© St. Petersburg Times, published March 10, 2002
Tough fishing conditions on hard-bottom areas and ledges require a change in tactics, and that is when we concentrate on freshwater springs and shipwrecks located in 100 to 150 feet of water. The Gulf of Mexico is loaded with shipwrecks and numerous springs. Local fishing and diving charts available in most tackle stores are good sources of GPS and Loran numbers for springs and shipwrecks. One-stop shopping is how we refer to springs and wrecks because of all the different fish that wrecks attract.
As we move into spring and the beginning of the kingfish migration, the first place we will find kings is on wrecks southwest of Egmont Channel. Shipwrecks attract fish because of the structure they provide for baitfish. Amberjacks, kingfish, blackfin tuna, grouper, mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper and goliath fish can be found. We carry 50- to 60-pound tackle for the jacks, tuna and grouper, then downsize to 30-pound tackle for snapper fishing.
For amberjacks, live bait is important so we use big blue runners and large pinfish. For tuna we use live Spanish sardines.
-- Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396.