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Try creeks, river mouths and flats for reds, offshore for grouper


Published:   |   Updated: August 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM

One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: Joe says anglers have been doing well with reds around the creek and river mouths and nearby flats. Waders have been particularly effective working the incoming tide around mangroves. Snook remain on the barrier island beaches and at Three Rooker Bar, though many appear to have moved to their mainland haunts. Trout fishing has been good on the deep flats at the end of the grass line. Offshore, grouper diggers have been going deep, with some heading to 100 feet. Gags, red grouper and mangrove snapper have been biting well.

Anclote Bait and Tackle, (727) 945-1808: Capt. Griff says night fishing the passes for snook has been productive. Live pigfish have been one of the top baits, as the little fish make a grunting sound that calls in the big snook. Trout have been on the deeper grass beds, though anglers are catching lots of short fish to find the bigger ones. Offshore, grouper action starts in about 48 feet of water, where gags and red grouper fishing has been fair to good. The ledges offshore have been producing some nice cobia.

Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, (727) 942-8944: David says most of his anglers have been having their way with the redfish. Schools of 20 to 30 fish have been common on the flats behind the barrier islands, including at Anclote Key. Work quietly and make long casts. Snook action continues on the island beaches, though it is slowing as the spawning seasons winds down and fish return to the mainland, creeks and rivers. A few anglers are reporting running into pods of two to three cobia on the flats. Offshore, grouper fishing has been good in 50 feet or more of water. A lot of the red grouper have been short of legal size. One boat reported taking a couple of late-season kingfish on a flatline set out with live bait behind the boat.

Angler’s Depot, (727) 938-5364: Brown says snook fishing in residential canals at night has been good. He’s been doing a lot of fishing after dark himself, concentrating on lighted docks. Gulf Harbors has been particularly good of late. The drawbridge on the Dunedin Causeway has been turning up some nice snook, as well. Trout fishing has been good on the deeper grass flats. Jigs, live shrimp and sardines will get it done, but some of the better catches have come on small, live pinfish. Offshore, grouper action has been good in 65 feet of water, with live pinfish taking some big gags.

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

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