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Captain's corner

By LARRY HOFFMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 8, 2001


Blackfin tuna fishing is as good as it gets right now. The shrimp boats are 25 to 30 miles offshore and are in the height of the shrimping season. The key to success is finding the fleet, then presenting live bait just off the transom. Give each boat about 20 minutes and try cutting up some frozen sardines in 1-inch pieces to get the tuna feeding again. The discarded by-catch from the shrimpers is what attracts the

tuna. This huge chum slick will attract sharks and bonitos. Forty-pound class tackle, No. 3 or 4 ought hooks, hooked to a live Spanish sardine is hard to beat for bait.

Tarpon fishing is picking up, and with our full moon the tarpon are rolling down our beaches. Capt. Craig Lahr has been catching tarpon at the Skyway Bridge and saw four pods along the beach near Redington Shores on Sunday. The first full moon in May pushes the tarpon north and inshore, filling the traditional tarpon hot spots.

Kingfish season is slowing; however, the Egmont channel markers 3 and 4 out to the whistler have been holding bait and good numbers of 15- to 20-pound kingfish. The Betty Rose and the Rube Allen also have been producing nice catches of kings.

-- Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters the Enterprise out of Kingfish Wharf, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396.

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