Daily fishing report

Published October 2, 2006

Red Tide has moved inside John's Pass and Pass-a-Grille. From the beach to the Sunshine Skyway bridge, thousands of pinfish and small baits floated to the surface. The worst area was Boca Ciega Bay, which had dead fish from Gulfport to St. Pete Beach. The areas inside the Skyway were not affected at this time. Bait could be found off Pinellas Point where the flats dropped into deeper water.

We found the best bait near the Howard Frankland Bridge. Threadfins and large whitebait were schooling over the flats on the east side of the bay. Drifting up to the schools and tossing a few handfuls of chum before casting the net produced a live well full of good bait. We then worked the points of swash islands in search of snook, which were slow to respond to live chumming. Moving to the docks on the west side of the bay produced snook up to 30 inches. The trick was to have a bait ready to cast before chumming the dock with live bait, so you could cast as soon as a snook popped at the baits. If you were late casting, the snook would not be in the area where you saw the strike. This was not easy fishing, but it produced a few legal-sized snook.

Redfish are still schooled in the lower parts of Tampa Bay. Some days they want every bait thrown their way, other days they won't strike at a thing. When they won't eat, come back after the tide changes. Usually, when they don't feed on the incoming tide they will on the outgoing, and vice versa.

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