May 11th, 2017

Captain’s Corner for May 13 Dave Zalewski 460-9893

Once the high winds laid down and we were able to venture out in the gulf of Mexico we encountered dirty water caused by the wave action and had to run at least 15 miles offshore to find fishable water. WE were greeted by schools of kingfish, Spanish mackerel, and bonita along with their predators sharks and barracuda. Trolling # 1 and 2 planers with different sized spoons allowed us to find the concentrations of fish that tended to stay on higher profile structure such as artificial reefs, wrecks and the go to spot; the west end of the shipping channel. At times aggressive sharks would shred hard fighting bonita as they were reeled in. Having a 4/0 reel and a 50 pound class rod ready with a large circle hook and a length of steel leader and immediately deploying what is left of the bonita will often result in an immediate hookup for the shark or his brother who are looking for the rest of their meal that was taken from them. It is best to have the drag backed off in anticipation of the long run a shark will make when first hooked and it doesn’t hurt to have a rod belt handy for the angler who will be in for a long battle.
Schools of bonita have shown up from just outside the passes going into the gulf all the way to 20 miles offshore. Although they are not considered to be the best of table fare they provide great catch and release sport fishing action. They are often finicky feeders and will ignore the usual trolling spread presented to them. When that occurs they are usually feeding on Sargasso fish or glass minnows, both of which are very small. Switch to a 00 spoon or even better, a small saltwater streamer fly which will “Match the hatch”