Monday, October 15, 2018
Outdoors

Captain’s Corner: Spring-like conditions lead to improved bite

Spring-like conditions have fired up a bite that a couple of weeks ago was practically nonexistent. Water temperatures in the mid 70s have mangrove snapper, grouper, triggerfish and hogfish aggressively chewing again in the 40- to 50-foot range.With the massive amount of bait settling in our area, a few widely scattered reports of kingfish have begun trickling in. A couple of skyrockets have been witnessed off our gulf beaches, and a smoker already was hauled over the rails of the North Skyway fishing pier. Though it might be early to target them, with the amount of bait that has pushed all the way up to the Howard Frankland Bridge you can bet a handful of kings have roamed inside Tampa Bay in pursuit. If your focus is hogfishing, experiment with fiddler crabs. While itís not always the case, on a recent trip our crabs outperformed our shrimp. Not all bait shops offer fiddlers all the time. Because our indigenous ones are becoming harder to come by, many of whatís available are farm-raised and brought in. That means they might be pricier but not much more than regular shrimp. Using crabs also cuts down on the bait-stealers that whittle away your shrimp, often before it hits the bottom.

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

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Captainís Corner: Water clearing up, and remaining warm

The water is finally starting to clear back up after the blow from the hurricane. I am not seeing any signs of Red Tide from Pass-a-Grille South and throughout the Fort De Soto area. It looks like we will stay in our summer-like pattern for at least ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Trap tips to help maximize catch

Nowadays most offshore charter operators use pinfish traps on a regular basis. When minnow baits are hard to find, or during winter, many inshore guides use them as well. The traps are baited the evening before the fishing trip and retrieved on the w...
Published: 10/11/18
Captainís Corner: Fall brings great opportunity for snook

Captainís Corner: Fall brings great opportunity for snook

As we enter into the fall, itís a great time to fish. Snook have been great as they transition to the flats and get ready for cold weather. This is when snook start to feed as bait becomes scarce on the flats. The bait of choice this time of year is ...
Published: 10/10/18

Captainís Corner: Prepare now for the approaching kingfish run

Itís never too soon to get ready. Weíre just a cold front or two and a matter of time from the beginning of our fall run of kingfishing. Though still a ways from the water temperature in the preferred 70s, itíll not be long. Now is the time to get yo...
Published: 10/08/18
Captainís Corner: Fishing picks up on the Intracoastal

Captainís Corner: Fishing picks up on the Intracoastal

The Intracoastal Waterway around Clearwater has been beautiful this past week. The waters are full of bait and all the predator fish that we typically see this time of year. Ladyfish, mackerel, and jacks can be seen corralling baitfish and busting th...
Published: 10/05/18
Updated: 10/06/18

Captainís Corner: Try your hand at making smoked fish spread

What to do with your catch? I have a great idea. Easy to do, it can add options for your table. It is something you can do with those fish that arenít great to cook otherwise. Smoked fish spread is something anyone can do, using almost any fish, an...
Published: 10/04/18
Updated: 10/07/18

Captainís Corner: Hogfish are many things, but they arenít snapper

The premier fish for spearfishermen in the past few weeks has been hogfish and cobia. The hogfish is not a hog snapper. Yes, both names identify the same fish, but the slang name hog snapper is a misnomer. The hogfish is not even in the snapper famil...
Published: 10/04/18
Updated: 10/05/18

Captainís Corner: Flats remain hot for fishing with summertime temperatures

Summer temperatures are hanging on and keeping the flats hot. However, fish tend to have a natural instinct and eventually follow a migratory pattern at the same time each year. Snook are starting to leave the beach, trout are still invading the gras...
Published: 10/03/18
Letís Take it Outside: The keys to bass fishing Bienville Plantation

Letís Take it Outside: The keys to bass fishing Bienville Plantation

"Show up early and stay late" is the advice that famed angler Jimmy Houston gave me when I asked how he catches all those big bass.Also, know where the bass are hiding and what they are hiding under. Watching wind patterns and water temperatures are ...
Published: 10/03/18

Captainís Corner: As Red Tide recedes, fishing picks up

It looks like the Red Tide has finally moved out of St. Petersburg. Bait is all over the grass flats and bridges. Fishing the past five days is some of the best I have seen all year. Both the outgoing and incoming tides have been great for fishing. S...
Published: 10/01/18
Updated: 10/02/18