Saturday, November 18, 2017
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Spanish mackerel time

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What's hot: Probably the surest thing for anglers in the gulf now is Spanish mackerel. Larger fish have taken up residence on most nearshore artificial reefs, 4 to 6 miles offshore. They can be targeted in several ways; the most common is to troll No. 1 planers followed by 20 to 25 feet of 40-pound leader attached to a gold or silver small spoon. The key is not blind trolling, but locating the high profile structures on each reef and trolling figure-8 patterns around it so your lines are presented to the predators attacking the shelter-seeking baitfish. Another method is using live bait either caught on site by the use of sabiki or to net white bait inshore and take it to the reefs. Attract the mackerel by anchoring over a structure and deploying a chum bag along with slivers of cut baitfish. A live baitfish nose hooked with a long shanked gold hook will produce non-stop action. If you get too many cutoffs, use a small trace of light wire.

Tip: If you troll hardware (planers, spoons, or plugs) and have to go through a no-wake zone to get to the gulf, put a No. 1 planer and spoon out. The no-wake speed is almost perfect for trolling and it is amazing what can be caught by using this method. Through the years, species we have caught include Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, speckled and silver trout and grouper.

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

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Comments

Captainís Corner: Snook bite remains aggressive

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Published: 11/17/17

Captainís Corner: Calm seas closer to beaches rewards with kingfish

Strong east winds have made it challenging for offshore anglers. The first few miles are quite tolerable since the land buffers the shoreline. After that, sea conditions have been tougher. Anglers searching for kingfish have been rewarded with calm s...
Published: 11/16/17

Captainís Corner: A little wind doesnít stop hot fishing in November

Despite many windy days, November fishing has been amazing. The water is cooling off, and the fish are becoming more aggressive. Itís getting to be the time of year when the cold fronts start to make their way out of the north. When this happens, win...
Published: 11/15/17

Captainís Corner: Fly fishing success possible, even in wind

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Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Captainís Corner: Low tides and cold fronts make for rewarding fishing

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Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Captainís Corner: Reef fish abundant offshore; mackerel, kings better near shore

Before this recent cold front, we were able to travel where we wanted, and the calm seas allowed us to make the mistake of running past the best depths for our type of fishing. The 40- to 50-foot depths produced almost nonstop action from reef fish, ...
Published: 11/12/17
Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

The fall king mackerel run is still going strong. The fish have seemed to come in waves; one week there are numerous fish more than 30 pounds, and a week or two later no one can find any more than 20. It also seems the fish are not moving south all t...
Published: 11/11/17

Captainís Corner: Cold front should push fish into backcountry waters

The approaching front is forecast to drop temperatures for a couple of days. This should push more fish into the backcountry rivers and creeks that feed the bay. Once the front passes and the weather stabilizes, fishing should return to normal. This ...
Published: 11/10/17

Captainís Corner: Kingfish domination

With calm seas and water temperature just the way they like it, kingfish will dominate much of the nearshore and offshore activity. Light wind and strong tides from the weekendís full moon have allowed nearshore waters to cleanse, so baits are being ...
Published: 11/08/17
Captainís Corner: November means strong snook fishing

Captainís Corner: November means strong snook fishing

November is the month that moves most inshore fish from the flats to the backcountry creeks, docks and rivers. Itís a month when you can enjoy great weather and great fishing without waking up at the crack of dawn. The South Shore in particular has s...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/09/17