The Aug. 3 red tide status report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission puts the danger presence between Sarasota and Collier counties. Testing showed some background presence of red tide in a couple of samples taken in Pinellas County waters, which is too low to consider significant.
The biggest concern among many is that red tide will work north and enter Tampa Bay. There also is concern that it will move north of Tampa Bay along the coast. At the Aug. 3 FWC update, it was predicted that Gulf surface water flow would trend toward northwestern transport of surface waters, with a southeaster movement of subsurface waters. So far, the red tide has been concentrated along the coast and not significantly impacting offshore waters, according to the report.
Tackle shop roundup
727-945-1808: Capt. Griff says anglers have been catching and releasing snook on the beach at Anclote Key. Live pigfish have been working best. Redfish action slowed a bit, but a few catches were reported by anglers working mangroves between the Anclote power plant and Gulf Harbors have been catching a few nice fish. A few have been taken on the back side of Anclote Key at the north end. Lots of sharks are on the flats, and anglers fishing from the pier at the north Anclote Park have been landing a few. Chumming works best, and it is better to work areas where there is not a lot of boat traffic. Trout anglers have been finding some fish just outside the string of spoils in St. Joseph Sound. Mackerel and bonito schools have been popping up just offshore on hard bottom. A lot of grouper diggers have been going well offshore, where the red grouper bite has been more reliable than the gag bite.
One Stop Bait and Tackle, 727-842-5610: Joe reports anglers fishing the mangroves around creek mouths have been scoring some snook. He and a fishing buddy took four on a night trip last week. They also landed reds, some small trout and flounder. Other anglers have been reporting flounder, as well, with inshore and offshore structure producing some nice flat fish. The same structure is giving up some nice mangrove snapper. Small, live pinfish have been working for both.
The Tackle Box, 727-819-3783: Buck says offshore grouper diggers have been running out to 100 feet of water for the best action. Along the way, some are reporting schools of bonito, and a couple of boats got into blackfin tuna and small dolphin fish around the 75-foot mark. Inshore, reds have been a good bet around bars and mangroves. Plenty of snook remain on the beach at Anclote Key, and trout anglers are heading to the deep grass flats just offshore for the best trout action.
J&J Bait and Tackle II, 727-940-7928: James says trout fishing is good on the grass between the Anclote River and Anclote Key, though fish are running small. The bite along St. Joseph Sound has been good in 5 to 7 feet of water. Offshore anglers are getting back to it, but it will be a few days before word about the bite comes in.
Tarpon Trading Company, 727-937-1488: Larry reports the bluefish schools that have been around Anclote Key are still around. The fish have been just off the beach on the west side, taking about any live or artificial bait. He advises looking for the feeding birds, as the blues are feeding on the bait the birds are watching. Plenty of sharks are around, and they are mixed with the blues. A couple of anglers have reported losing bluefish to sharks. Fishing for the blues himself, Larry said his party landed a couple of cobia off the beach in 9 feet of water.