The snook bite has been excellent. Snook up to 40 inches have been caught using live sardines or threadfin herring. They're eating the oily baits in preparation for the spawn, which takes place around the full moon. Females eat right up until they begin to spawn. Males shut down because they have one thing on their minds. Often when a female snook is caught during this time, males will follow her all the way to the boat. They usually will refuse any offerings. Handle the females gently, grab a quick picture and get them back into the water. Spanish mackerel and trout have continued to be mainstays while fishing the flats and around the bay. They're often caught in the same areas. This makes it easy to get the meat for those who are after a meal. Deep edges of shallow flats offer good current flow and make fantastic highways and ambush points for swift mackerel and the freckled trout. Sardines are the top bait choice, and the recent influx of bait fry make for fret chummers. Bait has also spawned and the fry has invaded the flats, which usually signals the beginning of mangrove snapper season inside the bay. Area bridges and many docks should be holding these tasty creatures. Small sardines and shrimp are top baits.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]