Saturday, April 21, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Not ready to end tarpon chase

This late date in July signals the end of tarpon season for many. Those in the know, however, will be tugging on them for another month if they care to. Last week, a good flow of fish was cruising the "edge" along the gulf beaches between Pass-a-Grille and Sand Key. Along with smaller bunches, a surprising number of relatively large schools could be seen slowly migrating to the north just outside the swim buoys. Providing a choice of live baits suspended beneath corks and dead shad on the bottom was the key. Many tarpon push up inside Tampa Bay late in the season. Fishing the "mud holes" in the bay might not be as glamorous as beach fishing. The water is not exactly pristine and in a lot of my favorite spots there's not a lot to look at … but the fishing can be just as productive. We've jumped a half-dozen tarpon on several of our most recent trips. Sometimes you will have to bounce around until you find them. Gadsen Point, the "Bootleg", Westinghouse and Rocky Point are among my go-to spots. I'll look at Bishop Harbor, Port Manatee and the "middle" if we haven't found them. If it's calm and the tides are right, I'll sneak a peek in Bayboro Harbor, the Snell Isle Reef, the Franklin hole or Lizard Flats. Wherever it might be, the fish are a lot less pressured in these areas. Besides, there's much to be said about not having to fish in a crowd.

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

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Captainís Corner: King mackerel the hot topic as gulf waters warm

King mackerel is always the hot topic this time of year, with tournaments every weekend for two months. Some believe that massive schools in the gulf migrate from their fall haunts in south Florida and the Keys to the north, with the larger females (...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

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Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/19/18

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The rush of warmer water on our offshore reefs and wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico has brought with it a cadre of pelagic fish. Divers and anglers have enjoyed the influx of cobia, kingfish and more. The benthic (bottom) fish are splurging on the balls ...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Captainís Corner: Spring bite is solid despite wacky weather

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Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Captainís Corner: Kingfish, sharks provide aerial displays

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Published: 04/16/18

Captainís Corner: Trolling or anchoring up, kingfish bite is hot

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Published: 04/13/18
Updated: 04/15/18

Captainís Corner: Spring run is the most wonderful time of the year

The full spring run of all species in our area is in full swing. Whatever species you would like to target, inshore or offshore, is as good as it gets this time of year. Redfish schools have shown up in the flats around Pinellas Point, but they are i...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Captainís Corner: Spanish mackerel, kingfish showing up in big numbers

They are here! Spanish mackerel and kingfish have shown up in the numbers expected of them at this time of year. All we have to hope for is weather that will allow us to get offshore. In most years the hot spots have been the artificial reefs, shipwr...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Captainís Corner: Offshore fishing heats up in spring

Spring is here and things are heating up offshore. Kingfish have arrived from Tarpon Springs to Anna Maria. Spanish mackerel are around many of the bridges and piers, and cobia have appeared on the wrecks. Our most interesting discovery last week was...
Published: 04/10/18
Updated: 04/11/18

Captainís Corner: Trout, snook gathering around oyster bars

The recent full moon has finally sent the bait to the flats, although if you prefer the markers, theyíre still there, too. It seems we are finally in full-on spring mode. Trout have been sporadic at best, but when a group is located, they are coopera...
Published: 04/10/18