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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Outdoors

Head offshore if you're looking for kings

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 04:32 AM

GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Mel Berman.

Skippers who ply the deep waters of the Gulf report there are some excellent numbers of king mackerel slashing at a variety of trolled baits, including threadfins, ladyfish and even smaller Spanish mackerel. As a matter of fact, offshore is definitely where most of the action is these days.

All anglers need to do is get out to at least 70 feet and then work their way on out from there. Just keep the depth-finder running so you can search for some good reef structure.

This year's abundant snapper is certainly the main bill of fare in those depths. Mangrove, yellowtail and red snapper are feeding heavily, along with red and gag grouper, cobia and mahi mahi. Just fish the structures for reef fish and the weed lines for the mahi mahi.

If inshore redfishing is on your agenda this weekend, captain Brian Caudill suggests the tides are your key to success. "The high tides always allow the reds to get into the bushes where there is shade and protection from the bull sharks and dolphins that forage on the flats. There, they also have an opportunity to ambush small baits while in the roots of the mangroves."

Caudill uses cut bait with a split shot to attract the reds out of the deep root systems to the edge for an easy meal. Chumming helps draw them to the area as well. He adds that docks have also had the same effect as the mangroves.

The deeper grass flats around any moving water are holding hundreds of trout. There also are usually Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and the occasional shark.

Hear "The Captain Mel Show" Saturdays from 6-9 a.m. on 970 AM. Also, visit "Fishing Florida OnLine Magazine" at www.capmel


.com.

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