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Daily fishing report

By DAVE MISTRETTA

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 5, 2001


Even though the summer heat remains, signs of seasonal transition are occuring. Juvenile bait fish have blanketed the coastline and bays, setting up camp in mind-staggering numbers. Millions of small threadfin and glass minnows can be found near any backwater grass flat, while offshore a much larger selection of juvenile baits is being located. Add tiny pumpkin seeds, Spanish sardines, cigar and silver side minnows to the list of fingernail-size babies swimming for their lives. Everything devours these tasty morsels, making them school into tightly bound masses.

This annual occurrence is drawing huge numbers of Spanish mackerel. Thousands of 2- to 4-pound macks are inhaling bait fish with every strike. White water and tern activity are signs of the gorging. Three miles from shore seems to be the hottest action.

While fishing for Spanish mackerel around one of these helpless bait schools, a client got a surprise: A monster kingfish (300 yards of line was peeled from the reel in seconds) inhaled a small horse minnow. Expect late-season tarpon, sharks, bonito and just about any other predator in the vicinity to join in this bait massacre.

Downsize your offering to the smallest for best results. Mouthfuls of tiny fish seem to be the only thing that interests the big ones.

-- Dave Mistretta captains the Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 595-3276, or e-mail .sales@jawstoo.com.

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