What's hot: With the eastern winds in the morning, the beaches of north Pinellas County have been very calm, allowing anglers to enjoy great fishing. There have been good numbers of tarpon making the migration north. The silver kings are running just outside the sandbar in the dropoff. Placing a smaller silver mullet under a cork has been effective in hooking up to a 100-plus pounder. The swash channels that run parallel to the beach have been holding good numbers of speckled trout and snook on incoming tides. The best bait has been the smaller sardines found everywhere across the flats and inside the passes.
Tackle: Use smaller hooks such as No. 1 or 1/0 and present the baits tight to the shoreline. Free-lining will net the most fish and disguise the presentation in the clear water. Farther off the beach, in the 12- to 15-foot depths, the small rock piles are holding flounder, grunts, Spanish mackerel and grouper.
Tactic: The most effective rig for flounder fishing around wrecks is to use a sliding weight above the line to leader with around 2 ounces of lead. The smaller pinfish and greenbacks work best when tail-hooked and fishing over the sandy edges.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 439-9017.