What's hot: Snook fishing has been extremely good this week. The beaches from Clearwater Pass to Three Rooker Bar have had several schools to target. Finding the right terrain over such expansive stretches of beach can be challenging. Days with east winds allow for calm waters on the western side. Troughs between outer sandbars and the actual beach are the areas to focus on. Look for grass or rocky bottom in the swashes. Landside anglers can walk the shoreline casting small white and chartreuse jigs parallel to shore. Snook in groups can be visible as grayish shapes just under the surface. Avoid casting directly on the fish; lead them by a few feet.
Tip: Anglers in boats should anchor just beyond the outer sand bars, casting in toward shore. Sitting in the troughs will often push the fish away and prevent them from eating. Live baits should be cast as close to shore as possible. Monitor baits closely as they will often swim toward open water, away from the danger zone. As a bonus, trout, sharks and redfish will inhabit these swash channels. On a recent trip, we caught all of these species out of one trough. Thirty-pound leader and 1/0 to 2/0 hooks are sufficient to land most of the fish without breaking off.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and through his website at captbrian.com.