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: Snook getting fat for winter, whenever it gets here

Fall fishing remains in full effect. Bait continues to be around on almost every flat in the middle bay. Chumming with dry tropical fish food brings them to the surface and makes them easy to capture in the net. Loading the well is a must if you're trying to get snook to pop. Ravenous snook are fattening up for the winter, if it ever gets here. They're feeding well on incoming tides. As the tide reaches the middle stages, the tide speed is at its peak. Snook find the mangroves offering protection and find the chummers irresistible. The problem is it's a false hope. Often I will load the rods with a bait and have anglers wait while I chum the fish heavy. Once snook become comfortable, they move off the edge of the mangroves a bit, their guard is down, baits are cast and fish are hooked. Negative tides associated with the full moon have fish pushed off into holes. Running the tunnel hull skiff this week has allowed my clients access to deeper holes. Many of the holes are surrounded by inches of water or dry land. Redfish, trout and snook become trapped. It can be like fishing in a barrel. Artificial baits that imitate a shrimp or worm bounced slowly across the bottom can prove to be detrimental to the fish. Dark colors seem to be producing more right now.

Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or

Captain's Corner: Snook getting fat for winter, whenever it gets here 12/17/16 [Last modified: Saturday, December 17, 2016 6:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI


    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  2. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look


    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  3. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  4. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005


    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  5. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge


    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]