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: Success on bottom

On recent trips offshore to bottom fish in the 60- to 80-foot depths we've been pleasantly surprised by several different species. Yellowtail and lane snapper have been almost a daily part of our catch as we target red grouper over flat "Swiss cheese" bottom. Part of the key with these desirable species is downsizing tackle. Both of these snapper have small mouths so use a hook much smaller than one for grouper. A strip of squid or a piece of sardine just large enough to hide the hook is our preferred bait. Small mahimahi have shown up several times as we bottom fish. The key to catching them is to have a light spinning or bait-casting rod with a 2/0 long shanked gold hook attached directly to the line. Chum with very small slivers of sardine to keep them near the boat without overfeeding them. They often hit a bare gold hook if it has been stripped of bait. Cobia have been also striking our bottom baits. If a cobia is hooked, back off the drag so the fish runs and tires itself out. Smaller ones can be horsed to the boat, but large ones require a loosened drag. The ones we have been catching have been in pairs with one large female and a smaller male. The second free-swimming one can easily be hooked with almost any type of bait. Cobia have to be at least 33 inches minimum fork length.

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

Captain's Corner: Success on bottom 08/28/16 [Last modified: Sunday, August 28, 2016 7:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    You wonder if the scouting reports and/or workload are catching up to rookie RHP Jake Faria. The bottom line wasn't bad again, three runs in 51/3 innings, but he's having to work harder to get there.

  3. Rays journal: Chris Archer eager for eventful final stretch

    The Heater

    TORONTO — RHP Chris Archer takes the mound today for the Rays as they head into the final 40 games of the season with little margin for error as they battle for an American League playoff spot.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) takes a moment on the mound in the second inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
  4. Tim Tebow's slump continues, as does fan support

    Sports

    CLEARWATER — On July 29, playing against the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Tim Tebow smacked a mammoth three-run homer, helping the St. Lucie Mets cruise to a 10-3 victory at Charlotte Sports Park.

    St. Lucie’s Tim Tebow, shown Monday at Spectrum Field, struggled at the plate Wednesday against the Threshers.
  5. Rays at Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m. Thursday

    The Heater

    Today: at Blue Jays

    4:07, Rogers Centre, Toronto

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

    Rays info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (8-7, 3.84)

    JAYS: RH Chris Rowley (1-0, 1.69)