St. Petersburg Times
Online: Tech Times
Print storySubscribe to the Times


Daily fishing report

Nice weather teases with hint of spring.

Published February 13, 2004

The main concern for anglers this weekend is the weather.

The moderate temperatures and winds of the past few days had me daydreaming of water temperatures of 68 to 70 and king mackerel along the beach, but reality set in as I read this weekend's weather forecast.

Seas are forecast to be as high as 7 feet with winds of 20 knots blowing from every point on the compass. Air temperatures are forecast to stay in the high 60s to mid 70s, so nearshore water temperatures should start to rise, if only slightly. The few days after this front you can expect to find fish offshore on large breaks and pieces of high structure.

In the past week we have had outstanding catches of amberjack on springs and wrecks in more than 120 feet. They have fed aggressively on everything from pinfish to large bucktail jigs. On one wreck they were so thick near the surface we could sight cast to them.

The key when chasing AJs is large live baits and strong terminal tackle. The fish show up on a bottom machine as lines, and they can be found over a wreck or as far as 500 yards from structure. The average fish has been about 30 pounds with several over 70 mixed in.

The snapper bite has been good, with mangos feeding on small pinfish and jigs tipped with cut sardine in 90-100 feet. Use your bottom machine to look for fish suspended 8-20 feet above a break or pothole. On my color machine they show up as blue streaks.

If the current is not ripping you can hang a chum bag, and snapper will follow the scent to the surface. Snapper have great eyes, so use small hooks and 20- to 30-pound fluorocarbon leaders.

As spring approaches you can expect to find yellowtail snapper. Our average fish has been in the 4- to 6-pound range. The grouper bite has been okay the past week but not phenomenal. As we get further from last week's full moon, the bite should improve.

Now would be a great time to start preparing for the upcoming run of pelagics. Take your rods and reels to a shop and have the line and drags replaced. Wash your cast nets and soak them overnight in a fabric softener. Start making kingfish rigs, because better weather and fishing is coming soon.

- Mike Whitman charters the Mega Bite out of Gulfport. Call 727 384-5729 or e-mail

[Last modified February 13, 2004, 01:45:34]

Arena league

  • Lee holds his own in Tampa

  • Baseball
  • Four indicted for steroids

  • Black History Month
  • Fred McGriff

  • College basketball
  • Charlotte beefs up NCAA case
  • St. John's dismisses any thought of dropping team
  • Women: Sloppy UF stumbles at Mississippi State

  • In brief
  • Surprise! Younger Stadler leads Buick

  • NBA
  • Bulls pass an easy test

  • NHL
  • Panthers extend Pens' woes

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Racing on the wind

  • Preps
  • Lecanto holds off rival to reach 4A-9 title game
  • Seeding no issue: Ridgewood, Wesley Chapel look evenly matched
  • Blakes presses into title game
  • Cougars survive overtime scare
  • Lakewood, Clearwater in final
  • Warhawks, Pirates to square off again
  • Bulls blow open close game during second half
  • For Springstead, words to win by
  • Freedom finds formula to fell Bartow
  • Gaither controls East Bay
  • Jesuit freezes out Frostproof
  • Jesuit's depth holds off Robinson
  • Lecanto's revenge tastes semi-sweet
  • Mitchell sinks Lake Gibson
  • Pasco's postseason run continues with 5-0 win
  • Record day for Cougars
  • Stanton sheds knee brace, leads Seminole
  • Gulf is young but has depth
  • It's too close to call

  • Racing 2004
  • NASCAR's new day dawns
  • A man of his own
  • A study in contrasts
  • Back where he belongs
  • Century of the Snake
  • Champ Car has new direction, but where?
  • IROC at a glance
  • Montoya's different spin
  • Rolex Sports Car at a glance
  • Stepping out of shadows
  • Weber finds Tampa Bay is crazy about NASCAR
  • 2004 Florida Calendar
  • 2004 track directory
  • A racing dictionary
  • American Le Mans at a glance
  • Area tracks
  • Trans-Am at a glance

  • Speed Weeks '04 at Daytona
  • Junior, in huff, pulls off a win
  • Keep eye on Toyota, Musgrave
  • Rookies race right into school of hard knocks

  • Sports on the Air
  • Remote patrol
  • Rays
  • Clock ticks as Hamilton awaits okay
  • Bucs
  • Back home, in Tampa
  • Bucs think Sapp might slip away
  • Career flourishes despite setbacks
  • Players, past and present, like move
  • Lightning
  • Deficit turns to inspiring win
  • Puck-handling proposal is 'silly'

    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111