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Captain's corner

By GARY FOLDEN

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 11, 2001


Water temperatures are climbing and inshore fishing is heating up with the water.

I do best on speckled sea trout when winds turn easterly and the air warms. Even though I am fishing deeper holes, trout are still there and extremely active on warmer days. I have been working Clearwater Bay and Saint Joseph Sound for speckled trout. I am sure there are plenty of trout in the deeper grass beds, especially as the air temperature tries to break into the 80s.

I must admit I have not gone in search of silver trout off Pinellas beaches. As the water clears along the beaches, these savage strikers should be grouping heavily over the harder-bottom areas.

Drift several hundred feet off the beach with rubber-tailed jigs. If they are in the area and in the mood, they will slam jigs with the fierceness of mackerel. Silver trout are suckers for jigs. They are here to spawn. They spoil quickly, so keep only a few and release the rest. February is my favorite month to chase silvers.

Grouper fishing off Clearwater is not back on track. Legal-size catches have been spotty at best.

- Gary Folden charters the Strike Zone out of Clearwater Municipal Marina. Call (727) 585-8544.

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