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Good catch and release snook action on beaches

BY NICK STUBBS
Suncoast News correspondent

Published:   |   Updated: June 10, 2014 at 01:31 PM

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Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, (727) 942-8944: Barrett says the big news has been large snook on the beaches, including Anclote Key. Fish are gathered for the annual spawn, and though out of season, can be caught and released. Work around mangroves and oyster bars for reds, pushing as shallow as you can go when the water is up and waiting for them to move out with the dropping tide. Tarpon have been rolling off Howard Park, in Tarpon Springs, early in the morning. Taking and offshore trip to work between 130 and 170 feet of water, Barrett and party connected with red grouper, snapper and schoolie dolphin.

One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: Joe says all the barrier islands are holding good numbers of large snook. Anglers fishing live bait on the beaches are catching and releasing some nice fish. One angler working the surf at night took a number of nice fish, along with some large trout. The beaches also are holding pods of rolling tarpon. Look for them early in the morning when the water is calm. Reds have been around creek mouths, with the outgoing tide offering the most productive fishing. Offshore, anglers are finding red grouper beyond 60 feet of water, some cobia and mangrove snapper.

Tarpon Trading Company, (727) 937-1488: Pete says at least six anglers have reported accidentally jumping tarpon while live-bait fishing for trout off Howard Park. The fights have not lasted long on the light tackle they were using. Another angler reported jumping a tarpon at Three Rooker Bar, after a school of some 300 fish popped up there. Both ends of Anclote Key have been holding some big snook. A number of shark catches have been made at the island, as well as surrounding flats. Most have been blacktips, with fish up to 4 feet caught.

Pier 60, (727) 462-6466: Kelli says anglers have been doing well over the past week, taking a mixed bag of trout, flounder, mackerel, sheepshead and cobia. Plenty of snook have been around the pier on Clearwater Beach, with several caught and released. Sheepshead have been biting well. Tarpon are rolling at the pier, though there were no reports of fish hooked.

The Long Pier, (727) 391-9398: Gary says anglers off the end of the pier at Redington Shores are tangling with a few tarpon using live bait. There have been some black drum landed, along with pompano and snook. Flounder and whiting have been taking live and dead shrimp off the bottom, and small sharks have been plentiful.

Nick Stubbs is founder and webmaster of Bitetracker.com, an interactive fishing website.

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