Afternoon snook fishing has been very good this week. A large percentage of the snook population has made its way from its deep backwater haunts where it has been wintering towards creek mouths that feed into the bay. Targeting snook with fresh live bait has been key. Finding scaled sardines this time of year can be difficult. Targeting bridge shadow lines at night is your only option in most cases, unless you fish by the Skyway bridge where bait has been consistent. The best snook fishing has occurred on the first part of the incoming tide. Chumming brings snook that are further back in the creek right to you. Free-line your baits with a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader and be sure to have at least one rod rigged with 40-pound if bigger fish show up. Redfishing has been improving as the new moon approaches. Redfish have been pushing onto the flats on the incoming tide and can be skittish until the tide comes up. Mixed in with the mullet schools, these fish have been biting well on the middle part of the incoming tide. These fish will eat whitebaits well, however, it can be frustrating trying to keep the birds off them.
Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.