tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By DAVE MISTRETTA
Published August 27, 2006


This time of year is normally a decent time to find red grouper fish in 80-100 feet of water. Not this year. Their absence worries many anglers. Red Tide has been blamed. Miscalculated records monitoring their commercial fishing, more anglers out on the water, the list goes on and on. The bottom line: There is little bottom action at this time.

We have started to catch a mixture of gags and reds on larger ledges and rock piles in 60-90 feet. Many short grouper need to be caught in order to land a keeper. Use extreme caution while removing hooks from short grouper. Injuring these smaller fish won't help this delicate situation. Sometimes a small pinhole a quarter-inch behind the pectoral fin is required to release gas from the body cavity. This release method must be done carefully to ensure their survival.

The best approach for a successful day of fishing is to bring plenty of live bait and try a variety of fishing techniques. Blackfin tuna, bonito, sharks, cobias and kingfish can sometimes turn a slow day of bottom fishing into a banner day. We have landed huge kingfish the past three weeks. Occasionally, the blackfins have been mixed in with the bonito, especially in depths of 110 feet or more. We also scored on some nice cobia over large structures and wrecks.

In a matter of a few weeks, we should see more bottom fish migrate toward shore. Water temperature will be dropping, luring in our fall action.

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