Sunday, May 20, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Spanish mackerel bring ray of hope for slow kingfish start

The fall kingfish season has been less than stellar for me. Normally I would expect good numbers of schoolie fish (6-10 pounds) to be in our area at this time of year savagely attacking schools of Spanish sardines, hardtails and blue runners. Several trips to the nearshore and midwater artificial reefs have resulted in a fish or two, but nothing consistent. The ray of hope for trollers has been the abundance of larger-than-average Spanish mackerel at all of the usual spots that should be harboring kingfish. Small spoons trolled behind No. 1 planers and many types of hard-bodied plugs are producing the best results. Barracuda have been numerous and have been quick to attack a hooked mackerel, leaving a set of lips on the spoon. We've found a great use for our kingfish tackle. The light sensitive rods with 20-pound class conventional reels have proved to be great to fish for sharks near any pass emptying into the gulf. We like to think of the monster sharks depicted in movies and TV, but the reality is most sharks we're catching are relatively small (10-40 pounds) and provide great sport on the light kingfish tackle. The 6/0 to 10/0 circle hooks and a 2-foot wire leader are all that's needed. A good chum slick augmented by chunked fish with some baits placed on the bottom and some suspended from balloons will produce action, especially on an outgoing tide.

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

Comments

Captainís Corner: Red grouper fishing continues to be good

Red grouper fishing continues to be steady in depths of 100-120 feet. Large bait stacks are holding a fish or two, but larger concentrations are on very small rolls and potholes in those depths. Zooming in on the bottom 10-15 feet of the water column...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Catching a giant cobia

Cobia is the topic this week. Capt. Tom Markham, aboard the Simply Hooked, was beginning his daily bait routine. It turned out that one of the markers located near Clearwater Pass, surprisingly, had a giant fish waiting for him. The captain slid up t...
Published: 05/16/18

Captainís Corner: Tarpon showing up on beaches, bridges

This week shouldnít be a total wash out. While there is a chance of rain every day, it should only be sporadic. Hopefully it wonít dirty up the water too much. If you are a tarpon fisherman and look forward to their arrival like I do, then you are in...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Captainís Corner: This is best time of year for bay area fishing

Itís the best time of year for fishing in the area. Tarpon can be targeted off of any of the bridges. The Gandy, Howard Frankland and Skyway are my top choices. While awaiting a tarpon strike, I kill time by dropping smaller baits for Spanish mackere...
Published: 05/13/18

Captainís Corner: Change tactics for fly fishing success

Most fly fishers would prefer minimum wind and cloudless skies to increase chances for a banner day. This has been a problem lately. The wind makes casting more difficult, unless very experienced, and clouds interfere with sight casting opportunities...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on handling burgeoning baitfish

Schools of baitfish have arrived and taken up residence in all depths. Birds are diving on them close to the beach, all the way out to the midwater artificial reefs. Farther offshore, bait schools might not be visible on the surface but can be detect...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/12/18

Captainís Corner: Buckle up, the tarpon are here

Tarpon season is here, and the fish are showing up in numbers along the beaches. While there have been tarpon in the bays and backwaters for awhile, there were very few schools cruising the coast until a few days ago. Then, seemingly overnight, big p...
Published: 05/11/18

Captainís Corner: Here come the tarpon

Itís hot, the water temperatureís right and itís May. That means itís Tarpon Time! Aprilís full moon seemed to have opened the flood gates for tarpon arriving in our area. Weíve observed some at the Sunshine Skyway bridge for a couple weeks. On a few...
Published: 05/07/18

Captainís Corner: Swash channel is full of life

Offshore winds the past week cleaned beach waters to that pretty shade of blue we often have this time of year. The swash channel is full of life as schools of finger mullet, whiting and threadfin herring go in and out with the tide, and schools of p...
Published: 05/05/18
Updated: 05/06/18
Captainís Corner: Fish return to normal migration pattern in North Pinellas

Captainís Corner: Fish return to normal migration pattern in North Pinellas

Warm weather has stabilized water temperatures, sending many fish into their normal pattern of migration in North Pinellas. Every year, large female snook start to trickle out to the west along the beaches, a few yards from unsuspecting sunbathers. S...
Updated one month ago