Sunday, June 17, 2018
Outdoors

Captain’s Corner: Turn attention to gag grouper and red snapper

Attention has turned to gag grouper and red snapper for many offshore fishermen. Red snapper can be best targeted in waters 105 feet and deeper, with some available in water as shallow as 60 feet. Although the snapper will be found on high profile structures such as wrecks and ledges, we have found most of our fish inhabiting the same swiss cheese bottom as red grouper. It has become standard operating procedure to deploy a stinger rigged flatline with a live or frozen sardine to entice pelagic fish such as kingfish, blackfin tuna, or a barracuda when fishing in the deep blue water. We normally put out 50 to 60 feet of line to allow the frozen bait to suspend in the water column. A pleasant surprise has occurred several times when the flatline went off with a powerful surge, and when the fish was landed it turned out to be a red snapper. We are now putting out as much as 100 feet of line and chumming with small slivers of sardine. The bait remains suspended at a much deeper depth than customary and has produced more strikes on some spots that the usual bottom fishing methods. Spanish mackerel are not as abundant close to the shoreline as they have been, and best results have occurred on the band of hard bottom that is about 3 miles from shore. Look for the dark patches that indicate rocky areas and troll between them until fish are located, which should not take long. No. 1 planers, a silver or gold 0 or 1 spoon with 30 feet of leader is all that is needed.

Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.

Comments

Captainís Corner: Fishing this month is all about diversity

This is the month of diverse opportunity. The choice of species is unlimited, as long as you have the bait. You can target snook and tarpon in the morning, then fish for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, snapper, sharks and cobia in the afternoon. The tarp...
Published: 06/15/18

Captainís Corner: When itís tarpon time, itís also shark time

Tarpon get most of the attention when talking about exciting fly action for large fish in our area. Baitfish are more prolific, and large tarpon follow their forage and populate most of our local waters. Following them are fish that consider tarpon t...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Captainís Corner: This is your best time for tarpon fishing

Now is the best time to target tarpon. Silver kings are cruising the beaches on their yearly migration up and down the stateís west coast. This weekís strong new moon tides and the strong full moon tides in two weeks provide some of the best action f...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Captainís Corner: Turn attention to gag grouper and red snapper

Attention has turned to gag grouper and red snapper for many offshore fishermen. Red snapper can be best targeted in waters 105 feet and deeper, with some available in water as shallow as 60 feet. Although the snapper will be found on high profile st...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Captainís Corner: Pompano popping up at passes, along beach

Over the past few weeks, pompano have started to appear around the passes and along the beach. These tasty members of the jack family are one of the most difficult fish to find and keep track of. Just when you think youíve figured out a reliable time...
Published: 06/10/18
Updated: 06/11/18

Captainís Corner: Many fish now in their deep summer areas

Many fish have moved into their deep summer areas. This has been the pattern the past week. Snook are in their spawning areas waiting for the tide and moon to align. Iíve been leaving them alone and opting for the more steady action trout have been p...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/10/18

Captainís Corner: Pompano in the spotlight

Pompano are arriving at the locations where they will be found for the next six months. The most underutilized species in Tampa Bay, pompano are not only among the best to have for dinner, they fight great. Targeting pompano is pretty easy. You have ...
Published: 06/05/18
Updated: 06/07/18

Captainís Corner: Donít give up on tarpon just because of wind

Onshore winds have made it difficult to do much, if any, beach tarpon fishing, let alone any other fishing outside of the pass. But tarpon are still a possibility on the west winds, especially as we get further away from last weekís full moon; you ju...
Published: 06/05/18
Updated: 06/06/18

Captainís Corner: Spearfishing tales as gag grouper season opens

Gag grouper season opened Friday. For more than a month, all the spearfishermen I spoke with echoed the same stories: "Gags are everywhere. I know where to find them when the season opens up." The truth is only about half of those divers speared thei...
Published: 06/05/18
Captainís Corner: Itís a great time to target red snapper

Captainís Corner: Itís a great time to target red snapper

Whatís hot: Red snapper fishing couldnít get any easier than it is right now. We are concentrating in the 120- to 150-foot depths. These fish have ferocious appetites and usually devour any live or frozen bait as long as it is presented to them in th...
Published: 06/04/18