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

Captains corner: Light-tackle action for speedy predators rising

What's hot: Fishing with a fly rod or light spinning tackle is fun right now. Bait fry have been moving into the bay for better than a month and the predatory fish are on their tails. Mackerel, jacks, bonito, ladyfish and bluefish are having their way with these pint-size baits from Egmont Key to far up the bay. Except for the mackerel, these speedy predators are not noted for table fare, but they do offer exciting and fast action for the light-tackle enthusiast.

Baits: Although most any bait may work during a feeding frenzy, try to "match the hatch" for more hook ups. As a rule, these fish are feeding on very small baits and may not take a larger offering. Small casting spoons retrieved rapidly will draw constant strikes. Small white or red flies might be a better choice if you're handy with the fly rod.

Scouting: Diving birds give away the location of bait schools and predators. Feeding fish drive minnows to the surface, attracting the birds, which attack the baits from above. The trick is to be there when the feed is on. This may last only a minute or two. Once the "mack attack" is over, they'll dive and resurface some distance away. So keep an eye on the birds. From above they can follow the fish to the next bait school. Stay with the birds and you'll stay with the fish.

Paul Hawkins runs Flats Guy charters out of St. Petersburg and be reached at (727) 560-6762.

Captains corner: Light-tackle action for speedy predators rising 03/17/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon


    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

  2. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  3. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017


    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  4. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  5. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.