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: Troll edges in bay for grouper

What's hot: With winter weather often unpredictable and offshore trips sometimes difficult to plan, the relatively protected edges of the ships channel in the bay can offer a variety of opportunities. Trolling the channel's edge with long-lipped plugs can be a productive grouper technique. Anchoring along the rocky edge can often result in catching a variety of species. Tuesday we had nonstop action working a couple spots between Egmont Key and the Sunshine Skyway bridge. Targeting the last of the outgoing tide, along with a handful of grouper up to 14 pounds, we had bites on nearly every drop. Juvenile grouper, mangrove snapper and Key West grunts kept the light rods bent until the tide stopped.

Bait selections: Bait choices will often dictate the action. Our largest grouper ate our largest baits and we offered a variety. Full-grown greenbacks, whitebait and pinfish were productive. Mangoes preferred the 3-inch whitebait we offered on 20-pound tackle and a 2-foot length of 30-pound leader. To catch all the Key West grunts you care to, a piece of squid and/or cut bait will do the trick.

Tips: Planning trips around the slower current of tide changes may be instrumental, particularly during the new and full moon phases. I've done best when a 2-ounce lead is all that's necessary for the light tackle and 3 ounces for the heavier tackle and bigger baits.

Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 321-2142.

Captain's Corner: Troll edges in bay for grouper 12/31/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 9:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.