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Captain's corner

By DAVE ZALEWSKI

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 22, 2001


When I am asked what the best time is to fish in the bay area, the answer is April, the first two weeks of May, the last two weeks of October and all November.

The reason is the migration of pelagic fish along with the movement of benthic fish to the bottom areas they will inhabit for several months.

What to fish for? The answer is both.

When bottom fishing from an anchored boat, deploy one or two flat lines depending on how much room is available. Most anglers believe that the flat line must have a live bait swimming at or just below the surface. We have been putting out two stinger rigged lines on some days with one having a live cigar minnow, Spanish sardine or blue runner for bait. The other line has had one of the frozen baits used for our bottom fishing. To our surprise, the rig with the dead bait has been producing better. The theory is the dead bait rig is sinking to the level where the bottom fish activity is attracting predators from the entire area.

Kingfish, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper and red and gag grouper have been caught recently on the deep flat line. There was also one "unstoppable" that was probably a tuna as those are beginning to show up.

- Capt. Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Maderia Beach and can be reached at (727) 397-8815 or by e-mail at luckytwo2@aol.com.

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