Angler’s Depot, (727) 938-5364: Cody says anglers continue to focus on snook, most of which remain on the beaches for the summer spawn. Live grunts, pinfish or sardines fished in the surf are producing some good catch-and-release action. Redfish are on the oyster bars and in the mangroves when the tide is up. Those fishing shorelines north and south of the Anclote River are scoring. Trout are on the grass flats, with early morning the best time to fish them. Offshore anglers are going to at least 45 feet of water for gags, though deeper water is more productive.
Anclote Bait and Tackle, (727) 945-1808: Capt. Griff heard from an angler fishing off the north end of Anclote Key taking some nice trout. Lots of small sharks are on the flats and around the island, and snook remain on the beach there. Live pigfish are the top snook-getter. Offshore, grouper diggers are doing best in 60 to 80 feet of water. Live and dead bait is getting it done.
Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, (727) 942-8944: Bennett says anglers fishing south of Gulf Harbors from Sand Bay to Bailey’s Bluff have been taking some nice reds. Snookers are hitting the beaches and doing well, and plugging the shallow grass flats for trout early in the morning has been producing good catches. The potholes off Oyster Creek have been good trout producers. Offshore, anglers have been getting their gags in 60 to 120 feet of water. The deeper you go, the bigger the fish.
One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: Joe says more reports of cobia on the flats came in over the past week. You can happen upon them, but if you want to target them, nothing beats a chum bag dropped over the side. Reds have been on the spoil islands off the Anclote River and along St. Joseph’s Sound. Snook action continues at Anclote Key in the surf, and trout anglers have been hitting the shallow grass early in the day, picking up and moving to the deeper grass beds as the day wears on. Offshore, grouper action has been good in 60 feet of water and beyond.
Tarpon Trading Company, (727) 937-1488: Pete says catch-and-release snook fishing has been good. The island beaches are holding fish, but more and more catches are being made in the rivers and creeks. Reds have been a good bet on the flats around Fred Howard Park and the back of Anclote Key. There are fish in the Anclote River, as Pete fished there Sunday, taking a number of small reds on D.O.A. shrimp under a popping cork. Trout fishing has been good on the grass beds off Howard Park, where lots of small sharks are being landed, as well. Offshore, grouper fishing has been good in 50 feet of water or deeper, and hard bottom around Veteran’s Reef has been good. Some jumbo mangrove snapper are being caught in the same areas.
The Long Pier, (727) 391-9398: Gary says pompano have made a strong showing over the past week, with anglers fishing jigs and shrimp on the sandy bottom taking good numbers. Snook are on the sandbars and a number have been caught and released. Flounder are being taken on the sand, as well, and mackerel schools have been around frequently. Trout fishing is good at night, and a few reds are being landed. Sheepshead have been on the pilings, along with some black drum.
Nick Stubbs is founder and webmaster of Bitetracker.com, an interactive fishing website.