Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Spanish mackerel beef up

Spanish mackerel have finally shown up in quantity in the gulf. Until recently the only anglers successful targeting them were those fishing Tampa Bay. Once the mackerel arrived, so did their predators, which include barracuda, sharks and kingfish. Fishing for kingfish has been extremely good for this time of year with many taking up residence at the western end of the shipping channel, midwater artificial reefs and wrecks, and many of the mitigation rock piles on the natural gas pipeline. Barracuda are one of my personal favorites to target and will be found at the same spots as the kingfish and mackerel. Shark fishing has not been as good as in past years close to shore because of the lack of mackerel. Now that they have arrived, hammerhead, blacktip and bull sharks can be targeted near any entrance to the gulf by chumming with frozen chum and having some patience. Mackerel filets, bonita and whole butterfly mackerel are all excellent shark baits and should be deployed throughout the water column by use of balloon floats. Heavy tackle is not required for many of the sharks targeted because of the lack of structure where they are caught. Down­sizing tackle provides for some memorable battles. Be prepared by having a float ready to release the anchor and chase the fish down when the big one decides to take the light tackle bait.

Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach. Call (727) 397-8815.

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Captainís Corner: Warming weather brings permit to wrecks, ledges

Captainís Corner: Warming weather brings permit to wrecks, ledges

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Published: 04/22/18
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Captainís Corner: Time nears for snook, tarpon out at the beaches

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Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18

Captainís Corner: Variables are all that is constant when it comes to art of fishing

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Captainís Corner: King mackerel the hot topic as gulf waters warm

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Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

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Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/19/18

Captainís Corner: Rush of warmer water in gulf heats up fishing on offshore reefs, wrecks

The rush of warmer water on our offshore reefs and wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico has brought with it a cadre of pelagic fish. Divers and anglers have enjoyed the influx of cobia, kingfish and more. The benthic (bottom) fish are splurging on the balls ...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Captainís Corner: Spring bite is solid despite wacky weather

Bipolar weather continues to confuse both fish and anglers. Fortunately the water temperature has gotten high enough that the effects donít last long and the spring bite continues to be solid. Snook are still the hot bite in many areas around the bay...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Captainís Corner: Kingfish, sharks provide aerial displays

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Published: 04/16/18

Captainís Corner: Trolling or anchoring up, kingfish bite is hot

Are you looking for line-screaming action? Head offshore. The kingfish bite has been good, though high winds may require a wait for the water to clear. The best numbers have been about 5 miles out on the hard bottom. Trolling for kingfish works well;...
Published: 04/13/18
Updated: 04/15/18

Captainís Corner: Spring run is the most wonderful time of the year

The full spring run of all species in our area is in full swing. Whatever species you would like to target, inshore or offshore, is as good as it gets this time of year. Redfish schools have shown up in the flats around Pinellas Point, but they are i...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18