Thursday, April 26, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Winter keys

Artificial intelligence: Winter is a great time to hone your artificial skills. While whitebait is on its way out and fishing with shrimp might not excite you, using artificials can be a great change of pace.

Controlling your speed: One of the best reasons to fish artificials is you control the speed and action of your bait. Slowing your bait is key to enticing lethargic winter fish to bite. Experiment with the action and retrieval rate until you find the pattern the fish react best to that day.

Getting jiggy: My favorite winter artificial is a 1/8- to 1/16-ounce jig head with a light-colored body. Light-colored paddletails are usually a good bet, but you also can't go wrong with stinky shrimp-style bodies. Clear water is a blessing and a curse when targeting flats game fish on artificials. Though the great visibility we have right now is great for spotting fish and sight casting, the fish can see you and your offering much better. Going down to 10- to 15-pound test fluorocarbon and a 1/16-ounce jig head could be the difference between catching and fishing.

Matt Santiago can be reached at (813) 205-2327, [email protected] and FishingGuideTampa.com.

Comments

Captainís Corner: Warm water helps keep snook fishing strong

Onshore winds have kept any thoughts of looking for tarpon off the beach out of the question. Snook fishing has been very good and should remain over the next few weeks. Water temperatures are warm enough now for snook to feed well first thing in the...
Updated: 2 hours ago
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

The unique variables and ever-changing conditions of fishing are what set it apart from most other sports. Basketball goals donít move, baseball diamonds are basically the same and tennis courts never change. Fishing, on the other hand, is constantly...
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