Thursday, May 24, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Chasing the juvenile sardines

As is usually the case this time of year, red grouper are following the juvenile sardines that are heading east from the depths. These tiny sardines are about a half-inch to three-quarters long and will completely black out your bottom machine when you pass over them offshore. Every species out there with a tail will be gorging themselves on these tiny treats as they head east during these late-summer months. While most of us concentrate our efforts on hard-bottom areas while we are fishing, don't forget to keep an eye on your recorder as you head both offshore and inshore. Occasionally you will find giant schools over sand with unbelievable amounts of grouper and snapper underneath them. On a recent trip we marked a giant school, marked them, then anchored right over them. We caught a boat-limit of red grouper and mangrove snapper off that one school, which was literally over nothing but sand. Look in depths of 150 feet or more for your pelagic fix. Springs, wrecks and large structure in the deeper water are teaming with blackfin tuna. Live chum is the key to getting these fish on ice. The note will always start off with a wide open bonita bite, then a tuna will eat. After a handful of fish you will find the tuna will take over the note and push the bonita away. Use 25- to 40-pound leader and a 6/0-7/0 circle hook.

Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.

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Captainís Corner: Swimmer crabs attract big permit

Captainís Corner: Swimmer crabs attract big permit

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Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Captainís Corner: With full moon, tarpon are on the move

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Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Captainís Corner: Cloudier water improves the bite

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Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Captainís Corner: Red grouper fishing continues to be good

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Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18

Captainís Corner: Catching a giant cobia

Cobia is the topic this week. Capt. Tom Markham, aboard the Simply Hooked, was beginning his daily bait routine. It turned out that one of the markers located near Clearwater Pass, surprisingly, had a giant fish waiting for him. The captain slid up t...
Published: 05/16/18

Captainís Corner: Tarpon showing up on beaches, bridges

This week shouldnít be a total wash out. While there is a chance of rain every day, it should only be sporadic. Hopefully it wonít dirty up the water too much. If you are a tarpon fisherman and look forward to their arrival like I do, then you are in...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Captainís Corner: This is best time of year for bay area fishing

Itís the best time of year for fishing in the area. Tarpon can be targeted off of any of the bridges. The Gandy, Howard Frankland and Skyway are my top choices. While awaiting a tarpon strike, I kill time by dropping smaller baits for Spanish mackere...
Published: 05/13/18

Captainís Corner: Change tactics for fly fishing success

Most fly fishers would prefer minimum wind and cloudless skies to increase chances for a banner day. This has been a problem lately. The wind makes casting more difficult, unless very experienced, and clouds interfere with sight casting opportunities...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on handling burgeoning baitfish

Schools of baitfish have arrived and taken up residence in all depths. Birds are diving on them close to the beach, all the way out to the midwater artificial reefs. Farther offshore, bait schools might not be visible on the surface but can be detect...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/12/18

Captainís Corner: Buckle up, the tarpon are here

Tarpon season is here, and the fish are showing up in numbers along the beaches. While there have been tarpon in the bays and backwaters for awhile, there were very few schools cruising the coast until a few days ago. Then, seemingly overnight, big p...
Published: 05/11/18