Captain's Corner

Sharks are taking the bait

By Robert McCue, Times Correspondent
In Print: Sunday, April 24, 2011

What's hot: I have always been a firm believer in fish cycles. Each year, there seems to be one species that stands out above the others. For 2011, it appears the collective coastal species of sharks (lemon, bull, blacktip or spinners, nurse and sand) are taking the bait. The edges of the deeper grass flats located just inside passes and any sandbar adjacent to a pass are prime locations to find these sharks. Freshly caught mullet, menhaden and ladyfish get the nod as the best choice for dead or cutbait fishing.

Tips: The blacktip or spinner sharks have been providing excellent sport in the shallows. They pull hard, make long runs, perform spectacular leaps above the surface and provide all of the action one can hope for when fishing Florida's inshore waters. Furthermore, they are the preferred species for table fare if an angler so chooses. Anchoring on the sandbars and deploying blocks of frozen chum will call them into the clear and shallow water, where they make excellent light-tackle, sight-fishing targets using live bait. But blacktips respond extremely well to artificial lures fished on bass tackle.

Robert McCue charters out of Ellenton and can be reached at (727) 597-0957 or