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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Everything falling into spring patterns

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

Captain Ray Markham said things are coming around inshore and offshore this week. He said cobia are a good bet in the Tampa ship channel between markers 4 and 6, as well as anywhere you spot a leopard ray. The cobia follow them closely.

Markham reported that red grouper are there for the taking in 60 to 80 feet of water off Bradenton. The flat limestone bottom that these fish hold on, where it butts up to sand, will also hold kingfish. Deploy a frozen chum block or two to get things going, and keep a lively blue runner out under a kite or on a flat line for the kings while bottom dropping for the grouper, he advised.

He said Anna Maria Sound is producing Spanish mackerel, bluefish, trout, redfish and snook for anglers fishing CAL Jigs with Shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos and MirrOlure Softdines. Weedon Island and Pinellas Point are good spots for big trout on topwaters, while the South Shore area from Port Manatee to Joe Bay is turning out reds, snook and trout on CAL Jigs and Shad tails. For more, visit www.captainraymarkham.com.

Captain Van Hubbard reported Spanish and king mackerel off the Venice to Boca Grande area, with the Spanish particularly dependable any time winds allow getting off the beach. He said trout fishing remains very good on the inside; www.captvan.com.

In freshwater, the bass spawn is winding down in most lakes, though deeper waters such as those in Highlands County might still have some fish on beds. The post-spawn bite is excellent at Okeechobee, Kissimmee, Toho and West Toho on spinnerbaits, swim jigs and wobble jigs such as the Chatterbait. Shiner action continues to be good on big bass for captain Sean Rush at Rodman Reservoir; www.floridatrophybass.com.

The first big spawn of bluegills and shellcrackers is likely on the full moon April 15, which is allegedly supposed to be a “blood moon” eclipse.

Frank Sargeant can be reached at [email protected]

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