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| Dave Walker

Captains' corner: Cool snap keeps spring fever alive

The recent winds and cold conditions may have actually been a blessing in disguise for anglers, possibly extending the spring season for another week or two.

There are some reports of 20 to 50 snook being caught in the same day. They have returned to the flats and are responding to chum in an aggressive manner.

Live greenbacks are the bait of choice. The time and effort it takes to obtain nice bait is usually justified. A huge batch is not always necessary, but having enough to live chum is a bonus.

The most effective artificial lures for snook are any of the jerk-style baits or the classic shad-shaped soft-plastic jigs. Although usually considered a redfish lure, a gold spoon will fool a hungry "linesider" as well.

For those going offshore, kingfish can be found near the beaches and reefs. The water temperature dropped several degrees, which should hold the kings here for a while longer.

You do not have to go far to find the kings. Often they cruise the beaches in depths of 15 to 30 feet. There's also the option to stay inside Egmont Key. There have been many tournament-winning kingfish caught inside of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Live bait is always a good bet. Large kings cannot pass up a freaked-out baitfish. Free-lined baits often get launched out of the water in the mouth of skyrocketing kings.

A common method for obtaining baitfish, such as blue runners, is using a Sabiki rig. These multihook rigs are effective and a favorite with kids. Warning: Never tie these rigs on before an outing. The small gold hooks snag everything from shirt sleeves to human skin.

Bait can be jigged up at the Egmont channel markers or the anchor chains of the freighters in the "parking lot." Deploy a chum block while you're anchored and the fish will come to you.

If you are grouper fishing, try a flat line while bottom digging. Don't be surprised if you get regular action from kingfish between grouper bites.

Dave Walker can be reached at (813) 310-6531, via e-mail at captdavewalk or visit

Captains' corner: Cool snap keeps spring fever alive 04/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:38am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI


    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  2. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look


    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  3. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  4. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005


    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  5. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge


    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]