Monday, March 19, 2018

Captain's Corner: Fronts, wind haven't slowed bite

The past couple of fronts and windy days haven't slowed the bite. There is a mix in the bait, from threadfins to whitebait, at the bridges and piers. Threadfins and whitebait are candy for snook, redfish, and mackerel.

Mackerel are all over the sandbars and artificial reefs. A live threadfin or whitebait on a long shank hook with 40-pound leader line and 15-pound braid on a medium to light rod is a perfect combination for them.

Redfish are hungry but are skittish on the flats. The water is clear in certain parts of the bay. Redfish have been appearing in loose schools. On low tides the fish are about 150 to 200 yards from the mangroves in about 2 feet of water waiting for the tide to come in so they can head to mangroves. Snook are in the mix as well.

Snook fishing is still phenomenal. We have been catching slot fish with a mix of those 20- to 24-inch fish off the beaches and rock piles. Snook are loaded up at the dock lights. They are really tough to catch, but if you put in the time, the reward is great.

Take these windy weekends as a good time to check the pumps in your boat, your batteries and any electrical issues. Check the trailer springs, hubs and axles. Fix any issues so the next outing isn't a failure.

Wes Burns runs Gulfside Fishing Charters out of Tampa and Brandon. Call (813) 394-7509.


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
Captainís Corner: Snook, trout out in abundance as spring approaches

Captainís Corner: Snook, trout out in abundance as spring approaches

March is here, and the weather is great. This month is when we make that change toward spring fishing. Snook really ramps up, and trophy trout mixed with good redfish are not far behind. Snook has to be the most targeted fish for March. Just about ev...
Published: 03/09/18