GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Captain Ray Markham reports big speckled trout around Pinellas Point on soft plastic jerk baits like the Lil’ John XL, CAL Shads, and DOA Deadly Combos.
He said Paul Brown Originals have been the ticket here, fished in 4- to 6-feet of water on the edges of the Clam Bar and channels that surround Coquina Key and the boat ramp near the foot of 4th Street in St. Pete.
Markham said St. Joseph’s Sound up near Clearwater has some monster yellow mouth trout taking Lil’ John XL’s. Look for spoil islands in the ICW to produce some nice fish.
Markham also reports redfish sunning on shallow mud flats from Ruskin to Terra Ceia Bay on the sunny days. Foggy conditions sometimes slow these fish and keep them in deeper holes or channels until the sun burns off the fog.
“Eppinger Rex Spoons have been a hot commodity for anglers fishing with me out of Terra Ceia,” says Markham. Sarasota Bay’s Long Bar has been holding some decent redfish, taking Saltwater Assassins Sea Shad. Palma Sola Bay sand bars are holding redfish and trout for anglers tossing MirrOdines; for more from Markham, click here.
Along the beaches, Captains Andy Cotton and Rick Grassett, fishing out of CB Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, have been catching bluefish and Spanish mackerel on CAL Jigs with shad tails just outside of New Pass and inside Sarasota Bay on the Middle Ground flats. Pompano have also been in the catch there. Along the beaches, Cotton has been targeting tripletail using jigs and DOA Shrimp with some success. For more info, click here.
Offshore anglers continue to catch red grouper and AJ’s from 60 feet on out, and those who know the spots and bring live shrimp offshore are still capturing some tasty hog snapper.
In freshwater, Captain Mike Shellen reports the hot bite continues on speckled perch at Okeechobee.
“Specks are biting in shallow water by jig anglers fishing in the heavy cover areas around Indian Prairie and Pierce Canal,” says Shellen. “Minnow anglers are also doing well in the lower Kissimmee River.”
Ideal bass fishing weather continues, with highs in the lower 70’s, and that should put lots of spawning bass into the grassy shallows where they’ll take plastic worms or live shiners throughout the Kissimmee Chain. For more info, click here.
At Rodman Reservoir northeast of Ocala, Captain Sean Rush continues to catch and release lots of 8-pound-plus largemouths, all on big wild shiners run under the hyacinth drifts. For more info, click here.
Tribune correspondent Frank Sargeant can be reached at [email protected]