Captain’s Corner: Spanish mackerel push back into bay

Published July 11 2018
Updated July 11 2018

Large Spanish mackerel have pushed into the bay as of the most recent full moon. Many of these pelagics are in the 6-pound range, and recent catches of 8-pound mackerel have not been uncommon. A medium action rod with a 4000 series reel spooled with 12- to 15-pound braid tied to a 40-pound mono leader has worked well recently. If the fish get into a frenzy, go up to a 60-pound mono leader or add a 3-inch wire bite tippet to prevent cutoffs. Once they begin feeding heavily, the wire wonít affect the bite. The summer trout bite is still on. Many are in the 16-18 inch range, some pushing 25 inches. Live sardines work well but keep the chumming to a minimum. Itís hot, so the fish seem to fill up fast. Just a couple to keep them interested. Snook are in all their deep summer spawning spots. Areas near points with good flow have been holding good numbers. Again, keep the chumming low to moderate. Seems too much just fills them up. Snapper have also made their presence known and are on just about every structure in the bay. These guys are low maintenance, a chum bag and a few dozen shrimp will get the bite going and keep the action steady. I prefer to fish them as the tide begins to slow. The last one-third of the incoming tide can be solid.

Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or