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Daily fishing report
By DAVE ZALEWSKI
Published July 20, 2005
Red Tide has been devastating not only in Boca Ciega and lower Tampa bays but in the gulf out to 12 miles.
Large schools of glass minnows, Spanish sardines and threadfins usually found in the passes during the summer remain absent. These schools of bait often are pursued by mackerel, blue runners, jacks and other predators including tarpon and cobia. Fishing the schools often yields great catches and plenty of bait for offshore trips but not this week. Stops at nearshore artificial reefs and offshore locales as far as South County Reef have been unproductive due to the lack of baitfish.
Limited numbers can be found, however, at the 10-Fathom Wreck, the Whistler and markers 1 and 2 in Egmont Channel. We have been using a depth finder and sabiki rigs to spot and catch these smaller schools. The use of a 3- or 4-ounce sinker results in the rig dropping faster to the bait and prevents tangles when bringing them up.
While it is not necessary to use live bait when targeting grouper and snapper in 90 to 110 feet, it is helpful in triggering the bite when it slows.
Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at 727 397-8815 or by e-mail at Luckytoo2@aol.com