Fishing in our area the last week has been great. As Captain Dave Rieumont has said, there are many Snook on the North Pinellas beaches. There are also many 30 plus inch Snook in the back country, in around the docks, barrier islands and canals around North Pinellas. Be careful when approaching these fish on the very calm days. We watched a boat drift up to an island and push Snook right out of the area they were trying to fish, about 40 feet ahead. That far ahead, and you never see the fish, and may not think there are fish in your spot. Turn off your electronics, radios and loud mouth fishing buddies in the shallow water to get close to these fish. If you spook them, sometimes you can give them 30-60 minutes to relax and try again. If this doesn't work, mark your area where you saw them, tides and time, and come back another day.
If you can see some Snook in casting distance, put a few dazed (squeeze them a little) scaled sardines in a chum bat and toss them at the Snook, wait about a minute, do it again and then toss your hooked sardine right in with them and be ready. They sometimes will grab the bait right as it hits the water. I like to use a 1/0 hook on 25-30lb leader with a bait bead on the hook. The bead keeps the hook tip from working its way back into the sardine.
When going for the bait, the early bird gets the whitebait. The whitebait will be schooling down current, behind all the pinfish. If you can see them, they can see you. So before or just at day break is the best time to get them. Start a chum slick (Tropical fish food mixed with menhaden oil and seawater) close to the boat, or you'll need a strong body to heave your net all the way to the end of the hand line to reach them. I throw a Lee Fisher 10 foot 3/8'' mesh net. Chumming for about 15-20 minutes before i throw gets the bait balled up so i'm only making a few throws to fill the live well.
Good luck and have fun.
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