Fly anglers landing snook in surf off barrier islands
The Fishin' Report, a local angling action roundup. Fisherman's World, (727) 942-8944: Dave reports the offshore grouper bite has been very good. Anglers fishing 60 feet of water have been scoring good numbers of keeper-size gags, and those going deeper are finding even more, and bigger, fish. Reds have been active up and down the coast, with fish being taken behind the barrier islands in the shallows. Some of the best action has been on the barrier island beaches, where fly anglers have been scoring nice snook in the surf.Tarpon fishing has slowed a bit north of Clearwater, as the water has been murky and anglers are reporting having trouble spotting fish. One Stop Bait and Tackle, (727) 842-5610: Joe says the Pithlachascotee and Anclote River mouths are turning up snook for some anglers, and others have been taking and releasing nice fish from the beaches. Trout are on the deeper grass flats, and redfish action has been good from Tarpon Springs north to Hudson for anglers working mangrove shorelines on high tide. Offshore, grouper diggers are starting in 65 feet of water and working their way out for keeper gags and red grouper. Some are taking big mangrove snapper and hogfish, too. Anclote Bait and Tackle, (727) 945-1808: Capt. Griff says his grouper fishing buddies have been taking some limits of fish in 60 feet of water, with the action getting better the farther offshore they head. Schooling mackerel have been found on the artificial reefs. Inshore, redfish action has been good, with some anglers scoring well in Filman's Bayou. Some big sharks are being caught off the north and south tips of Anclote Key at night. Anglers fishing chunks of bonito have been landing sand and blacktip sharks to 6 feet. Pier 60, (727) 462-6466: Kelli says some big black drum have moved in. Lots of fish 24 inches or better have been landed, and one fish of 36 inches has come over the rail. A 24-inch sheepshead was caught, one of the largest ever seen at the pier on Clearwater Beach. Some keeper mangrove snapper have been landed, and trout fishing has been good at night. Mackerel have been a good bet during the day, and some keeper flounder are being landed by anglers fishing live and dead shrimp on the bottom. The Long Pier, (727) 391-9398: Bob says the tarpon action has been tapering off, with just one fish landed over the weekend off the end of the pier at Redington Shores. Mackerel have been moving by the pier at times, with fish to 20 inches being landed. The problem has been that the action is off and on and hard to predict. Trout fishing has been good after dark, with the larger fish running 15 to 17 inches. Pompano are few and small, and the flounder have been running small over the past week.
Nick Stubbs is founder and webmaster of Bitetracker.com, an interactive fishing website.