Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Artificial reefs holding Spanish mackerel

What's hot: Spanish mackerel fishing on the nearshore St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island and Madeira Beach artificial reefs is as hot as it gets. Doubleheaders and tripleheaders are common when trolling small spoons behind No. 1 planers or trolling sinkers. The use of a short piece of wire leader will save tackle from cutoffs, but it also will appreciably reduce the number of strikes from these sharp-eyed speedsters. We have been using 40- or 50-pound test leader between the sinker or planer and the spoon and have lost very little terminal tackle. When fish are striking on the surface and the planer is not necessary, switching to light spinning tackle and a small trolling weight to keep the spoon just below the surface will provide much more sport, especially when youngsters are onboard.

Tactics: Spanish mackerel can also be caught while slow-trolling or drifting live greenbacks on the same reefs. Most of the baitfish on the reefs are very small and cannot be caught with a Sabiki rig. If the game plan is to use live bait, it is best to use a cast net near shore or in the bay before venturing out to the reefs.

Bonus: All of the above mentioned reefs currently are harboring several different species of sharks. Once enough mackerel for the table are caught, anchoring, chumming and deploying a fresh filet of mackerel will generate great action. All it takes is 50-pound class tackle and wire leaders, along with some patience.

Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at (727) 397-8815.

Artificial reefs holding Spanish mackerel 07/30/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 31, 2008 8:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Souza returns to lineup



  2. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Steven Souza Jr., hugging Mallex Smith after Smith’s solo home run in the eighth inning, feels relief after tests are negative on his injured hip.