Thursday, September 20, 2018
Outdoors

Captain’s Corner: Bait available close to shore

Consecutive days of easterly winds have calmed the nearshore gulf waters and have drawn bait schools practically to the beach. A mix of whitebait, greenbacks and even a few juvenile Spanish sardines can be cast-netted with relative ease inside the swash within a few feet of the shoreline along St. Pete Beach. Even a quarter-inch mesh cast net will gill a few, but with a little effort, youíll likely get enough larger ones to fish with. Smaller ones have provided all the "chummers" weíve needed while mackerel fishing just a couple of miles off the beach in 20 feet. I prefer to anchor, deploy a tournament-quality chum block and maintain a steady stream of live chummers until we get the party started behind the boat. Like many species, mackerel can become finicky. On a recent trip while anchored, our offerings were refused. We tried lightening leaders, eliminating leaders, long shank hooks, smaller and lighter hooks, lighter chumming, then heavier. Nothing worked until we pulled the hook and began trolling. Almost immediately we had two and sometimes three at a time. For whatever reason, that morning they found moving baits more appealing. The point: be versatile. If one methodís not productive, try another. Iím pleased to report none of the ill effects of the Red Tide bloom that has wreaked havoc on our neighbors to the south.

Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.

Comments

Captainís Corner: Look north toward Tarpon Springs for fishing to avoid Red Tide, for now

Red Tide has been creeping toward North Pinellas. Although bait is flourishing along the beaches and predator fish are feeding on them, hordes of dead fish are washing up on shore, most likely from Red Tide blooms well offshore. Lately, Iíve focused ...
Published: 09/19/18
Letís Take it Outside: A trip to the historic Florida Middle Grounds

Letís Take it Outside: A trip to the historic Florida Middle Grounds

The historic Florida Middle Grounds offer some of the Gulf Coastís most premier fishing. The reefs start about 85 miles northwest off the coast of Clearwater and extend another 30 miles beyond. The Middle Grounds have miles and miles of underwater mo...
Published: 09/19/18

Captainís Corner: Dealing with Red Tide from spearfishing standpoint

Finding fish to spear offshore is tricky. Unlike hook-and-line anglers, spearfishermen need reasonable underwater visibility to see their prey, judge itís the correct type of fish, determine if itís legal size, then before the fish flees, take the sh...
Published: 09/18/18

Captainís Corner: When Red Tide bloom breaks, fish can arrive quickly

Here is some good news attributed to Red Tide. Things do rebound quickly, once the bloom breaks. New populations of fish can arrive quickly in its aftermath. Anglers who have been successful lately are looking for untainted areas to fish. At least a ...
Published: 09/16/18
Updated: 09/17/18

Captainís Corner: Bite can turn on and off quickly this time of year

Typical deep-summer conditions continue across the bay. During this time of year the bite can be erratic and maybe even a little bi≠polar. The bite can turn on and off in an instant. Several species in one spot can be normal. On recent trips clients ...
Published: 09/16/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing strong in Fort De Soto area

Red Tide started showing up substantially on Saturday in Pinellas with the strong west wind we had. I lost some bait but was still able to fish. Snook are taking their time transitioning back into the bay from the beaches. Every shoreline and pass ar...
Published: 09/14/18
Updated: 09/15/18

Captainís Corner: Massive baitfish schools present plenty of opportunities

The shipping channel and most area passes are filled with massive schools of baitfish. Little tunny (bonito or false albacore) follow these smaller fish and present great opportunities for fly fisherís. A moving tide, either incoming or outgoing, get...
Published: 09/12/18
Updated: 09/14/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing in the bay with Red Tide in the gulf

Red Tide has started to affect our beaches, so Iíve stayed away from fishing the gulf. Threadfin herring and scaled sardines can be found in the bay, which is free of Red Tide. Spanish mackerel, cobia, sharks, mangrove snapper and jack crevalle can e...
Published: 09/12/18
Updated: 09/13/18

Captainís Corner: Offshore redfish are a great find

Fall brings many changes to our coastal fisheries. Many inshore species like snook, trout, and redfish make moves from one preferred habitat to others. One of the most notable, but least understood changes is the arrival of giant redfish to the water...
Published: 09/11/18

Captainís Corner: Bait available close to shore

Consecutive days of easterly winds have calmed the nearshore gulf waters and have drawn bait schools practically to the beach. A mix of whitebait, greenbacks and even a few juvenile Spanish sardines can be cast-netted with relative ease inside the sw...
Published: 09/07/18
Updated: 09/08/18