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Daily fishing report

By DAVE ZALEWSKI

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 17, 2001


Fishing bait piles offshore in waters deeper than 90 feet through the summer is productive and sometimes frustrating. This method of bottom fishing is more suited to private boats and groups of two or three people.

Bait piles may be found in two ways. One is to spot the school of bait on the surface, the other is to use a depth finder to locate these huge stacks of bait that may extend from just below the surface to the bottom. Large sow red grouper follow these bait pods waiting for the weak to fall to the bottom.

Anglers must be ready with baited hooks when the bait pods are found and the boat operator must be able to place the boat over the pod. The baits, which may be live pinfish, squirrelfish, cigar minnows or Spanish sardines or frozen sardines, and large jig heads with a 6-inch tail should be lowered through the school and placed on the bottom. If a large predator grouper is following the bait, a hookup should be almost instantaneous. If not, find another pod of bait.

A marker jug should be kept handy in the event that a gag grouper is caught because this usually indicates that there is some structure present that may be holding more gags.

-- Capt. Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at (727) 397-8815 or by e-mail at Luckytoo2@aol.com.

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