© St. Petersburg Times, published July 7, 2002
Craig Lahr and Mike Hubbard fished 40 miles offshore on hard bottom Friday. The tide was slow and the gulf was flat calm. They chose to drift rather than anchoring because it was hard to get a good anchor heading.
Drifting live Spanish sardines produced their biggest groupers. Mid morning they changed strategy and worked a couple of springs in 120 feet of water that produced snapper. The water was extremely clear and they were required to downsize their tackle to 20-pound class to get the snappers to bite.
Bluewater fishing conditions are excellent. Start rolling hardware, lures 40 miles offshore and work your way out to 80 miles. Look for weed lines, tide rips and floating debris. They traditionally hold bait, attracting tuna, wahoo and dolphin. Concentrate your trolling efforts in those areas. A heading of 245 degrees out of John's Pass will get you to bluewater depths in the shortest period of time.
-- Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396.