Capt. Rich Knox of Absolute Flats Fishing reports excellent spring fishing with the first arrival of the big bait schools (Pilchards). Everything has begun to show and in good numbers.
Snook are moving out of the rivers, springs, bayous and deep backcountry winter haunts. Fish to 25 lbs are chewing on spoil islands, river docks and deep channels and live bait chumming with pilchards is turning the key. Night time dock fishing in the Anclote and Cotee rivers is good with select live shrimp as your best bait.
Small tarpon are also moving and feeding on the pilchards. Fish from 10 lb to 60 lb on our light tackle spinning rods has been a lot of fun on the bottom low tides.
Good numbers of redfish from 2 to 10 lb on the barrier islands and main shoreline flats mixed in with gator trout to 6 lb. are common. There are also big schools of trophy trout on the intercoastal dump banks.
Cobia are beginning to show both on our patch reefs and artificial reefs in good numbers. Chum bag and live pilchards or pinfish are the best baits. Don't be surprised when a smoker kingfish slams a freelined pilchard back behind the boat and screams the drag for 150 yards. There are also reports of Spanish Mackerel and Kingfish in good numbers on out a little further in 40 feet of water.
For more information on the Giant Tarpon run and great flats fishing, check out our web site at http://www.captrichknox.com or call toll free at 1-800-890-9373. Tight lines.
Clearwater/Tampa/Tarpon Springs 3/11/2007