Daily fishing report
By DAVE MISTRETTA
Water temperatures are falling, assuring us it is only February.
Grouper digging will improve a few days after sea conditions calm after cold fronts. Each weather system shuffles fish populations great distances before they settle on new locations. This will replenish many of the rock piles picked clean in the recent stretch of warm weather. Even more shallow depths, as close in as 20 feet, should start to produce.
Before this most recent cold weather hit, acres of Spanish sardines were working toward shore, giving many anglers a false sense of spring. A few early kingfish were found close to the sardines. Expect to find bait schools in about 60 feet.
The sardines' life cycle consists of migrating inshore in warming trends and offshore as things cool. Along the way predators relentlessly attack the baitfish. Avid grouper diggers love this chance to load up the live wells and snag a few big grouper.
Amberjack fishing should change for the better. Undersized fish have been common, but the bruisers have been few and far between. Recent weather should drag more large fish close to shore.
Mixed in with the amberjack have been banded rudderfish. They don't grow as big as amberjack but are more aggressive. The key is to work a jig in an erratic manner: Reeling the jig up from the bottom quickly puts the jacks in a feeding frenzy.
You can find jacks over most wrecks and artificial reefs.
-- Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 595-3276, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
(All phone numbers begin with 727 unless noted)
- Send information to Outdoors, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. All items must be typed and arrive 10 days before the event. Include event name, time, address and phone number.
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