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

Captain's Corner: Masses of baitfish attract an abundance of predators

Inclement weather has kept most of the charter fleet in port. Prior to the weather, baitfish was massed up just off the bay area's beaches and at the mouths of major rivers. Winds should be favorable the next few days for the action to continue.

The potpourri of bait attracts a host of predator fish such as Spanish and king mackerel, sharks, bluefish, ladyfish, jacks, tarpon, cobia, grouper and false albacore. Pelicans, royal terns and sea gulls are sure signs that you are in the right area, but it is the solid markings of baitfish on a sonar machine that get the nod from the pros.

Pro logic: Traditionally, the period between Columbus Day and Thanksgiving is peak time for fall king mackerel fishing off the gulf beaches. Waves of smaller school-sized kings usually pass our area offshore in the spring, but in the fall, the large smoker kings tend to be found in the bait migrating within 1 mile of the shoreline. Bump troll a live mullet, ladyfish or threadfin herring with a trace of piano wire in the areas abundant with bait, particularly just outside the larger passes on a falling tide.

Robert McCue can be reached toll-free at 1-800-833-0489 or via

Captain's Corner: Masses of baitfish attract an abundance of predators 10/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 6:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander


    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.


    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)