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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Cold Changes Things

GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Billy Nobles, left, with "Reel Animals" partner Mike Anderson. With the cold weather moving in, look for snook to be well into their winter haunts. The bait is a lot tougher to find than it was a few days ago, because the baitfish are heading for deeper water. With winter seemingly arriving a little early this year, the trout bite has been unreal. The Berkley Gulp baits seem to be the ticket. Early in the mornings, the water temperature has been in the low 60s and the fish have been lethargic. Keep this in mind, and even if you think you are retrieving your bait too slowly, you should probably slow it down some more.
Live shrimp are a good bet for snook. When their metabolism slows down, they don't want to chase a bait too much. The shrimp is easier for them to catch and a lot easier for them do digest. Free-lining the baits or floating them under a cork is the ticket. Snapper and grouper are biting in the bay, with reports of large numbers being caught. Most of the grouper are just under the legal size, but there is a lot of them. For grouper, a pinfish is hard to beat. Fish the rock piles along the shipping channel and the artificial reefs and wrecks in the bay. Some of these areas are holding fish weighing 20 pounds or more, and you will find mangrove snapper to five pounds. Shrimp and whitebait are great for this, but be ready. These fish are hard fighters and will make short work of you if you are not paying attention. Catch captains Billy Nobles and Mike Anderson on the "Reel Animals Fishing Show" on Saturdays from 6:30-7 a.m. and Sundays from 11-11:30 a.m. on WFLA, Channel 8, and on Sundays from 8-10 a.m. on 1040 AM. To book a charter, call 1-866-GAMEFISH or visit


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