GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Bill Miller.
Looking for a good place to fish and beat the summer heat? Try the Bay area bridges. Besides being comfortable for anglers, the bridges are comfortable for fish.
Big black drum hang around the bridge pilings and love a piece of blue crab dropped in their lap. Heavy tackle will be needed for these bruisers that can top 50 pounds.
Look carefully at each set of pilings and you might see the drum eating barnacles just under the surface. If you see that, toss a purple jerk bait on a light jig head right to that piling and let it sink past the drum. Chances are you will be hooked up immediately.
Vertical jigging pompano style jigs around the pilings will bring all sorts of action, including pompano, mackerel, snapper, sheepshead, trout and even a tarpon now and then.
Popular live baits around bridges include shrimp, white bait, crabs and pinfish.
Good shark action for black tips and bonnet heads is being reported from the Apollo Beach power plant. Speckled trout action is also good nearby on the Cockroach Bay flats.
Tarpon have been on fire at the Redington Pier with as many as three on at the same time. Action has been steady during the middle of the day, but late afternoon until sunset has been the best time. Pinfish, greenbacks and pumpkin seeds are the bait of choice.
The Skyway fishing pier says night-time anglers fishing greenbacks by the pilings are catching mangrove snapper limits. Tarpon are also there under the lights.
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.