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Captain's Corner

Captains corner: Get on the water before the sun to find the best inshore action

What's hot: Heavy feeding at sunrise for ladyfish, jacks, flounder, speckled trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pompano, juvenile gag grouper and even some cobia is occurring daily. The surface will explode wherever the bait schools are being attacked. Birds diving or hovering also indicate the location of bait.

Tackle: Medium spinning tackle is adequate for most species. For cobia, have a heavier outfit available. A 30-pound fluorocarbon leader should suffice in most situations, but have 40-pound available if bluefish or mackerel start cutting off lures or hooks. One-quarter ounce jig heads with 3- to 4-inch tails work well. If pompano are the target, use a yellow or gold tail. To tempt cobia, use a 6- to 7-inch lure or a live offering, such as a pinfish or grass grunt.

Tips: Early is best. If you aren't fishing as the sun is peeking up on the horizon, you will miss a great deal of the action. When you find activity, cast into the fray, then immediately retrieve the lure at a fast rate to catch the ladyfish, mackerel, jacks and bluefish. For the other species, let the lure sink near the bottom of the water column before retrieving it at a slower pace. For flounder and pompano, hop the lure off the bottom. In all approaches, set the hook when you feel a thump.

Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at or (727) 692-6345.

Captains corner: Get on the water before the sun to find the best inshore action 07/16/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 16, 2009 6:03pm]
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