Monday, July 16, 2018
Outdoors

Captain’s Corner: Dense baitfish schools attracting predators to coasts

With strong easterly winds blowing for nearly a week, offshore conditions have been difficult. The upside is that east winds provide calm and clean water along the beaches, and the baitfish have moved in heavily. Dense schools of mixed species of baitfish are so thick in some coastal areas that they create large "muds" in the water where they stir up the bottom. Some of these bait schools are several acres in size and will black out your sonar screen as you pass through them. Anytime you get this many forage fish together in one area, the big fish will also stack up. The feeding activity around all this bait is amazing. There are mackerel, kingfish, jack crevalle, bonito, tarpon, bluefish, sharks, giant redfish and many others swirling through the rich waters gobbling up everything they can. There are several fishing approaches that will work around the bait biomass. Some anglers are trolling spoons around the perimeter. Others are slow trolling large live baits on the surface for the bigger kings. Another method is to anchor and cast live bait or small spoons or jigs into the melee. There are so many mackerel in the schools that it is difficult to use a sabiki bait rig to catch the baitfish. More often than not, the mackerel see the small, shiny hooks and bite the entire rig off. To secure live bait, you are better off leaving the action zone, casting a net along the beach then returning to where the fish are feeding. Bring plenty of tackle; with so many sharp teeth, losing hooks and rigs to cutoffs is a regular occurrence.

Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at [email protected]

Comments

Captainís Corner: Fishing docks and bridges at night is good way to beat summertime heat

The summertime heat and humidity are in full swing. Get out early to avoid the heat and the afternoon thunderstorms. Water temperatures are anywhere from 88 to 93 degrees. With water temperatures that high, youíll be able to spend only the first few ...
Published: 07/13/18
Updated: 07/15/18

Captainís Corner: Donít forget about the ponds for fishing

Saltwater gets all of our attention, but when driving to and from work or visiting a friend, keep an eye out for a pond that looks fishy. There are many productive ponds that have bass and panfish, some even have snook and baby tarpon, both of which ...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Captainís Corner: Welcome to summertime kingfish season

We now have a summertime kingfish season. In the past weíve basically given up on kingfish at the end of May because the feeling was they had migrated to the northern gulf to spawn, not returning until mid-October. Weíve targeted kingfish this year i...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spanish mackerel push back into bay

Large Spanish mackerel have pushed into the bay as of the most recent full moon. Many of these pelagics are in the 6-pound range, and recent catches of 8-pound mackerel have not been uncommon. A medium action rod with a 4000 series reel spooled with ...
Published: 07/11/18

Captainís Corner: Pinellas south beaches strong for snook

Snook fishing along the south beaches of Pinellas County has been amazing. Large schools are hanging in the swash channels formed by wave motion right off the beach. The water clarity changes daily, depending on the wind direction. If the wind is out...
Published: 07/08/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Captainís Corner: Good tarpon action should last through August

For those who have not had their fill of tarpon fishing, thereís still plenty of it. A good flow of silverkings continues along our gulf beaches and in the bays and backwaters. Weíll be tugging on íem through next month. We battled tarpon last week j...
Published: 07/07/18
Updated: 07/08/18
Captainís Corner: Summer weather brings great bay fishing

Captainís Corner: Summer weather brings great bay fishing

We are right in the middle of the summer, which makes for some hot weather and rainy afternoons. With summer weather patterns come some great bay fishing. Sharks, cobia, snapper and grouper are plentiful inside Tampa Bay. Shark fishing is also a grea...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Captainís Corner: Nowís the time for beach tarpon fishing

Beach tarpon fishing has been good. Tarpon have been showing up early in the morning and during the tide change occurring midmorning to early afternoon. Live pinfish fished 4-5 feet under a float has been the ticket. Most of the fish are heading nort...
Published: 07/06/18

Captainís Corner: For July fishing success, avoid the sun

This is the dead stretch of summer. Success in fishing has everything to do with the "when." A month ago it was at sunrise. With water temperatures at 90, you should think about being out on the water several hours before sunrise. Of late, the fishin...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/07/18

Captainís Corner: Get you American red snapper now since season nears its end

American red snapper and gag grouper remain the most searched fish for offshore and spearfishermen. The ARS season closes at midnight July 19, so if you want to get these tasty fish, plan your trip soon. When the season opened a few weeks ago, ARS we...
Published: 07/05/18