Captain's Corner

By LARRY HOFFMAN, Times Correspondent
Published September 30, 2007

What's hot: Mike Hubbard and Garner Koons continue to have solid action in 45 feet, catching gag grouper, some more than 10 pounds. Koons reported four nice keeper grouper, one topping 27 inches. They were catching fish until the moon set. Koons, an avid diver, put on his gear and found lots of keeper grouper. They just were not biting. Garner reported numerous hogfish and some nice cobia around the ledge they were working. Seventy to 100 feet is still producing good catches of mangrove snapper and red grouper. American red snapper are being caught in 100 to 130 feet. Amberjack are under a lot of pressure but can be found on most shipwrecks in 90 to 150 feet.

Tactics: As the bottom fish move inshore during the fall, the kingfish, blackfin tuna, cobia and Spanish mackerel migrate south and spend a good three months or more on our coast. We even catch an occasional sailfish in 60 and 90 feet. Find large schools of Spanish sardines and you will increase your chances of catching a sailfish. Every year numerous sailfish are caught by tournament kingfishermen using live bait.

Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island, and can be reached at huffyl@tampabay.rr.com or 727 709-9396.