Captain's Corner

What's hot and what's not.

By d mistretta
Published January 18, 2007

What's hot: Another week of beautiful weather allowed us to pursue a variety of species offshore. Kingfish, bonito, grouper, triggerfish, amberjack, snapper and even a few sharks were landed.

Our most interesting catch was a 5-foot tiger shark landed while grouper digging. We were sending a live pinfish to the bottom when the rare shark grabbed the bait. As it was pulled to the surface, the different colorings on its body became quite pronounced. Numerous dark-blue vertical stripes covered the shark's gray body. Not all tiger sharks display their stripes, so we were fortunate to snap a few awesome photos before its release.

The grouper did not seem alarmed by the presence of the hefty shark and kept grabbing baits as they were sent to the bottom. After about 15 minutes of this feeding frenzy, the action stopped. We managed to drag seven nice grouper from this spot, but more broke us off in the rocks. Our biggest was 14 pounds, so we assumed the big ones that got away were in the high teens.

Normally, if you lose enough big fish in one spot, the action eventually stops. The barking sound that a grouper makes after swimming your lines into the rocks often deter others from grabbing bait. This sound is also used in territorial situations between large male grouper during spawning season.

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