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Daily fishing report

By LARRY A. HOFFMAN
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 15, 2001

Water temperatures are in the low 70s offshore, extending our fall season. The weather has allowed us offshore, and the blackfin tuna keep us busy every trip.

The blackfin are in 80-100 feet, gorging themselves on by-catch from shrimp boats.

Live bait is the key. I prefer Spanish sardines, threadfins and cigar minnows, all of which work well for tuna.

One technique is to cut frozen sardines into 1-inch chunks and throw a handful near the back of a shrimp boat. To keep the blackfins feeding, we continue to chum while fighting fish. It's not unusual to have two or three tuna hooked at the same time. Forty-pound or 50-pound tackle with a good drag system is preferred. Most of our tuna have been 20-30 pounds.

If you are unable to locate a shrimp boat, try anchoring and start chunking cut sardines. The chunking method is effective and generally will attract tuna, kingfish, bonitos and sharks.

-- Larry "Huffy" Hoffman charters out of John's Pass, Treasure Island. Call (727) 709-9396.

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