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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017
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Gag grouper bite as hot as weather

GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Billy Nobles, left, with "Reel Animals" partner Mike Anderson. The weather is hot and so is the offshore bite.  We have been starting our mornings around 4 a.m. to beat the afternoon storms, and also the bait seems to be a little easier to catch before the sun comes up. The gag grouper remain nothing short of phenomenal, as well as the out-of-season American red snapper.  The pelagic bite is the best we have seen in years, with tons of tuna, mahi and even a few sailfish in the mix. 
Captains Glen Taylor and Harry Connor report sails near the ship channel just off shore, with Connor boating three in one afternoon.  Taylor got on an unreal tuna bite with South Shore Anglers, with Tiger Hoffman boating more than 30 with several bonita in the mix.  The nearshore wrecks are haired over with sharks of all sizes and varieties. On Wednesday, we were having our catch destroyed by the midsize sharks when all of a sudden a huge tiger shark rolls by the boat. Inshore, the redfish are everywhere. We are also getting reports of great snook catches, a good sign that they are on the road to recovery, as well as trout.  There are also tarpon around in the upper bay, as well as grouper, snapper, and Spanish mackerel.  Trolling the ship channel is a great way to catch the inshore grouper, with plugs, or jigs, or even go old school and use large drone spoons. Just get out there early before the afternoon thunder boomers trap you as they did us earlier in the week.

Catch Billy Nobles and Mike Anderson on the "Reel Animals Fishing Show" on Saturdays at 6:30 a.m. on WFLA, Ch. 8, and from 6-8 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 reelanimalsfishingshow.com.
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