Snook are transitioning from summer holding spots to backwater feeding spots where they will fatten up before heading up creeks and rivers to winter. Targeting edges of grass flats at low tide, we have been picking up redfish, trout and a few snook along the Intracostal Waterway. Live chumming and free-lining pilchards have provided constant action at the end of the outgoing tide and the first hour of the incoming. Creek mouths, and the flats and oyster bars adjacent to them, are also places to find snook and redfish. Concentrating on the higher-tidal stages gives you the best chances at these spots. Once again, live bait has been working well. But keeping out a fresh chunk of cut ladyfish on the bottom has produced larger snook. Cast-netting live bait has been easy along the beaches and pass shoals. Swarms of smaller fry bait can be seen holding just a few feet from shore. Under that small bait, larger, more usable baits can be found. Use a quarter-inch mesh cast net to help prevent gilling the smaller baits. Tripletail encounters have been more numerous the past two weeks. Scan bridge pilings, buoys and crab floats.
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.