July 11th, 2017

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

The Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared” holds true for fishing at any time of the year, but especially now. One never knows what may show up when bottom fishing in the 80 to 90 foot depths where we have been concentrating our efforts on grouper and snapper. Mahi-mahi have shown up on several occasions and the key to catching them on our coast is having one or two light spinning rods in the 12 to 15 pound class rigged and ready with 2/0 long shanked gold hooks. These mahi are not large, but are voracious feeders and often will swallow a short shanked hook making removal difficult in the heat of battle. Often times one will strip a bait off the hook another will strike the flash of the bare gold hook. When they show up, circling the boat, the impulse is to throw chunks of chum into the water to keep them around. Chumming is necessary, but it should be done with small slivers of frozen sardine or squid. They have small stomachs and can be filled up quickly. Once they start feeding using slivers of bait on the hook the same size as the chum will produce non stop action. At present there are no recreational size or bag limits on dolphin in the Gulf of Mexico. It is easy to get carried away by the activity and forget how many fish are in the cooler. We have set a boat limit of 5 fish per person and when that number has been caught, either stop fishing for them or practice catch and release.
Trolling has finally turned on mackerel, bonita, and barracuda along with a few scattered kingfish which should have arrived in full force mid-May have arrived all along the shipping channel from markers 9 and 10 westward and on the artificial reefs.