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: Excitement builds for opening of grouper season

Grouper coming: Less than a week to go, and many anglers are planning their strategy for this weekend. The anticipation of the Friday opening is almost like kids at Christmas. Dogfish Tackle reports a lot of customers are stocking up on gear and changing lines. If you haven't started your preparations, now is the time.

Where are they? Where you begin your hunt will be limited only by how much fuel you plan to burn. We have found gags in as shallow as 38 feet. Deeper water generally produces bigger fish. But with a two-fish limit per angler, a long run offshore might not be worth it — or necessary. Any patch of hard bottom with some relief that holds baitfish should be good. If you find a small ledge or rock pile, drop a bait and hang on. There has been little pressure on gags because of the closure. They should be receptive to baits.

Spanish mackerel still close: Even though the water flowing out of John's Pass had a dark tint from the rain, there are a lot of schooling Spanish mackerel just off the beach. The sardines are still small near the bridge and hard to catch without making a mess of your cast net. Trolling small silver spoons near the surface at 5 knots should do the trick. Often, we use gold spoons when the water is very dark.

Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit

Captain's Corner: Excitement builds for opening of grouper season 09/11/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tim Tebow came into their life, and never left


    There are a lot of stories about Tim Tebow connecting with people during his life, Tebow inspiring them and Tebow being inspired.

    Boomer Hornbeck of Naples, Fla., has battled cerebral palsy and undergone surgery after surgery in the hopes of allowing him to one day walk. Inspired by Tim Tebow, and encouraged by his relationship with him, Hornbeck has become a motivational speaker.
  2. For starters: Rays at Jays, with Longoria moved to No. 2 spot in order


    UPDATE, 1:03: Manager Kevin Cash made an even bigger change in the Rays lineup today, moving 3B Evan Longoria from his usual No. 3 spot up to second. And he stuck with Brad Miller in the leadoff spot.

    Here is the lineup:

  3. Tony Dungy on Twitter: I'm donating $5K to move Confederate statue, Bucs, Rays and Lightning should act too


    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach and Tampa resident Tony Dungy announced publicly today that he's contributing $5,000 to a fund to move a Confederate monument out of downtown Tampa.

    Tony Dungy in 2011. [Getty]
  4. The legacy of Tim Tebow's baseball summer


    CLEARWATER — It was about three weeks ago. A Saturday night. I sat behind home plate at a Charlotte Stone Crabs game at Charlotte Sports Park. There was a professional baseball scout sitting just behind me with a speed gun in his hand. He had seen the whole thing.

    Seth Bosch, left, of Punta Gorda, Fla., met Tim Tebow in Port Charlotte, Fla., in late July when Tebow, while in the on-deck circle during a game, shook hands with Seth through the backstop screen. The moment was captured on video by Seth's mother, as was the home run Tebow promptly hit in his ensuing at bat. Seth, who has high-functioning autism and other health issues, celebrated wildly and the video went viral. PHOTO PROVIDED