Trout are still the main target for inshore fishing in North Pinellas. The bite has remained strong even with a few days of higher winds and cold overnight temperatures. The chilly nights have made it difficult to find sardines to net, so live shrimp and lures have been the baits of choice for trout. The islands along St. Joseph Sound have held good numbers. If I don't see them while using the trolling motor to move slowly along the shallow edges of the island I'm working, I like to fan cast a small paddle-tail jig until I get a strike. I then anchor and put out live shrimp under a float. Usually the fish react quickly to the shrimp. If pinfish and other small predatory fish become too much of a nuisance, I'll continue to use artificial baits. Redfish have started to show up in good numbers. Docks have produced good fish this past week. On medium tides, reds have been congregating on large potholes just outside of oyster bars normally covered by higher tides. Winter tides are generally lower than summer tides so targeting the deep roots of mangroves isn't always possible.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.