After the most brutal winter on record, Spring fishing on Florida’s Gulf coast is at last heating up. Bait schools are working north, with greenbacks and scaled sardines moving through the passes and frequenting the docks and piers. With the bait come the predators. Ladyfish, jacks, mackerel, flounder and even early sharks are now making an appearance in Pinellas County.
This weekend, the macks showed up with a vengeance at Merry Pier in South St. Petersburg Beach. Freelining live bait and casting flashy lures resulted in an almost sure hook up (or cut off) every cast. Most fish were running small, but there were plenty of 15″ and larger fish mixed in.
There are still a few sheepshead lurking around the pilings, but after a slow start to the year, looks like they’re headed off the beach to spawn. Meanwhile, everyone is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the mangrove snapper.