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Daily fishing report

Published September 7, 2004

It's hard to predict what fishing conditions will be like after the hurricane.

Many people in Florida will have more important issues to deal with. A few friends and I will cruise the Intracoastal waterway looking for floating debris. Removing such debris not only can clean our waterways but ensure safety for boaters, especially while navigating at night.

After things settle, count on a new push of fish to move our way. The strong winds and rough seas from Frances are the perfect excuse for fish to expedite their fall migration. Cobia will be the first to work their way down the coast. Expect to find them over inshore artificial reefs.

After Hurricane Elena in 1985, the Clearwater jetty held a massive school of giant redfish for two weeks. When the tide would rip around the tip, the reds would rise and turn the water burnt orange. Tossing live bait to the orange spot resulted in an immediate hookup. Redington Pier also was a hot spot for reds after Elena. I believe these big drum search for structure after a storm, so any pier, bridge, jetty or inshore structure would be a good place to look.

Grouper fishing will start to improve in shallower water this week. With falling water temperatures and a lot of baitfish on the move, expect to find more gags at the 30- to 40-foot mark.

Wherever juvenile bait pods end up after the wind is where you'll find spanish mackerel.

Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call 727 595-3276, or e-mail

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