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Published Sep. 13, 2005

As if on cue, king mackerel have been eager to take bait over the past few weeks. Boats trolling spoons have hammered out limits of fish in less than an hour. Some of the hottest spots have been the main shipping channel from around marker No.

10 to the whistler. Farther north to the wreck of the Betty Rose produced fast action all week.

If grouper is on your menu but you don't like long boat rides and large fuel bills, try some shallow hard bottom and ledges. There still is a heavy concentration of gags hanging in water 40 feet shallow. The latest cold front has turned the water muddy, but sardines cut in half are doing a great job attracting fish. This hot action will start to wind down over the next few weeks as grouper start to move to their summer feeding grounds. Anglers should take advantage of this shallow-water action.

Light-tackle buffs should look at the mouth of the passes for hot action, including Spanish mackerel and pompano. Small-feather jigs fished on a hard tide will produce action from both species.

_ Joe Genovese captains the Sea Cap III out of Maximo Marina. Call (813) 343-5931.