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Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Invading species add to fishing action around Tampa Bay

What's hot: The barrage of invading species following the influx of baitfish to inshore waters provides opportunities for nonstop rod-bending action. Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia, jack, bluefish, flounder, sharks and ladyfish supplement the regular snook, trout and redfish around Tampa Bay.

Techniques: For most action, medium spinning tackle is adequate. Upsizing to 30- to 40- pound leader line is important for preventing toothier fish from cutting your lures. For king mackerel, an overall heavier rod and reel with a higher line capacity and some wire leader is necessary. Quarter-ounce or heavier lures can be worked at a faster retrieve and remain at the appropriate depth for the fish to follow and strike them. Letting a lure sink all the way to the bottom often gets it past the other species and down to a flounder, speckled trout or cobia.

Pro tip: Find large bait schools and you will find predators. Look up because diving and hovering birds tip you off to baitfish and feeding predators. The first hour and a half after sunrise is ideal for this action.

Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at or (727) 692-6345.

Captain's Corner: Invading species add to fishing action around Tampa Bay 03/13/09 [Last modified: Friday, March 13, 2009 8:55pm]
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