Monday, December 11, 2017
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Setting up two key factors

What's hot: With spring patterns emerging along the west coast, many inshore species will use the shallowest water to hunt down a meal. As the water warms, pinfish, sardines and other bait become food for the big three — snook, redfish and trout. Look for two key factors. One: Look for birds picking around shallow flats on low water. Egrets and spoonbills will root around areas with bloodworms and small crabs. Often this area is the shallowest section of the grassflat. These crustaceans are favorites of redfish and the bottom feeders will work that zone once the tide begins to flood. Two: Work around mullet schools on high water. In early spring, these schools will flush up the bottom as they work toward the mangroves. The result becomes a massive buffet for predators. Gold spoons and scented plastic shrimp are the best artificial offerings, as anglers can work the lures near the bottom. For live bait, shrimp and silver-dollar sized pinfish rigged with a small split-shot just above the hook will keep the bait down, where gamefish will be targeting.

Tackle: Long casts help disguise a presentation in cleaner water and place distance to weary fish. Ten- to 15-pound braid is optimum for extending casts with spinning gear. Always set up to the schools with the wind behind you to get the most distance. Rig the bait with weight forward to cover more water.

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: Sheepshead action lively in cooler weather

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Updated: 7 hours ago

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Published: 12/08/17
Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

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Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Captainís Corner: Strong results for redfish, speckled trout

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Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17

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Published: 12/05/17

Captainís Corner: Bait schools near shore drawing kings, mackerel, bonito

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Published: 12/03/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Captainís Corner: This is the month to target gag grouper

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Published: 12/03/17
Updated: 12/04/17

Captainís Corner: Speckled sea trout can be easily caught on artificial lures

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Published: 12/01/17

Captainís Corner: Cooler weather lures decent gag grouper

Mild temperatures have allowed anglers to get out and explore many areas. Cooler weather has lured decent gag grouper. We expected them to arrive in the past month, and they havenít disappointed. Numerous rocks in 20- to 120-foot depths seem to be ho...
Published: 11/30/17

Captainís Corner: Donít have to go far offshore for grouper

When most anglers think of bottom fishing for grouper, they usually think that means taking a long run offshore. During late November and early December, grouper migrate close to shore, so a long run might not be necessary. There are times we target ...
Published: 11/28/17
Updated: 11/29/17