GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides.
Finally, after weeks of waiting, some cooler nights pushed in the big trout we have been waiting for. Captain Lee Blick reports good numbers of big gator trout down around Fort De Soto. He and his clients caught fish as long as 28 inches and weighing as much as 8 pounds. Blick said it was challenging to just catch a limit, as most were well over 20 inches. Live pilchards were the bait of choice, and they are still plentiful on Bay area flats. Blick recommends a popping cork, as the added weight will allow for long casts to weary fish.
The redfish bite remained strong, as well, with plenty of upper-end slot fish still available all over the bay. Weedon Island, Cockroach Bay and Fort De Soto are all great places to find reds.
The fall snook bite has not slowed, either, with captain Mike Gore reporting crazy numbers of fish being caught in the north end of the bay. Days of 50 and 60 fish have been the norm, with several of the snook over 30 inches on almost every trip. Gore believes the abundant bait is helping this late-season bite, as well as the fact that it has been cool but not freezing so far this season.
Offshore, things are good when the wind will allow you to go. Red grouper, amberjack, scamp and mangrove snapper can all be had in as little as 50 feet of water.
Catch Billy Nobles and Mike Anderson on the “Reel Animals Fishing Show” on Saturdays from 6:30-7 a.m. on WFLA, Ch. 8, and from 6-9 a.m. on 970 AM, and on Sundays from 7-9 a.m. on 620 AM. To book a charter, call 1-866-GAMEFISH or visit www.reelanimalsfishingshow.com.