Friday, June 22, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Mackerel bite tremendous

Cooler water has ushered in great fishing. Offshore, the mackerel bite has been incredible over the rocks of the nearshore artificial reefs. Long-shank hooks prevent cutoffs from their sharp teeth. Mangrove snapper are schooling up in the chum line as we draw in the mackerel while on anchor. Downsizing tackle and hiding the hooks in a piece of cut bait gets the most hook-ups on snapper. Kingfish have been chasing trolled threadfins over the hard bottom areas within 6 miles offshore. Light wire and a stinger hook attached to the tail area of a trolled bait is the best method to keep them on for a lasting battle. Look for bait schools dimpling the water to get a shot at a king. The flats are providing action with spotted sea trout moving into north Pinellas. Sardines are still available along the beaches but are getting sparse as the water cools. Soft plastics are working well with a ⅛- to ¼-ounce jighead. Whites and greens are the best colors with very clear waters. Grass flats 3-5 feet deep are holding plenty of smaller trout, and the spoil islands along the Intracoastal are beginning to produce larger female trout, typical in the area this time of year. Redfish have slowed slightly, although the ones hooked are occasionally very large. The large "bull" reds are usually located offshore where they continue to mature in the more open water.

Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and captbrian.com.

Comments

Captainís Corner: Size of sea trout a welcome surprise in Pinellas grass beds

A nice surprise has been the quality size of the spotted sea trout on deeper grass beds in southern Pinellas. Typically, summertime trout tend to run smaller than the 16- to 20-inch trout weíve been finding. Fishing the deep grass with scattered sand...
Published: 06/21/18

Captainís Corner: Offshore fishing will be strong for awhile

June and July offer some of the yearís best offshore fishing. Targets such as red snapper, blackfin tuna, mahi≠mahi, wahoo and sailfish make their way through our area and make appearances on many trips to depths of 120 feet or more. Red snapper are ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Captainís Corner: Itís a good time to focus on snook

Snook have been a main focus on my most recent trips. This time of year, snook inhabit the beaches, gathering in the ditches and swashes along shore. Jetties or rock structures are also a favorite habitat for snook to lurk, looking to ambush bait fis...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on targeting American Red Snapper

American Red Snapper (ARS) season opened a few days ago and some types of bottom are holding bigger schools of ARS then other bottom types. The hard bottom areas that most fishermen prefer are holding large schools of ARS, but the fish have yet to m...
Published: 06/18/18

Captainís Corner: Trout bite at its best

The trout bite has been the best Iíve seen all year. Fish up to 26 inches have been common recently. Fish are sitting on the flatsí deeper edges, where the water is deeper and cooler, and moves a little more swiftly. Live sardines and hard plastic ba...
Published: 06/16/18
Updated: 06/17/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing this month is all about diversity

This is the month of diverse opportunity. The choice of species is unlimited, as long as you have the bait. You can target snook and tarpon in the morning, then fish for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, snapper, sharks and cobia in the afternoon. The tarp...
Published: 06/15/18

Captainís Corner: When itís tarpon time, itís also shark time

Tarpon get most of the attention when talking about exciting fly action for large fish in our area. Baitfish are more prolific, and large tarpon follow their forage and populate most of our local waters. Following them are fish that consider tarpon t...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Captainís Corner: This is your best time for tarpon fishing

Now is the best time to target tarpon. Silver kings are cruising the beaches on their yearly migration up and down the stateís west coast. This weekís strong new moon tides and the strong full moon tides in two weeks provide some of the best action f...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Captainís Corner: Turn attention to gag grouper and red snapper

Attention has turned to gag grouper and red snapper for many offshore fishermen. Red snapper can be best targeted in waters 105 feet and deeper, with some available in water as shallow as 60 feet. Although the snapper will be found on high profile st...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Captainís Corner: Pompano popping up at passes, along beach

Over the past few weeks, pompano have started to appear around the passes and along the beach. These tasty members of the jack family are one of the most difficult fish to find and keep track of. Just when you think youíve figured out a reliable time...
Published: 06/10/18
Updated: 06/11/18