tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By DOUG HEMMER
Published September 10, 2006


Redfish schools are getting larger as they prepare to head offshore to join the breeder schools. There are fewer schools than in years past, but the last one we found had 300 to 400 reds, some more than 20 pounds. They were feeding on pinfish free-lined on the edges of the school. Once they started feeding, it didn't matter whether the baits were alive or dead. Drifting or using a push pole gets you close enough to the school to make a cast. Idling or using a trolling motor spooks them into leaving the area, sometimes before anglers even realize the redfish are there. The large redfish schools stay around until late October. Smaller schools of slot-sized fish take their place.

Snook schools have not reached the shallow flats that are close to a pass. They should show up in the next few weeks. Make sure you have a good supply of scaled sardines, which can be found along the drop-off of a flat or around deep structure. The Sunshine Skyway bridge has good numbers of sardines if you take the time to chum them to the boat. Knowing where the baits are gives you a head start on the snook when they hit the flats.

Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.