Heating up: The gradual increase in water temperature has initiated some activity. Species nearly dormant a week ago when water temperature was around 50 or lower have begun to return to normal eating habits. On Thursday, in 38 feet, 8 miles west of Pass-a-Grille, we had nonstop action fishing an area of natural hard bottom. With surface temperature at 56, we got a bite on nearly every drop. The larger grouper preferred frozen shad and Spanish sardines. The throw-back grouper and seemingly endless number of Key West grunts and other bottom dwellers scarfed up the cut bait and shrimp.
Check weather: Fog has blanketed areas lately and can roll in anytime. Visibility was okay Thursday on our way out at daylight. But once offshore we became socked in and for a couple of hours couldn't see a quarter-mile. A GPS and a reliable compass can get you through, but slow your speed when running.
Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 321-2142