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CAPTAIN'S CORNER

During late summer, night fishing is a nice alternative. Not only is the fishing good, the night provides a break from the afternoon heat.

Look for snook in residential canals. They gather around lighted docks looking for an easy meal. They lie in shadow lines waiting to ambush bait fish or shrimp. Using baits such as greenbacks, shrimp or even ballyhoo will increase your chance of catching a big one. That is called matching the hatch. Look for docks, bridges and even fishing piers that have moving current. Remember, snook are lazy predators. They will wait for meals to come to them.

For the daytime angler, Spanish mackerel are staring to show up in good numbers. They are invading reefs from Tarpon Springs to Bayport. When fishing for them, anchor on a reef and put out a chum bag. This will attract baitfish, and mackerel soon will follow. The mackerel will eat just about anything in your tackle box.

I prefer brightly colored jigs and spoons. You also can use live greenbacks. Use a light wire leader or 50- to 60-pound mono leader. Pre-jig your setups beforehand. This will keep you fishing when the bite is on.

_ Mike Manning charters out of Port Richey. Call (727) 848-0795.

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