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offshore fishing

A short history of bait fish in the Tampa Bay area.

In 1970 the fishing in the eastern Gulf was fantastic. The mullet were prolific all over the Tampa Bay area. Kingfish were large and numerous in the spring and fall and there were so many grouper in shallow water that they were considered a nuisance fish during kingfish season. There were such large schools of Spanish sardines, scaled sardines, threadfin herring, and menhaden that you could seemingly walk on them from one side of Tampa Bay to the other……

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Jewfish (Goliath Grouper)

There is no such thing as sea monsters, but there are indeed critters of monstrous proportions that live in the sea. We feature one such denizen of the deep here – easily the largest fish (other than sharks) regularly found in Florida Suncoast waters. Although jewfish have been closed to harvest for several years now, fishermen and divers still encounter them on a fairly regular basis…..

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Gray Triggerfish

Trigger fish are abundant in the Gulf of Mexico and thank goodness, not everyone is aware of how good they taste or what fun they are to catch. There are two trigger fish that are common in Florida’s waters, the queen trigger and the gray trigger. Ours in the middle and upper Gulf is the gray trigger. They can be found year round in our area and they live on just about any rocky or coral encrusted bottom….

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Red Drum

The last misty remnants of the pre-dawn fog cling to the water, as the mirror smooth surface reflects a postcard-perfect sunrise. The only sound is the occasional crunch of your guide’s push pole contacting oysters in the soft mud of the marsh. As you stand on the forward casting platform of the flats boat,….

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Mangrove Snapper

The wake from the flats boat laps gently among the red mangrove prop roots as you and your guide round a bend in the channel. The boat slows as you approach an oyster bar protruding out into the gin-clear water, creating an undercut ledge some 10-12 feet in depth. Anchoring upcurrent from the promising-looking hole, you drift weightless live bait into the swirling waters, watching as your line dips under the rocky embankment….

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Jack Crevalle

Pound for pound inch for inch tooth for tooth the toughest, fightin’est, downright meanest Suncoast inshore gamefish is the Crevalle jack, or as he is more simply known jack. This ball of fire brings the total package – vicious strikes, searing, drag-scorching runs ……

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