Light duty bottom fishing has produced non-stop action when other types of fishing have been hit or miss. Natural limestone outcroppings are like an oasis in a desert with their magnitude of marine life and abundant fish species. Common catches have included black sea bass, lane snapper, mangrove snapper, white grunts, gag grouper, red grouper, and more. Adding surface bait on a free-line has also added Spanish mackerel to the mix. The light bottom fishing has been done in waters around 20 feet deep at the mouth of the bay. Tackle has consisted of basic 10-pound test inshore spinning gear with a knocker rig on a 1/0 circle hook. Just enough weight to feel the bottom with the moving tide has been used on the knocker. Bait selection has been simple. Smaller live baits are obvious winners but fresh cut bait has produced just as well, or use frozen squid or shrimp in a pinch. This type of fishing has been perfect for children, as every bait dropped gets hit, holding the younger anglers' attention. Adults have enjoyed the fast action as well. What some species have lacked in size has been made up with sheer numbers. Lighter tackle has kept it fun for everyone.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at [email protected] and (727) 510-1009.