Captain's Corner

By STEVE PAPEN, Times Correspondent
Published November 5, 2007

Look for a window: Weather will play an important role in offshore trips the next few months. There are many different Web sites that can assist in planning successful trips. Looking at extended forecasts and wind directions will help, but having a flexible work schedule will ensure the best trips.

Shallow-water grouper: Bottom fishing between cold fronts can be rewarding. Gag grouper are very in tune with what the barometric pressure and frontal boundaries are doing. They tend to stack up on structure such as wrecks and ledges right before a front and stay on this bottom until the weather subsides.

Right time to go: When a front approaches our area from the north, the winds switch to out of the south then the southwest. As the front passes, there will be a few hours of rain, then the winds will shift from the north. Depending on the severity of the front, these north winds usually last a couple of days. But as soon as these winds subside to 10-15 mph, it is time to get out there because the gags will be hungry and will feed heavily for just a few days until they leave these areas in search of more food.

Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at fintasticinc.com or (727) 642-3411.