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

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. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'


    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now


    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.