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Late afternoon and into the darkness of the evening is a great time to be on the water. <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Gulf of Mexico</st1:place> sunsets are spectacular and as Captain Steven always says it’s another world after dark. The lights of downtown <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">St. Petersburg</st1:City></st1:place> along with trendy spots on the Inter Costal waterways are fun to explore even if not fishing.

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Bridges near Gulf passes have been alive with snook the last 2 weeks. These snook are large; we are seeing more snook over 30” than snook than 30”. Snook to 44” have been boated the last few weeks and while we are not knocking them dead we have made up for it in quality.

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I specialize in light tackle fishing and these snook will test all your angling skills and often treat you poorly. Beef up your tackle is today’s tip. A beefy 7’ heavy action spinning rod with a 50 or 60 series reel loaded with 30 pound braid will do the job. Fluorocarbon leaders of 40 pounds is needed. Crank down the drag and hang on!

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Bait has been surprising as these bruisers again appear to want small not large baits. Small palm size pinfish has been best along with small white baits. It may be the small bait is working with the new hatch of pinfish and scaled sardines. Warning if tossing a cast net on the flats be ready to spend lots of time picky out gilled baits after the trip.

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We found snook or trout on every stop last night. The snook sometimes chewed other times they did not. Trout on the other hand were less finicky and loved small white baits. We have an impressive crop of large spotted sea trout of 18” to 23” cruising the docks and bridges in the evenings and up tight in skinny water at first light.

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Capt. Steven

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