Friday, April 27, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Still a chance for success with Spanish mackerel, kingfish and barracuda

What's hot: Strong winds and high seas have kept us in port. Even though surface water temperatures have dropped enough to put away the Spanish mackerel, kingfish and barracuda tackle, we will troll in hopes they have not dropped through the entire water column to drive them south. Pelagic fish concentrate around artificial reefs, wrecks, channel markers and mitigation piles on the pipeline after a storm. While most baitfish have left for warmer climates, those that remain also seek those structures.

Tackle: Trolling spoons and plugs behind No. 2 and No. 3 planers lets us cover more area and target the comfort depths fish now seek. Live baits such as blue runners, Spanish sardines and hardtails can be slow-trolled deep with a downrigger or leads of 4-6 ounces. Bottom fishing for white grunts, red and gag grouper and mangrove snapper will provide action in 40-60 feet when the water clears. Gag grouper season is closed, so it's catch, photo and release.

Tip: Cold water slows the metabolism of fish, so they are not eager to chase baits. Start each stop with cut frozen sardines and squid until the feeding frenzy begins before switching to live bait.

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

Comments

Captainís Corner: Warm water helps keep snook fishing strong

Onshore winds have kept any thoughts of looking for tarpon off the beach out of the question. Snook fishing has been very good and should remain over the next few weeks. Water temperatures are warm enough now for snook to feed well first thing in the...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Captainís Corner: Warming weather brings permit to wrecks, ledges

Captainís Corner: Warming weather brings permit to wrecks, ledges

As water temperatures continue to climb, more and more permit are showing up on wrecks and ledges off the Suncoast area. These highly prized members of the jack family appear every spring and gather into large aggregations for spawning. Most of this ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Captainís Corner: Time nears for snook, tarpon out at the beaches

With summerlike air temperatures coming in the next couple of weeks, snook will be moving out to the beaches and tarpon will start cruising there. Itís my favorite time of year to fish. With snook on the beaches and passes, you would think their biol...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18

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

The unique variables and ever-changing conditions of fishing are what set it apart from most other sports. Basketball goals donít move, baseball diamonds are basically the same and tennis courts never change. Fishing, on the other hand, is constantly...
Published: 04/21/18

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

King mackerel is always the hot topic this time of year, with tournaments every weekend for two months. Some believe that massive schools in the gulf migrate from their fall haunts in south Florida and the Keys to the north, with the larger females (...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

After significant winds from a front last week, things are calming down and fish are turning on again. Bait has gotten predictable and easier to chum on the flats after moving to deeper water during the front. Iíve been targeting trout at first light...
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

Fishing was good this past Saturday, ahead of the cold front. We fished close to shore about 2 miles. Our approach was simple. We anchored the boat, fished with live baits and chummed heavily. Kingfish action was nonstop for the entire morning. We ca...
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