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: Bottom fishing produces between cold fronts

What's hot: Back-to-back cold fronts, high winds and rough seas have kept us in port except for the few calm days between fronts. On the days we were able to get out, bottom fishing for red and gag grouper, mangrove snapper and white grunts was outstanding. Start in 20 feet of water fishing ledges and rock piles. If this depth does not produce, continue west searching for a depth in which the fish are active. It has not been necessary to fish deeper than 50 feet on most of our recent trips.

Tactics: We have been carrying a wide variety of baits on all our bottom-fishing trips because on any given day, one bait always seems to produce better than the others. Frozen squid and sardines are staples, along with pinfish and pigfish. Squirrelfish can usually be caught on sandy areas adjacent to hard-bottom areas on a sabiki rig, with the two bottom hooks tipped with pieces of squid tentacle. Using a 4-ounce sinker on the sabiki rig will prevent annoying tangles caused by larger baitfish.

Bait tip: It pays off to catch bait on a sabiki rig when stopped on a grouper spot. "Matching the hatch" with a bait caught on site will usually produce a keeper that is hesitant to strike a bait that has been brought into the area. Using half of a small white grunt will often produce a monster.

Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 397-8815.

Captain's Corner: Bottom fishing produces between cold fronts 12/28/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 28, 2009 7:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Downs full of high-paying races this season


    OLDSMAR — Tampa Bay Downs is green like never before.

  2. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series


    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  3. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  4. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs


    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.
  5. Bucs journal: LB Kwon Alexander ready to return from injury


    TAMPA — LB Kwon Alexander, sidelined by a hamstring injury since the second quarter of the Bucs' season opener against Chicago, will finally make a healthy return Sunday against the Bills.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander needs “to get my stats back up” after being out since the opener.