Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Head for the deep flats in lower Tampa Bay

What's hot: The best place to find action in lower Tampa Bay is the deep flats. Most are in 4 to 6 feet of water. Look for areas where birds are working the surface. They will feed on small baits, and so will the fish. Trout, mackerel, bluefish, small grouper, ladyfish and sharks like to feed in the pods of small bait. The most productive flats will have fish striking the surface. Approach the area upwind of the birds. You can drift through or anchor upwind and let the fish come to you.

Tackle: Light tackle in the 8- to 10-pound class will handle most of the fish. If you want to catch sharks, rig a rod with 20-pound line and a short wire leader. Catch a ladyfish or a mackerel and use a chunk of it for bait. Rig the cut bait 2 to 4 feet under a cork. For the rest of the fish, use a small jig or whitebait on a long-shank hook.

Pro tips: Redfish schools are working different areas of the flats. The best action has been at the end of the incoming tide and the start of the outgoing. Some schools are holding 200 to 300 fish. The trick to having a good bite is to not spook the school. Most of these reds are hungry and will strike most lures and baits. This action should last a few more weeks.

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

Captain's Corner: Head for the deep flats in lower Tampa Bay 09/27/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 1:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Sorry, Nebraska, Scott Frost appears interested in staying at UCF

    Scott Frost has UCF undefeated with an important game at Navy next. [Getty Images]
  2. Tampa Bay Downs full of high-paying races this season


    OLDSMAR — Tampa Bay Downs is green like never before.

  3. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series


    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  4. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  5. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs


    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.