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Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
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Kingfish remain there for taking

GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Bill Miller. By the end of May, thoughts of catching kingfish have been replaced with thoughts of tarpon, redfish and others. But Larry Mastry changed all that by taking me and the "Fishing with Bill Miller" film crew on a trip to the Egmont ship channel. Mastry has been telling me for years that kingfish season is not over in late May and he proved it. We stopped at a range marker off Mullet Key and cast netted a good mix of good-sized white bait and greenbacks and off The Whistler we went. The Whistler is the western-most marker of the ship channel.
There were tons of Spanish sardines around the can. We jiggled up a mess of sardines and put out a good mix of all of our baits on stinger rigs. As we started slow trolling, we were greeted with fast action every time we went by the buoy. At 11 a.m. we had six kingfish to 20 pounds, a dozen big Spanish mackerel and more little tunnys than we ever wanted. Chris Petry and Timmy Deacon jumped six tarpon in an hour on crabs during the incoming tide at Egmont Key. Captain Jim Lemke also has been in on the excitement with fast tarpon action for his clients. Tarpon fishing at Bean Point has been good, reports Joe Savarese. Fishing with Brad Wheary, Savarese jumped three tarpon and released one during the early-morning tide. Captain Billy Miller led Bud Taylor and Ben Moe to a great afternoon of tarpon fishing by the Skyway. Combined with Miller's morning trip, the tarpon score for the day was 11 jumped and six released. Justin Ownby has been tearing up the redfish in Charlotte Harbor. Ownby reports most of the reds are upper slot size and bigger.

To book a charter with captain Bill or his son captain Billy, call (813) 363-9927.
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