Fishing off Tarpon Springs is improving rapidly. Rising water temperatures and the year's first appearance of pilchard herring marks the beginning of the spring fishing season.
Snook are easing their way to canal and river mouths. For the next few weeks they should feed as aggressively as they will all year. Fishing for snook during strong outgoing tides with fresh greenbacks should secure their cooperation.
For several weeks, red fishing has been excellent. Large schools have been working flats, oyster bars and mangrove shorelines from Dunedin to New Port Richey. Most fish on the oyster bars have been about 15-20 inches. However, they have been easy to locate and willing to feed.
The schooling fish that have been roaming the flats have been much larger then their oyster bar counterparts, between 25-30 inches. Because they aren't holding to any particular structure, these fish can be difficult to locate and approach. Idling or using a trolling motor generally doesn't work in such shallow water. Drifting, wading or using a push pole are quieter, more effective options for approaching shallow water fish.
Using a free-lined or corked shrimp works well in both situations.
Our long, cold winter seems to be over. Finally, it's time to go fishing.