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Captain's corner


© St. Petersburg Times, published August 28, 2000

Taking people fishing for a living has given me insight into why many anglers have trouble catching fish. You would think that going with a guide is all that's necessary to catch trophy fish. This is not always true. The most important aspect of fishing is learning how to cast long and accurately, plus using the correct tackle for long casting.

Practice long casting using a light rod more than 7 feet long and a reel equipped with a long-cast spool that's packed full of 8- to 10-pound test line. Tie on a plug and try casting as far as you can. Be sure to use wrist action to increase distance. The farthest cast puts your plug around fish that haven't heard or seen you. Trophy fish are smart and will not strike if they detect someone in their area.

Most trophy snook, reds and trout are caught on the first couple of turns of the reel. Having noticed this, I attach great importance to the distance of the cast.

Once you have mastered the long cast, practice short casting into structure. Improving your casting skills will increase the quality of your catch.

Friday is the opening of snook season, so now is the time to scout your favorite spots.

-- Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 347-1389.

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