April and May Fishing Report for Clearwater and Dunedin
April was pretty much a continuation of Marchís good fishing and catching action here in the Clearwater area except the weather had changed for the better. Water temps started out in the middle 70ís and now has made its way to the low 80ís. When May arrived, our weather was in the middle 80ís, the water was very clean and bait fish were all over the bay, this is springs perfect storm.
The following are some of the fish caught and the clients who caught them. I had quite a few anglers catching their first redfish and snook ever this spring along with several slams (snook, redfish, trout) recorded as well.
The fishing continued at a high level with all of our targeted species wandering throughout the bay. The trout were feeding on the grass flats, near Clearwater and Hurricane passes. We had some huge gator trout caught this spring and the numbers caught were way up.
The first photo below is Richard holding one of his gator trout caught in Clearwater. The fish measured in at 28 ľ inches and very well could be the largest fish caught on the west coast this winter and spring. Nice catch Richard. The second picture is Gene, with his 23 inch gator caught in Clearwater Bay. Both fish were caught on sardines. The trout action should continue through summer, as long as the bait fish continue to saturate the bay.
The redfish have been the hardest fish to figure out this spring. We caught a fair number of reds so far but they were always on the move. We fished from back in the mangroves to the shallow flats and even threw lots of shrimp under docks. They were there some days and disappeared on others. The pattern for catching redfish was to keep moving fairly quickly. Thatís what we did and had some good success in finding these sly dogs.
First photo is Remy holding his 25 inch redfish caught on shrimp up in the mangroves of Clearwater. The following redfish photos were caught in April and May around the bay using shrimp and sardines for bait.
Snook started showing up in later April and May at all of the local passes. Spring is the time of year that they migrate from their winter haunts to the various passes here on the west coast. First it was just a few and in May the mass makes their move. Due to the freeze two winters ago, our population is still way low and will take years to replenish to the pre-freeze era. Never the less, there are still snook to catch and release. We caught our snook on 3 to 5 inch sardines, free lined in snook areas in the passes and along the beach. Itís very important to fish for them when the tide is moving strong. We saw a lot of fish in the areas we were fishing but they were not feeding. It took a lot of patience and the right tide to nail our snook.
The first photo is Bob and his 34 inch snook caught drifting sardines in Clearwater Pass. Lucas and friend followed up with some nice fish.
Our first slam came from Brian who caught all three fish (snook, redfish, and trout) in the same day. The total of all three fish was 78 inches.
As we move into summer, look for snook, redfish and trout to be the main targets and this type of action to continue. With the addition of mackerel, cobia and sharks, the flats and shallows should be very much alive. Barring any nasty weather, the summer fishing action should continue in the Clearwater and Dunedin fishing areas.
Capt. Gary Burch