Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Mangrove snapper, tarpon, kingfish biting

Mangrove snapper, tarpon and, believe or not, kingfish have been high on the list of species to target … and there has been a good bunch of each. Last week's full moon helped reignite a mango bite that frankly didn't need much stoking. We have consistently done well working the edges of the shipping channel in Tampa Bay. Others have reported equally productive catches on the structure at the artificial reefs, bridges, piers and docks in the bay. Gathering bait has been instrumental for success. We have easily caught perfect-sized whitebait on the Snell Isle flats lately, and reports indicate they're on grass flats nearly everywhere. The full moon often brings out the best in nighttime tarpon fishing, and this month has been no exception. The fish chewed best after the sun set and while the moon was rising after dark along the gulf beaches of Manatee County. Similar reports came from fishing buddies in Clearwater. We jumped a tarpon while snapper fishing near Port Manatee, and there were some tarpon caught and let go by the "Bootleg" near Gandy Bridge over the weekend. Incredibly, kingfish have refused to leave the herds of bait gathered at the outer markers of the Egmont Channel. Jiggle up what's there on gold hook rigs, preferably Spanish sardines, and slow troll the perimeter of the bait pods. You'll likely have to deal with some bonito, barracuda and a shark or two, but many of the kings have been in the 20-pound class.

Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.

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Captainís Corner: Plenty to target inside the bay

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Updated: 10 hours ago

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...
Published: 09/23/18
Updated: 09/24/18
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