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Saturday morning I was getting bait at 6 am and anxious to get on the beach for some snook action. The wind forecast I saw was for 5-10 not the 10-15 WSW that was occurring. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure the beach would be impossible to sight fish for snook. Don’t you love weather reports!

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Once I got inside the mangroves on Tampa Bays eastern shoreline I was protected from the wind and knew when the high tide begins to run out the snook would fire up. I have several spots that are ok but when the high tide exceeds 2.8’ the first hour of the outgoing tide this spot is golden. It’s as if there is an on off switch. The first hour was slow as the tide grew slack waiting to turn and then again on cue it fired up. White baits were attacked savagely. When the snook didn’t get to the white quickly pinfish were there and attacked each bait. The pinfish hatch is amazing as I have never seen so many. The grass flats are blanketed with them.

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I switched to pinfish and had equally good results plus I didn’t have pinfish attacking my pinfish. The big toads snook over 35” that treated my clients to a fishing lesson were nowhere to be seen. The juvenile snook were plentiful and what they lacked in size made up for in spunk. Small snook 20-25” attacked large hand size pinfish. Amazing how big bait these smaller fish will inhale. I shallow water snook ambush baits with amazing strength. Visually this is great fishing. After 20 or so snook I ran to my shark spot. Black tips are here in big quantity and are great game fish. Black tips up to 3’ make great jumps and strong runs. These mini monsters have some very agressive attitude! I tailed on of the larger ones to try and get a picture but this shark only had thoughts of biting me and the boat. I did the smart thing and put him back. I placed a rod in the rod holder and was not paying attention and with the radio blasting I did not hear the drag screaming. I saw a big commotion on the opposite side of the boat; a nice snook was jumping for what seemed no reason. I then saw my rod with the line going under the boat towards the snook. Rod holders have to be the best fisherman. Back to the sharks, while not man eaters these 3’ sharks I promise can make a mess out of finger. Captains Steven tip of the day be very, very cautious handling sharks period.

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There is a new batch of pinfish and white baits on the flats and will make a mess of the typical 3/8 cast net. Good time to pull out the 1/4 mesh if you have one. Sure beats picking out the stuck baits.

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Captain Steven


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