Friday, July 20, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Fall fishing season is about to take off

Cooler weather and falling water temperatures should jump-start fall fishing. Before Hurricane Matthew's winds, there were scattered reports of kingfish off the Suncoast. At the same time anglers in the Panhandle region reported the bulk of the kings were still in their neighborhood. Those fish, and the baitfish they migrate with, should move into our region soon. There are many ways to target king mackerel. Perhaps the most fun is to anchor and chum. This brings the fish in close range where you can use light tackle and even fly-fishing gear. Observe how fish react to chum then modify your approach for optimum action. Some days they casually appear behind the boat, slowly eating cut chunks of fish. Other days they won't bite unless there is something quick and lively. I usually stand on the stern snipping chunks of bait with scissors. If the kings eat the chunks, that's all you need. If not, release a couple of live baits in front of them. One thing most fly fishermen might not expect is that kings often eat a fly better when it is not moving. If fish are eating chunks in your chum line, cast a shiny fly back to them, let it sink, and wait until the line races off. Most bigger kings we have taken on a fly were caught using this technique.

Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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