Make us your home page

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: Right tackle, bait make offshore trips productive

What's hot: Since the gag grouper closure, reports of outstanding grouper digging have come from 20 to 70 feet, from Clearwater to Sarasota. On Saturday, in 43 feet just south of the Egmont shipping channel, we caught grouper up to 12 pounds, even though we weren't targeting them. With a couple of 7-year-olds on board, our focus was on mangrove snapper, triggerfish and grunts, which we caught on nearly every drop.

Tackle: Though we brought heavier tackle, just in case, most everything we caught, including the grouper, was on 20-pound test with a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. In Clear water, our prey had become leader shy and the lighter tackle made a difference. Although we had more break-offs, we had five times more strikes.

Bait: Squid is the safest bet to guarantee catching something. It's tough, it stinks, it stays on the hook well and there's hardly anything that swims that won't eat it. Bait-gathering normally gets tough this time of year because bait scatters when it gets cold. With it looking more and more like a warm Christmas, bait has stayed bunched up and relatively easy to collect. We've caught greenbacks, whitebait, pinfish and even a few Spanish sardines at the Structure C Bridge (Bayway) just before daylight on each of our recent trips.

Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.

Captain's Corner: Right tackle, bait make offshore trips productive 12/21/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 9:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 12 FSU, freshman QB James Blackman struggle in 27-21 loss to N.C. State


    TALLAHASSEE — Whatever was left of No. 12 Florida State's College Football Playoff hopes suffered a massive, likely fatal, blow Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

    Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Nyqwan Murray (8) carries during the first quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  2. Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off


    SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star is not going to the White House anytime soon.

    Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball team media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. [Associated Press]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing another old friend in Jeremy Hellickson


    UPDATE, 3:29: Here is the Rays lineup, with Duda at 1B and Morrison the DH:

  4. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium


    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  5. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national anthem …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]