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.
The fishing this week has been great when the wind has allowed it.
We started the week fishing offshore, and the bite remains on fire. Our charters have been catching limits of huge mangrove snapper, king mackerel, tuna, amberjacks, cobia, permit and grouper, just to name a few. Of course, the farther out you go, the bigger the fish seem to be. Kings are running from close to the beach out as far as 160 feet.
Bait has become a non-issue, with baits in the bay and in the deeper water. Take the time to load up on bait, especially if blackfin tuna is your thing. These fish will hang around as long as you can feed them. I usually start by cutting small pieces and starting a chum line, and when they show up, pour it to them. Be sure to have plenty of line, as these footballs are capable of making long, blistering runs that have some kings envious.
We fished a couple of inshore trip this week, as well. Bait was up in the bay, and for some reason I decided to leave two, yes two, cast nets on the same range marker two days in a row. You’d think I’d know better.
Anyhow, there are plenty of snook, trout and redfish around the Fort De Soto area, as well as along the South Shore. You will find them in the passes (snook), oyster bars (redfish), and grass flats (trout). Pilchards seem to be the bait of choice, as always.
There are also plenty of mackerel out in the bay, and on many of the shoals around the bay there are blackfin sharks in the mix. When going after mackerel, use a long-shank hook, as the macks tend to shy away from wire leader. You’ll get more bites using monofilament leader with the long shank, and while you’ll have some cut-offs, you also should have more fish.
Catch the “Reel Animals Fishing Show” on Saturdays at 6:30 a.m. on WFLA, Ch. 8, and listen Saturdays from 6-8 a.m. on 970 AM, and on Sundays from 7-9 a.m. on 620 AM. To book a charter, call 1-877-FLA-FISH or visit www.reelanimalsfishingteam.com.