Thursday, June 21, 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.

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...
Updated: 10 hours ago

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