Angler’s Depot, (727) 938-5364: Cody says weather got in the way of fishing over the past week, but the reports that came in from those who got out before the rains arrived Friday were good. Anglers have been finding some cobia on the shallow grass flats north and south of the Anclote River. A few snook were taken by those working outside mangrove points and off the Anclote River mouth. Reds have been scattered, but available to those who spend some time hunting along mangroves. There have been plenty of trout on the grass flats, but anglers are noting the majority of them are undersized. Offshore, red grouper fishing has been fair in 60 feet of water or more. Only a few reports of kings have come in, as it seems there has not been much of a run this season.
Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, (727) 942-8944: Don says weather cut into the fishing. Don took a trip last week to Tampa Bay, fishing Weedon Island. The action was dead until the tide turned out and the fish turned on. They took some reds and four slot-sized snook. Bait schools remain elusive, which has live-bait anglers scrambling and running long distances to find sardines. Prior to the weekend rains, there was bait around the Dunedin Causeway.
Anclote Bait and Tackle, (727) 945-1808: Capt. Griff says anglers were reporting taking some reds on the back side of Anclote Key, on the north end. Trout fishing has been good on the shallow grass flats up and down the coast, but the average size of fish is down, with lots of short fish being released. Mackerel have been just off the beaches and offshore over hard bottom. Anglers are working 60 feet of water and deeper for red grouper. Kings have been very spotty and hard to come by.
Tarpon Trading Company, (727) 937-1488: Pete says anglers working docks continue to take reds and snook. Trout and mackerel are on the open grass flats. The key to mackerel has been finding bait schools. While scaled sardine schools remain mysteriously scarce, there have been schools of ballyhoo and blue runners around. Look for diving birds. A couple of nice cobia were taken on the flats off Gulf Harbors. Offshore, kings have been hard to find, though anglers working hard bottom in unspecified depths off Anclote were taking a few fish 20 to 30 pounds trolling ballyhoo. Grouper diggers are fishing beyond 50 feet for red grouper. Pete reminds everyone that the federal waters bag on red grouper is now down to three fish.
One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: Joe says anglers are reporting finding some cobia on the flats. Chumming and putting out live pinfish has been taking some fish to keeper size. Trout fishing on the open grass flats has been good, but anglers are working hard for keeper-sized fish. Joe took a trip with a buddy last week before the rains came, finding snook and reds around mangroves around the last of the incoming tide. They hit the creeks when the water dropped, finding fish in some of the deeper holes as the tide went out. Offshore, anglers fishing for hogfish over rocky bottom reported taking some nice mangrove snapper. A boat trolling spoons and plugs for kings off Anclote Key reported no kings, but some jumbo Spanish mackerel.
The Long Pier, (727) 391-9398: Gary says anglers have been seeing some good action, with lots of mackerel being caught. A few nice flounder are being landed, along with some drum, whiting and pompano. Trout fishing at night under the lights with live shrimp has been good, and a few kings have been taken off the end of the pier by anglers fishing live baits. One snook was landed on Sunday, and anglers are reporting seeing them under the pier at Redington Shores.
Nick Stubbs is founder and webmaster of Bitetracker.com, an interactive fishing website.