Friday, February 23, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Warming trend welcome

What's hot: Fishing has been great with the warm, spring-like weather. My main focus has been redfish and trout, though a few snook have shown up in areas where they are more likely to be in late spring. Daytime temperatures have raised enough to stimulate predator fish to chase meals on the flats. They are more willing to hunt for pinfish and sardines, and react to spoons and jerkbaits, rather than wait for easier meals as they do in winter. For redfish, target tidal creek mouths and oyster bars while scanning the perimeter for mullet schools. On a recent trip I identified a school of large redfish mixed in with mullet on a falling tide. Redfish wakes are more prominent and deliberate and they flash a large reflection off of their bellies when rolling, usually a sign that they are comfortable and unaware of your presence. A large pinfish, cast with the wind, to the edge of the school have gotten a hook-up within seconds.

Tip: Large trout are commonly swimming with mullet. Work live or artificial shrimp slowly through potholes near mullet schools. If using a float, allow enough leader to keep bait suspended off the bottom, depending on water depth.

Brian Caudill fishes from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs. He can be reached at (727) 365-7560 and through his website at captbrian.com.

Comments

Captainís Corner: Rising temperatures fire up the bite

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Published: 02/22/18

Captainís Corner: Warming waters, better visibility are good signs

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Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/19/18

Captainís Corner: Flats coming to life in north Pinellas County

The flats are really coming to life in north Pinellas County. Our main focus this time of year is spotted sea trout, though redfish are cooperating and schooling a bit. Snook are also responding to the warm weather, occasionally eating on the falling...
Published: 02/18/18

Captainís Corner: Bait a challenge, but effort will pay off

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Published: 02/16/18
Updated: 02/17/18

Captainís Corner: Springtime fishing patterns moving in

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Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/15/18

Captainís Corner: Get an early start when chasing redfish

Redfish schools have started to invade the flats around Pinellas Point. On low tide in the morning, I look for a school on an outer sandbar. These fish are staged on the edge waiting for the tide to come in. Once the water level rises, the fish will ...
Published: 02/13/18

Captainís Corner: Baitfish in the shallows improves fly fishing

Seeing large groups of pelicans diving and catching baitfish in warmer, shallow water is a sure sign spring conditions are approaching. The appearance of quality baitfish will spark a feeding frenzy that should steadily improve flats fishing for fly ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/16/18

Captainís Corner: Action picking up as temperature rises

The wind finally stopped blowing so hard that we couldnít go offshore. Water temperatures were still in the low 50s offshore at the beginning of the week, and this affected fish behavior. Because the water was calm, we ventured out to the 80- to 90-f...
Published: 02/11/18
Updated: 02/12/18

Captainís Corner: Topwater plugs a great option as warming trend continues

Warm weather for the past week has led to an increase in feeding activity for inshore fish species. Speckled trout have been venturing out of deep holes and channels and back into shallow water to feed. This has presented a great opportunity to fish ...
Published: 02/10/18
Updated: 02/11/18

Captainís Corner: Sardines make a great bait

Bait has made its way into the bay and the fish have been eating sardines with violent strikes. Look deep for bait, most of it has been in 20-plus feet of water. A little knowledge of how to read a bottom machine will help you secure the prized sardi...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/10/18