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Captain's Corner

What's hot: For more than a week, the Betty Rose, a sunken barge in 43 feet, has been covered with kingfish.

By JAY MASTRY
Published April 1, 2007


What's hot: For more than a week, the Betty Rose, a sunken barge in 43 feet, has been covered with kingfish. Other reefs and wrecks in and around 40 feet also have produced impressive numbers. While a 20-pounder was caught Thursday, many of the other three dozen were just bigger than the 24-inch limit. Prevailing easterly winds have allowed the near-shore waters of the gulf to remain clear. Bait pods have been drawn nearer to the beach, and increasing catches of larger kings, some within a mile of shore, are being reported.

Bait selection: While working the schoolies, midsize baits are preferred because they increase hookup percentage and reduce reeling in slashed baits that are too big for the little guys to handle. Gathering some bait before you go will pay off. Cast-netting the light lines of bridges or the edge of grass flats leading to the gulf has produced whitebait and greenbacks.

Techniques: Low light in the morning has been most productive. Dropping down to 12- or 15-pound test, lighter leaders and a length of fluorocarbon before your rig can sometimes keep the bite going as it gets lighter.