Friday, November 16, 2018
Outdoors

Captain’s Corner: Flexible schedule a key in cold weather

Getting offshore in recent weeks has been a challenge with high winds from cold fronts. Planning trips during this time of year is difficult, but a flexible schedule can result in fantastic conditions. We had a couple of days of exceptional conditions this past week as winds fell to nothing and the flat, calm seas looked something like a summer day. But a warm day doesnít mean the fish are going to jump in the boat. The two major cold snaps in early January are still haunting us with some of the coolest water temperatures in a long time. On recent trips to depths of more than 100 feet, surface temperatures were in the mid 50s, which likely had temperatures on the bottom in the 40s. Red grouper are the main target offshore now, and theyíre well adapted to warmer waters. But when temperatures drop this low, these fish tend to run deeper seeking more tolerable conditions. This is a problem now as gulf grouper anglers are prohibited in the take of any shallow-water grouper outside of the 20-fathom line (120 feet). The answer is a less-aggressive style of fishing. Normally we spend 15-20 minutes on a spot, but now itís taking a bit longer to get these sluggish fish to take our offerings. Also, when we anchor, we drop a variety of baits such as live pinfish, frozen sardines, bonita strips and squid.

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

Comments
Take it outside: Chasing an inshore slam in Tampa Bay with Roland Martin

Take it outside: Chasing an inshore slam in Tampa Bay with Roland Martin

Fishing with Roland Martin was a bucket list couple of days for Misty Wells.
Published: 11/14/18
Captainís Corner: Whatís happening with the redfish?

Captainís Corner: Whatís happening with the redfish?

Fall is when adult redfish return from the open gulf and spawn just offshore of the major estuaries. These breeders rarely come back inshore to the flats where they spend their first 3-4 years of life. Once they mature, usually at around 30-32 inches...
Published: 11/10/18
Updated: 11/11/18
Captainís Corner: Snook fishing has been strong

Captainís Corner: Snook fishing has been strong

This year continues to bring challenges for the bay areaís guide business. What most donít realize is how good fishing is inside Tampa Bay. Most of the bay it is free of Red Tide and full of marine life. In fact, I have notice that the clean areas ar...
Published: 11/08/18
Updated: 11/09/18

Captainís Corner: Tips for Old Salt King of the Beach kingfish tournament

The Old Salt King of the Beach kingfish tournament is this weekend, and there are plenty of reasons to think itís going to take a fish in the 40-pound range to wear the crown. Last Sunday was the final leg of this yearís Wild West kingfish tournament...
Published: 11/07/18
Updated: 11/08/18

Captainís Corner: A welcome return of flounder to Tampa Bay

It has been two years but flounder have again become an option around Tampa Bay. If you know where to go for the under≠utilized species, you can have excellent flounder action. Theyíre easy to catch but challenging. I call it flounder frustration: Yo...
Published: 11/05/18
Updated: 11/07/18
Captainís Corner: Low tides offer good snook, redfish and trout fishing

Captainís Corner: Low tides offer good snook, redfish and trout fishing

Inshore waters are full of bait and are attracting schools of ladyfish, bluefish, trout and Spanish mackerel. The bite can be insane at times, especially on a good moving tide. Toss out live pilchards for chum to attract the fish to your area and als...
Published: 11/05/18
Updated: 11/06/18

Captainís Corner: Shark exodus is good news for divers

The summer-time sharks have started their migration away from the Tampa Bay area to the coastal waters of South Florida. This makes it safer for the divers who are spearing in the darker inshore waters of the bay. Most of these bay spearfishermen are...
Published: 11/04/18
Updated: 11/05/18
Captainís Corner: Normal conditions on water close to returning

Captainís Corner: Normal conditions on water close to returning

High winds and rain will change the conditions of the water in North Pinellas this weekend. The clarity had been good and I expect a couple of calm days will return conditions to normal. Cooler temps are creeping into the area, but the water is still...
Published: 11/02/18
Updated: 11/03/18

Captainís Corner: Speckled sea trout a good target

The gulf water temperature has dropped into the 70s, significantly lower than the mid 80s just 10 days ago. The drop in temperature has caused the speckled sea trout fishing to become a reliable target. Redfish have been on the move, so sea trout has...
Published: 11/01/18

Captainís Corner: Cooler weather should help fish action heat up

If the forecast is correct, we will finally have cooler weather, with water temperatures in the 70s. Fishing is always better when water temperatures teeter in the low 70s for spring and fall runs. Cold fronts will usher in lots of wind with cold air...
Updated one month ago