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

Dave Mistretta

Captain's corner: Offshore catches worth the fuel

Fuel prices have restricted many anglers from enjoying some of the best offshore action of the year. We have not noticed too many other fishing boats farther out than 10 miles. The commercial shrimp boats have even been absent. This has made the blackfin tuna trips a bit tough, since they usually travel behind these boats.

If you're willing to pay for the fuel, we've been catching large gag groupers and red grouper in 80-plus feet of water. If you travel west from the 75-foot mark, the red grouper become quite impressive in size, around 15-plus pounds.

Amberjack are congregated over most offshore wrecks in 100 feet and deeper. They are often accompanied by other pelagic species. Some of our biggest kingfish are caught around these spots. This action can be hit and miss at times. Be persistent and throw free-lined bait off the back of the boat. Eventually a big one will find you.

Last week, we caught a giant cobia on a free-lined pinfish in 85 feet of water west of Clearwater. A few days before, we hooked a big blackfin tuna. In a few weeks, expect to find small dolphin fish swimming around the boat.

Bait schools are seemingly everywhere in the gulf. Pilchards, also referred to as scaled sardines, have been schooling within a mile of shore. A few miles farther out are large schools of threadfin herring. Along the outskirts of these schools, blue runners are easily caught on Sabiki rigs. About 15 miles from shore, giant schools of Spanish sardines and cigar minnows can be found over the sandy bottom. The light color of the sand gives the bait schools a sense of security as they try to blend in. Small kingfish have been following the bait schools for weeks and are easy to catch by simply tossing out a free-lined bait.

Inshore, large schools of tarpon are moving along the beaches. This annual migration will only get better as we enter June. There will also be some big sharks around, since they follow the tarpon migration. We have already landed five bull sharks this month, all weighing more than 200 pounds. A fresh bonito is nearly irresistible.

Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 595-3276, e-mail jawstoo@msn.com or see www.jaws

too.com.

Captain's corner: Offshore catches worth the fuel 05/29/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 3:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108