Tarpon Trading Company, (727) 937-1488: Pete says anglers have been doing well on snook on the beaches at Anclote Key and Three Rooker Bar. Live grunts and pinfish have been the top baits, and some big fish have been landed. A father-and-son teamed up to land six fish, the smallest being 34 inches. They used live grunts, and released all the snook unharmed, as they are out of season. The grass flats around Howard Park, in Tarpon Springs, have been giving up trout, especially on the south side of the causeway. It's been the same at Sunset Point. The mouth of the Anclote River has been producing a few snook, though redfish action seems to have slowed a bit in the region. The best bet is to work the mangroves on the high tides, and keep moving until you find them. Offshore, anglers are taking plenty of gag grouper in 50 to 80 feet of water, though they are out of season and must be released. There have been reports of blackfin tuna schooling in the deeper end of that range.
Anclote Bait and Tackle, (727) 945-1808: Capt. Griff says the snook bite continues on the barrier island beaches. Anglers working areas like Anclote Key with live grunts have been catching and releasing some big fish. Trout fishing on the grass flats north and south of the Anclote River has been good. Work early and keep moving to find keeper-sized fish. Plenty of tarpon continue to school off Fred Howard Park, where anglers have been taking good numbers of small sharks, as well. Offshore, lots of gags are being released in 60 to 80 feet of water. The red grouper also have been biting in those depths.
One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: Joe says trout anglers have been catching the high water early in the day, working top-water baits over the shallow grass and doing well. Once the sun gets high and the temperatures climb, the bite slows. Snook fishing on the barrier island beaches is good, with anglers using live bait in the surf for good catch-and-release action. Offshore, good reports of mangrove snapper have been coming in from boats working deep over rocky bottom 20 to 25 miles offshore. Live shrimp has been a top bait. Lots of grunts have been taken, as well. Some good cobia catches have been coming from those depths, as well.
Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, (727) 942-8944: Barrett says snook fishing on the island beaches is on, with anglers using live grunts and pinfish. Live sardines are still tough to find, in what some are calling one of the worst years for finding the schooling baitfish. Many anglers are doing well using artificial baits that mimic the sardines. Trout anglers are scoring early in the day with top-water baits in 2 to 4 feet of water over thick, grass bottom. They switch to soft plastics as the sun gets up. While scaled sardines have been tough to find, Barrett notes that there has been a shad hatching in the rivers, and netting them has been producing plenty of bait for those looking to fill their live wells.
Pier 60, (727) 462-6466: TJ says the mackerel fishing has been very good most every day the past week. Night fishing has been productive, turning up mangrove snapper, trout and snook. Sheepshead have been around in good numbers, and a number of cobia have been hooked, including a 50-pound fish landed.
The Long Pier, (727) 391-9398: Gary says anglers are taking quite a few tarpon off the end of the pier at Redington Shores using live bait on pier outriggers. Mackerel have been schooling and biting well, and there have been some good catches of flounder and some pompano. The odd black drum is being landed, along with some whiting. The trout bite has been at night, with fish taking live shrimp under the lights.
Nick Stubbs is founder and webmaster of Bitetracker.com, an interactive fishing website.