Sunday, December 17, 2017
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Plenty of options as fall arrives

What's hot: In a fall bonanza along our coastline, anglers are catching kingfish, mackerel, grouper, trout, redfish and snook on the same day. This is largely due to the excessive bait along beaches in north Pinellas. Mackerel feed on bait schools and migrate south as cooler waters arrive. As the water temperature dips into the 70s, grouper use the hard bottom near passes to forage on pinfish. The inshore bite also has been stimulated by the drop in temperature, making gamefish more aggressive on incoming tides.

Technique: Larger speckled trout are moving into the shallows and holding in the same sandy troughs as redfish. Belly-hooked sardines with a splitshot keep the offering in the strike zone longer. Another key component inshore has been mullet working the shallows as the tide floods. Throwing gold or white spoons works well. Anglers can work all levels of the water column and often get a reaction strike from predators holding in the mass of jumping mullet.

Backcountry: Working bayous, river mouths and creeks are a staple of fall fishing as well as the destination of snook that move off the beaches. All three species of an inshore slam can be caught off oyster bars and docks found in "sweetwater" tributaries.

Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at [email protected]

Comments

Captainís Corner: Go with live shrimp in deep water

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Updated: 5 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Bottom fishing is good with dropping gulf water temperatures

The past few weeks have delivered lots of cold air, dropping water temperatures in the gulf. Thermometers are reading in the low 60s. This is going to change a few things closer to shore. Anglers will find an absence of kingfish on many of the spots ...
Published: 12/16/17

Captainís Corner: Look for that strong speckled trout bite on grass flats

The speckled trout bite has taken off nicely after the first good cold front last weekend. You will find a consistent bite along the grass flats from Apollo Beach down to Pinellas Point. The sweet spot seems to be 4-6 feet of water. If you can find s...
Published: 12/15/17

Captainís Corner: Drop in gulf water temperature means itís sea trout time

The gulf temperature has dropped significantly since our first real cold front last week. One day the water was in the mid 70s, then after the front, it fell to the low 60s. That caused speckled sea trout to become a reliable target. Redfish have bee...
Published: 12/14/17

Captainís Corner: Good time for shallow-water flats fishing

Shallow-water flats fishing can be very exciting this time of year. Trout and redfish are available in good numbers, and the opportunities to catch some gator trout have made recent trips very rewarding. Some of the largest trout have been in very sk...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Captainís Corner: Seek clear water for bottom fishing as temperatures plummet

The great weather, calm seas and exceptional fishing we experienced at the end of November and beginning of December came to a screeching halt with the cold front that came through. Surface water temperatures plummeted from an unseasonable 71 degrees...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Captainís Corner: Sheepshead action lively in cooler weather

Conditions after the cold front are cool and are going to be for a while. That doesnít mean you canít or shouldnít fish. Many anglers get stuck on snook, reds and trout and forget how fun it is to catch sheepshead. Many reefs are already holding good...
Published: 12/09/17
Updated: 12/10/17

Captainís Corner: Fishing will return to normal, but when?

The severity of this cold front will determine the fishing forecast for the next several days. Bait that had been abundant inshore will scatter. Nearshore gulf waters will muddy, and water temperatures. at least temporarily. will plummet. How cold, h...
Published: 12/08/17
Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

I canít believe we are in the last month of the year. And while this is one of my favorite months to fish, it will be controlled by weather. As cold fronts become more frequent and harsh, planning your trips around them will make the biggest differen...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Captainís Corner: Strong results for redfish, speckled trout

This is a great time for variety. Combined trips for speckled trout and redfish are achieving excellent results. With the correct approach, great catches of both species are a reality now. The best anglers use the lightest tackle. Light rods and reel...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17