What's hot: As Labor Day approaches, so does the fall snook season. With an abundance of rain over the past few weeks, the water temperature has dropped and energized the fish that are hunting the shallow grass flats. Many snook have started to move into backcountry haunts and postspawn feeding areas. The spoil islands that line the Intracoastal Waterway have been holding good numbers of slot-sized linesiders. The middle grounds between these islands and the main shore that are patchy with sand holes are also great snook areas.
Tactics: Throw copper Huddle Spoons or white pumpkin bucktails to resemble the many pinfish that are thick among the turtle grass. These fish will be spread out, and artificials will help anglers cover more water while drifting a flat. On higher tides, work the docks that lead into bayous or rivers to find aggressive game fish that feed during this short window of opportunity. Any drainage pipes or runoff ditches are gold mines for reds and snook. The brackish water around these spillways will hold fiddler crabs and small shrimp that make up a large part of the inshore diet among these fish.
Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 439-9017.