Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Snook set to start their fall move

While air temperatures are still in the upper 80s and low 90s during the day, the lower nightly temperatures in the 70s means Tampa Bay fall fishing is right around the corner. With snook still present along area beaches and passes, you would think we're more in a summer pattern, but their biological clock is telling them to start moving to the fall spots such as the back side of Weedon Island or all the residential docks in the area. The best times to fish for them are still the early morning and evening until the water temperature gets down in the low 80s. Fishing for redfish is starting to get better on the flats. I look for mullet schools in 1 to 3 feet of water on the flats; use your trolling motor to get in position and set up. If you just chase them, like what has happened over at Weedon Island, nobody will catch them. The best baits are live baits such as sardines or pinfish. Fall always means big schools of mackerel in the bay and off the beaches for some drag-screaming fun. It's some of the best fishing fun. I use a 2X long shanked hook in a 3/0 and a short piece of 60- or 80-pound fluorocarbon leader, then hold on.

Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at [email protected]

Comments

Captainís Corner: We need warmer weather to improve fishing

With the water temperature, still in the mid to upper 50s and the cooler winter nights, the fishing is in a not-so-good place. We need those mid to upper 70s during the days to get fishing back on track. The best places you might want to look for are...
Published: 01/21/18
Updated: 01/22/18

Captainís Corner: Bundle up and head out to the bay for bass, sheepshead

The water is cold, but that doesnít mean that fishing is over for the winter. There are still target species available that are fun to catch and will provide a fresh meal. Friday, we left the docks a little later than normal to give the sun a chance ...
Published: 01/20/18
Updated: 01/21/18

Captainís Corner: Live baits outperforming artificials

Amberjack have been the hot topic in the area since their season opened Jan. 1. Anglers have been targeting wrecks and other large structures in depths of 80-120 feet for these tackle-testing monsters. Although amberjack are caught on a wide variety ...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18

Captainís Corner: What to expect from fish coming out of the cold spell

Extreme cold has brought backcountry water temperatures down. As in years past, extreme dips have shocked many fish, especially snook, which take the biggest hit and become extremely lethargic and often near death. Luckily the cold wonít be long, and...
Published: 01/19/18

Captainís Corner: Divers, anglers going after amberjack

Over the past two weeks divers and anglers have been in search of amberjack. The season opened Jan. 1 and ends Jan. 27. The short season for gulf amberjack has pushed many divers and anglers to venture offshore, even in questionable weather. Donít fo...
Published: 01/18/18

Captainís Corner: Cold weather brings different but effective fishing styles

This past week has seen a variety of different fishing styles prove effective. Fishing for trout in deeper depressions with live shrimp has provided steady action. Rig as follows: Use a ?-ounce jighead, grab a shrimp from the well and pinch the tail ...
Published: 01/17/18

Captainís Corner: Devise a strategy before heading out into the cold

The quality of fishing this month depends on how many cold fronts are in our future. When the water creeps down below 60 degrees, many fish will slow their metabolism in order to survive. They require less food than in the warmer months, making some ...
Published: 01/16/18

Captainís Corner: Make sure the fly gets in front of a hungry fish

Back-to-back winter cold fronts not only confuse inshore fish but the fly fishers who pursue them. The most perfectly tied fly is not effective unless it is in front of a fish that is anxious to eat it. The best daytime tides, very low early and inco...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/14/18

Captainís Corner: Cold, windy days just fine for trout fishing

Trout have been my most productive target during the start of this new year. Winter cold fronts and cold water are making conditions difficult to target snook and reds. Strong winds from passing fronts make it hard to work the shallow-water flats. Th...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18

Captainís Corner: Cold driving out kings, but there are alternatives

Mother Nature gives and she takes away. Nature gave us warm water and great king fishing until Dec. 31. She ushered in the new year with a severe cold front with high winds and rough seas that kept us in port every day. The cold air and overcast skie...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18