The spring inshore and nearshore bites continue to be strong along the North Suncoast. Inshore, snook, redfish and trout are aggressively feeding to store body fat and oils for the rigors of spawning. Nearshore, Spanish and king mackerel, grouper and cobia are following the northerly bait migration that is in full swing.
The wind speed and direction have been the deciding factors in where efforts will be applied. It is difficult to recall a spring that has been as windy and as long as the one this year. Although inshore flats fishing is near "weatherpoof," that is not the case nearshore. Short of easterly winds that are manageable and productive for species such as Spanish and king mackerel, cobia, bonita and shallow-water grouper, any other quadrant might prove to be difficult to reach comfortably and safely.
When the winds allow, there has been plenty of action around the artificial reefs. Grouper, snapper, king and Spanish mackerel and cobia are typical species caught aground the reefs the past few weeks. Far less known is the presence of oversized permit. There is no rhyme or reason to which reefs will prove successful. A dollar crab or live shrimp pinned to a small jig head and freelined back into the current gets the nod.
Robert McCue can be reached at
1-800-833-0489 or through his Web site www.gianttarpon.com.