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Published Sep. 2, 2005

Even with the wind and rough conditions, inshore water temperatures in many areas are in the high 70s. As temperatures drop, fishing should be outstanding.

Last week produced grouper, snapper, Spanish mackerel, kingfish, cobia, barracuda and blacktip sharks inside 60 feet.

The grouper and snapper have held in areas with hard bottom with small breaks. On most stops we have had to pick through small fish but have had several weighing more than 15 pounds. They have preferred large threadfins and have struck most often on the last part of the tide.

Spanish mackerel seem to be everywhere. They take slow-trolled live bait or spoons and planers trolled around 6 knots.

The kingfish also seem to be everywhere but not in great numbers. The most productive method has been anchoring over hard bottom south of Egmont Key in 38-45 feet and chumming.

The cobia, blacktip sharks and barracuda can be found on any of the mid-range artificial reefs off Pinellas County.

Sea conditions should improve by Thursday, providing a chance at blackfin tuna. They usually start to show up with the shrimp boat fleet in November.

_ Mike Whitman charters the Mega Bite out of Gulfport. Call (727) 384-5729 or e-mail