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Captain's corner

By DOUG HEMMER

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 10, 2001


When the fish don't seem to want what you have to offer, try looking for other reasons before changing bait. It could be bait presentation, tidal movement, water temperature, oversized tackle or spooky fish. To correct the situation, you'll want to change something like presentation or tackle size. If this does not work, look at the tidal movement to see if it's running fast enough to spark a feeding period. If the water is moving slowly, you might want to return later. If the tide is moving quickly, the presentation and tackle are correct, and the fish still aren't eating, they might have been spooked before you arrived. If the place you're fishing is a known hot spot, you may want to wait until the fish calm down instead of leaving and taking a chance of losing a good spot.

Having tried all the above without success means heading to the tackle box for a handful of artificial lures. Try some that drag along the bottom, float on top and others that crank back just under the surface. Use a fast retrieve and a slow one. Try an erratic start and stop retrieve or you can let it sit and drift by the fish. Getting zero strikes on lures means trying to find different kinds of live bait to offer them.

- Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.

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