Barracuda Bob’s Clearwater & Dunedin report By: Capt. Joe Londot

Hurricane Irma has the Fish All Fired Up!

Capt Joe Londot – Barracuda Bob’s Island Surf & Sports

It seems that every time we get hit or nearly missed by a hurricane the fish go absolutely nuts for a time; this instance has been no different.

Fishing has been on fire lately, the cooling waters will fire up the inshore bite as well as bring some offshore species closer to shore.

Anglers fishing offshore from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs have been reporting near record catches of grouper, reds and gags, mangrove snapper, amberjack and cobia. On a recent trip at the end of September we couldn’t get a bait to the bottom before getting hit!

If you have access to a boat, get out there and bring lots of bait and chum. While red grouper will willingly take frozen squid and sardines, if you want to score big on gag grouper you will need a live well full of live pinfish, grunts, sardines or cigar minnows.

If you don’t have access to a boat, get out on one of the area party boats. Check out Hubbard’s Marina in Treasure Island, the Double Eagle out of Clearwater or any of the boats operating out of the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs. Just make sure to bring your own bait, because most if not all of these party boats provide only threadfin herring and/or frozen squid.  All of these boats allow you to bring your own live wells with live baits.

Inshore, pompano and Spanish mackerel are making their presence known off the beaches of Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands, as well as the bridges of the Dunedin Causeway. Live shrimp are good for both, but Nekid Ball Jigs are slaying the pompano, silver spoons and Gotcha plugs are murdering the macks. It’s a good idea to stake a chum bag out and fish down current in the slick when targeting these fish.

Redfish are prowling the shallows along Edgewater Drive between Dunedin and Clearwater, as well as mangrove shorelines and oyster bars behind Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands. Big live shrimp or half a fresh pinfish soaked on the bottom will score plenty of fish, but many of our customers have reported great catches on jigs with big Gulp tails attached.

Speckled trout are everywhere on the grass flats north and south of the Dunedin Causeway, and shore anglers are catching plenty wading the flats on the north side. Your best bet for snagging the old yellow mouths is a big live shrimp, or a Gulp shrimp pinned under a Back-Bay Thunder popping cork. MirrOlure MirrOdine’s in a variety of colors are also scoring their share of fish.  Just remember, if you start catching nothing but smaller fish it’s time to move, big trout eat little trout so the little ones tend to hang by themselves.

For the latest word on fishing hotspots and the biggest, friskiest live shrimp around make sure to stop into Barracuda Bob’s. We also offer a wide variety of frozen and artificial baits that are sure fish stoppers. Our friendly and knowledgeable crew is happy to help you rig up right for a productive day of fishing! Get your fish on at Barracuda Bob’s!

See y’all out there!

Capt Joe