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 | Dave Walker

Captain's corner: Heat settles in but the bite hasn't cooled


Oppressive heat and light winds, coupled with fairly predictable daily afternoon thunderstorms, usually causes anglers to head for the horizon early or rest a little bit longer and stay inshore. Both scenarios have been leading to reasonable catches of multiple species.

Inshore action has been solid for those desiring more sleep or some relief at the fuel pump.

Large snook are feeding right now. Giant fish like this are completely different than their more common and smaller siblings. The really big ones rarely jump, but they sometimes shake their head above the water line. The tenacious fighters can break lines and spirits.

Clusters of these mammoths are heading toward spawning areas to make baby snook. The big ones should be handled with care because they are responsible for most of the egg production.

Now that the water is a bit murky, it's possible to use a heavier leader. The snook's mouth and gill plates are especially abrasive and can shred most lines during a heated battle.

Mangrove snapper are cooperative right now. They are annihilating the new hatch of bait. The small threadfins and sardines that have flooded the flats are snapper candy for these structure-oriented fish.

Spanish mackerel are still in the area. They are not plentiful, but they are large. Mackerel in the 4 to 5 pound range, and larger, are not uncommon in Tampa Bay.


Going offshore has provided some solid action. Red snapper are swarming over wrecks and areas of hard bottom in 90 to 120 foot depths. Some have been caught as shallow as 70 feet.

Larger fish and greater quantities can be found on the Pipeline area. This area is a highway for red snapper and many other species. The mitigation areas are especially hot right now. Back-splintering grouper, both reds and gags, are in these areas as well.

Popular wrecks are holding amberjack. Typically, these areas are crowded with boats, but fuel seems to be limiting the number out there for now. Amberjack are an incredibly strong fish that sometimes overwhelm those who do not know what to expect.

Amberjack are open-water fish that sometimes sit suspended off the bottom. This actually is an advantage for anglers because there is less of an opportunity for the fish to beeline it to the structure to try to break the line. Drop a live blue runner to where the fish are in the water column and hang on.

Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or or e-mail capt davewalker

Captain's corner: Heat settles in but the bite hasn't cooled 07/03/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 2:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pro Bowl returning to Orlando in 2018


    ORLANDO — The Pro Bowl will return to Orlando in 2018 for the second straight year.

    Bucs  wide receiver Mike Evans runs a route as Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. defends during the first quarter of the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in January at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. For starters: Rays looking for runs and a win

    Erasmo Ramirez makes his third start of the season.
  3. If Tony Dungy sticks around, he'll broadcast the 2021 Tampa Super Bowl for NBC


    Lost in the Super Tuesday news of the Super Bowl coming back to Tampa was this nugget:

    Pictured, from left, Dan Patrick, co-Host, Tony Dungy, studio analyst, Aaron Rodgers. [Ben Cohen/NBC]
  4. Tragedy, tenacity helped shape Ridgewood valedictorian Johannah Cummines

    Volleyball Preps

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Even if her daily routine didn't permit calories to melt off, Johannah Cummines would deserve to pick anything on the menu.

    Ridgewood High senior Johannah Cummines and mom Chenell. Cummines is headed to Florida Atlantic, where she will play beach volleyball. (Photo courtesy of Johannah Cummines)
  5. Bucs Roberto Aguayo kicks off 2017 on the wrong foot


    The goal posts still seem to be moving for Roberto Aguayo.

    The Bucs woebegone place-kicker, who is in a battle with veteran Nick Folk, went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights, the first day of full squad Organized Team Activities.

    If that weren’t …

    Roberto Aguayo went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights.