Monday, January 22, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Calm in a storm

What's hot: The recent series of cold fronts have kept us in port on many days, but the calm days in between have produced banner fishing. Trolling has consistently provided great catch-and-release gag grouper in 30- to 40-foot depths. The keys: Large blue or gold small-lipped plugs or large shad-tailed jigs 30 feet behind a No. 3 planer and large-lipped, deep-diving plugs tied directly to the main line. White grunts, sea bass, mangrove snapper and triggerfish have also been targets. The largest of these species have been a little farther offshore, at 50-60 feet. Two hook snapper rigs with a 3- to 4-ounce sinker on the bottom, baited with strips of squid, have produced non-stop action on light tackle.

Tips: A stinger rigged flatline with a frozen sardine has been producing kingfish and large Spanish mackerel and this will only get better as the water warms. St. Patrick's Day is the usual start of the spring Spanish mackerel, kingfish and cobia seasons. These early fish tend to be on artificial reefs and wrecks where baitfish concentrate, so focus both live bait and hardware trolling efforts there.

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

Comments

Captainís Corner: Bundle up and head out to the bay for bass, sheepshead

The water is cold, but that doesnít mean that fishing is over for the winter. There are still target species available that are fun to catch and will provide a fresh meal. Friday, we left the docks a little later than normal to give the sun a chance ...
Published: 01/20/18
Updated: 01/21/18

Captainís Corner: Live baits outperforming artificials

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Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18

Captainís Corner: What to expect from fish coming out of the cold spell

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Published: 01/19/18

Captainís Corner: Divers, anglers going after amberjack

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Published: 01/18/18

Captainís Corner: Cold weather brings different but effective fishing styles

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Published: 01/17/18

Captainís Corner: Devise a strategy before heading out into the cold

The quality of fishing this month depends on how many cold fronts are in our future. When the water creeps down below 60 degrees, many fish will slow their metabolism in order to survive. They require less food than in the warmer months, making some ...
Published: 01/16/18

Captainís Corner: Make sure the fly gets in front of a hungry fish

Back-to-back winter cold fronts not only confuse inshore fish but the fly fishers who pursue them. The most perfectly tied fly is not effective unless it is in front of a fish that is anxious to eat it. The best daytime tides, very low early and inco...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/14/18

Captainís Corner: Cold, windy days just fine for trout fishing

Trout have been my most productive target during the start of this new year. Winter cold fronts and cold water are making conditions difficult to target snook and reds. Strong winds from passing fronts make it hard to work the shallow-water flats. Th...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18

Captainís Corner: Cold driving out kings, but there are alternatives

Mother Nature gives and she takes away. Nature gave us warm water and great king fishing until Dec. 31. She ushered in the new year with a severe cold front with high winds and rough seas that kept us in port every day. The cold air and overcast skie...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18

Captainís Corner: Techniques for catching (and cooking) tasty sheepshead

Cold water has fishing in sort of slow motion. Middle bay temperatures (Gandy area) are holding in the 54-56 degree range. During this time of year the stalking of large snook and redfish take a back seat to finesse fishing and trying to figure out w...
Published: 01/10/18