Cartaya Russo and his brother in law Willy Perez caught these nice cobias while fishing on Pier 60. They were bobber fishing with greenbacks.
“In these sad and ominous days of mad fortune chasing, every patriotic, thoughtful citizen, whether he fishes or not, should lament that we have not among our countrymen more fishermen,” from our 22nd and 24th president, Grover Cleveland. Perhaps we should take a lesson from history and teach the next generation how to fish.
Fishing in our area continues to be great. Every week we seem to add another species that have moved into our waters and are showing up on angler’s lines. Large cobias that cover the entire gulf coast in the summer are migrating to winter in southern Florida. Either dark brown or gray with a whitish underbelly, these fish sport dark stripes down their sides that are very vivid in the juveniles. They are known to escort wandering mantas and other large rays. While they are common in the 20 to 50 pound range, the Florida state record is 130 lbs.-1 oz. World record is 135 lbs.-9 oz. These great fighters are known for their fairly long, fast runs and rumor has it that they can really get wild once they are landed. There is a 33” minimum in size and a daily bag limit of one. Local anglers have been hitting them from piers and shore using greenbacks as well as shrimp and squid.
Bonnethead sharks (also known as shovelheads) are showing up a lot more lately. They are being caught around local docks and sea walls. Hunter DeLisle, 15 of Clearwater hit a 2-1/2 ft. bonnethead from his dock in 3 ft. of water using a finger mullet. While its cousin the hammerhead can average 100 lbs. and get as large as the record 1280 lbs., the bonnethead only averages from 2 to 5 lbs. The world record is only 26 pounds. Looks like Hunter’s catch was a lot bigger than average. Hope his family enjoyed eating this great tasting shark.
We’ve also seen an increase in the number of redfish being caught in the area. They are being caught on piers and the shorelines using everything from shrimp to greenbacks. Remember, there is a slot limit on these at 18” min. and a 27” max. with a bag limit of one per day. Local charter boats are still bringing in large stringers of Spanish and king mackerels, gray snappers, and keeper size groupers.
While we are into this fall season and the fishing is so great, take time to take the kids out and show them how to bring one in. Just the look in their eyes when they get one on the line will make it all worth your time and effort. Stop in at the Bait House and we will do our best to tell you where they are biting and on what. Don’t forget we have dock access for your boat. Thanks to those that email me at Jim2988@msn.com and as always, Good Luck Out There!
Jim can be found daily at the Bait House - Clearwater Municipal Marina, phone 446-8134
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