Anclote Bait and Tackle, (727) 945-1808: Capt. Griff says the past week has been tough due to the rain and winds from frontal systems. Anglers sticking to the mouth of the Anclote River to stay out of the wind found some action on reds and small snook. Reds were found by anglers working the mangroves north of Howard Park, and some small sharks have been showing up on the flats around the park. A boat that battled the weather to get offshore, quickly limited on red grouper, while catching and released as many as 30 gag grouper, many of which were keeper size.
Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, (727) 942-8944: Fishing over the past week was an exercise in futility, reports Don. High winds and rain beginning early last week kept many anglers off the water through the weekend. Bait schools remain elusive on the flats, with very few anglers finding them, and some traveling long distances to get what they can. The mouth of the Anclote and just inside it remain good places to work, particularly if the winds are up and make fishing outside the river difficult. Word is that a few snook have started to show up at Anclote Key, though it doesn’t appear there has been a big push of fish there. More reds have been reported around the island, as well.
One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: Joe says the water is murky most places due to rain and wind, but anglers who find the cleanest water are finding some fish. Look for reds in the shallows around the mangroves when the tide is up. Snook are around the same areas, and around the creek and river mouths. Mackerel remain on the deeper grass flats, but chum is a must to draw them in, particularly in the dirty water. Offshore anglers took a beating if they fished over the last week or so, but a couple reported lots of gags, some red grouper and hogfish. Cobia are being spotted offshore, as well.
Tarpon Trading Company, (727) 937-1488: Pete says it’s been a tough week, with poor weather getting in the way of fishing. The mouth of the Anclote River seems to be a focal point for many anglers now, with snook, reds, trout and sheepshead being taken.
Angler’s Depot, (727) 938-5364: Cody says anglers would do well to work the deep grass flats inside Anclote Key and surrounding areas for mackerel. Put out a chum block and let them come to you. Trout are on the grass flats north and south of the Anclote River, but the water remains murky. Look for a better bite when it clears. Some cobia have been spotted around Sand Bay. The reds are getting up close to the mangroves when the tide is up.
The Long Pier, (727) 391-9398: Gary says anglers are taking a mix of trout, whiting, sheepshead, flounder and the odd pompano. A few kings have been taken from the end of the pier at Redington Shores on live bait, but there has been no sign of a run of kings yet.
Nick Stubbs is founder and webmaster of Bitetracker.com, an interactive fishing website.