Friday, April 27, 2018
Outdoors

Captains corner: Tarpon still moving close to beaches

What's hot: Tarpon activity along local west coast beaches is at a peak, with many fish being seen daily. Because easterly morning winds will make the gulf flat close to shore, it is easier to see the fish. Get out at daybreak and stay close to shore with the sun behind you. The tarpon's back will glisten as it rolls on the smooth water surface. After a few trips anglers will get accustomed to the tarpon's favorite places to appear, giving anglers a pattern of preferred routes. Pick a relatively shallow, light-colored bottom area where fish can be seen far enough away to not surprise you. It's not unusual to see large tarpon inside the swim markers.

Strategy: For fly anglers, a close shot to undisturbed fish is ideal. Never chase tarpon with either an outboard or electric motor. Their ability to detect anglers will prevent them from accepting a well-presented fly. Position the boat ahead of the fish and have them come to you. Attempts to cast to fish going away or at more than a right angle are a waste of energy and if one spooks, they all will go.

Be prepared: Get an experienced fly caster to help you prepare to deliver quickly and accurately at the moment of truth. Do an Internet search for "Saltwater quick cast" and study and practice a technique that fits your comfort zone and abilities.

Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com and (727) 504-8649.

Comments

Captainís Corner: Warm water helps keep snook fishing strong

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Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18
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

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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