Snook fishing has been going strong in north Pinellas. Several schools are lining the beaches, occupying the swash channels and troughs a few feet from shore. Fly fishermen have been able to hook snook sight fished from the beach. East winds in the morning create very calm waters, allowing single fish and groups to be spotted easily. Small hatchling baits have invaded the flats, and clouds of them are moving along the beaches through the passes as well. Often snook will be nearby, gorging on these easy targets throughout the day. A larger bait such as a sardine, threadfin or grunt cast into the pods of small baits will quickly get a snook's attention. As spawning comes to an end, they will begin to move toward the back country into fall; however, they remain on the beaches into August. Redfishing has been best at the higher tide position and certainly around the stronger moon phases. Generally, cut baits cast near the mangroves work best, especially in the early morning hours before the flats heat up to near 90 degrees. There are still tarpon filtering through the passes. Midday boat traffic keeps them down, so early dawn anglers have had the most success sight fishing or drifting baits in the passes.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.