© St. Petersburg Times, published June 16, 2002
Targeting shipwrecks this time of year is fun, especially when 50 miles offshore in 150 feet of water. We refer to deep-water shipwreck fishing as "one-stop shopping" because it isn't unusual to catch half a dozen species in one location.
Capt. Sam Maisano, son Joey and friend Morgan Kein fished a wreck in 155 feet southwest of John's Pass on Thursday. Joey caught a 25-pound Africa Pompano, along with amberjacks and mangrove snappers. Kein caught a blackfin tuna, a 7-pound yellow tail, amberjacks and "mangos". They caught 16 different species.
A lot of live bait and different class tackles contributed to their success. A light-action 20-pound tackle was used for the snappers and 50-pound tackle for amberjacks and grouper. The tuna were caught on 30-pound tackle free-lining live Spanish sardines.
We carry a lot of bait when fishing offshore. Frozen sardines and squid are necessary. Large live pinfish, blue runners, Spanish sardines, cigar minnows and squirrelfish round out a good well of live bait. When running 50-plus miles offshore, leave a float plan with someone onshore.
-- Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396.