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Captain's Corner

Gag grouper opens to harvest Wednesday off west-central coast of Florida

Offshore: Recent winds have prevented most of us from getting out, but the migratory baitfish have arrived, and so have the predators that feed on them. Spanish mackerel have been reliable offshore and in the bay. Kingfish action has been hit or miss, but many of the fish have been big, and the action should continue to improve every day as the water continues to warm. Gag grouper opens to harvest Wednesday and are in waters as shallow as 20 feet on rock piles and limestone ledges.

Inshore: Redfish, trout and snook action has been as good as it gets for those fishing live scaled sardines. Most schools of reds have numbered in the hundreds, with many over the 27-inch size limit. The best action for reds has been on the incoming tides, and snook have seemed to really turn on during maximum flow of the outgoing tide. With this combination, adding a trout to the day's catch has made for many inshore slams this past week.

Tips: Gag grouper takes center stage this week but make sure to cover the entire water column while bottom fishing. The grouper will be inhabiting areas that are holding bait, and you can bet that kings and cobia will be nearby.

Troy P. Sapp with Fins and Tails Guide service can be reached at (813) 920-6928

Gag grouper opens to harvest Wednesday off west-central coast of Florida 03/29/09 [Last modified: Sunday, March 29, 2009 9:19pm]

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