Anclote Bait and Tackle, (727) 945-1808: Capt. Griff says mackerel are on the deeper flats, with areas off Howard Park, Three Rooker Bar and north of Anclote Key prime for scoring mackerel now. Chum, followed by live bait, jigs or spoons will do the trick. Reds and snook are in the rivers, around docks, oyster beds and other structure. Mangrove snapper are thick in the canals and rivers. Offshore, anglers are reporting red grouper action starts in about 60 feet of water.
Angler’s Depot, (727) 938-5364: Matt reports that anglers fishing the Anclote power plant outfall have been connecting with jacks, which have been schooling in large numbers. They’ve also landed a few mackerel. Spoons and Gotcha plugs have been effective. Reds have been just inside the Anclote River, but most of the fish reported were on the small side. Sand Bay has been giving up some reds, but those fish also have been small. Snook anglers are working their way up the Anclote River for their fish, where they also are finding mangrove snapper, which also are thick in most residential canals. Offshore, grouper diggers are finding the red grouper in 70 feet of water.
One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: Joe says loads of jacks are being taken at the Anclote power plant outfall. A few pompano are being landed there, as well as some trout early and late in the day. The shallow flats north and south of the Anclote River are holding trout, with some anglers doing well early in the day with top-water plugs. Canals and creeks everywhere seem to be loaded up with mangrove snapper. Joe took an evening trip with two buddies and they each limited out on fish to 16 inches. They used chum to get the bite going. The island beaches are giving up whiting and silver trout. Offshore anglers are starting in 35 feet, but doing better in 60 feet for red grouper. They also report some nice catches of grunts and mangrove snapper at that depth.
Pier 60, (727) 462-6466: T.J. says the mackerel bite has been good over the past week. Silver trout are around in fair numbers, and anglers have been doing well on whiting. Live and dead shrimp on the bottom are good for both. Flounder, sheepshead and spotted trout have been making up most of the remaining catches.
The Long Pier, (727) 391-9398: Tom says the fishing has been a little slow, but anglers are using live shrimp to take mackerel, flounder and black drum. Sheepshead fishing has been fair, and trout fishing has been OK, with most of the better fish taken at night on shrimp fished under the lights. The water remains cloudy at the pier. Once it clears up some, the action should pick up.
Nick Stubbs is founder and webmaster of Bitetracker.com, an interactive fishing website.