Monday, December 11, 2017
Outdoors

East bay fishing report for March 7

Spring fever. Spring offers the best fishing of the year in our area. Many species become much more active as the water warms, giving anglers ample opportunities for dinner and just plain fun. Offshore has the kingfish blitz, and inshore fishing heats up as well and goes crazy for a few months.

What's hot. Redfish are starting to prowl the flats in search of an easy meal. Nice schools of the red mini bulldozers can be found from Pendola Point all the way to Ruskin. There is not a lot of boat traffic in these areas yet, allowing large aggregations of fish a quiet place to feed and not be disturbed, and thus they are easier to trick.

Technique. On a recent trip, we caught nice reds on live shrimp fished under a float. Greenbacks are still in deep water and are difficult to obtain. Our shrimp presentation worked just fine. The water is still a bit on the chilly side. This actually is a good thing. There are fewer bait stealers on the flats when the water is cool.

Tackle. Medium to light spinning tackle is ideal for fishing in the shallows. Bites are detected much more easily, longer casts are possible, and it is simply more fun. The use of lighter gear will usually equate to more fish being caught when it all is said and done.

Timely. We are rapidly approaching "game day" in Tampa Bay. All maintenance issues should be taken care of immediately as shops and mechanics are already getting busy. Do it now, to be prepared for our annual influx of great catching.

Capt. Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at (813) 310-6531 or at fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.

Comments

Captainís Corner: Sheepshead action lively in cooler weather

Conditions after the cold front are cool and are going to be for a while. That doesnít mean you canít or shouldnít fish. Many anglers get stuck on snook, reds and trout and forget how fun it is to catch sheepshead. Many reefs are already holding good...
Published: 12/09/17
Updated: 12/10/17

Captainís Corner: Fishing will return to normal, but when?

The severity of this cold front will determine the fishing forecast for the next several days. Bait that had been abundant inshore will scatter. Nearshore gulf waters will muddy, and water temperatures. at least temporarily. will plummet. How cold, h...
Published: 12/08/17
Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

I canít believe we are in the last month of the year. And while this is one of my favorite months to fish, it will be controlled by weather. As cold fronts become more frequent and harsh, planning your trips around them will make the biggest differen...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Captainís Corner: Strong results for redfish, speckled trout

This is a great time for variety. Combined trips for speckled trout and redfish are achieving excellent results. With the correct approach, great catches of both species are a reality now. The best anglers use the lightest tackle. Light rods and reel...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Captainís Corner: Take advantage of abundant gag grouper before season ends

Gag grouper fishing and spearing is hot. The season for these grouper in the Gulf of Mexico is winding down, with a slated closure at the end of this month. The cooler water has the gags moving closer, and they are happy when the bottom temperatures ...
Published: 12/05/17

Captainís Corner: Bait schools near shore drawing kings, mackerel, bonito

Nearshore fishing is still going strong in north Pinellas. Bait schools are roaming just a couple of miles offshore, attracting kingfish, Spanish mackerel and bonito. The beaches are still holding sardines for cast netting at sunrise. I like to have ...
Published: 12/03/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Captainís Corner: This is the month to target gag grouper

With our current regulations in the Gulf, this is the best month to target gag grouper. Although the gag grouper season opens in June they are hard to come by for most months unless anglers travel to depths of 240 feet or more. With each passing cold...
Published: 12/03/17
Updated: 12/04/17

Captainís Corner: Speckled sea trout can be easily caught on artificial lures

Speckled sea trout are one of the most reliable targets this time of year. Grass flats are usually empty because of extreme low tides. That causes higher concentrations of fish on the edges and in the deeper grass flats. No live bait is needed. A red...
Published: 12/01/17

Captainís Corner: Cooler weather lures decent gag grouper

Mild temperatures have allowed anglers to get out and explore many areas. Cooler weather has lured decent gag grouper. We expected them to arrive in the past month, and they havenít disappointed. Numerous rocks in 20- to 120-foot depths seem to be ho...
Published: 11/30/17

Captainís Corner: Donít have to go far offshore for grouper

When most anglers think of bottom fishing for grouper, they usually think that means taking a long run offshore. During late November and early December, grouper migrate close to shore, so a long run might not be necessary. There are times we target ...
Published: 11/28/17
Updated: 11/29/17