Captain's corner

Captain's corner for Dec. 20.

Published December 20, 2006

What's hot: Many trout and "rat reds" are being caught using small schools of mullet around spoil islands. I have had so much success with a net and buying shrimp, I haven't had time to fish for snook.

Tactics: I like to use a sea anchor when drifting over the flats for trout. It is basically a small parachute in the water that will slow your drift and allow you to cover more ground, working every sand hole over the grass flats. If clients hook up a double, I will drop the anchor and thoroughly fish the area before moving on. If I go 10 minutes without catching a fish, I will move on.

What not to do: People have crowded me. Clients with fish caught the eyes of several boats close by. Those boats would start their engines and motor close enough to spook fish away. There are plenty of fish around if approached quietly for everyone to catch, but when fish are spooked from a running motor, it makes it difficult for everyone. Also, throwing the anchor as far as possible makes the loudest noise on the flat. This also will spook fish to deeper water. Fishing is much easier when the anchor is quietly set over the side and eased into the water until it softly hits the bottom.

Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 647-7606 or visit www.captainrobgorta.com.