Pro Insider – A Valuable Fishing Lesson

A valuable lesson to learn in fishing is no one knows everything. There are many new tactics and tricks that different people use to catch the same fish. For me, fishing for snapper in the past consisted of lightening leaders and main line to around 50 pounds. These days I find we have more success and catch much larger fish when we drop down to 20-pound outfits, as opposed to the lighter tackle of old, especially when using live baits. This allows the bait to swim farther off the bottom, thus making them easier for snapper to see them. Have a variety of baits — I used to think shrimp were for redfish and trout. Now we take them on almost every trip. We have been exploring new and interesting ways to target other abundant species such as amberjack. Next time you’re offshore and you see amberjack swimming around the boat, try some top-water action. A little live chumming and should give you quite a show. Grouper fishing is very good now in depths from 80 to 120 feet. If the weather allows, trips to these depths should yield plenty of tasty red and scamp grouper. Both frozen and live offerings have been working well. Remember that during the months of February and March all of the shallow-water grouper are closed offshore of the 20 fathom line.

Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com

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