© St. Petersburg Times, published October 6, 2002
Offshore wrecks and springs are holding good numbers of jacks and will fill up as the water cools. Captain Craig Lahr and Anthony Everett beat up the amberjacks Friday. They fished a small shipwreck southwest of Egmont Channel in 150 feet using 50-pound tackle and live pinfish, grunts and blue runners. The action was nonstop with amberjacks weighing 30-40 pounds.
Kingfish have shown up west of the Rube Allyn. Even though water temperatures are in the low 80s at the surface, at 50 feet they dip to 75-78, perfect for kingfish. Look for large bait schools in 60-70 feet. Use live baits on downriggers close to bottom for kingfish and Spanish mackerel. Ron Muller caught a 40-pound king last week.
Grouper fishing is hot in 65-120 feet over cheese-rock bottom and ledges. Use live pinfish, small grunts and Spanish sardines for the biggest fish. Sixty-pound leaders with 6/0 hooks work fine in cloudy water. Clear water requires smaller leaders and hooks.
Mangrove snapper are feeding in 90-120 feet, and with the new moon, snapper action will pick up.
-- Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396.