Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Captain’s Corner: Work shallow flats when light is low for strong redfish, trout action

If you happen to get a new fishing rod for the holidays and cannot wait to try it out, try casting artificial baits on the flats late in the day. For the past few weeks we have had great luck throwing topwater plugs for redfish and speckled trout in less than 3 feet of water. The key to success is low light. In places where the water is clear, noisy plugs and flashy soft plastics do not work well at midday when the sun is high overhead. Concentrate your efforts early in the morning and/or late in the afternoon when itís slightly darker. On overcast or foggy days, however, the fish will hit floating lures nonstop. We like to pole the boat up onto the flats until we start seeing activity, which is usually mullet. They let you know you are in the proper depth. Then we drift while casting surface plugs with rattles inside them. There is nothing like watching a big redfish push a big wake up behind your lure as you twitch it side to side. The hookup ratio is rather poor, often less than 60 percent, but it is so much fun to watch the strikes that is well worth it. One factor that can really mess up a topwater lure fishing session is floating grass. It takes only one piece of grass caught on your hook to ruin the action of the bait and cause fish to turn away. If the grass is bad, switch to a soft-plastic jerk bait, rigged weedless. This will allow you to work the same area without fouling your lure every cast.

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


Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is fast approaching

Spring is trying to move in, with just a few cold fronts mixed in. The up-and-down air temperatures will slightly affect the water temperature and also affect the fishing. Fishing has been mostly incredible in North Pinellas. All of the species we ex...
Published: 03/18/18
Updated: 03/19/18

Captainís Corner: Cold causes spiny lobsters to go into hiding

The cold front that ended Wednesday drove the offshore bottom temperatures back down into the low 60s. On dives Friday, my dive computer read 62 degrees at the bottom in 54 feet of water. On the next dive it read 60 in 62 feet. We were looking for ho...
Published: 03/18/18

Captainís Corner: Snook are the hot bite

Surface water temperatures have dipped into the low 60s, but the fish donít seem to mind. The longer days get the temperature up and helps keep it from getting into the danger zone at night. Snook have been the hot bite this past week and, believe it...
Published: 03/16/18
Updated: 03/17/18

It has been a crazy month regarding all the drastic weather changes. We experienced a record-breaking warming trend in February, followed by an endless amount of cold weather this month. The arrival times for many spring migrations of fish has been i...
Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

February seemed like March with record-breaking heat, but now March seems like February with below-average temperatures. This is a good thing. Spring fishing has started way too early in the past few years. The cold-water temperature we have now will...
Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

Having a fantastic river trip one day where we caught a lot of snook in shallow water on a fly and going back to the same location three days later and not finding any cooperative fish can be very puzzling. What happened? Recent warm weather was repl...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

Water temperatures have finally started to climb into the low 70s on the flats. The temperatures have been fluctuating with the past few cold fronts moving through. Large schools of reds should start showing up on the flats in the Pinellas Point area...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18
Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

We traditionally look at two holidays to signal the start of trolling season for kingfish and Spanish mackerel along with their attendant migratory companions, blackfin tuna, cobia and barracuda. These are St. Patrickís Day (March 17) and Columbus Da...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is getting close

When the weather settles down in the bay area, spring fishing should shift quickly into high gear. Just before the recent heavy winds arrived and churned the nearshore gulf into a muddy mess, seasonal migratory fish were showing up all over town. For...
Published: 03/10/18
Updated: 03/11/18

Captainís Corner: Trout return to their early spring areas

Cool air has filtered down, giving us hopefully the last cold blow for awhile. Recent fronts have shaken things up. But fishing has been good considering the weather. Trout have pushed into their early spring areas, basically where they were five wee...
Published: 03/10/18