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Fish Tales
Cold fronts play havoc with fishing
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Photo courtesy of CAPT. MARK HUBBARD
Will McClure, left, shows off a red grouper and Kyle Gallagher holds a nice mangrove snapper the pair reeled in during a recent charter trip out of John’s Pass.
For three weeks now bad weather has plagued the fishing on our coast.

Cold front after cold front has made it very hard to pattern fish both inshore and offshore. With this week’s cold front being the worst of all it doesn’t look like we’ll get any help anytime soon.

Inshore had some bright spots this week with the presence of better tides due to the new moon. Strong incoming tides helped to spark a good trout bite on many of the spoil islands north of the Dunedin Causeway. Free lining select shrimp has accounted for most of the bites while bottom bouncing soft plastic jigs is a great way to find the schools of fish.

Finding redfish was also an option with the extreme low tides all week. Working the outer edge of no motor zone flats enabled us to use the wind to make long casts with weedless rigged select shrimp.

Good days off shore have been few and far between. On the good days running four or five miles from shore in search of hog fish has been a good change of pace.

Working some of the same hard bottom areas where you would find gag grouper have been a real possibility. Bringing along plenty of shrimp will really make a big difference. Grunts, porgys, red grouper and small gag grouper are all a big fan of fresh shrimp.

The minimum size limit for hog fish is 12 inches to the fork of the tail with a five fish per person per day per bag limit.

Tyson Wallerstein can be reached at To get a fish photo in the paper, send the photo along with your name, when and where it was caught to or mail it to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772.
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