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: Going after red grouper

Red grouper fishing continues to be spotty in depths of 120-160 feet. During February and March these fish migrate well offshore around the 40 fathom curve in order to spawn. When they're done, they start pushing back inshore for the summer months. The main body of fish can be found in depths of 180-220 feet but as the gulf warms, look for them to start making their presence known in the 120-160 depths by the end of this month. Inshore of these depths there's a body of fish in 90-110 feet right now. Targeting large bait shows of vermillion snapper, we have secured fish in the 10- to 15-pound class. Live baits such as pinfish and grass grunts have been producing more bites than sardines, but if you're looking for the biggest and most aggressive fish on the spot, a 5- to 6-ounce vertical jig will get the job done. Spring patterns offshore are here with kingfish, blackfin tuna and cobia making their way into our area. On a recent trip offshore we decided tuna was the target, and after a quick sabiki session in the channel, we were off to 130 feet. After the anchor was deployed, a steady stream of cut sardines were drifting off the transom and the live cigar minnows and Spanish sardines were sent out. Typically it takes a bit to get something going, and this day was no exception. A few bonita were the first ones to the party, but we stuck with it and soon were rewarded with a great catch of tuna in the 25- to 30-pound range. When looking for these fish target areas around wrecks, springs or other large reliefs. Chumming is crucial, so make sure to bring or catch as much as possible. Rigs are quite simple with leader in the 25- to 40-pound range and a 5/0-7/0 circle hook.

Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.

Captain's Corner: Going after red grouper 04/20/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 7:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Sorry, Nebraska, Scott Frost appears interested in staying at UCF

    College
    Scott Frost has UCF undefeated with an important game at Navy next. [Getty Images]
  2. Tampa Bay Downs full of high-paying races this season

    Parimutuels

    OLDSMAR — Tampa Bay Downs is green like never before.

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

    Ml

    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.
  4. 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.
  5. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs

    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.