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Captain's corner

By DAVE MISTRETTA

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2000


Last week, fishing was hampered by Hurricane Gordon. The water was muddy as far out as 140 feet deep. After severe weather, it takes a while for the mud and silt to settle.

Once everything clears, many fish will have moved. The bays, intracoastal waterways and passes will be the first to show results. They seem to clean up more quickly, and an outgoing tide will improve things in the passes. Redfish seem to be the least bothered by the storm and are one of my first candidates to target for a successful day inshore.

Expect shallow-water grouper spots to hold new arrivals. Capt. Tom Markham was rewarded with a 37-inch, 25-pound gag grouper near Clearwater Pass. The Indian Rocks guide lured the giant from structure in only 15 feet with a heavy chum session of chopped shad.

Red grouper fishing was great 20 miles out until the winds picked up. At these depths before the storm, mahi mahi (dolphin) were hanging under floating debris. A small jig produced multiple hook-ups. Most probably have moved into deeper water.

Water temperature of 81 will get the kingfish migration to move our way. Gordon cooled the water by 3 degrees, and with the shorter days, I anticipate the arrival within two weeks. The bigger kings will arrive first and can be found close to the beach.

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

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