Monday, September 24, 2018
Outdoors

Captain’s Corner: Bait available close to shore

Consecutive days of easterly winds have calmed the nearshore gulf waters and have drawn bait schools practically to the beach. A mix of whitebait, greenbacks and even a few juvenile Spanish sardines can be cast-netted with relative ease inside the swash within a few feet of the shoreline along St. Pete Beach. Even a quarter-inch mesh cast net will gill a few, but with a little effort, youíll likely get enough larger ones to fish with. Smaller ones have provided all the "chummers" weíve needed while mackerel fishing just a couple of miles off the beach in 20 feet. I prefer to anchor, deploy a tournament-quality chum block and maintain a steady stream of live chummers until we get the party started behind the boat. Like many species, mackerel can become finicky. On a recent trip while anchored, our offerings were refused. We tried lightening leaders, eliminating leaders, long shank hooks, smaller and lighter hooks, lighter chumming, then heavier. Nothing worked until we pulled the hook and began trolling. Almost immediately we had two and sometimes three at a time. For whatever reason, that morning they found moving baits more appealing. The point: be versatile. If one methodís not productive, try another. Iím pleased to report none of the ill effects of the Red Tide bloom that has wreaked havoc on our neighbors to the south.

Jay Mastry charters Jaybird out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 321-2142.

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Captainís Corner: Anglers welcome the coming, and cooling, of fall

Captainís Corner: Anglers welcome the coming, and cooling, of fall

Astronomically speaking, fall is here. The autumnal equinox was Sept. 22. Days will be shorter and nights longer until the end of December. This decrease in sunlight hours will cause our waters to cool. This is welcome news to anglers who have been d...
Published: 09/23/18

Captainís Corner: Fall fishing in Tampa Bay draws near

With summer air temperature still in the low to upper 90s during the day but the lower night temperatures in the 80s, that means fall fishing for Tampa Bay might be just right around the corner. The snook are still in there summer pattern even their ...
Published: 09/22/18

Captainís Corner: Use Red Tide to venture to other fishing spots not affected

Normally this time of year my attention turns to the beaches, focusing on migratory species headed our way such as Spanish mackerel and kingfish. With our current Red Tide situation, my thoughts are still on the beach. Mostly, how to avoid it. Now is...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/21/18
Captainís Corner: Finding live bait has been biggest fishing issue in our area so far from Red Tide

Captainís Corner: Finding live bait has been biggest fishing issue in our area so far from Red Tide

i thoWith Red Tide in the area, fishing close to shore has been a challenge. Waters from the beach out to about 40 feet have been affected this week. Concentrate your efforts starting about 80 feet and work west. Since our primary spots are well offs...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18

Captainís Corner: Look north toward Tarpon Springs for fishing to avoid Red Tide, for now

Red Tide has been creeping toward North Pinellas. Although bait is flourishing along the beaches and predator fish are feeding on them, hordes of dead fish are washing up on shore, most likely from Red Tide blooms well offshore. Lately, Iíve focused ...
Published: 09/19/18
Letís Take it Outside: A trip to the historic Florida Middle Grounds

Letís Take it Outside: A trip to the historic Florida Middle Grounds

The historic Florida Middle Grounds offer some of the Gulf Coastís most premier fishing. The reefs start about 85 miles northwest off the coast of Clearwater and extend another 30 miles beyond. The Middle Grounds have miles and miles of underwater mo...
Published: 09/19/18

Captainís Corner: Dealing with Red Tide from spearfishing standpoint

Finding fish to spear offshore is tricky. Unlike hook-and-line anglers, spearfishermen need reasonable underwater visibility to see their prey, judge itís the correct type of fish, determine if itís legal size, then before the fish flees, take the sh...
Published: 09/18/18

Captainís Corner: When Red Tide bloom breaks, fish can arrive quickly

Here is some good news attributed to Red Tide. Things do rebound quickly, once the bloom breaks. New populations of fish can arrive quickly in its aftermath. Anglers who have been successful lately are looking for untainted areas to fish. At least a ...
Published: 09/16/18
Updated: 09/17/18

Captainís Corner: Bite can turn on and off quickly this time of year

Typical deep-summer conditions continue across the bay. During this time of year the bite can be erratic and maybe even a little bi≠polar. The bite can turn on and off in an instant. Several species in one spot can be normal. On recent trips clients ...
Published: 09/16/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing strong in Fort De Soto area

Red Tide started showing up substantially on Saturday in Pinellas with the strong west wind we had. I lost some bait but was still able to fish. Snook are taking their time transitioning back into the bay from the beaches. Every shoreline and pass ar...
Published: 09/14/18
Updated: 09/15/18