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

Captains corner: The trick is fishing around the off-limit gags

What's hot: Pesky gag grouper are almost becoming a nuisance, especially if you are trying to catch a cooler full of tasty grunts, or maybe legal red grouper. Gag grouper, which are currently off limits in gulf state waters and must be released, seem to be racing to beat the other fish for a tidbit of squid. A recent trip brought several big gags to the surface on light-tackle rods baited for grunts. Many times we had to rerig from our 30-pound-test leaders that were broken off by the larger fish.

In years past, wintertime gag grouper were the mainstay of many local anglers. It was something we looked forward to during the long, hot summer. Winter gulf conditions don't allow for many windfree days, so fishing close to shore was a blessing for small-boat anglers.

Cooperative weather: Recent conditions have been ideal for fishing, with relatively light winds and calm seas. This past week it has been almost calm enough to go fishing in the gulf from a lake boat or even a canoe. (I don't actually suggest that you try that for safety reasons. I'm just making a point about how close the grouper come to shore.) This year because of the closure nearshore gag grouper fishing isn't getting the attention it normally gets. But because fishing is something a lot of us can't live without, catch and release is our only option.

Pro tip: Try fishing in 40 to 45 feet of water to find an assortment of reds, gags and some flounder as well. If you can keep the gags from stealing your tackle, certainly you'll find a good number of larger grunts.

Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit CaptainLarryBlue.com.

Captains corner: The trick is fishing around the off-limit gags 12/22/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 22, 2011 6:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The legacy of Tim Tebow's baseball summer

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — It was about three weeks ago. A Saturday night. I sat behind home plate at a Charlotte Stone Crabs game at Charlotte Sports Park. There was a professional baseball scout sitting just behind me with a speed gun in his hand. He had seen the whole thing.

    Seth Bosch, left, of Punta Gorda, Fla., met Tim Tebow in Port Charlotte, Fla., in late July when Tebow, while in the on-deck circle during a game, shook hands with Seth through the backstop screen. The moment was captured on video by Seth's mother, as was the home run Tebow promptly hit in his ensuing at bat. Seth, who has high-functioning autism and other health issues, celebrated wildly and the video went viral. PHOTO PROVIDED
  2. Cannon Fodder podcast: Previewing Bucs-Jaguars

    Blogs

    Greg Auman previews the Bucs' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and talks about the $26,000 Bucs rookie dinner tab that wasn't in our latest Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast. Listen below:

    Charles Sims runs with the ball during the Bucs' game against the Jaguars last season.
  3. Plenty of unfinished business for Mitchell volleyball

    Volleyball Preps

    TRINITY — Their previous trip to New Smyrna Beach turned out to be a joyride, resulting in the Mitchell Mustangs' first spot in the state volleyball semifinals.

    Mitchell High school’s Jessie Mooney serves the ball during the 6A State High School Championship volleyball finals game against  Jensen Beach High School at the Venue on the UCF campus in Orlando.
(11/14/2015  WILLIE J. ALLEN JR.]
  4. Charles Bottoms, right, with his wife, Annie, wore the Tim Tebow Broncos jersey to Steinbrenner Field "only because I didn't want to wear my good (signed Gators) Tebow one." [RYAN ROMANO | Times]