toward the cooler moving waters of the passes and beaches. Temperatures can reach just above 90 degrees on the flats during the middle of the day, so many fish become lethargic, seeking the shade of mangroves or deeper edges along the flats. Snook fishing has been especially good. Snook move out to the sandy beaches, which makes it easier for males to find females for spawning. They are still responding to freelined sardines. Grunts caught previously in pinfish traps work very well also. Be sure to use at least 30 lb. leader and a 2/0 hook when casting larger baits. I prefer the circle hook style to prevent deeply hooking the fish. Be prepared to catch trout, flounder and even small tarpon while fishing for snook. Look for rocks along the shore, including the jetties that can be found along the north Pinellas coast. This past week I've been involved in taking kids fishing for summer camps. Running out to hard bottom near artificial reefs has given us plenty of action. We've caught grunts, squirrelfish, sea bass, small grouper and sharks, all on cut squid. It's very rewarding to see the kids reel in a fish on every drop, especially when they are smiling, laughing and having fun the whole time.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.