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

Captains Corner: No need to stray far from shore for good bite

What's hot: Strong easterly winds made conditions tolerable close to shore in the gulf, but farther offshore, conditions were miserable and unsafe. Westerly winds cause waves to build offshore and as they head to shore, they eventually have no place to go and cause rough seas. Easterly winds have the opposite effect and produce calm conditions near the shore with waves increasing as one ventures farther out. These recent easterly winds have provided great fishing.

Baitfish have become abundant within 2 miles of shore and have attracted and kept many of the larger predators within range. Spanish mackerel can be caught either by trolling small spoons, plugs or streamers (with or without a No. 1 planer). Live-bait anglers can net bait inshore, anchor over hard bottom and chum the mackerel into a frenzy on most days.

Because of the clear water, using a light monofilament leader has become a necessity. At times a wire leader will result in few strikes.

Tips: Bonito are abundant and can be seen churning the water into a white froth. Although not considered good table fare, they provide drag-screaming, rod-bending action. At times bonito can become a nuisance when targeting other pelagics, but when targeting them for sport they prove difficult to catch. We have found that they are sensitive to bait size. A small saltwater streamer fly with a strong hook is often what it takes to "match the hatch." Kingfish are still here feeding on the mackerel. And for anglers with the patience to slow-troll large live baits, trophy catches are being made.

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

Captains Corner: No need to stray far from shore for good bite 12/07/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 8:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pro Bowl returning to Orlando in 2018


    ORLANDO — The Pro Bowl will return to Orlando in 2018 for the second straight year.

    Bucs  wide receiver Mike Evans runs a route as Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. defends during the first quarter of the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in January at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Erasmo Ramirez makes his third start of the season.
  3. If Tony Dungy sticks around, he'll broadcast the 2021 Tampa Super Bowl for NBC


    Lost in the Super Tuesday news of the Super Bowl coming back to Tampa was this nugget:

    Pictured, from left, Dan Patrick, co-Host, Tony Dungy, studio analyst, Aaron Rodgers. [Ben Cohen/NBC]
  4. Tragedy, tenacity helped shape Ridgewood valedictorian Johannah Cummines

    Volleyball Preps

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Even if her daily routine didn't permit calories to melt off, Johannah Cummines would deserve to pick anything on the menu.

    Ridgewood High senior Johannah Cummines and mom Chenell. Cummines is headed to Florida Atlantic, where she will play beach volleyball. (Photo courtesy of Johannah Cummines)
  5. Bucs Roberto Aguayo kicks off 2017 on the wrong foot


    The goal posts still seem to be moving for Roberto Aguayo.

    The Bucs woebegone place-kicker, who is in a battle with veteran Nick Folk, went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights, the first day of full squad Organized Team Activities.

    If that weren’t …

    Roberto Aguayo went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights.