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Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
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Tarpon bite has really taken off

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

The tarpon bite really took off in Tampa Bay over the Memorial Day weekend. Many more tarpon showed up here, and they were hungry.

Michael Ryan and Alex Varner celebrated Michael’s 13th birthday by catching two tarpon each while fishing with captain Billy Miller.

Earlier in the week, Jim Cornwell and Al Ward hooked seven tarpon and landed three while fishing with Miller at the mouth of Tampa Bay.

Captain Mac Gregory and his parties have been tearing up the big tarpon in the Longboat Key area. Big greenbacks and small crabs are the best bait, and the outgoing tide is the prime feeding time.

The Sunshine Skyway on the outgoing tide has been red hot. Dip up some crabs there and declaw them. Look for rolling fish, move slowly up tide from them and free drift the crabs. Most of the action is on the uptide side of the bridge.

I was in Charlotte Harbor this week filming an episode of “Fishing with Bill Miller.” The stories about white bait being hard to find there are true, but if you can find it the fishing is great.

Captain Jason Semeyn found white bait for us, and we whacked the big snook along with some redfish fishing the islands of Charlotte Harbor. The big morning tides were not as productive as we had hoped, but the falling afternoon tides really produced.

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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