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

Fall fishing action is good off the Gulf of Mexico coast in west-central Florida

What's hot: The fall kingfish season continues to provide outstanding action up and down the coast. Spanish mackerel are plentiful close to the beaches, and nearshore grouper fishing is also very good. Large amberjacks are migrating closer to the coast, setting up their winter residence in shipwrecks, springs and large breaks in depths as shallow as 85 feet.

Fishing tactics: There is no reason to run way offshore this time of year. Carry heavy grouper, bait and kingfish rods to round out your tackle. Anchor you boat over a nearshore hard bottom area or rock pile and deploy a chum bag. The chum will attract kingfish and Spanish mackerel. Fish two flat lines off the transom of your boat using biodegradable balloons for floats. Fish for grouper using dead sardines and squid. A minimum of 60-pound test tackle is needed, equipped with locked-down drags. We have repeatedly caught gags up 12 pounds, grunts and sea bass while grouper fishing in 22 to 35 feet of water.

Bait: Live bait is required for any good day of fishing. Get up before sunrise and throw cast nets in and around bridges to get some. During daylight start a chum slick over the flats and get baits with your net. Pinfish traps work well. Use two traps to get all the pinfish and small pigfish you want. Put the traps out the day before you fish, and the next morning you should have live bait. We always stop by reefs and gold-hook some offshore baits to round out our live well.

Larry "Huffy'' Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396 or e-mail him at [email protected]

Fall fishing action is good off the Gulf of Mexico coast in west-central Florida 11/15/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play


    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  5. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans


    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.