Fishing is hot as it’s ever been this spring, and several species are cooperating. The inshore bite has been on fire with high tides allowing redfish schools to migrate into the mangroves, eating all through the tidal phase. Injured sardines with a split shot right to the hook will keep the bait low beneath the roots as you skip them under the overhangs. Chumming heavily will bring fish to you; if they aren’t eating after a few minutes move to the next opening and repeat. Snook are staging by the hundreds along the spoil islands waiting to transition to the beaches. They are starting to bite a little better with stable, warm weather raising the water temps to a consistent low 70s. Trout are still hanging on in St. Joseph Sound but like the snook, they will also migrate west to the beaches and inside of the passes for their prolonged spawning period. Offshore, kingfish are moving up from the very productive southern Pinellas region. Herds of bait are over the hard bottom from Sand Key to Tarpon Springs. Mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel are targets while waiting for a kingfish to attack a bait.
Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.