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: Migratory fish need food, need to move

What's hot: We often use the phrase "Fish have fins and tails" when they have moved from the previous day's location that provided a great catch. This is especially true this time of year when our attention has turned to the pelagic kingfish, Spanish mackerel, cobia, bonito and the occasional sailfish that pass through our area to their summertime feeding and spawning grounds in the northern gulf.

Besides fins and tails, they all have stomachs and must feed heavily to fuel their migration. The cardinal rule when targeting any migratory species is find the bait and you will find the fish. Threadfin herring, Spanish sardines, blue runners and other baitfish are structure-oriented for several reasons. One is protection; they want a place to hide. Another is food; structure of any kind provides an upwelling of current, which concentrates the plankton and other materials on which they feed.

Artificial reefs, wrecks, limestone outcroppings and channel markers with their anchor chains are prime structure that hold bait. The best and least damaged baits are those caught by Sabiki rigs, which come in various sizes. The most commonly used sizes are No. 6 and No. 8.

Sabiki tips: 1. Using a 3- or 4-ounce weight keeps the rig straighter and less prone to tangles when multiple or large baits are hooked. 2. Tipping the two bottom hooks with small pieces of squid will produce pinfish along with the other baits. 3. Always deploy a bait on a stinger rig while catching baits. Chances are there are larger fish in the area.

Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.

Captain's Corner: Migratory fish need food, need to move 05/01/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 1, 2011 9:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

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

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …