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Captain's corner: Schools of bait bring prominent predators around

The beaches are swimming in baitfish. Threadfin herring and scaled sardines can be found up and down our coast, and the migratory species are preying on these bait schools.

Spanish mackerel, kingfish, cobia, bonito, sharks and jack crevalle are the prominent species on the prowl. Large redfish schools continue to invade shallow water flats in search of crustaceans. Seatrout, one of the most popular and easiest of all game fish to catch, are showing up everywhere on the grass flats.

Learning how to throw a cast net can be one of the best things that anyone could ever learn in our area. By filling the live well with threadfins, scaled sardines, pinfish, grunts, mullet, ladyfish and shrimp, an angler will be ready for just about any game fish species.

To entice the pelagic species near the beaches, slow-troll threadfin herring. Locate the schools of baitfish less than a mile from the beach, then deploy baits on a light drag setting, using light wire to prevent breakoffs from toothy fish.

Redfish are tailing on the low tides, but these fish are wary and will run if they are spooked. Wading is the best bet for shallow water reds. I use shrimp when targeting tailing reds; they land softly and provide a good presentation in shallow water.

The east winds have made ideal conditions for drifting the flats for trout. I use a popping cork with a scaled sardine. This combination is deadly for trout and will produce a ton of fish drifting over deep grass flats.

Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit www. captainrobgorta.com.

Captain's corner: Schools of bait bring prominent predators around 10/23/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 5:05pm]
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