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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Redfish swarming all over area haunts

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

Our big August push of oversized redfish has kicked off big time. The entire bay seems to be covered with Bronze Bombers. Fort De Soto, Joe’s Island, Cockroach Bay, Weedon Island and all the way up to the north around Double Branch and Double Bayou are all chock full of redfish.

Water temps are high, so cut bait seems to work best, with live pinfish working as well. From now through November, you’ll have your best shot at that redfish of a lifetime.

The mangrove snapper bite has stayed hot, as well, with easy limits being caught around all the Bay area bridges and the rock piles on the edges of the main shipping channel and the channel leading into Port Manatee. Small pilchards are still the bait of choice, fished on a knocker rig. Try the last hour of the tides for best results.

The snook bite has slowed some this week, but I expect it to turn back on the next couple of weeks as they start their slow push back toward their fall hangouts.

Offshore, big gag and red grouper, scamp and amberjack are all being caught in 65 to 100 feet of water, with most boats catching easy limits of mangrove snapper as well. The deeper you go right now, the better the bite.

The grouper seem to prefer frozen sardines and squid over almost all other offerings, and the snapper are crushing the live pilchards offshore as well.

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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