Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Captain's Corner: Fishing season closings, openings

June 1 marks the closing of fishing for amberjack and gray triggerfish in the gulf. The closures extend through July 31. June 1 also is the opening of gag grouper and red snapper season. Gag grouper is open through Dec. 31 with a 24-inch minimum size limit and a limit of two per person. Red snapper is open for private recreational anglers on June 1-9 with a 16-inch minimum size and a bag limit of two per angler. These openings will make available more species of bottom fish to target. Don't forget about the great trolling in our area that doesn't require the long run offshore to target some of the benthic fish. Spanish mackerel have arrived in large numbers and can be found as close in as 100 yards off the beach to 20 miles offshore. Using either live bait caught on-site with a sabiki rig or trolling small spoons and plugs can provide nonstop action. Barracuda can be found on the nearshore artificial reefs such as St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island and Madeira Beach and midwater reefs. Kingfish season has not ended. Slow trolling live baits or large deep-diving plugs over the mitigation piles that are scattered over the Gulf Stream natural gas pipeline will yield large kingfish, catch-and-release amberjack, barracuda and the occasional blackfin tuna.

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


Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is fast approaching

Spring is trying to move in, with just a few cold fronts mixed in. The up-and-down air temperatures will slightly affect the water temperature and also affect the fishing. Fishing has been mostly incredible in North Pinellas. All of the species we ex...
Updated: 10 hours ago

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

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is getting close

When the weather settles down in the bay area, spring fishing should shift quickly into high gear. Just before the recent heavy winds arrived and churned the nearshore gulf into a muddy mess, seasonal migratory fish were showing up all over town. For...
Published: 03/10/18
Updated: 03/11/18

Captainís Corner: Trout return to their early spring areas

Cool air has filtered down, giving us hopefully the last cold blow for awhile. Recent fronts have shaken things up. But fishing has been good considering the weather. Trout have pushed into their early spring areas, basically where they were five wee...
Published: 03/10/18