By LARRY "HUFFY'' HOFFMAN
© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 15, 2001
The best week of fishing I have experienced came after a low pressure system that stayed in the Gulf of Mexico for a few days, followed by blue skies and clear dry winds and perfect fishing conditions.
There are many theories of weather changes affecting fish feeding habits. I don't claim to know why they feed just before low pressure and just after, but, from my experience you need to dust off your rods and reels and hit the gulf for excellent conditions. Just before Tropical Storm Gabrielle we were making long runs to 100 to 130 feet of water, catching large red grouper and mangrove snappers up to 6 pounds. Most of our success has been early in the morning and at the beginning of tide changes.
My strategy will be to travel until we find fairly clear water and start fishing areas showing good bait on bottom. Near and offshore wrecks are holding barracuda, bonitos and some Spanish mackerel.
Bluewater fisherman should check conditions and take advantage of tuna, wahoo and dolphin fishing before the gulf temperatures transition to fall and the pelagic species move farther offshore and south.
Bluewater fishing 60 to 100 miles offshore should be excellent the next two weeks.
- Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396.