Inshore-Will McClure, our first mate on the long-range trips, was fishing the docks with Kyle Gallagher using oysters and fiddler crabs and they were nailing the Sheepshead! Also, while using live shrimp they were hooking into large Black Drum that they had trouble turning around due to their tremendous size. Local angler James Sommer, from Madeira Beach, reported the Whiting and Redfish were being caught from the Johns Pass north jetty before the pressure dropped off ahead of the recent front.
Don’s Dock reported that their anglers were landing nice large Flounder and Sheepshead from their docks on live shrimp and whitebait. Max Morgan, from Bartow, reported that the Mangrove Snapper were biting well under the Johns Pass Bridge. He and his buddies were catching quite a few on small pieces of shrimp using light jig heads free-lined into the tide.
Near Shore-Our ten-hour all-day is doing well on the newly opened Red Grouper. They loved the squid strips and tended to avoid the live bait on our first two trips, thanks to the dirtier water following the turbulent cold front weather. The stinky dead bait helps on days the water looks muddy. Also, it takes more time to soak bait before the fish will start biting. Keep these tricks in mind next time you fish some murky waters. The Blackfin Tuna will be pushing closer to shore as the gulf reaches its coolest temps, so it will be important to remember your flat-line gear on your next outing!
Offshore-Hubbard’s Marina is happy to report that our first 44-hour of the year did really well while offshore fishing the full moon. We brought in over 350 keeper Mangroves for only a handful of anglers. The largest Mangrove was nearly seven-and-a-half pounds! We had a dozen or more fat Red Grouper that were nailing live baits and favoring long strips of squid paired with a threadfin. The Amberjack cooperated, but we didn’t stay on them long due to the fantastic Snapper bite. We landed around 30 keeper AJs with the largest tipping seventy pounds. There were nice pelagic fish caught too, like the Kingfish, Mahi Mahi and Blackfin Tuna. We hooked a MONSTER fifty-five-plus pound Kingfish while trolling a large skirt, but its weight proved too much to be hauled in while still motoring to our bottom fishing grounds.
Captain Jack’s Dolphin Corner
The seabirds on the mangrove islands have donned their full mating plumage and are now working to attract their spring time mates. Come join us for a cruise and we will show you the new colorful plumage that is being shown off by the local wild life.
The dolphin pods are still fairly large, hunting the last of the mullet run, but they have spread out some and many are now staying inside the bays instead of following the mullet out of the pass.
We are still seeing young dolphins being trained for the upcoming push of live bait and Mackerel. The adult dolphins catch their prey and then play catch with the juveniles to train them how to use their sonar effectively. It’s a wild sight and a great show; come join us for one of these unique experiences.
Remember, “If you’re too busy to go fishing, you’re just too busy!”