Snook have been abundant and feeding recklessly at times. Areas that have strong flow and deeper water have been ushering in schools of unsuspecting bait fry; one minute the fry is dancing and dimpling the surface, then there is a shower of scattering bait fish and snook grinding hard on confused baits. A well-placed sardine usually will fall victim to a ravenous snook. Most are small males, though on occasion a larger female lets her guard down. Be patient, wait on the big boil and cast on it when you feel the bait twitch warning of the ensuing chaos. Redfish have also been mixed in with the snook. I soak a cut bait while anglers cast at popping fish. Using a No. 4 split shot and a 2/0 circle hook, baited with a freshly cut pinfish or sardine, I make a long cast and touch the leaves of the trees as the bait falls into the edge of the mangrove shoreline. Reports of schools of redfish are starting to make their way around the docks and local bait and tackle shops. Once a school is spotted, boat positioning is important. See which way the school is moving, stay 50 yards away and get in front of the school to intercept it. Then cut up any baits you can and scatter them around the boat, and do the same with the live baits. Send out two cut baits on hooks and two live baits on ready to cast.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]