Daily fishing report

Published August 8, 2006

Red grouper fishing on the swiss-cheese hard bottom in 90 to 120 feet has not been as productive as in past years. Until last week, there was a noticeable shortage of keepers and shorts. By targeting hard-bottom areas holding bait piles revealed by the depth finder, we had a lot of release action and put a few red grouper up to 12 pounds in the box.

Diving on ledges and areas of jumbled rocks in 40 to 60 feet revealed surprisingly large numbers of gag grouper, hogfish, triggerfish, mangrove snapper and white grunts. Some of the larger ledges held only smaller reef fish, and the smaller ledges and rock piles seemed to be home to the larger concentrations. Every spot with a sizeable population of triggerfish had several keeper gag grouper. Spots without triggerfish held mostly small tropicals. We have been equipping at least one angler with a 2/0 hook rig to determine if triggerfish are present. It also allows us to put some of these great-tasting reef fish in the fish box.

Kingfish are being caught with Spanish sardines, hardtails and bluerunners, on flat lines while bottom fishing and slow trolled around large bait piles in 60 to 90 feet.

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.