By ED WALKER
Published May 7, 2007
What's hot: Snook have made their way to the barrier islands in the North Pinellas area. Wade fishermen have caught some of the biggest fish of the year drifting live baits along the drop-offs on the north and south ends of Honeymoon Island, Anclote Key and Three Rooker Bar. Baitfish that stay close to the bottom such as grunts work best when the snook are holding in the channels.
Tactics: The key is to present the bait in the lower part of the water column as it is swept by the tide. Cast up-current, then walk the same direction the bait is drifting. Even if you do not get a strike, the bait may point out where the snook are sitting. As it passes by the fish, it will get nervous, indicating it has seen something it does not like. Change baits frequently because after a few casts your bait will refuse to dive to the bottom.
Tips: Grunts can be caught by fishing small pieces of squid on a sabiki rig along the edges of deeper grass flats. You will likely catch three pinfish to every grunt but put both in the livewell as the big snook will take a well-placed pinfish as well.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. Call 727 944-3474 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.