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Friday, May 25, 2018
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Snapper catches have been insane lately

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

I haven’t seen an offshore bite as hot as it is right now. The snapper catches are unreal. Near-shore, offshore and inshore, it has been insane.

The snapper are simply on fire, and you don’t need a boat to run miles off shore to catch them. The inshore/near-shore fish are considerably smaller, but they still taste great.

The bait of choice is the small scaled sardines that are everywhere. If you can’t throw a net, don’t fret. The small shrimp at the local bait shops work fine.

Just go to your favorite rock pile in the Bay and hang a chum block or throw handfuls of the small baits over, and you will soon see the snapper. To use the smaller baits, I like to use a 3⁄16-ounce jig head or a small split shot to get the bait down. Just drop your line over the side and let it descend naturally. When the line flies off the spool, close it, reel, repeat and you’ll have a limit in short order.

Offshore, it’s basically the same game plan, but the fish are much larger and smarter. A 15-inch snapper is a good inshore catch, but a 12-pounder is a good one offshore. In-state waters the limit is five per person, and in federal waters the limit is 10, so don’t stop to fish in state waters on your way in.

Our larger mangrove snapper offshore are coming off the edge of our chum line. These fish are great fighters and awesome table fare.

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-FLAFISH or visit www.reelanimalsfishingteam.com.

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