tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By DAVE ZALEWSKI
Published November 26, 2006


What's hot: After more than a week of high winds and rough seas, the forecast for the weekend looked promising, so we ventured offshore. Thanksgiving is normally when we start targeting gag grouper in water as shallow as 15 feet. A few stops revealed extremely dirty water and a lack of fish in the 15- to 45-foot depths. Clarity was much better in 65 feet and that was the depth at which we chose to fish. Gag grouper, triggerfish, white grunts and even a few keeper scamp filled the fish box.

Tactics: In dirty conditions, start fishing with cut sardines and squid to put some "stink" in the water, then create a feeding frenzy with the smaller reef fish such as triggerfish and white grunts. This activity lures the larger, more wary gag grouper to the area directly underneath the boat. Keeper gags can be caught using the squid and sardines. Live bait should not be used until the bite slows.

Tackle: A two-hook porgy rig with the sinker on the bottom produces many delicious grunts, triggerfish, mangrove snapper and results in almost nonstop rod-bending action when used with a 20-pound test spinning outfit. Grouper tackle must be heavier, with 40- or 50-pound test main line and 50- or 60-pound test leader. A good knot such as a uniknot must be used with this lighter tackle, and the leader should be checked for nicks and abrasions every time the hook is rebaited.

Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at 727 397-8815 or by e-mail at   For">Luckytoo2@aol.com.