“Be patient and calm - for no one can catch fish in anger." - Herbert Hoover. By the time you read this we will have a new president elect. Congrats to those whose candidate won and condolences to those whose candidate lost. Let’s get everyone to shake hands, grab the rods, and get out fishing. It’s time for some stress relief.
Fall fishing is still going full-tilt. As we mentioned last week, large cobia are showing up on lines both on the Intracoastal Waterway and the gulf. Most are hitting on greenback minnows, but many are also being caught using shrimp and squid. Redfish continue to show up regularly at piers and around bridge supports. They are biting on live shrimp, greenbacks, and cut up ladyfish.
In the last week, we’ve seen and heard of several anglers hitting flounders off the bottom using everything from live shrimp, squid, live to dead minnows, and cut bait. While most of us think that sand bottomed flats at night are the best place to hit these great gamefish, you may be surprised where a lot of anglers have been hitting these. Flounders also like the edges of grass flats and rock piles. They hang out around wrecks and can be found around pier pilings, docks, and bridges. Because of their anatomy, they are often called doormats.
Jim Murraycaught this flounder on a local pier
Gulf flounders average 1 to 3 lbs with a record of 6 lbs. – 4 oz. The larger southern flounder averages 2 to 4 lbs. but can reach a much larger size of 8 to 10 lbs. The record for a southern flounder is 20 lb – 9 oz. We’d need a bigger frying pan for a doormat of that size. If you are looking for a great fight, try using lightweight spinning tackle when angling for this great tasting fish.
Don’t forget that this week starting on Thursday is the three day King of the Beach fishing contest put on by the Old Salt Fishing Foundation. The first prize is $10,000 in cash. There are Ladies and Youth divisions so the whole family is included. Check out their $15,000 plus raffle. For more information you can go to www.oldsaltfishing.com.
If you are heading our way to fish this weekend, don’t forget the Iron man competition that’s on the beach. Get here early so you can find parking. I wonder why we don’t have an Iron fisherman contest? We could have the “beer cooler to the boat” run, the “get your favorite fishing hat back” swim, and the “wife found out I’m fishing” scramble.
Big Al at the Bait House just got in a new shipment of pier nets so you can get those big ones out of the water and up to the top of the pier. We are also in the process of adding coffee, hot chocolate and soups for those chilling mornings on the water. Don’t forget we have dock access for your boat. Thanks to those that email me at Jim2988@msn.com and as always, Good Luck Out There!
Jim can be found daily at the Bait House - Clearwater Municipal Marina, phone 446-8134
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