January 11th, 2017

Captain’s Corner for January 13 Dave Zalewski 460-9893

We ventured offshore after being forced to stay in port because of the cold front and strong winds that accompanied it. Leaving John’s Pass the water temperature registered 60 degrees , about 8 degrees lower than we had experienced before the front. Normally we put the trolling gear up shortly after Thanksgiving and take it out and dust it off around St Patrick’s Day. This year has been unusual in the fact that we were targeting kingfish every day with great success once they were located. With the sudden drop in water temperature we were sure that they had left for warmer climes. This was not the case. Trolling #1 and 2 planers with large blue or gold spoons produced many fish just south of the shipping channel on the natural gas pipeline. Many of the fish were undersized and had to be carefully released, but there were enough legal fish along with catch and release bonita to keep everyone busy and happy. We may have kingfish here for the entire winter until the real season starts up again in mid March.
Leaving the kingfish biting, we made the long trip offshore to the 95 foot depths to bottom fish and were rewarded with dismal results as far as grouper fishing. Downsizing tackle to 20 pound spinning class and fishing with 2 hook snapper rigs produced a colorful box of Vermillion, Lane, sea bass, white grunts and porgies. Bottom fishing picked up noticeably in the 50 foot depths and you can be sure that on our next trip we will be stopping in that depth before we go any further offshore.