Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Hot strategies

What's hot: In the heat of summer, angling during peak movement of tides will stimulate fish. Incoming tides present cooler water and the largest game fish eat aggressively as bait flushes through the desired zones. These ambush spots most likely will have deeper troughs and eddies that snook, redfish and trout desire. As the tides flood upon the flats, these predators will roam skinny water where bait and small crabs also move. Sight-casting is at a premium with cleaner water flushing the shallows. Lighter leaders such as 20-pound fluorocarbon might be needed in the highly visible waters that flow through St. Joseph Sound. Wade fishing is another great method that disguises an angler's presentation around weary fish.

Tips: The biggest snook of the year are being caught around stronger lunar tides that happen every summer. As the tide rushes into the passes, these heavy linesiders patrol the edges and hang around the points and rocky terrains where an easy meal can be found. By placing a 2-ounce lead on the leader, anglers can keep the bait down on the bottom in the swift-moving water of the pass. Working deeper troughs that run parallel to the beach will hold schools of snook in mere inches of water. Pinfish, small finger mullet, sardines and mud minnows are top choices for snook along the shoreline. Larger speckled trout, flounder and redfish will use this same highway to hunt down baits.

Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at [email protected]

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