Thursday, March 22, 2018

Captain's Corner: It's scalloping time

What's the best way to cool off in July and August? Go scalloping. It's like an underwater Easter egg hunt with a bag of tasty scallops to cook at the end of the day. The most popular places are Homosassa and Steinhatchee in 2 feet of water out to 12 feet. I look for a sea grass bed with sand holes in them when I go scalloping. Look for shorter, thinner grass that grows in the sand. That's where you find them. A scallop looks like the Shell gas station logo with a dark top shell, a white bottom and 24 little blue eyes. When you see them in the grass, the darker side is up. It's the opposite when they're in the sand most of the time. The regulations: 2 gallons whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell, or a half-gallon bay scallop meat per vessel as your daily bag limit with no minimum-size limit. The boundary line is the waters from the Pasco-Hernando County line near Aripeka to Beach Canal in Bay County. The season is June 29 to Sept. 24. All you need are a mask, snorkel, fins and a catch bag. If you dive the last part of the outgoing tide and the first part of the incoming tide, you can hit the deeper spots.

Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at [email protected]


Captainís Corner: Windy conditions limit fishing options

The weather and water temperature roller coaster continues. Finding consistent action has been difficult with windy conditions keeping us from fishing many open parts of the bay or out into the gulf. Hiding in secluded backwater areas or on leeward s...
Published: 03/20/18
Updated: 03/21/18

Captainís Corner: Grouper moving in as water temperatures rise

Red grouper have made their move inshore this past week as waters closer to shore have warmed up a bit. Concentrate your efforts on hard bottom areas in depths of 100-120 feet for the rest of the month, and remember that all shallow water grouper are...
Published: 03/18/18
Updated: 03/20/18

Captainís Corner: Cold causes spiny lobsters to go into hiding

The cold front that ended Wednesday drove the offshore bottom temperatures back down into the low 60s. On dives Friday, my dive computer read 62 degrees at the bottom in 54 feet of water. On the next dive it read 60 in 62 feet. We were looking for ho...
Published: 03/18/18

Captainís Corner: Snook are the hot bite

Surface water temperatures have dipped into the low 60s, but the fish donít seem to mind. The longer days get the temperature up and helps keep it from getting into the danger zone at night. Snook have been the hot bite this past week and, believe it...
Published: 03/16/18
Updated: 03/17/18

It has been a crazy month regarding all the drastic weather changes. We experienced a record-breaking warming trend in February, followed by an endless amount of cold weather this month. The arrival times for many spring migrations of fish has been i...
Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

February seemed like March with record-breaking heat, but now March seems like February with below-average temperatures. This is a good thing. Spring fishing has started way too early in the past few years. The cold-water temperature we have now will...
Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

Having a fantastic river trip one day where we caught a lot of snook in shallow water on a fly and going back to the same location three days later and not finding any cooperative fish can be very puzzling. What happened? Recent warm weather was repl...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

Water temperatures have finally started to climb into the low 70s on the flats. The temperatures have been fluctuating with the past few cold fronts moving through. Large schools of reds should start showing up on the flats in the Pinellas Point area...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18
Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

We traditionally look at two holidays to signal the start of trolling season for kingfish and Spanish mackerel along with their attendant migratory companions, blackfin tuna, cobia and barracuda. These are St. Patrickís Day (March 17) and Columbus Da...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is getting close

When the weather settles down in the bay area, spring fishing should shift quickly into high gear. Just before the recent heavy winds arrived and churned the nearshore gulf into a muddy mess, seasonal migratory fish were showing up all over town. For...
Published: 03/10/18
Updated: 03/11/18