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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Flounder top target in lower Tampa Bay

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 reports excellent action on keeper flounder in lower Tampa Bay from the Bulkhead to Port Manatee, most on CAL jigs with shad tails. He said his clients have also been getting plenty of upper-slot reds on Eppinger Rex spoons in gold or copper finish, and on the new Soft ’Dine from MirrOlure. Markham said big kingfish and whopper Spanish are within range of small boats off the beaches on calm mornings; www.captainraymarkham.com.

Captain Justin Moore continues to put whopper gags in the boat out of Anna Maria, most from near-shore reefs and some inside the bay on live threadfins or sardines; www.moorefishing.com.

At Homosassa, captain William Toney reports the gag grouper bite in shallow water is on, with fish as shallow as 8 feet over the rockpiles, ready to attack Rapala F-14s or 6-inch DOA plastic shrimp; www.homosassainshorefishing.com.

In freshwater, captain Sean Rush says Rodman Reservoir is red hot with the cooler weather, with some of his trips producing up to 60 bass on wild shiners. Rush said some of the fish exceed 8 pounds on nearly every trip. Rodman is an impoundment on the Ocklawaha River northeast of Ocala; www.floridatrophybass.com.

Captain Mike Shellen reports that water is dropping at Okeechobee, pushing fish out of the marshes to the edge of the grass. He says the cooler weather means it’s trophy time, with chances of a fish over 8 pounds excellent on any trip for anglers fishing wild shiners. He said soft plastics and spinnerbaits are also effective on the grass edges. Specked perch anglers are getting about 20 keepers per trip, most in the lower Kissimmee River and near where the river goes into the lake, on live minnows just off bottom; www.okeechobeebassfishing.com.

Tribune correspondent Frank Sargeant can be reached at [email protected]

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