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Saturday, Mar 17, 2018
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Big feeding tides for the weekend

GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Ray Markham.

Thursday’s new moon will bring on big afternoon outgoing tides. For many anglers, this means good fishing in general, but for the snook angler, it’s probably the best scenario for fishing these ambush predators.

Most likely, every mangrove point, oyster bar, pass shoal and piece of structure around good moving water will be holding snook. These fish are voracious feeders at times, and periods around the spawn are some of the best catching opportunities.

Because scientific studies say that when snook are handled properly and released they have very low release mortality, scientists believe that they can be targeted and released successfully without harm to them.

Large breeder fish look for an easy target. Dead baits fished on the bottom or wounded baits that are slow are prime targets for hungry fish. Artificial lures that move slowly along the bottom can fool big fish. Lures like the DOA Swimming Mullet, DOA Shrimp and 52MR18 MirrOlure can all work on bottom areas where these big fish hang.

Tarpon will feed heavily as outgoing tides flush crabs and shrimp out of Tampa Bay. A top spot for targeting these fish will be the Sunshine Skyway bridge and fishing piers. Crustaceans will be your best baits on the outgoing tide. Both live and some of the artificial crabs or 4-inch DOA Shrimp will also work to fool tarpon.

Substitute the standard hook in the shrimp for a stronger live-bait hook. Catching these live baits should be easy. Watch tide rips and weed lines for crabs holding on to weeds and net them with a dip net. Wading the shallows at night with a headlamp or lantern will show shrimp’s glowing eyes drifting with the tide. A dip net will fill a bucket for fishing, or you can simply buy some hand-picked shrimp at a bait shop.

Captain Ray Markham specializes in fishing with artificial lures and can be reached for charter through his website at www.CaptainRayMarkham.com, via email at [email protected], or at (941) 723-2655.

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Big feeding tides for the weekend