What's hot: Snook have become more consistent on the area beaches. They tend to inhabit the swash channels very close to shore. This past week, in east winds, the west shore along Caladesi, Honeymoon and Anclote islands were very calm. If you can make your way across the outer sandbars, you can see several snook against the shoreline and in the deeper water around structures such as grass patches or broken-down trees. Use a push pole or a trolling motor to slowly make your way down the shore. Look for single fish or light gray groups of snook, sometimes 30 or more. Have a frisky, live sardine or threadfin ready to cast to the pods, leading them if possible.
Tips: Once you've identified where they are holding, it's a good idea to move out of the swash and cast straight toward the shore. Snook tend to relax once your boat is outside the ditch they are occupying. You also can bring a floating bait bucket and wade along the sandbar, making casts. Be prepared to hook other species with this method as well. Trout, redfish, ladyfish, blacktip sharks and even Spanish mackerel might surprise you.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 or through his website at captbrian.com.