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Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Baitfish are key

What's hot: Fall fishing is in full swing; beaches are covered in baitfish. Threadfin herring and scaled sardines can be found all over. Migratory species are preying on them: Spanish mackerel, kingfish, cobia, bonita, sharks and jack crevalles. Large redfish schools continue to invade shallow flats in search of crustaceans. Sea trout are showing up everywhere on grass flats.

Bait: Learning to throw a cast net can be one of the best things anyone could learn in our area. Fill the live well with threadfins, scaled sardines, pinfish, grunts, mullet, ladyfish and shrimp.

Tactics: Slow-trolling threadfin herring this time of year off the beaches will entice all pelagic species. I find schools of baitfish less than a mile from the beach and deploy baits on a light drag setting, using light wire to prevent breakoffs. Redfish have been tailing on low tides. Take extra care; these fish will run to deep water if spooked. Wading is best for shallow water, tailing reds to prevent the fish from running off the flat.

Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit

Captain's Corner: Baitfish are key 10/12/09 [Last modified: Monday, October 12, 2009 7:05pm]
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