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.
March has always been a great month to throw artificial baits. Big trout, redfish and this week even big snook were crushing plastics.
On Tuesday, while filming an episode of my show, I caught a 37-inch snook, a 25-inch redfish, a 22-inch trout and a 20-inch flounder, all on artificial baits while fishing out of Captiva with captain Ozzie Fisher.
The cooler water of March makes the fish active and aggressive. Fish large mullet concentrations whenever possible. Soft plastic baits like the 4-inch soft shad by MirrOlure and 4-inch swimming caffeine shad by Strike King are two of my favorites. Fish them on quarter-ounce jigs heads and you can cover a lot of water, and there are a multitude of colors to use depending on water clarity, depth and sunlight.
Topwater plugs were also on fire this week, with a couple of my customers catching several trout over 23 inches using the MirrOlure Top Pup.
Live bait is plentiful around the Bay area bridges, and it is working well, especially on the big schools of oversized redfish in the bay right now. Fort De Soto, Port Manatee and Tierra Verde are all holding big schools. We caught several this week up to 15 pounds.
The big trout bite remains crazy up around Clearwater and Saint Joseph Sound, with live shrimp being all you need to catch your limit. Fish the rocky edges of the spoil islands up there for best results.
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.