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Captain's corner

By DAVE ZALEWSKI

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 10, 2001


The recent rough seas and dirty water put everyone back to square one when it came to keeping up with fish movement.

Usually when leaving the dock in the morning, I have a pretty good idea what depth of water I will fish and what compass heading I will take. On our last trip, we encountered dirty water until we hit 60-foot depths about 18 miles offshore. Hoping gag grouper would bite the propellers off when we anchored on our first two ledges, we were disappointed that only a few grunts were home. We allowed time for the fish to find the dead bait because of their slow winter metabolic rate, but to no effect.

I decided to alter the game plan and target red grouper about 4 miles away on a piece of flat, hard bottom in 70 feet of water. The red grouper were not there, but gags, large grunts and flounder were. Fishing flat, hard bottom the rest of the day produced a nice box of fish, mostly caught on a squid-sardine combination on the hook.

- Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.

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