Thursday, December 14, 2017
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Red grouper making their way inshore

Red grouper are continuing their trek to the bait-rich inshore waters. Look for fish in the 12- to 18-pound range in depths of 110-180 feet later this month. Bait preference varies depending on the angler, but normal areas where red grouper can be found will also hold huge numbers of vermillion snapper, which are notorious for cleaning sardines off the hook quickly. When fishing over one of these spots, live baits will outproduce frozen as snapper will leave them alone. Tuna time is here and getting better each week as more bait arrives to the offshore waters. The best bet for blackfin tuna is depths of 70-120 feet. A quick cast net session and a full well of pilchards give you the best chance. While at anchor over your favorite snapper or grouper spot, unload free-swimming chummers and watch for any bursts on the surface or "black backs" shooting under the boat. Rigs are simple, with lighter 20- to 30-pound leaders and a 5/0-7/0 circle hook. Kingfish are thick in nearly all depths from 30 feet out. The shipping channel is holding tons of bait around most of the markers that can be easily caught on No. 8 sabiki rigs. After the well is full, a spread of these baits on stinger rigs should be sent off the stern and "slow-trolled" at 1-2 knots.

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

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Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Captainís Corner: Seek clear water for bottom fishing as temperatures plummet

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Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Captainís Corner: Sheepshead action lively in cooler weather

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Published: 12/09/17
Updated: 12/10/17

Captainís Corner: Fishing will return to normal, but when?

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Published: 12/08/17
Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

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Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Captainís Corner: Strong results for redfish, speckled trout

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Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Captainís Corner: Take advantage of abundant gag grouper before season ends

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Published: 12/05/17

Captainís Corner: Bait schools near shore drawing kings, mackerel, bonito

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Published: 12/03/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Captainís Corner: This is the month to target gag grouper

With our current regulations in the Gulf, this is the best month to target gag grouper. Although the gag grouper season opens in June they are hard to come by for most months unless anglers travel to depths of 240 feet or more. With each passing cold...
Published: 12/03/17
Updated: 12/04/17

Captainís Corner: Speckled sea trout can be easily caught on artificial lures

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Published: 12/01/17