Anclote Bait and Tackle, (727) 945-1808: Capt. Griff says not much has changed over the past week. Anglers continue to dodge rain showers in search of fish, finding some snook inside the Anclote River and along the mangroves on the coast, as most of the spawning fish have moved off the island beaches. There have been some reds taken around the mouth of the Anclote River and inside of it. Some big trout have been caught on the grass beds around Fred Howard Park, in Tarpon Springs, where anglers also are encountering plenty of small sharks. Between the weather and reports of red tide offshore, not much has been going on in deeper water.
Tarpon Trading Company, (727) 937-1488: Pete reports snook action is picking up inshore, with fish scattered along mangrove shorelines, in creeks and the Anclote River. The reds have been around the same haunts, at the mouth and inside the Anclote River. Small tarpon have been in the river. Key Vista, in the Holiday area, has been holding a good number of reds. The grass flats at Fred Howard Park have been a good trout spot. The sand trout have been biting well at Anclote Key. A boat fishing 50 feet of water off Anclote Key reported limiting on red grouper in short order. Pete says his shop is kicking off a series of seminars beginning with a snook showcase presented by Capt. Chip Rhome, Sept. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the store, 1197 N. Pinellas.
Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, (727) 942-8944: Capt. Chad says there still are some small snook on the beach at Anclote Key, but fish generally have moved inshore along the coast. The mouth of the Anclote River, especially around the spoils, has been holding some reds. Sand Bay has been another good place to find reds. There has been plenty of bait around, but it is small, and quarter-inch-mesh cast net is needed. Offshore, anglers fishing the artificial reefs have been taking some nice mangrove snapper. There have been reports of red tide as close as 10 miles out, with lots of dead grunts, eels and hogfish spotted 15 miles northwest of Anclote. Boats pushing out past the mess have been doing OK, with one boat reporting clean water in 60 to 80 feet, where they scored a number of red grouper.
One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: Joe says anglers have been working the creeks, canals and rivers for snook, which have moved in over the past couple of weeks after spending the summer spawning season on the beaches. They will slowly make their way deeper into the backwaters and up the rivers as the season progresses. Area canals have been giving up some nice mangrove snapper. Live shrimp is all you need. The redfish action has been good between the Cotee River and Hudson, with fish in the mangroves and on top of oyster bars. Live shrimp, dead mullet, plugs and jigs will get them.
The Long Pier, (727) 391-9398: The mackerel bite has been good most days, with a number of fish caught Monday morning. Flounder have been around in good numbers, with one angler taking eight nice fish on one outing. Trout fishing has been good after dark, with live shrimp under floats or free-lined doing the job. Mangrove snapper have been biting well.
Nick Stubbs is founder and webmaster of Bitetracker.com, an interactive fishing website.