barracuda bob’s clearwater & dunedin report by capt. joe londot

Inshore fishing has been on fire all winter long, and now that we’re through with the cold fronts that occasional push through and drop the water temps and stir up the mud, we expect that March will be a truly spectacular month for anglers fishing the backwaters of Clearwater Bay and St Joseph Sound.

We saw big numbers of the fattest gator trout ever coming on from anglers fishing from shore, kayaks and small boats.  It didn’t seem to matter where you were fishing, the trout showed up and slurped down big live shrimp, small pinfish, jig and tail combos, and swimming baits like MirrOlure MirrOdines.

Early mornings are the best time to walk the dog over shallow grass with big top water lures like Zara Spooks, She Dogs and Chug Bugs.  You probably won’t catch lots of big fish, but the fish you do catch will be BIG FISH!

Not to be outdone by the trout, nice size Black drum in the five to ten-pound range will continue slamming live baits fished at the bases of bridge columns on the Dunedin Causeway and around the rocks on Honeymoon Island’s north beach.

Redfish were a bit scattered last month, but look for them to start schooling up big time around pods of mullet as the water warms up.  Choice areas are the oyster bars and mangrove shorelines within the no motor zones behind Caladesi and Honeymoon Islands.  Fish a big live shrimp tail hooked to a heavy jig head and bounced along the bottom.  Fresh cut pinfish on circle hooks and laid out on the bottom will also score some big reds.

As the white bait starts moving back in this month look for Spanish mackerel on the beaches and passes.  Set out a chum block and fish live shrimp and greenbacks on fluorocarbon leader long shank hooks in the chum slick.  Once the fish start biting switch to Gotcha plugs or silver spoons to save on bait.

Pompano should start showing up the surf and passes later in the month and create havoc for anglers.  Tail hooked shrimp on a light jig head and Todd Krohn’s Nekid Ball Jigz will both score plenty of fish.

Offshore the grouper are so thick you can almost walk on them with plenty of gags haunting the reefs, wrecks and ledges, and reds ghosting along swiss cheese bottom.  Gags are out of season, but still fun to catch, but reds are keepers and are taking all sorts of frozen baits and big jigs bounced along the bottom.  Find the reds by locating hard bottom and set up a slow drift to cover plenty of territory.

Just offshore Rob Hussey, a member of Barracuda Bob’s crew and a licensed commercial fisherman, continues to score hundreds of Silver trout, Black sea bass and Grey grunts of near shore artificial reefs.  Live shrimp is his bait of choice and he says deploying a chum bag is a must.

Before heading out on your next fishing expedition make sure you stop into Barracuda Bob’s for the friskiest live baits, including jumbo shrimp and pinfish, frozen baits and chum, and the right tackle to get the job done.

Bob’s friendly and knowledgeable crew will make sure you are outfitted right for your target species and let you know where the latest fishing hot spots are located.  At Bob’s Job One is making sure our customers catch more fish and have the most fun while out on the water.

See you out there!

Capt Joe