Where to fish?

I am looking for somewhere to fish in the clearwater/safety harbor area in pinellas county fl from shoreline. I have only fished on the courtney cambell causeway with no lick. Maybe i am using the wrong bait.. Mainly cut bait or squid but i am looking for somewhere elese if anyone knows.

1 Answer

  • 6 years ago
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    The Causeway will give up fish- you just need the correct bait and rigs, (and outfits). Here are a few tips:

    #1. "Roll your own"- When it comes to bridge and/or jetty fishing, where the general fishing pressure is HIGH, it's always a good idea to MAKE ("roll") your own rigs instead of buying pre-made ("x-mas tree") rigs. A simple Carolina Rig, and/or saltwater Slip-Bobber Rig will generally get you 40% more potential bites.

    Just make sure to ALWAYS use Fluorocarbon leaders. Fluro line has the same "refractive index" as water making it difficult for fish to SEE. (Having nearly invisible line will/can never hurt you!)

    #2. ONLY go fishing during the right tide and low light/Temp conditions- Tide pushes bait through the area and Gamefish tend to follow. No current, No FISH! Similarly, lower light conditions (and temperature) typically HELP fishing in Florida.

    Therefore, your best TIME to go fishing is between 5:30 AM and 10:30 AM. Your 2nd best time period would be in the late afternoon between 5:00 PM- 8:00PM. Fishing in the middle of the day (when it's 90 plus degrees outside) will "demoralize" you- ESP if your a shore-bound fisherman who can't "follow the fish/bait" into the creeks and mangroves as the tide changes....

    SO, if you plan your fishing trip to coincide with a decent tide, lower light levels and temp you will notice a vast {{VAST}} increase in your catch ratio. Try it! It works!

    #3. TARGET a particular species of fish!- By targeting a specific type of fish you will increase your odds on catching something. Why? Many species of fish have a

    preferred bait and rig. Example-

    A. Big Black Drum (15-35 LBs plus) typically prefer either a half of a (fresh dead) Blue crab or a live "Peeler Crab". They also love clams, mussels and fresh oysters...which are difficult to keep on a hook...

    B. "Gator" Trout prefer a live Pinfish, Sailors Choice or Pigfish.

    C. Snook prefer a large live "Greenie" (or Pogy/Menhaden) and/or Finger Mullet.

    D. Sheepshead prefer a live (or fresh dead) Fiddler Crab, oysters, or Clam.


    If you learn the habits and general habitats of (only) 6 species of inshore fish you will increase your catch ratio by 50%! (I'd suggest looking into these species- Black Drum, Sheepshead, Speck Trout, Redfish, Spanish Macs, Spadefish, Flounder, Whiting, Sand Trout and Croaker- Those are some of the more typical Gamefish found around the Causeway.)

    BAIT- Bottom-line???-What you USE for bait will designate what you'll catch.

    Understand- Although many species of fish will eat cut bait and dead shrimp, TYPICALLY, LIVE BAIT will out-produce ANY dead bait soaked on a bottom rig.

    Realize- On the Causeway, if your using cut bait/dead shrimp (on a "X-mas Tree Rig") you will have to weed through {{MANY}} Pinfish, juvenile Snapper and Hardheaded Cats before you get a bite from a Gamefish. SO, WHY NOT use a bait that all the "bait-stealers" either don't like or won't bite? Think about it.....

    #4. Try artificial lures!- Berkley GULP products on a Jig, a "Walk the Dog" type lure (Spook), a saltwater Rattle Trap, a Gotcha Jig, ETC can outproduce bait at times. How?


    Depending on the species your targeting, when using a lure, you can cover more water than when soaking bait. Therefore, your odds increase to (eventually) get a strike from something.

    #5. Stay away from the "herd"- If you walk up and see 15-25 people soaking bait with little to zero results- go away! Only rarely does the "herd mentality" work well in a fishing scenario- better to go find greener pastures elsewhere.

    Check out this video from Bob Mcnally (prolific outdoor writer and contributor to Florida Sportsman Mag) -


    Youtube thumbnail

    Hope this helps ya? Good luck!

    • ?6 years agoReport

      Thank you so much for your response! Really informative.. I am going to head out there tomorrow and try to use some blue crab/Pinfish and see if i can get something better than the little puffer fish!

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