by CAPT. DOUG HEMMER
WHAT'S HOT: Snook are stacking up in area passes as they prepare to move up the bay. September is the start of shorter daylight hours. This is what triggers their run to the upper parts of Tampa Bay. After a few weeks they will move out of the passes and hang around the bridges and spoil islands inside the pass. Their next stop will be the Skyway bridge and the docks that line Pinellas Point. As we move into October, they'll be as far north as Weedon Island, Cockroach Bay and the Gandy Bridge.
BAIT: Bigger is better when you're trying to catch legal-size snook. Threadfins, scaled sardines, pinfish and grunts will draw strikes from the larger snook. They will also last longer than small white bait. When fishing the lights at night, use a medium-size shrimp. Tail hook and free-line the shrimp up-current and let it drift back to the snook. When fishing the bridges, use enough weight to keep the bait close to the pilings.
TACKLE: When fishing the docks and spoil island use 20lb braid with a 30lb leader. Hook should be a 1 or 2/0 hooked through the nose. Under the bridge, use 50lb test and a 60lb leader so you can pull them out of the pilings. Hook the baits through the nose so they will swim naturally in the current.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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