Area waters cool, fishing remains hot

Area waters cool, fishing remains hot

As water temperatures gradually get cooler, expect migratory species action to heat up.

Good numbers of Spanish mackerel, bonito, jack crevalle and blue runners are making a showing in south Tampa Bay and in the Gulf of Mexico. To find schools of these high-activity fish, try looking for diving birds. They are a dead giveaway that fish are feeding toward the surface on baitfish. You can motor right up to the schools of feeding fish and cast either live baits or artificials to hook up. If using live baits, live shiners will do the trick. If you’re using artificials, an assortment of different colored jigs will work as well as silver spoon and top water plugs with silver sides.

Remember, with all of this action occurring, expect to see plenty of shark. Species include black tip, spinner, sandbar, bull, hammerhead and bonnethead. I suggest using 3 feet of 100-pound hardwire tied to a 5/0 circle hook with a haywire twist to help reel most sharks 6 feet in in length. If you’re after the big boys, you may want to increase both your leader size and hook size. These sharks are feeding on whatever migratory species are in the area so use the same for bait. A chuck of Spanish mackerel or bonito is like candy to a shark. Don’t forget to update yourself of new limits for harvesting shark if you plan on keeping one.

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