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Published Oct. 30, 2008

What's hot: We've beentied to the dock because of high winds out of the north and northwest and rough seas. The cooler water has produced great fishing. Easterly winds have allowed anglers to fish within a mile or two of shore, and it has not been necessary to travel any farther to target Spanish mackerel, kingfish, bluefish, ladyfish and the occasional cobia.

Tip:Land mass provides sheltered waters from east winds, but small boats can easily get into serious trouble offshore. Following seas provides a smooth ride offshore, which can lull one into a false sense of security. Use binoculars to scan the horizon to determine the true conditions offshore.

Great catch:Brian Crabtree and Jason Stock received a surprise while fishing on the South County artificial reef. Anchored and using live Spanish sardines and hardtails caught with a Sabiki rig on flat lines, they caught several Spanish mackerel and kingfish and lost a cobia when the drag started screaming on their 20-pound test spinning reel. It was evident what caused the excitement when a large sailfish erupted from the water several times. They had to pull the anchor and follow the fish for close to 30 minutes before it was brought boatside, photographed, revived and released.

Tip: Always deploy a flat line when anchored.

Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at or (727) 397-8815.