Saturday, June 23, 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: Cool off, bring home a tasty dinner with scalloping

Whatís the best way to cool off in July and August? Go scalloping. Itís like going on an underwater Easter egg hunt that results in a bag of tasty scallops to cook up. The most popular places to scallop are in Homosassa and Steinhatchee in 2 feet of ...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Captainís Corner: Size of sea trout a welcome surprise in Pinellas grass beds

A nice surprise has been the quality size of the spotted sea trout on deeper grass beds in southern Pinellas. Typically, summertime trout tend to run smaller than the 16- to 20-inch trout weíve been finding. Fishing the deep grass with scattered sand...
Published: 06/21/18

Captainís Corner: Offshore fishing will be strong for awhile

June and July offer some of the yearís best offshore fishing. Targets such as red snapper, blackfin tuna, mahi≠mahi, wahoo and sailfish make their way through our area and make appearances on many trips to depths of 120 feet or more. Red snapper are ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Captainís Corner: Itís a good time to focus on snook

Snook have been a main focus on my most recent trips. This time of year, snook inhabit the beaches, gathering in the ditches and swashes along shore. Jetties or rock structures are also a favorite habitat for snook to lurk, looking to ambush bait fis...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on targeting American Red Snapper

American Red Snapper (ARS) season opened a few days ago and some types of bottom are holding bigger schools of ARS then other bottom types. The hard bottom areas that most fishermen prefer are holding large schools of ARS, but the fish have yet to m...
Published: 06/18/18

Captainís Corner: Trout bite at its best

The trout bite has been the best Iíve seen all year. Fish up to 26 inches have been common recently. Fish are sitting on the flatsí deeper edges, where the water is deeper and cooler, and moves a little more swiftly. Live sardines and hard plastic ba...
Published: 06/16/18
Updated: 06/17/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing this month is all about diversity

This is the month of diverse opportunity. The choice of species is unlimited, as long as you have the bait. You can target snook and tarpon in the morning, then fish for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, snapper, sharks and cobia in the afternoon. The tarp...
Published: 06/15/18

Captainís Corner: When itís tarpon time, itís also shark time

Tarpon get most of the attention when talking about exciting fly action for large fish in our area. Baitfish are more prolific, and large tarpon follow their forage and populate most of our local waters. Following them are fish that consider tarpon t...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Captainís Corner: This is your best time for tarpon fishing

Now is the best time to target tarpon. Silver kings are cruising the beaches on their yearly migration up and down the stateís west coast. This weekís strong new moon tides and the strong full moon tides in two weeks provide some of the best action f...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Captainís Corner: Turn attention to gag grouper and red snapper

Attention has turned to gag grouper and red snapper for many offshore fishermen. Red snapper can be best targeted in waters 105 feet and deeper, with some available in water as shallow as 60 feet. Although the snapper will be found on high profile st...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18