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Sunday’s fishing was cut short as the winds once again raised its ugly head. Our goal Sunday was to get on the bite early as the forecast for increasing winds loomed large. Heading out of O’Neill’s Marina it’s a short ride to Pinellas Point. We have had very good success around the Pinellas Point area, while we have not taken any trophy snook or redfish there’s almost always action. Feisty trout, acrobatic ladyfish, ravenous mackerel and even a few grouper mixed in.

These fish tend not to be overly picky and reasonable easy to catch. We keep it simple for our clients. Using 7.5 medium spinning rods with size 40 spinning reels is a very versatile outfit and easy to handle. We load the reels with 15 pound Power Pro braided line; I prefer high visibility yellow as it’s much easier to keep track of things when I have 4 anglers. Attach 3’ of 30 pound fluorocarbon leader topped of with a 1/0 circle hook and you are ready to catch! Depending on the conditions, dept of water and anglers ability I may or may not use a float. Scaled Sardines were our bait of choice.

We work the edges of the flats casting in 2 to 6’ of water, until we locate a solid pattern. I spread out my fisherman covering as much water as possible. If nothing happens within 10-15 minutes I move. Often I ease the Power Pole up and drift until we hook up then re set the pole.

Mixed in with the species above you may also catch small sharks, catfish, bluefish and redfish. We have also seen large schools of Black Drum with fish in excess of 50 pounds. We did locate a school Sunday right up against a local bridge, a quick cast and it was fish on. Moments later it was clear we were in big trouble as we could not turn this fish estimated at 40 pounds. It quickly found the jagged edges of the bridge pilings and the game was over.

If you really get on the mackerel bite it’s a good idea to go with heavier leader material and change the circle hook to a long shank J hook as to minimize cut offs. Trust me when you see the dentures Mackerel have you will know exactly what I am referring to. The winds continued to blow today Monday as a very late winter cold front is ready to hit the Tampa Bay region. While Tuesday looks chilly it will be sunny and back in the 80’s come Thursday.


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