By LARRY BLUE
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 9, 2001
You will awake today to find extremely low tides. Full moon tidal movements often exceed a normal flow. After midnight the tide will be falling today through the mid-morning. Expect the shallow water to affect how fish feed throughout the day. If overnight air temperatures are below 40 degrees, shallow water fishing will be a real challenge.
Offshore fishing now for grouper will take persistence. Bottom water temperatures are keeping the fish sluggish. As the grouper will not chase a frisky bait, try using dead baits instead.
During colder winter months, cut squid works well. It is not normally thought of as a great grouper bait, butthe scent attracts even the finicky winter-gripped grouper. Try a chunk of squid attached to your sardine bait. The combination makes for a bigger smelly bait the grouper may find attractive. The smaller fish can't tear the big baits off the hook as fast, giving the grouper his chance.
Even if daytime air temperatures seem warm to you, the bottom fish can't feel that warmth. Be patient at each stop until the grouper have been given enough time to find your bait.
- Larry Blue charters the Niki-Joe out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-3773, or e-mail at CaptLBlue@aol.com.