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CAPTAIN'S CORNER

Nearshore fishing for kingfish and Spanish mackerel is outstanding, and grouper fishing from 20-120 feet out is excellent. Amberjacks, blackfin tuna and cobia are excellent over shipwrecks. Snapper fishing is outstanding at all depths. We fished last week and caught all the amberjacks, cobia and barracuda one could catch. We moved into 90 feet over our traditionally old grouper numbers and could not get away from American red snapper, so thick that all six lines were going off as fast as they were dropped to the bottom.

Tactics: The winds were blowing 20-25 mph NE on Sunday. This was too sporty to go offshore, so we canceled our charter. Larry Jiesy and I wanted to put some fish in the freezer, so we fished in 20 feet, 3 miles from John's Pass. We caught one cobia and four keeper gags and released a dozen. The grouper fed aggressively. We had to lock down our drags to get line. The shallow-water fight was awesome. Live bait trolled on nearshore reefs and the Egmont Channel will produce kingfish and cobia. Free-line pinfish to cobia around channel markers.

Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396 or e-mail him at huffyl@tampabay.rr.com.

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