GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides.
Hope you all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to a great new year. The fishing has continued to be eventful all over the bay. Out in the middle of the bay, Spanish are still biting, with white bait working great. If you can’t find any, don’t fret, because shrimp are a great alternative.
Speckled trout are here and pretty thick, with a few larger ones in the mix, but plenty just under and inside the slot.
In the rivers there are plenty of trout, redfish and snook. Again, pilchards, greenbacks, white bait or whatever you decide to call them, are the bait of choice, with shrimp running a close second.
Offshore, it’s just wild and crazy, as captain Larry McGuire would say. The Loop Current has moved in unusually close for this time of year, making catches of wahoo, sailfish, tuna and other pelagic species accessible rather close to shore. We have had several wahoo caught in as little as 120 feet, which isn’t too far to run on the right day.
There are plenty of large gag grouper in the 40- to 50-foot waters. By large, I’m talking 25- to 30-pounders. But remember, the season is closed so it’s catch and release only.
The mangrove and yellowtail snapper bites remain steady. Be sure to run your flat lines out, as the water is still very warm and kings are still fairly plentiful, especially the larger fish.
As you are chumming near the wrecks, large amberjack are a great way to test you tackle and your smoker at the house, as they are great for making smoked fish spread. Also keep your eyes peeled for the blackfin tuna, because they are still around as well.
Catch Billy Nobles and Mike Anderson on the “Reel Animals Fishing Show” on Saturdays from 6:30-7 a.m. on WFLA, Ch. 8, and from 6-9 a.m. on 970 AM, and on Sundays from 7-9 a.m. on 620 AM. To book a charter, call 1-866-GAMEFISH or visit www.reelanimalsfishingshow.com.