Spring fishing is definitely here and Snook season opens in 2 days. In the last few weeks, the inshore flats of St Josephs Sound have been going through some major changes. Big schools of Redfish have invaded the crystal clear waters of Palm Harbor, Dunedin, and Clearwater. BIG Trout have also moved up shallow and Snook have started to really come alive and eat which means we should have a great Snook Season. Bait has shown up in huge numbers and the fish have followed. Seems we are a few weeks early for all of this but I will take it.
Redfish have been the staple the last couple of weeks. Although the winter months was a little slower than normal for Redfish, February has definitely made up for it. Massive schools have moved onto the flats and are being really cooperative if you know how to approach them. Pinfish, shrimp, and greenbacks are the preferred bait. Finding these fish before they find you is the key to success. Long casts ahead of the school and a stealthy approach will help the chances of hooking up with these beasts. The fish are averaging 24”- 28” with a few bigger ones in the mix.
Trout fishing is still unbelievable. The major change is that many fish have moved up shallow and are allowing great opportunities for sight casting. These fish are a little bigger than the fish we are catching at the spoil islands. They are ranging from 22”- 25” with a few bigger around. The spoil islands are still holding good numbers of fish in the 18”-21” range making an easy limit for some good table fare. White bait seems to be the ticket but there have been a few days that they have preferred shrimp.
Snook is the other treat that have made their way out of the back country. Although many fish never left the flats or beaches this year due to the warmer water temps, they haven’t really eaten for us on a consistent basis. The last couple of weeks have sure changed that with multiple hookups on most trips with some big fish caught and missed. Look for fishing to get better every day for Snook as they make their way out of their winter spots and head for the beaches.
And last but not least, Tarpon. No report on them yet, but dates are filling up for May- July Tarpon charters. Don’t miss out this year. I’m thinking it is going to be another epic year especially with the mild winter that we have had.
As most know, I was also a Firefighter when I wasn’t guiding. Well, that has all changed as I have left the Fire Department to put all of my focus on guiding. All of my great clients over the years and especially his last year have made this possible by keeping be busy on the water. I’m excited for what 2017 has to bring and look forward to getting everyone out on the water. With that said, I can’t believe how busy it has been so far and how booked up the calendar is getting. Right now I am about ½ booked all the way through June. So give me a call and lets get on the water. Tarpon season is almost here and filling up and the short window to get your hands on a keeper Snook is here.