May 27th, 2017

Captain’s Corner for May 29 Dave Zalewski 460-9893

Hopefully the windy days and rough seas are behind us for a long time. Kingfish are usually pretty much gone by this time of year, but this year may prove to be the exception . We have been able to successfully target them in the 60 to 70 foot depths where we have been bottom fishing for red grouper, white grunts, mangrove and Lane snapper in several ways. Once we have anchored on a spot and begin bottom fishing, deploying a frozen Spanish sardine on a flat line is standard operating procedure along with using a pair of scissors to cut small slivers of sardine to not only chum up the snapper that will be on the spot, but also to entice any kingfish or Spanish mackerel that may be lurking nearby .Once the bottom bite has begun it pays to drop a sabiki rig to the bottom no matter what the depth to catch live hardtails or Spanish sardines. These are also deployed on another stinger rigged flat line. Using the two flat lines allows more of the water column to be covered. The live bait swims near the surface, while the frozen one will sink in the water to a deeper depth.. Once we are done bottom fishing on a spot, we deploy spoons or plugs using # 1 and 2 planers and spend a few minutes trolling directly over the spot we have fished in a figure 8 pattern.
Now is the time to be on the lookout for mahi-mahi which will show up while bottom fishing especially in the 90 foot depths. They will often follow a hooked fish from the bottom or simply appear swimming around the boat. We have found that it is best to chum with slivers of sardine, because these fish are usually smaller and will soon fill up if large pieces of chum are presented.. Once they have started feeding on the chum place pieces of sardine the same size as the chum with light tackle and a 1/0 or 2/0 hook tied directly to the line without leader or swivel.