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Fish News: Black Drum and Gray Trout Have Arrived

Fish News
Black Drum and Gray Trout Have Arrived
by Dr. Ken Neill, III

The dogwoods are in full bloom so that means that black drum should be here and they are. There have been some commercial catches already. It will probably be a couple of weeks before we start getting the recreational bite going but it might be worth a try if we have some more warm weather. Another fish that has arrived is the gray trout. Again, probably two to three weeks before there is a good bite but there are some biting now. Flounder is the fish receiving most of the attention and the action is good, both in the bay and along the seaside inlets. Tautog are available on the near shore wrecks and on any structure in the bay. More sea bass are moving into areas like the Triangle Wrecks and the Tower Reef but still, the best action is on the deep-water wrecks.
April 19, Bob Manus, Jeff Dail, and John Brawly ran out after sea bass. They found some nice fish to 4 pounds. They also found plenty of dog fish. They then came into the Triangles to see what was there. They caught cunners and a pollock.
April 19, Frank Kearney fished 36A for flounder. They caught a nice mess of fish to 23 inches.
April 17 and 18, I spent the weekend in Key West trying to catch a sailfish. I was fishing with Captain Paul D'Antoni (305) 923-4412. I caught a bunch of tarpon with him last month and wanted to give the sails a try. It blew the whole time down there. The day I got there was the last day of a big sailfish tournament. They caught 400 sails in 3 days. The two days I fished, the fleet caught 2. We may have seen one. The first day, we started in the harbor after tarpon because of the blow. Saw plenty, caught none. Even had some permit come up after the chunks and did not catch them. Caught plenty of snapper. I caught my first cero mackerel. Paul brought in what he said was Spanish. I think it was a king. Hard to tell since we only had the head. Big barracuda ate it right at the boat and then camped out there. Tried for a while to hook him up but he would not touch anything after we put on a wire leader. Paul talked to some of the boats "offshore" (15 minute run) and they said it was not too bad so we cast netted some live ballyhoo and went out and drifted them for sails. We also did some deep dropping (200 feet) for grouper. Broke off some big fish, caught a variety of jacks to maybe 20 pounds. 2nd day, it blew harder but we went after sails anyway. Caught a dolphin. Stopped at the permit patch, which was written up in the last Sport Fishing magazine. Saw permit but it was not like in the magazine. I hooked two, caught 1. Another first for me. Still can't catch a sail.

Dr. Neill writes a weekly column for The Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman's Association (

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