Snook continue to be the highlight for inshore anglers in north Pinellas. Ideal water temperatures, swift tides and an abundance of bait have them in a cooperative mood.
Most have not been legal, but a few have been more than 30 inches. Many areas have had large schools of snook 18-24 inches. Mixed among them are reds of 12-22 inches. Chumming with live sardines has caused snook and redfish frenzies.
The key to catching the bigger snook has been big baits. Tiny baitfish are difficult to cast and have little action when placed on a hook.
Taking the time to track down bigger baits is worth it if you plan to catch dinner. They move more, cast better and have a larger profile, which helps in murky conditions. Chumming a mix of cat food and canned sardines or jack mackerel will bring the bait to the boat.
If the first few casts fail, put a few hundred small baits in the well and chum in another location. Keep moving until you find bigger bait. You'll be glad you did by the end of the day.