Monday, August 20, 2018
Outdoors

Captain’s Corner: Cold fronts will bring king mackerel

King mackerel will take center stage this month as the cold fronts from the north make their way into the Gulf waters. These fronts will cool water temperatures to accommodate the large schools of mackerel and kings that will follow their route to the Keys for the winter. The "front runners" of the migration are headed our way. This wave of fish will have many of the larger females that will feed heavily on their way south. Look in areas such as the Shipping Channel, the beach and areas like Sand Key Hardbottom for these larger fish to be feeding on ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, and mullet. Red grouper fishing continues to be best in depths over 100 feet. Look for these fish to be making their way east after a few cold fronts move through. Live bait is still key but as waters cool these fish will switch to other offerings that donít require much energy to capture. Gag grouper will remain a bit finicky until water temps cool into the mid to low 70s. You can find one here and there if you target the ledges and rock piles in the 60- 120-foot depths with large live baits. If you get the weather window you will also find these fish feeding in depths of 240 feet or more. Snapper fishing has been outstanding in most depths but the larger structures in 90-120 feet are holding great numbers of snapper in the 3- to 5-pound range. Recently while offshore on a ledge in 95 feet, a variety of baits on 30 pounds brought no results. After a quick re-rig we lightened the rigs to 20 pounds and started catching mangrove and yellowtail snapper.

Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.

Comments

Captainís Corner: New moon has better grouper fishing farther offshore

Grouper fishing inside 160 feet continues to be a challenge due to the proximity of the new moon. This moon phase has the currents offshore moving at a pace that would rival a small river. Look for the bite to improve as we move away from this phase....
Updated: 2 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Snook numbers dwindling as spawn season nears its end

Luckily, we havenít had any signs of Red Tide in North Pinellas, so fishing last week was full of action, as long as we were in an area with moving water. Snook are still staging along the points near the passes, however, the numbers are dwindling as...
Published: 08/18/18
Updated: 08/19/18

Captainís Corner: With Red Tide, a big decline in fish

This past mid-week we were scouting for the St. Pete Open spearing tournament, which was held Saturday (more at stpeteopen.com/). We ran directly west of Venice to see if the Red Tide had made its way from the shoreline to 50 miles or more from shore...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/18/18

Captainís Corner: Variety of baits gives you options

Tossing a quarter-inch mesh net will fill your well with bait ranging from snapper bait all the way up to slab-sized redfish baits. Having a variety of bait opens up options. Snapper have been just about anywhere there is some kind of structure. Taki...
Published: 08/17/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing is still hot even as Red Tide looms

As of now, Pinellas and all of Tampa Bay are still being spared of Red Tide. It has been sitting in Manatee County for a while and has yet to push further north. I am on the water almost every day. Bait has been easy to get, and fishing continues to ...
Published: 08/15/18

Captainís Corner: Mangrove snapper on fly

Mangrove (gray) snapper are often encountered while drifting the flats this time of year as they school in preparation for spawning later. When using a typical 8 or 9 weight fly rod with size 1 or 1/0 baitfish type flies while targeting redfish and t...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/14/18

Captainís Corner: Cast net skills come in handy

Threadfin herring and scaled sardines can be found up and down our Suncoast with ease. Most bait is on the smaller side, so have a quarter-inch mess cast net to prevent the smaller baits from getting stuck in the net. Spanish mackerel, kingfish, cobi...
Published: 08/11/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Captainís Corner: Head offshore to target mangrove snapper

Inshore fishing can slow in the late summer as afternoon water temperatures climb near 90. Many shallow-water fish are lethargic and reluctant to bite, so we run all of our trips offshore. Clean, blue water and a wider variety of fishing options are ...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/11/18
Captainís Corner: Summertime is running out, but tarpon are still strong

Captainís Corner: Summertime is running out, but tarpon are still strong

As we wind down into the last part of summer, most of us get focused on getting the kids back to school. While it can be a bit overwhelming as life just seems to be too busy, keep in mind that downtime on the water is important, and fishing this mont...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Captainís Corner: Itís a good time for snook and trout

Snook and trout have been at the top of the list this past week. Early starts have been the key for fooling the better snook, while the trout seem willing to bite for a few hours after sun-up. The pre-dawn snook bite has been solid lately. Target are...
Published: 08/06/18