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Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Cold weather makes for cold fish

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.

Wow, is it cold, or am I just getting softer and older? I have pictures of me and some friends duck hunting in North Carolina with ice in our beards. There’s no way I could handle that now.

I haven’t been fishing this week, but I went to South Carolina to pick up my “new” used offshore boat. She’s a 31-foot Contender with twin Yamahas on the back, and I am going to drop her in no matter how cold it is when I am done writing this.

Inshore, there is not much to report. The water is cold, and so are the fish. The main bite has been sheepshead around the rock piles and any structure you can find. Get a bucket of barnacles and oysters, crunch them up for chum and fish with one on your hook. Shrimp and fiddler crabs aren’t too shabby, either.

Silver trout are in the deeper water and make great table fare if eaten fresh. The area power plants are the place to be, with the warm discharge pulling fish in from all over to get warm.

Offshore, the red grouper bite remains hot from 70 to 90 feet, with mangrove snapper and yellowtail out a little farther.

The coolest thing is that the hogfish are in close. I had only caught about five in my 20-plus-year career in Florida, but I caught that in the first two hours a couple of years ago with Jimmy Brazelle and Rob Siler of DeLosa’s Pizza. It’s that time again, as good friend captain Glen Taylor landed 11 on one trip last week and 17 on another. The key to catching these guys is using small pieces of shrimp, and fresh is the key. You can use a split shot or small jig head, and different colors on the jig head seem to make a difference.

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.

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