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

Captain's Corner: Birds help locate fish

Watch the birds: One of the hottest bites of the year is here. While patrolling the beach for tarpon, look offshore and watch for birds. Gulls and terns can spot easy pickings from a mile away. If you see a lot of bird activity, head their direction. If the birds are sitting on the surface, baitfish are usually not far away. The noise caused by predators pushing large schools of baitfish to the surface can be a loud roar accompanied by diving, and very vocal, birds. As little tunny, jacks, ladyfish, mackerel and sharks tear into the panicky bait, position your boat so the fish come to you. Use the tide and wind to your advantage. Minimize outboard use when close and make long casts. This is the time to break out a fly rod. Nine-weight rods with a sinking tip line require a 4-foot, 25-pound leader with a wire bite tippet connecting your fly. Larger fish are always deeper. A large arbor reel with a smooth drag will need 150 yards of 30-pound backing. Strip fast using a white fly that matches the baitfish size.

Tip: Small binoculars let you scan long distances and avoid unnecessary running and gunning. Companions or clients will enjoy helping you locate feeding fish under active birds.

Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at or (727) 504-8649.

Captain's Corner: Birds help locate fish 06/05/10 [Last modified: Saturday, June 5, 2010 6:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. State baseball: Bishop McLaughlin bows out of Class 3A semifinals


    FORT MYERS — One inning into Bishop McLaughlin's Class 3A state semifinal against Fort Myers Canterbury, things could not have gone much better for the Hurricanes. They grabbed a quick one-run lead and Canterbury ace Sam Keating was forced out of the game with a nagging neck injury.

     Chris Berglund (18) of Bishop McLaughlin, at bat during second inning of the FHSAA class 3A semi-final on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Canterbury, Fort Myers, defeated Bishop 7 to 4. Canterbury will play in the 3A championship tomorrow.
  2. Bucs WR DeSean Jackson knows only one direction: full speed ahead


    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson is the "1."

    Actually, Jackson, the Bucs' latest weapon for quarterback Jameis Winston, with his blazing speed and game-changing splash plays, wears No. 11 in games.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. Video preview: Rays open tough road trip facing Twins tonight


    After splitting a four-game series against the Angels to wrap up a winning homestand, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day roadtrip with the first game of the weekend series with the Twins:

  4. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip


    UPDATE, 5:45: And here is the Twins lineup:
    Dozier 2b
    Mauer 1b
    Sano 3b
    Kepler rf
    Vargas dh
    Polanco ss
    Rosario lf
    Buxton cf
    Castro c
    Santiago p

  5. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety


    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]