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Bait and Switch Amberjacks

Capt. Lance Brooks
February 18, 2009
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report

We have had many trips the past few weeks fishing for Amberjack. Not necessarily from lack of other fish biting but rather the strict regulations being imposed by the National Marine Fisheries. The grouper bite this year has been phenominal, as has the Red Snapper bite. Seems you can't drop a bait down on a ledge, wreck, hard bottom or pothole without catching Red Snappers and Grouper. However, we make due in our charter world by fishing for the species that are available and the Amberjack is the unlucky target. We've had 4 trips this past week consisting of anglers from 8-78 years of age. The Amberjack have been holding close to the bottom upon our arrival; however, in due time and many pinfish chummers later, we have them eating at the back door. Most are caught by spinning gear with 50lb braided line on Shimano Trevala rods pitching free lined anal hooked pinfish to their demise. We then switch over to jigs, poppers and any other artificial even using flats rods with 10lb braid. Typical trips are in the 50-60 fish per day and ranging in size from 5-40lbs. If you've never caught an Amberjack, they are in a class of their own when it comes to strength. Grouper and Snapper have also joined in the days catch as well, sometimes 40-50 foot from the bottom. Other trips nearshore have consisted of big numbers, 20-100 fish, per day of Silver Trout on the beaches. These fish are taken using light spinning outfits and artificials.

Tight Lines,

Captain Lance Brooks

Tampa Bay Fishing Forecast:

Amberjack continue to dominate my charters as well as silver trout just for the sheer number of fish. Grouper fishing is also great if your into catch and release. With the closure many of these fish are very hungry because of the lack of fishing pressure by us locals. The king mackeral, spanish mackeral, cobia and sharks should start up in the next few weeks. Inshore sheepshead and speckeled trout have been feeding well.

Target Species:

Amberjack, Grouper and Snapper

More Fishing Reports:


Bent Charters is a FULLTIME 4 boat fleet.Want to fill the box w/grouper or fight BIG fish..we do it all. FISH GUARANTEED! We run Deep Sea & Inshore trips for up to 6 people.SEE OUR TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS or Facebook! Close to Johns Pass in Madeira Beach/Treasure Island area of ST Pete. 30 mins to Tampa or Clearwater & 90 min to Orlando. Area Fish* Grouper, Snapper,AJ,Shark,Cobia,Tarpon, Permit,Mahi,Tuna, Kingfish,Mackerel,Trout, Redfish, Drum, Sheepshead,Tripletaik,Goliath(Jewfish) & Barracuda.

Contact Info:

Bent Charters Fishing
12020 5th St E
Treasure Island, FL 33706
Phone: 727-235-9599
Alt. Phone: (727) 614-6104
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