Captain's Corner: Masses of baitfish attract an abundance of predators
By Robert McCue, Times Correspondent
In Print: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Inclement weather has kept most of the charter fleet in port. Prior to the weather, baitfish was massed up just off the bay area's beaches and at the mouths of major rivers. Winds should be favorable the next few days for the action to continue.
The potpourri of bait attracts a host of predator fish such as Spanish and king mackerel, sharks, bluefish, ladyfish, jacks, tarpon, cobia, grouper and false albacore. Pelicans, royal terns and sea gulls are sure signs that you are in the right area, but it is the solid markings of baitfish on a sonar machine that get the nod from the pros.
Pro logic: Traditionally, the period between Columbus Day and Thanksgiving is peak time for fall king mackerel fishing off the gulf beaches. Waves of smaller school-sized kings usually pass our area offshore in the spring, but in the fall, the large smoker kings tend to be found in the bait migrating within 1 mile of the shoreline. Bump troll a live mullet, ladyfish or threadfin herring with a trace of piano wire in the areas abundant with bait, particularly just outside the larger passes on a falling tide.
Robert McCue can be reached toll-free at 1-800-833-0489 or via GiantTarpon.com.