by CAPT DOUG HEMMER
WHAT'S HOT: Stone crab season is open and our shorelines along the gulf are full of stone crab traps. The floats at the end of the traps are great places for tripletail to hang on. They look like a large leaf or clump of sea grass next to the float. Tripletails are hard fighters and great table fair.
Run on a plane about 30ft off the floats and look for ones that have a dark patch floating next to the float. When you see one, slow the boat and circle around with the wind at your back. Move in slowly and look to see if it's a fish or grass. If it's a fish, cast a free-lined tail-hooked shrimp over the float and reel it back until the shrimp is next to the tripletail. When the fish moves toward the shrimp, open the bail and let the shrimp swim naturally. When the fish moves back to the float, close the bail and set the hook.
TACKLE: A 7ft rod with 10 to 20lb test and a 1/0 hook will land most of the fish. Hook the shrimp through the bottom of the tail and bring it out the top. This will give you more accuracy when casting. It will also look natural when you move to rods tip in a short jerk.
PRO TIP: When the water cools, large numbers of flounder move to the artificial reefs. Target the reefs in the 30ft zone. White bait on a jig head has been the most productive.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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