GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Mike Anderson, right, with "Reel Animals" partner Billy Nobles.
Much like our weather this past week, the offshore bite is really hot. Our captains are catching some really big gag grouper, lots of fire-truck red grouper, scamp, a variety of snapper with some monster mangroves, dolphin, sharks, barracuda and a few kingfish.
For the largest gags, go deep to beat the heat and fish in 150-180 feet of water to get your world rocked by the big girls. As of Aug. 1, amberjack are back in season and ready to tear up you and your gear. They don't call them reef donkeys for no reason. This is also one of the best times of the year to catch those tasty mangrove snapper. Night-time works well for these fish and can also help to keep you fresh as well. Were coming off a full moon, so this weekend should be prime snapper time.
Inshore, redfish remain really steady, along with Spanish mackerel, bonito, ladyfish, snook and trout. Try the area between Egmont Key and the Sunshine Skyway. Big schools of bonito and Spanish macks have invaded the mouth of the bay and are feeding heavy on bait pods. Small pilchards or even a silver spoon will work really well for steady action.
Keep your eyes on the sky, as the birds will give you a great indicator on where to find the fish. Your best bite will be during moving water early in the morning or late in the evening, if possible.