Tackle shop roundup

Armed Anglers, 727-945-1808: Griff reports anglers have been getting plenty of big snook on the beach at Anclote Key. The shop is selling 20 to 30 dozen pigfish a day, a popular bait for the big snook in the surf at the island. The grass flats in the Anclote area are holding plenty of trout, though most have been on the small side. Reds have been a good bet around oyster bars and flooded mangroves. Small sharks are all over the shallow flats. Offshore anglers have been going to 80 feet for gags, red grouper and red snapper. Big tarpon are being spotted between Three Rooker Bar and Honeymoon Island, and well up the Anclote River there are reports of juvenile tarpon all the way to above U.S. 19. Live shrimp will get them.

Nick Stubbs

NICK STUBBS

Cooper’s Shrimp Shack, 727-868-8736: Bill says anglers in Hudson are finding reds around canal mouths, under shady mangrove overhangs and in the shade of docks. The grass flats have been producing some trout, though many have been undersized. Trout and reds must be released in Pasco waters, along with any snook landed. The best snook fishing has been on the beach at Anclote Key, where the big females are in the surf spawning. Sharks are all over the Hudson flats, with chumming producing all the action anyone wants. There are plenty of fish to 3 feet, but many anglers are reporting unusual numbers of fish 6 to 7 feet. Offshore anglers are running to 60 to 90 feet for gags, red snapper and red grouper.

One Stop Bait and Tackle, 727-842-5610: Joe reports it was a slow weekend at the shop. Weather has been a factor, with winds and rain interfering with fishing. Those chumming the flats for sharks are seeing the most action, attracting loads of fish to about 3 feet. A few reported drawing in and hooking cobia, which also respond well to chum. Reds have been around the creek mouths, and it’s a good time to use chunks of mullet on the bottom, as the fish are not active in warm water and are more likely to scavenge on the bottom for food that can’t run away. Waders and kayakers have been doing well on the shallow grass flats, taking some large trout. The fishing is good first thing in the morning when it’s cool, they shuts down as the day heats up. Offshore anglers have been taking some nice mangrove snapper inside 30 feet of water around any structure like rocks or boat wrecks. They have been lowering weighted chum blocks to the bottom to get the fish fired up.

The Tackle Box, 727-819-3783: Buck says the Reef Chief party boat has been doing OK on gars and red snapper, fishing out to around 50 feet of water. Anglers are picking up some mangrove snapper, as well. Inshore, the snook action is on the beach at Anclote Key, where the fish are in their summer spawning pattern. Those working creeks with springs are finding the most reds. The fish also are hanging around freshwater run-offs produced by afternoon rains. Trout are on the shallow flats, but the larger fish are on the deep grass beds in 10 feet of water or more.

J&J Bait and Tackle II, 727-940-7928: James reports there has been plenty of action north and south of the Anclote River on reds and trout, though both are closed in Pasco and Pinellas waters. Snook remain on the beach at Anclote Key, which also must be released. Scallopers hit the waters for the opening on the short Pasco season. No one has been bragging about the numbers being found.

Tarpon Trading Company, 727-937-1488: Larry says anglers are finding lots of baby tarpon in Gulf Harbors canals They take live shrimp best. Fishing the beach at the north end of Anclote Key over the weekend, the snook bite was slow for Larry and other anglers were struggling. The tide wasn’t moving much, which he believes was responsible for the slow action. There were schools of feeding jacks along the west beach of the island, with lots of 3- to 5-pound fish feeding on bait. Sharks are all over the area flats. Sand sharks to 3 feet have been dominant. Scallopers worked the flats inside Anclote Key and around Gulf Harbors over the weekend. A couple of Larry’s buddies reported doing well and limiting out quickly, though he notes they are experienced. Other may have struggled a bit for theirs.

Daddy D’s Tackle Supply, 727-337-8811: Dustin reports Hudson anglers have been traveling to the beach at Anclote Key for their snook, taking fish in the surf early in the day. Grass flats in the Hudson area have been giving up some trout, and there have been enough reds around to keep anglers happy. Hunt the shallow rocks and oyster beds, and around flooded mangroves when the water is up. Most of those who reported taking scallops worked 4 feet of water on along the east side of Anclote Key.