There is no way to determine Hurricane Jeanne's long-term effects on area fishing, but the immediate outlook is grim.
Saline levels will be adversely affected by heavy rain and runoff. Beach erosion is likely. Fish will evacuate the flats, and bait pods will scatter to seek safety.
At least for the next several days, getting offshore will be out of the question, and lingering winds will hamper even the inshore scene.
In time, the waters will cleanse and mackerel will return to the 20-foot hard bottom off Pass-a-Grille. Eastern winds had drawn large schools of baitfish to the beach.
Snook and redfish often hunker down deep in residential canals during bad weather. Two dozen redfish and more than a dozen snook chewed on shrimp between midnight and 6 a.m. Saturday. Working dock lights near Treasure Island, the largest snook was 39 inches and 29 pounds.
Pompano will be another option. At this time last year, the Gandy and Howard Frankland bridges were among the best bets. The Bay Pier at Fort De Soto is a natural hangout, and Bunces and Pass-a-Grille have been productive when drifting yellow jigs along the edges.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.