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Captain's corner

By DAVE WALKER

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 29, 2000


The fishing in Old Tampa Bay has been good, if you can stand the heat. Our usual warm-water species still are fairly active despite water temperatures in the mid-80s. Mangrove snapper are biting on shrimp and small greenbacks.

We are nailing "mangs" around spoil islands, bridges and range markers. Bring plenty of bait; you'll need it. Mangrove snapper are sneaky and very quick to steal bait. I set the hook on the first indication of a bite. Don't let them steal it. If you do, it is too late.

Snook on the flats are around areas with feeder creeks and with fresh water flowing into the bay. The water is cooler, and the snook will turn on with live chum.

We are catching flounder in deeper areas adjacent to hard bottom. I like the water depth to be around 6-12 feet for most flounder fishing. Flounder will take jigs, shrimp and greenbacks fished on the bottom.

Big Spanish mackerel are still here. They are running up to 5 pounds. Freelined baits on single-strand wire are your best bet. Any range marker or slip channel with moving water is a good bet.

- Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 831-0355.

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