Monday, December 18, 2017
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Tidal movement keys the fish bite

With the weather heating up, so is the action. We've been rewarded with numerous species of fish just about every day this past week. Fishing for red grouper 20 to 40 miles out has not been easy. However, persistency paid off, with tidal movement being the key to success. We are came off a week of strong tides, when fishing tends to be good. The new moon and the full moon phases are when these strong tide take place. These are referred to by experts as "spring tides,'' which normally last around 7-9 days. The movement gets good about three days before each one of these moon phases. Timing your trips around these good moving tide days can often make the difference. After these extreme tide phases leave us, the fish bite becomes sporadic. These tides are called "half moon" and can be trickier since the fish are not always active. Monitoring tide charts can help; patience is key. You have to know where to be and when to have lines in the water during half moon tides. Recently we were grouper fishing and it was extremely slow, with the tides barely moving. There aren't many red grouper in the shallower depths. We were two days into the half moon phase, so we expected some slow sessions. But the fish began to feed as the incoming tide began to pick up. Soon, keeper red grouper were all over the deck. We had no action for an hour before things fired up, due to the sluggish tide movement related to the half moon phase. Once that tide began to move, it was game on. Expect this week to be good but sporadic due to the half moon phase.

Dave Mistretta captains Jaws Too out of Indian Rocks Beach. Call (727) 439-2628 or visit jawstoo.com.

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