Madeira Beach Fishing Report By: Brian Crabtree

Warmer weather is here and, with the uptick in temperature, opportunities for some of our larger gamefish will arrive in our coastal waters. Snook fishing will fire up this month inside and around the passes. I prefer to target the larger fish at night, or in the early morning hours. Looking for strong outgoing tides near the new and full moon phases, will improve your chances dramatically. Look for good ambush points where the current will bring crabs, shrimp and other baitfish to the fish for easy opportunities. Examples such as rocky turns in seawalls, large dock or bridge pilings, deep drop offs, large boats or floating docks are good starting places.

I do not pass up an opportunity to toss a bait on a shadow line either. Toss your bait on the bright side and let the current take it into the shadows where the fish are waiting to pounce like a jungle cat. Live baits such as large shrimp, pigfish, white bait, mullet, ladyfish and pass crabs all work well. The key is finding out what the fish are feeding on–observe the water to see what baitfish or crustaceans are moving through the area. Use stout spinning tackle with 50-pound braided line, 40 to 60-pound fluorocarbon leader and a sturdy circle hook matched to the size of the bait.

Snook are still all catch and release so take care of these awesome fish. Make sure to support larger fish under their stomach and get them back in the water as soon as possible after a quick photo.

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