Saturday, July 21, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Wind patterns favor fishing close to shore

Hard northeast winds have been keeping long offshore runs to a minimum for a while. But this same wind pattern has made fishing close to shore much better. Baitfish tend to swim into moving water, no matter if the water is moving because of current or the wind. This pattern has threadfin herring, small blue runners and cigar minnows covering just about every strip of hard bottom from the beach out to about 20 feet. For kingfish, finding the bait is key. Just because you have caught kingfish in a certain spot in the past does not mean they will be there now. Bait concentrations are on the move every day, and if you find them on even sand bottom, there are sure to be some big kings nearby. This past week we were lucky enough to find a huge school of bait on sand bottom just south of markers 9 and 10 in the shipping channel. Feeding on these baits we encountered cobia, both king and Spanish mackerel, sharks and bonito. Every bait that went out was smashed the second it hit the water. The migration of gag grouper is a bit behind this year because of warmer than normal water temperatures. These fish are heading down our way, but they will need at least two good cold fronts to push them into our area. Look for them to start showing up in good numbers in the 50- to 60-foot depths west of Clearwater first. Live baits such as pinfish, grunts and squirrelfish will lead to banner catches until we start seeing water temperatures dipping into the 60s.

Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.

Comments

Captainís Corner: With red snapper season ending, new targets emerge

With red snapper season coming to an end it is time to start focusing on other summertime species that will be making their way into our area. Offshore in depths of 120-150 feet, huge schools of small Spanish sardines are spending most of their time ...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Captainís Corner: Early morning or late-night fishing your best bets during summer

We are deep into the dog days of summer, and it shows. Fishing early mornings and late evenings are your best bet for solid action. Tossing artificials around bait schools as the sun rises has produced some nice trout catches. Some fish have been in ...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/19/18

Captainís Corner: Finding fish on bottom structure of gulf

Finding fish on the bottom structure of the Gulf of Mexico this summer has been up and down for our spearfishermen. In late spring and early summer, the fish migrated to their normal areas, then they changed up. Grouper stayed in the shallow water lo...
Published: 07/18/18

Captainís Corner: Warm water brings algae blooms

Itís been a hot summer. This week water temps crept up to sweltering 90 degrees at the surface inshore. We saw 88 degrees on the surface temps offshore. The deeper the water, the cooler the water temps were found, especially toward the bottom. Wit...
Published: 07/16/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing docks and bridges at night is good way to beat summertime heat

The summertime heat and humidity are in full swing. Get out early to avoid the heat and the afternoon thunderstorms. Water temperatures are anywhere from 88 to 93 degrees. With water temperatures that high, youíll be able to spend only the first few ...
Published: 07/13/18
Updated: 07/15/18

Captainís Corner: Donít forget about the ponds for fishing

Saltwater gets all of our attention, but when driving to and from work or visiting a friend, keep an eye out for a pond that looks fishy. There are many productive ponds that have bass and panfish, some even have snook and baby tarpon, both of which ...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Captainís Corner: Welcome to summertime kingfish season

We now have a summertime kingfish season. In the past weíve basically given up on kingfish at the end of May because the feeling was they had migrated to the northern gulf to spawn, not returning until mid-October. Weíve targeted kingfish this year i...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spanish mackerel push back into bay

Large Spanish mackerel have pushed into the bay as of the most recent full moon. Many of these pelagics are in the 6-pound range, and recent catches of 8-pound mackerel have not been uncommon. A medium action rod with a 4000 series reel spooled with ...
Published: 07/11/18

Captainís Corner: Pinellas south beaches strong for snook

Snook fishing along the south beaches of Pinellas County has been amazing. Large schools are hanging in the swash channels formed by wave motion right off the beach. The water clarity changes daily, depending on the wind direction. If the wind is out...
Published: 07/08/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Captainís Corner: Good tarpon action should last through August

For those who have not had their fill of tarpon fishing, thereís still plenty of it. A good flow of silverkings continues along our gulf beaches and in the bays and backwaters. Weíll be tugging on íem through next month. We battled tarpon last week j...
Published: 07/07/18
Updated: 07/08/18