1. Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Fishing, live bait tricky to find lately

Published Mar. 5, 2015

Late-season cold fronts can be especially frustrating after many nice days in a row. Stout winds from fronts in March can create difficult fishing and change the whole fishing situation overnight. Bait fish have moved, and the fishing itself has been a bit tricky lately.

Live bait has been especially hard to obtain in Tampa Bay. Some "greenbacks" are showing up at the Sunshine Skyway bridge, but they are not consistent. Live shrimp or artificial lures are a time-saver, and you do not have to dirty your boat.

Fortunately, the days are getting longer and winter is running out of time. This means that every aspect of fishing should improve and get much easier.

A string of warm days are forecasted and should trigger a response from previously lethargic fish. When the water warms into the low 70s, it's game on.

We are rapidly approaching the best time of the year for fishing in Tampa Bay. Spring time provides numerous opportunities for multiple species of fish. Snook, trout, reds, then the wave of attack from hungry Spanish mackerel are what can be expected in the next few weeks.

These fish are hungry from winter and also their metabolic rate increases substantially when the water warms, increasing their need to feed.

All in all, it is almost time to really start crushing the fish.

Once again, prepare now for spring. Repair shops and service technicians are getting very busy already.

Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit