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Saturday, Sep 23, 2017
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Tarpon remain the ticket in Bay area

GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Mike Anderson, right, with "Reel Animals" partner Billy Nobles. The tarpon bite in Boca Grande slowed a bit this week, but that is not the case in the Tampa Bay area. Captain Harry Connor and captain Rodney Martin both report having a great week working the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and along the beaches north and south of Egmont. Free-lined crabs and big threadfin herring are your best bets for steady action. In the Bradenton area, captain Shawn Crawford reports an exceptional week of snapper fishing in the bay. Anchoring up on several rock piles near the south end of the bay, they easily limited out every day this week. These same rock piles also produced a couple of nice keeper-sized grouper.
I spent most of my week preparing for this weekend's IFA Pro Redfish tournament out of Englewood. I prefished the Fort DeSoto and Sarasota areas very hard looking for that perfect school of 263/4-inch, 7-pound bronze bombers. Plenty of big schools around and lots of action early, but as the tides got high and so did the sun, my bite slowed. There are plenty of big snook along the beaches, but remember to handle with care as they are catch and release this time of year. The Spanish mackerel bite also is still in full swing all over the bay. Catch Billy Nobles and Mike Anderson on the "Reel Animals Fishing Show" on Saturdays from 6:30-7 a.m. and Sundays from 11-11:30 a.m. on WFLA, Ch. 8, and on Sundays from 8-10 a.m. on 1040 AM. To book a charter, call 1-866-GAMEFISH or visit www.reelanimals


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