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Cooler Waters!

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Cooler water has ushered in some great fishing. Offshore, the mackerel bite has been incredible over the rocks of the nearshore artificial reefs. Longshank hooks will prevent cut offs from their sharp teeth. Mangrove snapper are also schooling up in the chum line as we draw in the mackerel while on anchor. Downsizing tackle and hiding the hooks in a piece of cut bait will get the most hook ups on the snapper. Kingfish have been chasing trolled threadfins over the hard bottom areas within 6 miles offshore. Light wire and a stinger hook attached the tail area of a trolled bait is the best method to keep them on for a lasting battle. Look for the bait schools dimpling the water to get a shot at hooking a king. The flats are providing lots of action with spotted sea trout moving in to north Pinellas County. Sardines are still available along the beaches but are getting sparse as the water continues to cool. Soft plastics are also working well with a 1/8 - 1/4 ounce jighead. Whites and greens are the best colors with very clear waters. Grass flats 3 - 5 feet deep are holding plenty of smaller trout and the spoil islands along the intercoastal are beginning to produce some of the larger female trout, typical in the area this time of year. Redfish have slowed slightly although the ones hooked are occasionally very large. This past week a client of mine caught one 38 inches from under the mangroves. These large 'bull' reds are usually located offshore where they continue to mature in the more open waters.

Capt. Brian

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