May 2012 Fishing Forecast for Clearwater and Dunedin
All of our spring species are already tearing up the waters of Clearwater and Dunedin. Inside on the flats or outside along the beaches, it doesnít matter, there are fish everywhere. Our spring started in late February and it looks like May will be the early summer.
Snook, redfish and trout will be the key targets for May. Going for the three fish slam is always a popular fishing trip for my clients. Fishing the passes and beaches for snook and moving inside for redfish and trout is the method Iíll be using to give the trip the best chance of success. A combination of live shrimp and white bait will be used to target these hungry fish.
The white bait is around most bridges and can be netted up in the mornings. Pick a tide that has good moving water and search the passes and beaches for your snook. Dunedin, Anclote and Clearwater passes are a good place to start. Donít discard the beaches themselves. This time of year, the snook will move out on the beaches looking for mates and food. After fishing your baits in a fishy area and have no takers, move on, there are some hungry fish out there to be found.
Redfish are still scattered around the bays but have been very consistent. The key to finding some fish is to move quickly if there is no action. If there are reds present, they will bite fairly quickly. Once found, throw out some chum to keep them interested. Most of our reds have been caught on live shrimp under a float.
The trout are all over the grass flats of Clearwater and St. Joseph Sound. Find the shallow grass flats about 3 to 5 feet deep and toss out your lines. You can drift the flat or stake out, either way will work. Use a shrimp or white bait under a float to entice old yellow mouth. If action is slow, move on, there are greener pastures across the bay.
There are so many other species to fish for this time of year that it would take a small book to list them all. If you love fishing, just get on the water and be flexible, because you have a great chance of making it a multi fish catching day.
Capt. Gary Burch