Friday, November 24, 2017
Outdoors

Captains corner: Heat affects fishing in many ways

RECOMMENDED READING


Conditions: Summertime fishing can be tricky. When large amounts of freshwater flow into the bay after storms, this changes certain dynamics, increasing the difficulty for consistent catches. There are other obstacles to regular catches as well, such as spawning baitfish and hot tub-like water temperatures. Baitfish that were easily netted a few weeks ago are scarce on the flats. The sardines that are there are a bit puny and require a much smaller hook than normal to be effective.

What's hot: Spanish mackerel are still here but moving farther south as there is so much freshwater here. Spanish mackerel typically like clear salty water. Patient anglers can still catch them around range markers or deep grass flats with good water flow.

Tip: Since the baitfish are small, use a small-diameter mesh cast net to prevent these little baits from getting "gilled." An old dip net that only has the wire frame left is useful in this situation. Simply hold the ring of your cast net and swish the wire loop in a downward motion over "gilled" fish. They will tumble out of the net and can be used for bait and/or chum. Fish areas where the tide moves well.

Notable catch: A bonefish was caught near Weedon Island last week, falling for a live shrimp. The versatility of Tampa Bay is amazing.

Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531, email [email protected] or visit snookfish.com.

Comments

Captainís Corner: Switching to bottom fishing for grouper, snapper

With water temperatures falling, offshore anglers soon will have less species to target. Migratory species such as cobia, kingfish and Spanish mackerel will be migrating south for the winter. Most offshore captains will switch to bottom fishing for g...
Published: 11/23/17

Captainís Corner: Bay area reefs, hard bottoms, flats worth your attention

With air temperature still in the upper 70s to low 80s during the day in between cool fronts, you might want to look around bay area reefs, hard bottoms and flats. When the water starts warming in the middle of the day, snook start biting. But donít ...
Published: 11/22/17

Captainís Corner: Get ready for gag grouper migration

With falling water temperatures and bait fish making their way into the near shore waters off of the coast, we can expect the fall migration of gag grouper to be in full swing with the next two or three cold fronts that make their way into the centra...
Published: 11/18/17
Updated: 11/20/17

Captainís Corner: As visibility improves, so does spearfishing

Spearing in the Gulf of Mexico is improving day by day. First, the underwater visibility is getting much better. For more than a month, after Hurricane Irma, the offshore water clarity was so poor that most divers stayed home. The water is now much c...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Captainís Corner: Snook bite remains aggressive

We are in the midst of prefrontal conditions, so there should be good fishing today. Bait seems to have moved on the last full moon and judging by the amount of bait fry that has filtered onto the flats, it spawned also. Load up the wells with the sm...
Published: 11/17/17

Captainís Corner: Calm seas closer to beaches rewards with kingfish

Strong east winds have made it challenging for offshore anglers. The first few miles are quite tolerable since the land buffers the shoreline. After that, sea conditions have been tougher. Anglers searching for kingfish have been rewarded with calm s...
Published: 11/16/17

Captainís Corner: A little wind doesnít stop hot fishing in November

Despite many windy days, November fishing has been amazing. The water is cooling off, and the fish are becoming more aggressive. Itís getting to be the time of year when the cold fronts start to make their way out of the north. When this happens, win...
Published: 11/15/17

Captainís Corner: Fly fishing success possible, even in wind

When your day to fly fish arrives, do you hope for a day without wind? Knowledgeable fly fishers know there are many ways to deal with different wind situations. Avoid open water, and select an area that offers protection. Stay close to shore and use...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Captainís Corner: Low tides and cold fronts make for rewarding fishing

Fall and winter low tides combined with cold fronts passing through can lead to highly rewarding fishing. It takes winds blowing 20-plus miles an hour out of the northeast combined with an astronomical low tide around the new moon and full moon phase...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Captainís Corner: Reef fish abundant offshore; mackerel, kings better near shore

Before this recent cold front, we were able to travel where we wanted, and the calm seas allowed us to make the mistake of running past the best depths for our type of fishing. The 40- to 50-foot depths produced almost nonstop action from reef fish, ...
Published: 11/12/17