Sunday, May 20, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Spring is here

What's hot: March is traditionally when spring fishing kicks off on the west coast of Florida. The speckled trout are at their peak in size, and often, the biggest of the year are caught just off the spoils along the intracoastal waterway. Schools of oversized redfish are forming and number in the hundreds on good moon phases with peak high water. As the whitebait returns to the flats, the snook will soon follow. Most have started to stage up in transition areas to caution against late cold fronts.

Tips: The shallow flats from Clearwater Bay to Green Key in Pasco County are starting to get good numbers of big redfish. While the larger, oversized fish will show up only on new and full moon tides, many top-of-the-slot fish are schooling close to oyster bars and creeks on high water. The key to getting close to them is using a shallow drafting boat with the push pole or trolling motor working at low speed. The idea is to not make a lot of commotion as you enter the flat. The biggest mistake anglers make when approaching a spot is coming in too fast.

Jim Huddleston charters out of Tampa, Palm Harbor and Clearwater and can be reached at (727) 439-9017 and at [email protected]

Comments

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

Captainís Corner: Bait moving onto the flats

Hopefully the strong east winds we had most of the week will settle down for the weekend. The water temperature is starting to climb, and bait is starting to move onto the flats. This makes fish more active and aggressive. When youíre planning your n...
Updated one month ago