Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Pay attention to tides, wind direction

What's hot: Tides and wind directions are vital in March. Extreme low and high tides vary depending on the wind. North winds blow more water out of the bay. South winds push the water level higher than tide charts predict. When your tide chart says low tide will be a minus-7 and the wind is out of the north, the tide might be as low as a minus-11. Northern wind holds up the incoming tide and makes it slower than predicted. Southern wind makes the low tides higher and increases water flow during the incoming tide.

Tips: Extreme low tides push the fish into deeper potholes that line areas where the flats are exposed above the water line. Sometimes you need to wade from the boat to reach these areas, but some spots have a small channel that a shallow draft boat can float in. Exploring these areas lets you know which spots to target on low tide. When you find a pothole full of fish during low tide, follow them, as they will leave the hole during the incoming tide. Look for deeper channels that the fish can use to travel back to the oyster bars and mangrove shoreline.

Doug Hemmer charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 347-1389.

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