Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Bonito working great as bait for red grouper

Bottom fishing: Red grouper fishing remains steady in depths of 70 to 100 feet. Most days, limits of two per person can be met, especially if weather allows you to travel past the 80-foot mark. Grouper are eager to grab your baits as they descend, but most of the fish are undersized. Bring a lot of bait, because you'll have to catch at least 10 smaller grouper for every keeper. One thing's for sure: There's plenty of action for anglers at this time.

Great bait: All baits are productive at this time. My favorite is 4-inch-long fillets of bonito (little tunny). They have been available around many of the schools of baitfish we have been finding offshore. They're poor table fare for humans, but if you're a red grouper, they're at the top of the list. Fresh bonito fillets seem to work twice as well as frozen ones, so try to keep them iced, even if it's for a few days.

Nothing goes to waste: The head section of the bonito has not gone to waste this month, either. We have caught numerous goliath grouper with this portion of the bonito. The head's bloody scent seems to drive the goliaths into a feeding frenzy. A few bull sharks have also joined the bonito ambush.

Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or see

Captain's Corner: Bonito working great as bait for red grouper 08/17/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 6:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies on Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre put Texas ahead 4-3 when he scored after two wild pitches.
  2. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  3. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi to continue pitching from stretch

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Less proved to be more for RHP Jake Odorizzi during his last start when he pitched exclusively out of the stretch. The result was seven one-hit innings in the Rays' 3-2 win Monday at Oakland.

    Rays starter Jake Odorizzi says that pitching from the stretch “limited the movements prior to throwing the pitch, and that changed a lot of things” in a superb outing last week.
  4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she believed she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

    Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    Judging by those who were asking for them before Saturday's giveaways, those who tried to get an extra one or two once inside the Trop and those who quickly slipped theirs on before finding their seats, the DJ Kitty Onesie might be the Rays' most popular giveaway. Ever.