Great monster Snook fishing can be found in and around the Gulf Coast passes from Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey barrier islands back to the main shoreline and backwater estuary systems. These are big hard-fighting Snook to 44" and 30 + lb. They have been taking a variety of baits (pilchards, threadfin herring, pinfish, pigfish, and grunts depending where you find them) vigorously in between spawning modes. There are a lot more fish showing than the past couple of years since our hard freeze.
Big Tarpon as well are feeding heavily on the beaches. Pilchards seem to be the bait of choice, in my estimation; a full-blown horse whitebait has worked best, small blue crabs and thread-herring being the next best. It is good to stay off these big fish and make long casts in front of them so not to spook them.
Give your fellow anglers plenty of room when running the beach looking for rolling schools or pods of Tarpon. Get well off-shore of the fishing skiffs that are stationary, patiently waiting for them to show. Remember what goes around comes around!
When fishing for some good table fare, Spotted Sea Trout are here still. Although the big spring spawners are gone, there are plenty of slot fish around to have a fish fry. Pilchards and pinfish in the silver-dollar size seem to be producing best. Artificial bait enthusiast can fool some of the biggest of these in the early morning hours and late evening.
Redfish is good on the new and full moon periods around the mangroves and oyster bars. Look for them to be in the shade if they can get in there, underneath the bushes. Fish the shadow lines with whitebait or pinfish; cut ballyhoo works well also.
Captain Rich Knox
Absolute Florida Flats Fishing