Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: The right bait for going after mangrove snapper

August has long been a favorite time to fish for mangrove snapper inside Tampa Bay. This year's no exception. Bait's the key. Shrimp, greenbacks and even cut bait can work, but nothing's better than a frisky whitebait. Spending extra time or traveling further to get them is time well spent. Though they're growing, much of the bait "raining" on the surface of many flats is smaller than the preferred 3-inchers. We've anchored on the deeper edge of the flat and chummed the larger ones to within cast net range. There's likely store-bought chum that works, but I like my concoction: bread crumbs mixed with a can of sardines in soybean oil and a can of cat food with a splash of menhaden oil. I used Kozy Kitten cat food for years but can't find it. 9 Lives works great but choose the one with fish in it. It might take 15 minutes of continuous sprinkling of chum to get them balled up, but then it can be one throw and go. With warm water temperatures, we've focused on deeper water along the edges of the ships channel. Mangos have ganged up along the rockiest edges and ledges of the channel, from Egmont Key to several miles inside the Skyway. We've done exceptionally well in the B & C Cuts of the channel. Others have reported equally good catches in other bends in the "ditch" up to G-Cut.

Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.

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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

Captainís Corner: Bite can turn on and off quickly this time of year

Typical deep-summer conditions continue across the bay. During this time of year the bite can be erratic and maybe even a little bi≠polar. The bite can turn on and off in an instant. Several species in one spot can be normal. On recent trips clients ...
Published: 09/16/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing strong in Fort De Soto area

Red Tide started showing up substantially on Saturday in Pinellas with the strong west wind we had. I lost some bait but was still able to fish. Snook are taking their time transitioning back into the bay from the beaches. Every shoreline and pass ar...
Published: 09/14/18
Updated: 09/15/18

Captainís Corner: Massive baitfish schools present plenty of opportunities

The shipping channel and most area passes are filled with massive schools of baitfish. Little tunny (bonito or false albacore) follow these smaller fish and present great opportunities for fly fisherís. A moving tide, either incoming or outgoing, get...
Published: 09/12/18
Updated: 09/14/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing in the bay with Red Tide in the gulf

Red Tide has started to affect our beaches, so Iíve stayed away from fishing the gulf. Threadfin herring and scaled sardines can be found in the bay, which is free of Red Tide. Spanish mackerel, cobia, sharks, mangrove snapper and jack crevalle can e...
Published: 09/12/18
Updated: 09/13/18

Captainís Corner: Offshore redfish are a great find

Fall brings many changes to our coastal fisheries. Many inshore species like snook, trout, and redfish make moves from one preferred habitat to others. One of the most notable, but least understood changes is the arrival of giant redfish to the water...
Published: 09/11/18

Captainís Corner: Bait available close to shore

Consecutive days of easterly winds have calmed the nearshore gulf waters and have drawn bait schools practically to the beach. A mix of whitebait, greenbacks and even a few juvenile Spanish sardines can be cast-netted with relative ease inside the sw...
Published: 09/07/18
Updated: 09/08/18

Captainís Corner: Baits thriving in upper portion of Tampa Bay

The rain-cooled waters of Tampa Bay are providing much better fishing. Baits of all kinds are thriving in the upper portion of the bay. Schools of scaled sardines are holding over shallow grass flats in open water. Chumming up the sardines with tropi...
Published: 09/06/18
Let’s Take it Outside: Exploring Great Smoky Mountain adventures

Let’s Take it Outside: Exploring Great Smoky Mountain adventures

Outdoor Adventures are plentiful in the Smoky Mountains and the cooler year-round temperatures are a great way to beat the Florida heat. A quick day’s drive will bring you to my favorite place in North Carolina: the NOC "Nantahala Outdoor Cente...
Published: 09/06/18