Cap­tain’s Corner

Tampa Bay Times - - Morning Briefing - Tim Whit­field can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or [email protected]­fishchar­

Last week’s low tides pro­duced great fish­ing if you could ac­cess the ar­eas where the fish were. Run­ning the pol­ing skiff, we tar­geted snook, trout and red­fish in de­pres­sions and troughs on the flats. Ar­ti­fi­cial lures scored big, us­ing soft-plas­tic jig bod­ies in black back/gold flake bel­lies on ⅛-ounce jig heads. In the troughs, us­ing the twitch, twitch, pause method worked well for trout. Of­ten just let­ting it sit on the bot­tom as the cur­rent moved the tail pro­duced solid bites. Start by ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent rates of re­trieves un­til you be­gin getting some in­ter­est, then stick with it. If the bite slows, switch it up a bit. When fish­ing the shal­lows, the same baits were de­ployed but used as swim baits, vary­ing speed un­til the bite hap­pened. Work them slowly across the sandy pot­holes and just fast enough to keep them out of the sparse grass. Red­fish from 22-32 inches were caught along with snook be­tween 22-26 inches. Most of trout were in the 14- to 18-inch range. A 15-pound fluoro­car­bon leader gets more bites. Once a hooked fish is deemed to be a snook, fight the fish with the rod par­al­lel to the wa­ter to keep the leader away from the gill plate.

Tim Whit­field

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