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Captain's Corner: Lots of action ishore and offshore

Inshore: Extreme high tides during the new and full moons will offer excellent redfish action. Look for reds feeding near oyster beds and mangrove islands when the high tide peaks. Frisky whitebait presented under a float is hard to beat. Tarpon action is hitting its prime. Plenty of rolling fish are at the Skyway, Egmont, and along the beaches. Have plenty of pass crabs. Afternoon hill tides will be the best bet for catching one of these silver kings. Another species to target now is cobia. Look for them to swim around channel markers and steel structures in the bay. Chunk a free-lined pinfish.

Offshore: Dave Zalewski is raving about the recent red grouper action. He said the activity has really turned on in 90-foot depths. When in pursuit of reds, it's best to start with cut bait first. Frozen Spanish sardines, pinfish, or greenbacks. After the bite slows, then break out the live pinners. Zalewski also reports that kingfish action is becoming spotty, but fish are in the ships' channel and around offshore wrecks. Another consistent target is barracuda. If you're looking for light-tackle, drag-screaming action, go to the artificial reefs with a live blue runner and try your hand with one of these toothy critters.

Landlubber: Pompano is one of the hottest fish going right now on bay area piers and bridges. The 10-cent or Tierra Verde Bridge is a good bet as is the north Skyway Fishing Pier. Tie on a half-ounce Goofy jig and work it down current. For something a little heavier, cobia are hanging around the Skyway as well. Toss a free-lined greenback in front of its nose and hang on. If you're really looking for an arm puller, then try tarpon at night from either the north or south Skyway piers. Present a big whitebait or greenback in front of rolling fish to tease one into biting.

Tournaments: John McClay won the first of two Hill Tide Tournaments presented by the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup with a 120-pound tarpon. The second Hill Tide tournament is scheduled for 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday. The captains meeting is at Billy's Stone Crab at noon that day.

Kyle Conrad and his team Salt Island caught a 39.5-pound kingfish to win the Overall Division in the Old Salts Spring King of the Beach Tournament. Chad Campbell and team Suncoast Dive won the single engine division with a 32.24 pound king. Dana Prylo and team Big Daddy won the Ladies Division with a 25.94 pounder. Look for the Old Salt's Ladies Tournament to be held June 13. The captains meeting is June 11.

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

Captain's Corner: Lots of action ishore and offshore 06/04/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 4, 2009 4:30am]
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