Thursday, March 22, 2018

Captain's Corner: Cleaner gulf helps with snook, tarpon

A welcome change in the weather pattern this past week finally allowed gulf waters to clean up enough to target beach snook and tarpon. The tarpon migration remains strong along area beaches. Pods of tarpon are traveling both north and south within a couple of hundred yards from shore. The attitude of the fish is much different now than a couple of weeks ago. Rarely will you see them daisy-chaining their way southward down the beach. Now the fish's movements are much more deliberate, often moving quickly and rarely surfacing for air. Our best success the past few days has been when the boat is anchored, continually casting fresh live baits into potential travel lanes. Pinfish, grass grunts, threadfins and pumpkinseeds all work for bait. Keep one rod rigged with a bait in the live well in case a pod of fish pops up on the opposite side of the boat. The water clarity is perfect now: not too clean but still good enough to spot incoming fish from a good distance. We're using an 80-pound leader and a 7/0 circle hook and have landed a high percentage of fish hooked this week. Beach snook fishing has been excellent. Slightly off-colored waters have had the fish feeling comfortable. Free-lining grass grunts down-tide along the swash channel eventually will pay off as long as snook are in the area. Fish a 30-pound leader and a decent-sized circle hook when using larger grunts to ensure a good hookup.

Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at


Captainís Corner: Snook bite is best now in afternoon

So what happened to our spring weather in February? The weather has the fish moving back and forth between their winter and summer spots, and with April just a few weeks away, the air temperature is warming up and should be in the upper 70s and low 8...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Windy conditions limit fishing options

The weather and water temperature roller coaster continues. Finding consistent action has been difficult with windy conditions keeping us from fishing many open parts of the bay or out into the gulf. Hiding in secluded backwater areas or on leeward s...
Published: 03/20/18
Updated: 03/21/18

Captainís Corner: Grouper moving in as water temperatures rise

Red grouper have made their move inshore this past week as waters closer to shore have warmed up a bit. Concentrate your efforts on hard bottom areas in depths of 100-120 feet for the rest of the month, and remember that all shallow water grouper are...
Published: 03/18/18
Updated: 03/20/18

Captainís Corner: Cold causes spiny lobsters to go into hiding

The cold front that ended Wednesday drove the offshore bottom temperatures back down into the low 60s. On dives Friday, my dive computer read 62 degrees at the bottom in 54 feet of water. On the next dive it read 60 in 62 feet. We were looking for ho...
Published: 03/18/18

Captainís Corner: Snook are the hot bite

Surface water temperatures have dipped into the low 60s, but the fish donít seem to mind. The longer days get the temperature up and helps keep it from getting into the danger zone at night. Snook have been the hot bite this past week and, believe it...
Published: 03/16/18
Updated: 03/17/18

It has been a crazy month regarding all the drastic weather changes. We experienced a record-breaking warming trend in February, followed by an endless amount of cold weather this month. The arrival times for many spring migrations of fish has been i...
Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

February seemed like March with record-breaking heat, but now March seems like February with below-average temperatures. This is a good thing. Spring fishing has started way too early in the past few years. The cold-water temperature we have now will...
Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

Having a fantastic river trip one day where we caught a lot of snook in shallow water on a fly and going back to the same location three days later and not finding any cooperative fish can be very puzzling. What happened? Recent warm weather was repl...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

Water temperatures have finally started to climb into the low 70s on the flats. The temperatures have been fluctuating with the past few cold fronts moving through. Large schools of reds should start showing up on the flats in the Pinellas Point area...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18
Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

We traditionally look at two holidays to signal the start of trolling season for kingfish and Spanish mackerel along with their attendant migratory companions, blackfin tuna, cobia and barracuda. These are St. Patrickís Day (March 17) and Columbus Da...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/12/18