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Outdoors

Daily fishing report

By RICK FRAZIER
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 23, 2003

Snook, speckled trout and Spanish mackerel are there for the taking.

Snook are heading out of their cold-water haunts and taking up residence around areas with fast-moving water. The Skyway Bridge, beach passes and cuts around points are good spots now.

Frisky live bait is the key to getting these sometimes finicky fish to bite. Scaled sardines, threadfin herring and Spanish sardines all work well if free-lined and presented properly. Hook the bait through the nose, cast the offering upcurrent and let it drift naturally.

Speckled trout are attacking jigs like there is no tomorrow. Set up a drift in 3- to 4-foot-deep thick grass flats around Pinellas Point and let your jig do the talking. Holographic tails are hard to beat. Just remember to use the lightest jig head possible.

Spanish mackerel still are thick around the beach passes and Skyway. They're eager to eat your silver spoon, plug, whitebait or whatever else is flashy and fast. Unlike snook, they aren't picky. They are, however, leader shy, so it's wise to stay away from wire. Forty-pound fluorocarbon works great, and if a No. 1 long shank hook is used cutoffs are minimal. Remember to get the fish in quickly; that will help prevent cutoffs.

-- Capt. Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376 or by e-mail at captrick@luckydawg.com.

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