Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Mackerel good as both food and bait

Usually by the end of September, schools of Spanish mackerel form off the beach ahead of the fall migration. They gather to feed on the baitfish that are flushed out of area passes. John's Pass, Clearwater Pass, Blind Pass and the pass at Pass-a-Grille are good places to begin your search. Typically, seabirds dive on the bait schools and give away their location. Freshly caught Spanish mackerel are not bad on the smoker or grill as long as they are iced as soon as they are caught. Another reason for catching mackerel is as bait. Sharks and barracuda love them. There are massive numbers of barracuda awaiting the run of mackerel. They usually hunt in groups of five or six, but a barracuda school might number in the hundreds. Locate one of the published, man-made county reefs. Barracuda notoriously patrol the structure like wolves. The strike on a trolled, rigged mackerel is explosive and sometimes appears malicious. It's almost like they know when your mackerel isn't rigged and will take their share of your prized catch. Reeling in a mackerel head is evidence of their precise skill. The proof is when you find a surgical bite only a fraction of an inch behind the hook.

Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit captainlarryblue.com.

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Captainís Corner: Red Tide doesnít mean the end of good fishing

The loss of marine life along our gulf beaches and who knows how far offshore has been devastating. We can only hope for a speedy recovery from the deadly toxic algae bloom and keep our fingers crossed that Mother Nature will help clean up its mess s...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Captainís Corner: Anglers welcome the coming, and cooling, of fall

Captainís Corner: Anglers welcome the coming, and cooling, of fall

Astronomically speaking, fall is here. The autumnal equinox was Sept. 22. Days will be shorter and nights longer until the end of December. This decrease in sunlight hours will cause our waters to cool. This is welcome news to anglers who have been d...
Published: 09/23/18

Captainís Corner: Fall fishing in Tampa Bay draws near

With summer air temperature still in the low to upper 90s during the day but the lower night temperatures in the 80s, that means fall fishing for Tampa Bay might be just right around the corner. The snook are still in there summer pattern even their ...
Published: 09/22/18

Captainís Corner: Use Red Tide to venture to other fishing spots not affected

Normally this time of year my attention turns to the beaches, focusing on migratory species headed our way such as Spanish mackerel and kingfish. With our current Red Tide situation, my thoughts are still on the beach. Mostly, how to avoid it. Now is...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/21/18
Captainís Corner: Finding live bait has been biggest fishing issue in our area so far from Red Tide

Captainís Corner: Finding live bait has been biggest fishing issue in our area so far from Red Tide

i thoWith Red Tide in the area, fishing close to shore has been a challenge. Waters from the beach out to about 40 feet have been affected this week. Concentrate your efforts starting about 80 feet and work west. Since our primary spots are well offs...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18

Captainís Corner: Look north toward Tarpon Springs for fishing to avoid Red Tide, for now

Red Tide has been creeping toward North Pinellas. Although bait is flourishing along the beaches and predator fish are feeding on them, hordes of dead fish are washing up on shore, most likely from Red Tide blooms well offshore. Lately, Iíve focused ...
Published: 09/19/18
Letís Take it Outside: A trip to the historic Florida Middle Grounds

Letís Take it Outside: A trip to the historic Florida Middle Grounds

The historic Florida Middle Grounds offer some of the Gulf Coastís most premier fishing. The reefs start about 85 miles northwest off the coast of Clearwater and extend another 30 miles beyond. The Middle Grounds have miles and miles of underwater mo...
Published: 09/19/18

Captainís Corner: Dealing with Red Tide from spearfishing standpoint

Finding fish to spear offshore is tricky. Unlike hook-and-line anglers, spearfishermen need reasonable underwater visibility to see their prey, judge itís the correct type of fish, determine if itís legal size, then before the fish flees, take the sh...
Published: 09/18/18

Captainís Corner: When Red Tide bloom breaks, fish can arrive quickly

Here is some good news attributed to Red Tide. Things do rebound quickly, once the bloom breaks. New populations of fish can arrive quickly in its aftermath. Anglers who have been successful lately are looking for untainted areas to fish. At least a ...
Published: 09/16/18
Updated: 09/17/18

Captainís Corner: Bite can turn on and off quickly this time of year

Typical deep-summer conditions continue across the bay. During this time of year the bite can be erratic and maybe even a little bi≠polar. The bite can turn on and off in an instant. Several species in one spot can be normal. On recent trips clients ...
Published: 09/16/18