The water temperature has hit 80 degrees. Summer fishing is here and the fish are responding.
Barracuda are on almost every artificial reef off Pinellas County. When they show up they can be enticed with tube lures. After they wise up you'll need to switch to live bait.
The smaller fish are fine to eat. The larger should be released carefully. Small sardines and threadfin herring, no larger than an inch, have invaded Clearwater Bay. This will bring trout, redfish and mackerel around the grass beds.
Snook fishing is good in the passes. The afternoon outgoing tide is the best for daytime fishing. Night fishing is the best time to try to land a linesider.
Permit are on some of the artificials. They love small crabs, but shrimp will often draw a strike. My charter had one hooked on Monday. After a few minutes on the light tackle, a large jewfish found the permit to his liking. Jewfish are heading into our area in numbers not seen in decades because they have been illegal to keep for nearly 10 years.
Gag grouper fishing will slow with the increase in water temperature. Red grouper will move into the deeper water. Look for them on the bottom.
_ Gary Folden charters the Strike Zone. Call (727) 585-8544.