GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Bill Miller.
Lauren Companioni and friends, fishing with captain Billy Miller, caught 18- and 22-pound kingfish along with lots of Spanish mackerel slow-trolling white baits off St. Pete Beach.
Captain George Jonah reports good dock fishing in the Pinellas Point area. Jonah likes a big threadfin or white bait cut in half and fished around the structure. A small split shot or a knocker rig will keep the bait in place if the tide is running hard. Big redfish and over-slot snook have been the catches for Jonah and his charters.
Upper Tampa Bay fishing has been red hot for captain Mike Gore. If the big redfish schools can be found, they will feed heavily with a few live chummers to start them up. Big snook have also been cooperating well, along with slot-sized speckled trout. Live white bait is the key.
Massive schools of small bait have moved in off Honeymoon and Caladesi islands, and captain Brian Caudill has taken full advantage of it. Caudill and his parties are catching Spanish mackerel, kingfish and bonita on artificial baits. Small spoons and pompano jigs, the size of the small baits, have been working best because they "match the hatch."
Sarasota Bay action has been hot, according the captain Rick Grasset. On the inside, snook, trout and reds are biting well on CAL jigs and topwater plugs. On the outside, mackerel, false albacore and jacks have been giving fast action to fly rod anglers casting glass minnow and Clouser flies.
Scallops are still plentiful in the Homosassa/Crystal River area. Hurry if you are going to get some, because the season ends Tuesday.
Big trout have moved in off Chassahowitzka Point and are biting soft plastic jigs under a popping cork. Redfish are here and there, says captain William Toney.