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Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Grass flats in lower Tampa Bay the place to be

Action on the shallow grass flats in lower Tampa Bay doesn't get much better. Limits of yellow-mouth trout are the norm with catches of drag-pulling pompano and Spanish mackerel.

Where and what to look for: Pinellas Point, Coquina Key, Tierra Verde and Fort De Soto. Grass beds in 3 to 4 feet adjacent deepwater cuts are the key to finding fish. Most feed in the shallows but have a deepwater escape route.

Tackle: Seven- to 8-foot light action outfits. Reels filled with 10- to 15-pound braid allow for longer casts.

Rig: For live bait, tie on a 24-inch section of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader using a line-to-line knot. To the end of the leader, tie on a small No. 1 or 1/0 hook. Attach a small float where the leader meets the main line. Use the same size leader for chucking artificials, just forgo the float and tie on your favorite fake with a loop knot.

Preferred live bait and technique: Shrimp is the easiest to get. Whitebait (scaled sardines) is hard to beat when throwing a net. Drifting shallow grass areas allows better coverage. Use the wind direction in your favor so the drift covers the majority of the flat.

Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376.

Captain's Corner: Grass flats in lower Tampa Bay the place to be 04/04/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 4, 2009 5:44pm]
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