Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Sheepshead, black drum have been hot on Florida's west coast

What's hot?: Getting anything to bite lately has been a real chore. But thankfully, there are sheepshead and black drum willing to give you a pull even on the most frigid days. That's not to say drum and sheepshead have been hot by any stretch of the imagination. But if you're at the right bridge on the right tide, the action can be good enough to make you forget how cold it is.

Tactics: Anchoring your boat close enough to the bridge's fenders or pilings allows you to scrape barnacles into the water, creating chum to help the bite. Prior to the cold spell, it was easy to chum the sheepshead into a frenzy as they would come right to the surface awaiting free barnacles to drift their way. Now that the water temperature is down, they are reluctant to come off of the bottom. Vary the weight according to the strength of the tide. Use only enough to hold your bait to the bottom. Or if you see fish move toward the source of the chum, reel up and hold your bait right in front of them.

Tip: Although sheepshead have been willing to cooperate, they are moving slowly with the cold water, making it difficult to feel the bite. Placing your sinker on a short dropper below your hook will help feel the bite better as well as position your bait right in front of the targets' noses. Also, using a 10-pound braided line with a light-tipped rod allows you to detect even the faintest of bites.

Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 or via e-mail

Captain's Corner: Sheepshead, black drum have been hot on Florida's west coast 01/16/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 16, 2010 9:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Morning after off day: Rays ready for slumping O's



  2. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  3. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday


    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  4. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  5. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101