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Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
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Scaled sardines are the key to the catch

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

Scaled sardines are the key to good inshore fishing. Trout, snook, reds, Spanish mackerel and more love them and can’t resist them.

The home of the scaled sardine, a k a white bait, is the Sunshine Skyway. Both the north and south sides are holding plenty of bait.

Diving birds and bait rippling the top of the water are good signs to locate bait. A 10-foot cast net, or bigger, with a 1-inch stretch mesh is the most efficient net around the bridges.

Captain Billy Miller, using white bait, guided Dean Henderson and friends to a good catch of over-slot redfish, snook and trout in the Fort De Soto area.

Anna Maria Sound is another hot spot for snook and reds. Captain Mac Gregory reports good schools of snook near Emerson Point and Tidy Island. Redfish schools have been hanging in the north end of Sarasota Bay.

Ethan Smith, 5, fishing with captain Dave Beede, caught lots of nice redfish in the Port Tampa area.

Anglers on the last 39-hour offshore trip from Hubbard’s Marina had one of the best catches of mangrove snapper in a long time. Caught along with the snapper were amberjack to 25 pounds, giant red grouper, scamp grouper and other bottom fish.

The Crystal River spoil banks are producing good speckled and silver trout action, along with mackerel, bluefish and cobia, according to captain William Toney.

Catch “Fishing with Bill Miller” on the World Fishing Network on Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Thursdays at 1 p.m. and 10 p.m., and Friday at 3 a.m. For charter information call captain Billy Miller (813) 363-9927.

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