Make us your home page
Instagram

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: Cool-weather assortment

What's hot: The trips that the weather allowed us to take the past week provided an almost non-stop litany of assorted bottom fish that included catch-and-release red and gag grouper of all sizes, white grunts, triggerfish, puffers, scamp, porgies, mangrove snapper and even a few yellowtail snapper. Red and lane snapper were not added to the list because we ventured offshore only to 50-foot depths.

Tactics: Now that grouper season is closed, we are targeting the smaller-mouthed reef fish that were formerly a bycatch of grouper fishing. Two hooked "snapper rigs" that can be purchased or made up are our terminal tackle of choice. They are fished with a 3- to 4-ounce sinker on the bottom as opposed to the standard grouper rig, with the sinker ahead of the leader and hook. Circle hooks are mandated and 1/0 and 2/0 sizes work very well when baited with 2-inch strips of squid. It is difficult to catch a smaller fish on a large hook, but catching a large fish when using small hooks has become routine.

Tip: After 10 to 15 minutes of activity, bait a standard grouper rig with a whole Spanish sardine or live pinfish and drop it to the bottom. We have caught keeper-sized gag grouper (if they were in season) on almost every spot that we have fished recently. It appears that they are drawn into the area by the activity and become frustrated by the smaller, quicker reef fish grabbing the baits. When presented with that larger bait they pounce on it immediately.

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

Captain's Corner: Cool-weather assortment 03/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 7:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows his killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  2. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Bills journal: Breakout game for Bucs tight end O.J. Howard

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It's obscured by the final score and a disappointing loss, but Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard had a breakout game Sunday, exceeding his season totals for catches and touchdowns in one afternoon.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) celebrates a touchdown catch with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Vladislav Namestnikov is Lightning's top-line 'secret'

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov is piling up the goals. Steven Stamkos is an assist machine. They make for an impressive pairing in a league that favors scoring pairs over the more traditional three-player scoring lines.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Vladislav Namestnikov (90) reacts after scoring during the third period of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.
  5. Ex-Lightning forward Brian Boyle returns to practice after cancer diagnosis

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — Brian Boyle, diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia last month, was back on the ice with his Devils teammates Sunday after getting cleared to practice for the first time since his diagnosis.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]