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Venice Inlet and the Gulf of Mexico

Capt. Dave Pinkham
December 18, 2000
Venice - Saltwater Fishing Report

Indian Summer Brings Gorgeous Conditions on Gulf

If you had the pleasure of being out on the Gulf over this past weekend and you hadn't looked at your calendar for a while; you would have never guessed it to be the month of December. Sea conditions were almost slick calm as there was barely a trace of wind on the water. As we cruised offshore, school after school of baitfish working at the surface broke the Gulf's placid waters. Some of the bait was showering out of the water obviously in an attempt to elude the larger predator fish giving chase below. These calm conditions coupled with all the bait working near the top are to be anticipated in the spring or fall of the year, not when we're one week out from Christmas Day. Just so you know, I'm certainly not complaining. Tell ya what, what do you say that we just skip winter this year and go straight to spring?

Due to the warm weather we've been enjoying the fall run of pelagic fishes is still on! As a matter of fact seems like the kingfish were running a little larger this week. Not only are the kings still passing through, but there's also been some huge Spanish mackerel running with them. And for those of you that like a good hard tug on the end of your line, the little tunny have been showing up just about anywhere we put the anchor down. When you do get one on, you may want to consider reeling in your bottom lines as quick as possible. The way LT's fight they have a way of tangling up anything you leave in the water. Cobia are also on the move as they head south toward warmer waters. As you move around offshore keep an eye peeled for them sunning themselves near the surface. If you spot one they kind of look like a cross between a shark and a giant catfish. Try casting either a surface plug or a live bait way out in front of them, and then drag it past their nose. Seems like most of the cobia we've caught aboard my boat have just sort of popped up next to the boat when we're anchored over some sort of structure. They seem to be curious to the noise of the boat. I always try and keep a rod set aside that's rigged up for cobia. That way if one does pop up for a visit, we're ready to present a quick bait before it disappears as quick as it showed up.

Grouper fishing has been hit and miss. One day they bite like there's no tomorrow, and the next day they just lay on the bottom and suck at the bait. I'm sure the full moon is a big player in when they are eating. Grouper and snapper both feed at night around the full moon. Then the next day about the time you get out to your favorite grouper hole you wonder why they're not feeding. The fact is they just finished. If you think you're sitting over some good fish, give it some time. Even a grouper with a full belly can be tempted with the right bait.

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Having worked as a fishing guide on Florida's west coast for 30 years, Capt. Dave can show you how to rig your boat and fish from Sarasota to Boca Grande

Contact Info:

Capt. Dave Pinkham' Fishing Service
Phone: 941-223-9352
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