Monday, November 20, 2017
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Shallow sightings

RECOMMENDED READING


What's hot: Getting in on the shallow water grouper bite as the season winds down before the closure at month's end, we caught gags up to 12 pounds on Saturday. We even had a couple of keeper reds in only 47 feet, 10 miles south and west of the Pass-a-Grille sea buoy. Cut slivers of fresh minnows and a strong outgoing tide expanded our chum slick and resulted in as many mackerel as we cared to catch. We used fly-lined whitebait on light spin tackle, a foot and a half length of No. 2 wire leader (29-pound test) and a 1- or 2-ought hook did the trick.

What else: Along with grouper and mackerel we caught a couple dozen mangrove snapper while bouncing the bottom with 20-pound test, 2-ounce egg sinkers and a length of 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. The fish preferred medium whitebait, the friskier the better. We started the grouper with dead stuff. Frozen sardines worked well. Some bigger ones opted for chunks of ladyfish. Once we offered live stuff, that's all they wanted. Pinfish, grunts and extra-large white minnows all got whacked.

What's up: There's kingfish, but it's hit or miss. Soon, cold fronts will drop the water temperature and we'll see more activity. It's no surprise with water temps in the mid 80s tarpon are being jumped by anglers who are mackerel and kingfishing along gulf beaches.

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

Comments

Captainís Corner: As visibility improves, so does spearfishing

Spearing in the Gulf of Mexico is improving day by day. First, the underwater visibility is getting much better. For more than a month, after Hurricane Irma, the offshore water clarity was so poor that most divers stayed home. The water is now much c...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Captainís Corner: Snook bite remains aggressive

We are in the midst of prefrontal conditions, so there should be good fishing today. Bait seems to have moved on the last full moon and judging by the amount of bait fry that has filtered onto the flats, it spawned also. Load up the wells with the sm...
Published: 11/17/17

Captainís Corner: Calm seas closer to beaches rewards with kingfish

Strong east winds have made it challenging for offshore anglers. The first few miles are quite tolerable since the land buffers the shoreline. After that, sea conditions have been tougher. Anglers searching for kingfish have been rewarded with calm s...
Published: 11/16/17

Captainís Corner: A little wind doesnít stop hot fishing in November

Despite many windy days, November fishing has been amazing. The water is cooling off, and the fish are becoming more aggressive. Itís getting to be the time of year when the cold fronts start to make their way out of the north. When this happens, win...
Published: 11/15/17

Captainís Corner: Fly fishing success possible, even in wind

When your day to fly fish arrives, do you hope for a day without wind? Knowledgeable fly fishers know there are many ways to deal with different wind situations. Avoid open water, and select an area that offers protection. Stay close to shore and use...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Captainís Corner: Low tides and cold fronts make for rewarding fishing

Fall and winter low tides combined with cold fronts passing through can lead to highly rewarding fishing. It takes winds blowing 20-plus miles an hour out of the northeast combined with an astronomical low tide around the new moon and full moon phase...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Captainís Corner: Reef fish abundant offshore; mackerel, kings better near shore

Before this recent cold front, we were able to travel where we wanted, and the calm seas allowed us to make the mistake of running past the best depths for our type of fishing. The 40- to 50-foot depths produced almost nonstop action from reef fish, ...
Published: 11/12/17
Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

The fall king mackerel run is still going strong. The fish have seemed to come in waves; one week there are numerous fish more than 30 pounds, and a week or two later no one can find any more than 20. It also seems the fish are not moving south all t...
Published: 11/11/17

Captainís Corner: Cold front should push fish into backcountry waters

The approaching front is forecast to drop temperatures for a couple of days. This should push more fish into the backcountry rivers and creeks that feed the bay. Once the front passes and the weather stabilizes, fishing should return to normal. This ...
Published: 11/10/17

Captainís Corner: Kingfish domination

With calm seas and water temperature just the way they like it, kingfish will dominate much of the nearshore and offshore activity. Light wind and strong tides from the weekendís full moon have allowed nearshore waters to cleanse, so baits are being ...
Published: 11/08/17