by CAPT DOUG HEMMER
WHAT’S HOT: Schools of snook are starting to show-up along the beach. They can be found swimming along the swash channel. The swash is a dropoff that’s 3 to 5 feet from the beach.
When you locate a school, anchor the boat about feet from shore. The best bait to use on the beach is a large pinfish. They have a light color and stay close to the bottom. Threadfins and scaled sardines work, but they have a tendency to go to the surface when they encounter a snook. When they do this, the birds will try to get the bait and spook the school of snook. Cast the pinfish up-current of the school and let it drift naturally through the snook. You can use light tackle to catch and release beach snook. Rods should have 8- to 12-lb line and a 30-lb leader. A 2/0-circle hook will make the snook easy to release.
REDFISH: The redfish schools in lower Tampa Bay are not as large as weeks past. Most of the schools I have located hold 50 to 100 fish. The schools were holding 300 or more reds. I have seen this happen in years past. More times than not, the large schools will return soon.
TARPON: Tarpon are rolling around the bridges in Tampa Bay. Work the pilings with a free-lined threadfin or pinfish. Cast your bait up-current of the piling that had tarpon rolling next to it. Let the bait swim deep and drift past the bottom of the piling. When the bait returns to the surface at the backside of the piling, re-cast and repeat the same technique
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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