Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Pilchards drought might be over

After a lengthy drought of usable-sized whitebait, aka pilchards, we might be coming out of the late-summer microbait season in the northern part of the county. Pelicans are aggressively working the swash channel that has been loaded with small to medium-sized pilchards when conditions are right. Filling a bait well with a few hundred of them can offer a few options. Targeting nearshore structures and jetties, we've caught flounder, mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel. Using a quarter-inch mesh-sized cast net to minimize gilling, target the super shallows off the beach. These baits often are seen dimpling the surface before the sun is up, however, there are droves of micro fry in these areas and throwing on them can be a mess. It's almost better to wait until there's enough light to see into the water so you can target the larger baits. Anchoring over nearshore reefs puts you in position to chum up a variety of fish. Handfuls of free baits and a fresh chum block off the side of the boat attract schools of medium-sized mackerel and mangrove snapper. An Aberdeen-style hook is light enough to allow the bait to work naturally and has a long shank to guard against cutoffs. Work the bottom with a drop-shot rig and a stouter hook, as you search the edges of the reef for flounder.

Tyson Wallerstein runs Inshore Fishing Charters in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and can be reached at (727) 692-5868 and via email at flatsmonster.com.

Captain's Corner: Pilchards drought might be over 09/06/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 7:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Week 4 Heisman watch, local of the week and more

    College

    Heisman watch

    San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny (20) reacts with teammates during the final minute of the second half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in San Diego. San Diego State won 20-17. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) CAGB113
  2. Rays morning after: Matt Andriese trying to put good finish on injury-marred season

    Blogs

    RHP Matt Andriese can't make up for the 2-1/2 months he missed due to a hip injury this season after getting off to a solid 5-1, 3.54 start.

    Matt Andriese will have the chance to put a solid finish on his season Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
  3. College football viewing guide for Week 4

    College

    COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 16: Defensive back Derrick Baity #8 of the Kentucky Wildcats is congratulated after intercepting a pass against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Todd Bennett/GettyImages) 775018963
  4. Why a true freshman quarterback doesn't kill FSU's title hopes

    College

    Florida State's James Blackman will make history Saturday when the No. 12 Seminoles host North Carolina State in their first game after Hurricane Irma.

    Florida State quarterback James Blackman warms up before a game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. When Florida State's Deandre Francois, Georgia's Jacob Eason and Texas A&M's Nick Starkel all got hurt in their respective season openers, true freshmen ended up taking over the rest of the way.  (Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)
  5. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation

    Blogs

    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.