GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Frank Sargeant.
Captain Ray Markham reports that trout fishing is improving in the Dunedin area on the bars and swashes around the Intracoastal early in the day, with low tides best. Shrimp under popping corks and the DOA Deadly Combination do the job. Sunrise anglers have been hitting big fish on Zara Spooks, Rapala Skitterwalks and MirrOlure MirrOmullet XL lures. Tandem-rigged jigs from Love's Lures and DOA CAL are taking plenty of schoolie fish. Work the jigs slowly, and when you've hooked the first fish, keep the rod bent and reel slowly, allowing any following fish to take the second jig, Markham said.
Markham notes redfish action is improving as well, and most barrier islands are holding some fish. Noted redfish areas like Tarpon Key near Fort De Soto are holding redfish, but because of the fishing pressure, they rarely bite. The best way to catch these fish is with cut bait like mullet or ladyfish. The no-internal-combustion-motor area is being ignored by some, making for tough fishing, Markham says.
Spanish mackerel in the bays are getting more common. Mackerel are following bait schools and can be marked by diving birds. In Sarasota Bay, Spanish are joined by jacks, ladyfish and bluefish Markham says, and there are plenty of big bonito just outside the larger passes. For more, Markham can be reached at www.captainraymarkham.com.
Captain Mike Shellen at Okeechobee has been waxing lunker bass on live shiners this week. Shellen said cooler water makes shiner fishing the ticket again, and for those who want a braggin' size fish, now through December is prime time at the big lake; www.okeechobeebassfishing.com.
Captain Angie Douthit says she has been catching fish on the south side and the north side of Okeechobee. Areas she likes on the south end are the East Wall; Rita Island (west side, especially); Kreamer Island area (Buzzards Roost, parts of Grassy and Long Point areas); parts of Pelican Bay and behind the point; parts of the Shoal and Monkey Box. On the north end, she recommends Dyess Ditch/Horse Island areas; south end of Dupree Bar; Indian Prairie area; Tin House; parts of Kings Bar and J&S. She said Pop-R's and Zara Spook topwaters are good early, large plastic worms and creature baits fished in the weeds later; www.southfloridabassfishing.com.