Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Flats fishing is about to hit its peak

Spring fishing is around the corner as the spring migration from the rivers and creeks to the flats and mangrove shorelines starts around the Tampa Bay area. March and April are typically our best months for flats fishing and it's starting to live up to expectations. The snook, redfish and trout fishing has been cranking up in Tampa Bay. The redfish fishing in the bay has been good. Weedon Island, Fourth Street flat and the South Shore are doing great on the end of the outgoing tide and the beginning of the incoming tide around the potholes in the Christmas pass area, and the potholes on the Fourth Street and oyster bars. The baits of choice is a weedless jerk bait or a gold spoon as for fly a crab pattern. Snook are starting to leave the deep water of the creeks and will make their way to the passes and creek mouths over the next few weeks. The south end of Weedon around to the power plant along with big island gap and the rocks at Picnic Island have been holding good snook. The bait of choice is a live sardine or shrimp but as the water warms the top water fishing first thing in the morning is a great way to fish for snook. As the sun rises try switching to a jerk bait or a twitch bait. Warming water means good trout fishing over the grass flats at the end of Weedon Island and Pinellas Point flat in 2-4 feet of water over grass. Use live bait over the next few months, whether it is sardines, pinfish, or shrimp for all of the big three, and cut ladyfish works well for big redfish and snook. I step up my leader size from 20- to 30-pound fluorocarbon with a 2/0 circle hook.

Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at [email protected]

Comments

Captainís Corner: Red Tide doesnít mean the end of good fishing

The loss of marine life along our gulf beaches and who knows how far offshore has been devastating. We can only hope for a speedy recovery from the deadly toxic algae bloom and keep our fingers crossed that Mother Nature will help clean up its mess s...
Published: 09/23/18
Updated: 09/24/18
Captainís Corner: Anglers welcome the coming, and cooling, of fall

Captainís Corner: Anglers welcome the coming, and cooling, of fall

Astronomically speaking, fall is here. The autumnal equinox was Sept. 22. Days will be shorter and nights longer until the end of December. This decrease in sunlight hours will cause our waters to cool. This is welcome news to anglers who have been d...
Published: 09/23/18

Captainís Corner: Fall fishing in Tampa Bay draws near

With summer air temperature still in the low to upper 90s during the day but the lower night temperatures in the 80s, that means fall fishing for Tampa Bay might be just right around the corner. The snook are still in there summer pattern even their ...
Published: 09/22/18

Captainís Corner: Use Red Tide to venture to other fishing spots not affected

Normally this time of year my attention turns to the beaches, focusing on migratory species headed our way such as Spanish mackerel and kingfish. With our current Red Tide situation, my thoughts are still on the beach. Mostly, how to avoid it. Now is...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/21/18
Captainís Corner: Finding live bait has been biggest fishing issue in our area so far from Red Tide

Captainís Corner: Finding live bait has been biggest fishing issue in our area so far from Red Tide

i thoWith Red Tide in the area, fishing close to shore has been a challenge. Waters from the beach out to about 40 feet have been affected this week. Concentrate your efforts starting about 80 feet and work west. Since our primary spots are well offs...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18

Captainís Corner: Look north toward Tarpon Springs for fishing to avoid Red Tide, for now

Red Tide has been creeping toward North Pinellas. Although bait is flourishing along the beaches and predator fish are feeding on them, hordes of dead fish are washing up on shore, most likely from Red Tide blooms well offshore. Lately, Iíve focused ...
Published: 09/19/18
Letís Take it Outside: A trip to the historic Florida Middle Grounds

Letís Take it Outside: A trip to the historic Florida Middle Grounds

The historic Florida Middle Grounds offer some of the Gulf Coastís most premier fishing. The reefs start about 85 miles northwest off the coast of Clearwater and extend another 30 miles beyond. The Middle Grounds have miles and miles of underwater mo...
Published: 09/19/18

Captainís Corner: Dealing with Red Tide from spearfishing standpoint

Finding fish to spear offshore is tricky. Unlike hook-and-line anglers, spearfishermen need reasonable underwater visibility to see their prey, judge itís the correct type of fish, determine if itís legal size, then before the fish flees, take the sh...
Published: 09/18/18

Captainís Corner: When Red Tide bloom breaks, fish can arrive quickly

Here is some good news attributed to Red Tide. Things do rebound quickly, once the bloom breaks. New populations of fish can arrive quickly in its aftermath. Anglers who have been successful lately are looking for untainted areas to fish. At least a ...
Published: 09/16/18
Updated: 09/17/18

Captainís Corner: Bite can turn on and off quickly this time of year

Typical deep-summer conditions continue across the bay. During this time of year the bite can be erratic and maybe even a little bi≠polar. The bite can turn on and off in an instant. Several species in one spot can be normal. On recent trips clients ...
Published: 09/16/18