Daily fishing report By DAVE ZALEWSKI , Times Correspondent The last two weeks have produced the best offshore fishing of the year. The big decision each day is what to target. Blackfin tuna action has been hot for those with a baitwell of threadfin herring, Spanish sardines or blue runners and patience to find the right shrimp boat with an attractive chum slick. Not every shrimper will have culled his catch, and it can be frustrating to travel from shrimper to shrimper with no action. But when the right shrimper is found, so is the tuna, bonita, kingfish and sharks.
Closer to shore, red grouper have become active on hard-bottom areas in 80 to 90 feet. Anchor over transitional areas where the sand turns into hard limestone and use a frozen sardine/squid combo to attract the grunts and small grouper. Switch to live bait when action slows and big fish should result.
Gag grouper and mangrove snapper are hungry on the ledges in 60 to 90 feet. With good visibility at these depths, use lighter tackle and small white bait to attract the leery snapper.
Leave out one or two flat lines with a stinger rig and live Spanish sardine, scaled sardine or threadfin while bottom fishing. In addition, cut a frozen sardine into slivers and chum the water. In recent weeks, we have been surprised by several blackfin tuna, kingfish, bonita and mangrove snapper that inhaled our bait.
–Dave Zalewski charters Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at 727 397-8815 or by e-mail at Luckytoo2@aol.com