Make us your home page
Instagram

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: Spanish mackerel, kingfish delayed this year

In past years I would be writing that Spanish mackerel and kingfish have shown up right on schedule on St. Patrick's Day, March 17. But not this year, due to the 63-degree water temperature I've been recording on daily trips offshore targeting bottom fish and amberjack in midwater depths. The Sunshine Skyway North Fishing Pier reported scattered catches of mackerel on a daily basis, but the fish have not schooled up yet. Once the water reaches 68 degrees, we'll see the arrival of bait schools that will increase daily until the magic 72 to 76 degrees is reached. Spanish mackerel, kingfish, cobia and bonita will be seen crashing into these schools of Spanish sardines, hardtails and threadfins. The new benchmark day for trolling season to begin in earnest is April 1. The longer days contribute more to the water temperature rise than anything because the gulf is like a huge sponge soaking up the sun. Red grouper fishing remains slow. We've been fishing in 60- to 65-foot depths because other benthic fish such as white grunts, mangrove snapper, triggerfish and sea bass, all of which make great table fare, are most prevalent. Each time we go out we're catching more red grouper, a great indicator that within a few weeks everything will return to normal.

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

Captain's Corner: Spanish mackerel, kingfish delayed this year 03/12/16 [Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2016 6:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102