Nick Stubbs Sig (new)

Guide bites

Capt. Mike Manning (727-243-8918): Capt. Mike got in a trout trip before the cold weather got here and did well working the spoil islands in St. Joseph Sound. His anglers landed about 40 fish to 21 inches using quarter-ounce jigs and soft plastic tails. They would catch four to seven fish at each spoil and move to the next one. Along with the trout, they landed a couple of pompano, some bluefish and ladyfish. Working south, they spotted some reds along the shoreline below the Dunedin Causeway. With more cool weather ahead, look for fish to push into the Cotee and Anclote rivers and action at the Anclote power plant outfall canal is sure to spike. Capt. Mike has a grouper trip this week and he plans to hit the shallow rocks northwest of Hudson. If the 8- to 12-foot depths aren’t producing due to cooler water pushing fish out, he may have to look more deeper.

Capt. Josh Fritz (352-345-9304): Capt. Josh reports he’s been slamming the grouper fishing anywhere from 10 feet of water west of Aripeka out to 25 feet. He’s finding nice mangrove snapper at the deeper end of the range. Live pinfish have been the bait of choice for the gags and shrimp for the mangrove snapper. Inshore, look for reds in potholes on low tide. The fish are moving up and feeding on flooded oyster bars and lime rock bottom when the water is high.

Tackle shop roundup

Tarpon Trading Company (727-937-1488): Larry did some fishing on the deeper grass flats between the Anclote power plant outfall and the north end of Anclote Key and got into some good trout action, taking and releasing a number of nice-size fish. He took a few Spanish mackerel on his drifts. He expects the cold air we’ll see this week may be a spoiler for fishing this and other open flats. Fish may move to the warmer water at the power plant outfall or inside the Anclote River. A regular at the shop who’s been taking pompano in the Anclote River below Capt. Jacks is still catching there on jigs.

Armed Anglers (727-945-1808): Capt. Griff says a few of his anglers are taking some permit to 22 inches at the Anclote power plant outfall. There have been only a few pompano taken, but he expects that will change as Gulf water temperatures drop and more move into the warmer water at the plant. The Anclote River around the golf course above U.S. 19 has been producing a few redfish and some black drum. Offshore anglers have been slamming the gag grouper. The best action has been in 60 feet of water and deeper, and anglers on the head boats have been limiting out. Mangrove snapper, hogfish, big grunts and some sea bass have been in the mix.

J&J Bait and Tackle II (727-940-7928): James says the cooler weather is likely to change the fishing action in the days ahead. Things should fire up at the Anclote power plant outfall, with trout, pompano and permit being the main targets. Look for some trout to move to pockets of deeper water inside the Anclote River. The river also will be home to snook, which are pushing up to warmer water to well above the U.S. 19 bridge. The bridge will likely be a good place to score redfish or black drum.