Angler’s Depot, (727) 938-5364: Brown says a good bet now is to hit the island beaches for snook. Fish are there for the spawn, and live bait in the surf will get them. The tarpon are showing themselves around the islands, as well. A buddy fishing the backside of Anclote Key reported taking a trout that went 6 pounds, and the grass flats most anywhere are holding them. Offshore, red grouper diggers will want to work at least 50 feet of water. Hard bottom in that depth of better could produce a kingfish or two, as well.
Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, (727) 942-8944: Capt. David says the fishing has been good. Anglers should hit the shallow grass flats early in the day for big trout. Top-water plugs in just 2 feet of water have been turning up fish to 25 inches. Snook are on the beaches of the islands, and the tarpon have shown up, as well. Reds are where you find them, but fishing along the mangroves up and down the coast is producing. One of the guides who works with the shop took a jumbo red in the Cotee River to clinch a tournament win. Mackerel are on the deeper grass flats, and chumming for them has been attracting cobia. A couple of regulars reported cobia to 30 pounds.
Anclote Bait and Tackle, (727) 945-1808: Capt. Griff says the offshore mangrove snapper bite is solid. Boats working 60 to 80 feet of water have been reporting that rocky bottom is giving up fish to 8 pounds. Fish have been coming up to the surface in schools. Red grouper fishing in the same depths has been fair. Inshore there is plenty of bait, with snook on the beaches and trout on the grass flats. Sharks are all over the flats. Tarpon have been popping up off the beach at Fred Howard Park, in Tarpon Springs. A couple of anglers have reported hooking up fish.
One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: John says the fishing remains good, with anglers reporting good catches of trout on the grass flats off the Cotee and Anclote rivers in 4 to 5 feet of water. Reds have been scattered, but most anglers are reporting finding fish if they look long enough along flooded mangrove lines. Offshore, grouper diggers are going to 60 feet of water or more for their red grouper.
The Long Pier, (727) 391-9398:Beach Bob says just a couple of tarpon were landed from the end of the pier at Redington Shores over the weekend. The fish were between 80 and 100 pounds. With plenty of bait in the water and conditions good, the silver king bite should pick up as we move into warmer weather. Trout fishing has been solid after dark, with live shrimp fished under the lights producing nice fish. Flounder are biting shrimp on the bottom, and mackerel are schooling off and on during the day. A 15-pound cobia was landed, and anglers are catching jacks in fair numbers. The water temperature at the pier was 81 degrees when checked Monday.
Pier 60, (727) 462-6466: Kelli says the trout bite is good at night, with days producing a mixed bag of mackerel, sea bass, flounder and the odd small shark. Live shrimp has been the bait of choice at the pier on Clearwater Beach.