Sunday, April 22, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Go deep for variety

What's hot: Deep-water grass flats can be very productive in summer. These flats are deeper and have cooler water temperature. The best flats are 4-6 feet, but you also want to find the ones surrounded by sand, which become feeding areas for mackerel, sharks, bluefish, trout, ladyfish and jacks. The grass will hold baitfish and the predators will stay in the sand and move over the grass to ambush the bait. Look for areas that have slightly darker water than the surrounding area. Idle over the dark spots and look at a bottom recorder to see if the spot has grass. Find out if that grass flat is holding fish by using live chum in the area (whitebait) and see if fish strike.

Tackle: These are among the few areas where you can use ultra-light tackle. Rods rigged with 6- to 10-pound test and a 20-pound leader will handle most fish you will encounter. Use a long shank hook on your mono leader to keep the mackerel and sharks from cutting the leader.

Tips: Target the spot during the start of a tidal movement. Action is best when the tide has strong movement. Anchor up current, deploy a frozen chum block then chum the area with live whitebait, which should keep the action going until the tide slows.

Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.

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