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: Plenty of choices in 40 feet and deeper

What's hot: Water temperatures have rebounded from what, hopefully, will be winter lows. The cold caused a dramatic slowing of benthic activity, and offshore bottom fishing followed suit. Red and gag grouper, scamp, white grunts, porgies and trigger fish have been ravenous for the past week in waters deeper than 40 feet. Using 2/0 No. 2 hook snapper rigs with squid strips has generated almost instantaneous activity for reef dwellers. Because of the great action experienced while using these smaller rigs on light tackle, many of our parties have refused to switch to more conventional medium grouper tackle.

Tactics: Targeting ledges and higher-profile rock piles will result in creating memories. You must catch, photograph and release gag grouper because of the closed season until July 1. Mark Sosin once said, "A fish is too valuable to be caught only once." Carefully releasing a large gag after a battle and knowing someone else can have this same experience has become very rewarding. There are many other species available to provide "meat" for the table and freezer.

Tip: Schools of blue runners have invaded most of the markers in the shipping channel. They also can be found on many artificial reefs and caught with Sabiki rigs. They are a great bait to entice red and gag grouper. Cutting off part or all of the tail and hooking them above the anal fin will slow them down, creating a tempting bait for bottom fish.

Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.

Captain's Corner: Plenty of choices in 40 feet and deeper 02/12/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 6:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals in 2009. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also …

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, holds the AFC Championship trophy? as he celebrates with head coach Bill Belichick after the AFC championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots defeated the the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl.? (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) FBO247
  2. Sputtering Rays keep falling one run short

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Even going into play against the Angels on Tuesday just a game under .500 at 23-24, the Rays have some issues they have to resolve.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb waits for Mike Trout to finish his trot after homering to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    The University of South Florida Bulls take a moment on the field just prior to their game against Tulane in the American Athletic Conference Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Clearwater.