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Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Mangrove snapper almost everywhere

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

The mangrove snapper bite offshore, near shore and inshore has simply gone crazy. It seems like every rock pile, sea wall, bridge piling and deep-water dock in the bay is covered with these tasty critters.

Small pilchards, which are also seemingly everywhere, are my bait of choice. A light, 20-pound fluorocarbon leader and a 1/0 hook knocker-rigged is all you need to score big right now.

This week, it seemed the outgoing tide was best, with the bigger fish chewing better the faster the tide moved. Just remember to increase your weight as the tide increases. Night fishing for mangrove snapper this weekend will be phenomenal, as we are on the full moon and their visibility will be increased with the brightness of the moon.

If you are without a boat, show up early to the Sunshine Skyway fishing pier, as snapper fishing will be excellent this weekend around the bridge. The beach snook bite remains crazy hot, as well, with small baits doing the trick.

We also scored big using the MirrOdine by MirrOlure. It imitates the baits they are feeding on perfectly.

Speckled trout, redfish and Spanish mackerel are also available on bay area flats. Offshore, gag grouper fishing is steady, with the best fishing in 60 to 100 feet of water.

Mike Mahoney from TA Mahoney Co. reports a great trolling bite on gags in 50 to 60 feet off Anna Maria Island.

Catch captain Michael Anderson every Saturday morning on News Channel 8 at 6:30 a.m. for the “Reel Animals Fishing Show,” Saturdays on 970 AM for “Reel Animals Saturday” from 6 to 8 a.m., and Sundays on 620 AM for the TA Mahoney Co. “Reel Animals Radio Show” from 7 to 9 a.m. To book a trip, call 1-866-GAMEFISH.

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