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Daily fishing report

By MIKE WHITMAN
Published April 2, 2003

Before the weekend cold front, 30-pound kings were a common catch within a quarter mile of St. Pete Beach. There also have been plenty of juvenile "schoolie" kings in the 15-pound range in the Egmont Channel, on the Betty Rose wreck and on all the Pinellas County artificial reefs. The action likely will return to full strength once the weather stabilizes and the water clears.

Live bait is the key to consistent action for kings and Spanish mackerel. Large schools of Spanish sardines give the fish plenty of food and anglers plenty of bait. Jiggling sabiki rigs into the schools will yield a day's worth of bait. Drop the gold hook rigs below the sardines and you'll pick up several hardy blue runners. Kings will eat both baits, but the runners last longer on a hook or in your live well.

Offshore, mangrove snapper will rise to a chum line and offer a great fight on 8- to 10-pound monofilament. In 100-feet-plus, amberjack are crunching blue runners drifted across wrecks. On a recent deep-water trip, a cobia estimated at 80 pounds intercepted a live bait intended for amberjack.

- Mike Whitman charters the Mega Bite out of Gulfport. Call (727) 384-5729 or by e-mail at capt@megabitecharters.com

[Last modified April 2, 2003, 02:03:29]

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