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Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Sharks, Dolphin Making A Show

GO FISHING is a daily look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Randy Rochelle. As Gulf water temperatures continue to increase, so will the distance you have to run offshore. With water temperatures hovering in the high 80s, the bite inside 70 feet will come to a crawl. It's not that there aren't any fish left inside 70 feet; it's just very hard to get them to chew. Best bet for those with smaller boats will be to fish at night or very early in the morning. Out deeper, the red snapper, red grouper and amberjack bite should remain fairly consistent.
For those fishing past the 100-foot mark, you're almost certain to run into a school of dolphin. For those wanting to target dolphin and other pelagic fish, keep tabs on the wind direction. Watch for a westerly pattern, as this will push clean blue water closer in, bringing with it fish and sargassum grass (dolphin habitat). For those wanting to tangle with a shark or two, now is the time. Head out to your favorite bottom spot or wreck and hang a block of chum over the side; it shouldn't be long before they show up. This time of year they can become a real nuisance. They will show up on your hottest bottom numbers and devour almost every bait you try to drop to the bottom. When this happens, all you can do is move to another spot.

Captain Randy Rochelle runs the "Gotta Go" out of St. Pete and can be reached at www.islandercharters.net or (727) 365-3218.

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