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Captain’s Corner: Spanish mackerel bite strong off area beaches

By Brent Gaskill, Times Correspondent

Spanish mackerel fishing off the beaches has been very good. Iíve concentrated over hard bottom areas close to the passes. With windy conditions blowing from the east, these areas have been protected enough to be comfortable and workable. Bird activity has been helpful in locating productive areas, but not always necessary. Using the sonar to locate bait schools and anchoring close by has been a key to success. Hang a frozen chum block off a transom cleat to draw the mackerel in and keep them behind the boat. Throwing an occasional handful of free live "chummers" into the mix ignites a competitive feeding frenzy, bringing the mackerel to the surface. Casting a hooked offering into the melee equates to the closest youíll ever be to a guaranteed hook up.

Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at [email protected] and (727) 510-1009.