Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Stone crab season can benefit anglers

Persistent east winds can make offshore fishing a challenge. A strong east wind might create an uncomfortable sea farther offshore; closer to shore the wind is buffeted by buildings along the beach towns. When the wind blows consistently in that direction, the fish follow it right up to the beach. Staying within a mile or two allows for more favorable fishing conditions. Calm water keeps baitfish closer to shore, closer to the surface, and easier to find. Find the bait — find the fish. Stone crab season has begun and perhaps you've noticed the myriad of brightly colored buoys just offshore. Well, those marker buoys are for the stone crab traps below. These traps are loaded with different baits used to attract the crabs. The fresh bait in the traps might inadvertently create a chum slick, which for anglers has an unintended benefit; they attract baitfish that in turn attracts bigger fish, namely king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, cobia and sharks. Carefully negotiate around these markers to find all of these fish. Stay well clear of the traps to avoid snagging your lines on them, thereby losing your prized catch. Several anglers have been complaining that while they are fishing for king mackerel, sharks have been harassing their baits. Some anglers actually like catching sharks, others not so much. Shark fishing has been about as good as it gets. There are a good number of blacktip spinner sharks in the area; these are some of the best eating of the species. As a personal rule, I release all of the females, keeping only the males.

Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit captainlarryblue.com.

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Captainís Corner: Plenty to target inside the bay

The action, if you pick the right spot, is there to be had. Red Tide is here, so avoid areas that have it in any concentration. Basically, it hasnít entered Tampa Bay so far so you can concentrate efforts inside the bay. What to target? We have it al...
Published: 09/24/18
Updated: 09/25/18

Captainís Corner: Red Tide doesnít mean the end of good fishing

The loss of marine life along our gulf beaches and who knows how far offshore has been devastating. We can only hope for a speedy recovery from the deadly toxic algae bloom and keep our fingers crossed that Mother Nature will help clean up its mess s...
Published: 09/23/18
Updated: 09/24/18
Captainís Corner: Anglers welcome the coming, and cooling, of fall

Captainís Corner: Anglers welcome the coming, and cooling, of fall

Astronomically speaking, fall is here. The autumnal equinox was Sept. 22. Days will be shorter and nights longer until the end of December. This decrease in sunlight hours will cause our waters to cool. This is welcome news to anglers who have been d...
Published: 09/23/18

Captainís Corner: Fall fishing in Tampa Bay draws near

With summer air temperature still in the low to upper 90s during the day but the lower night temperatures in the 80s, that means fall fishing for Tampa Bay might be just right around the corner. The snook are still in there summer pattern even their ...
Published: 09/22/18

Captainís Corner: Use Red Tide to venture to other fishing spots not affected

Normally this time of year my attention turns to the beaches, focusing on migratory species headed our way such as Spanish mackerel and kingfish. With our current Red Tide situation, my thoughts are still on the beach. Mostly, how to avoid it. Now is...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/21/18
Captainís Corner: Finding live bait has been biggest fishing issue in our area so far from Red Tide

Captainís Corner: Finding live bait has been biggest fishing issue in our area so far from Red Tide

i thoWith Red Tide in the area, fishing close to shore has been a challenge. Waters from the beach out to about 40 feet have been affected this week. Concentrate your efforts starting about 80 feet and work west. Since our primary spots are well offs...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18

Captainís Corner: Look north toward Tarpon Springs for fishing to avoid Red Tide, for now

Red Tide has been creeping toward North Pinellas. Although bait is flourishing along the beaches and predator fish are feeding on them, hordes of dead fish are washing up on shore, most likely from Red Tide blooms well offshore. Lately, Iíve focused ...
Published: 09/19/18
Letís Take it Outside: A trip to the historic Florida Middle Grounds

Letís Take it Outside: A trip to the historic Florida Middle Grounds

The historic Florida Middle Grounds offer some of the Gulf Coastís most premier fishing. The reefs start about 85 miles northwest off the coast of Clearwater and extend another 30 miles beyond. The Middle Grounds have miles and miles of underwater mo...
Published: 09/19/18

Captainís Corner: Dealing with Red Tide from spearfishing standpoint

Finding fish to spear offshore is tricky. Unlike hook-and-line anglers, spearfishermen need reasonable underwater visibility to see their prey, judge itís the correct type of fish, determine if itís legal size, then before the fish flees, take the sh...
Published: 09/18/18

Captainís Corner: When Red Tide bloom breaks, fish can arrive quickly

Here is some good news attributed to Red Tide. Things do rebound quickly, once the bloom breaks. New populations of fish can arrive quickly in its aftermath. Anglers who have been successful lately are looking for untainted areas to fish. At least a ...
Published: 09/16/18
Updated: 09/17/18