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CAPTAIN'S CORNER

What's hot: The snook bite has been great at first light when low light allows anglers to disguise the presentation and take advantage of the snook's strong appetite. The water will be a little cooler and make the fish move around more in search of a meal. Sardines have been the best bait while free-lined. There are good numbers of male snook tucked in with the abundance of larger females that survived the hard winter. Work the pods of whitebait along the swash channels parallel to the sandy shoreline. The smallest greenbacks in the livewell are working best when tossed into the darker dropoffs. Twenty-five-pound fluorocarbon leader is just enough if there is a 20-pound female mixed in with the males. Back the drag off as there isn't anything that can cut off the line along the beaches.

Tactics: Snook are very wary on the clear beaches of North Pinellas. Along with lighter leader material, a 1/0 or 2/0 hook is a good match with the size of sardines that are working well. Making long casts and using the wind to increase distance will put needed space to persuade these linesiders to chew. Note the minor and major solunar periods each day.

Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 or at jim@captainhud.com.

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