GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Bill Miller.
I went out on the Redington Long Pier this week looking for some land-based fishing. My primary target was kingfish.
There wasn't much bait around the pier, so catching a legal-sized mackerel for bait proved challenging early on. I did manage to catch a few mackerel and put them out off the end of the pier using the zip-line technique.
The zip-line, or outrodder, technique gets your bait away from the pier and holds it in one position just below the surface. When the fish strikes, your line is pulled loose from a clip and you are hooked to the fish.
Me and a few others fishing for kings did not have a strike that afternoon, but the mackerel did move in and we had fun catching them on No. 15 and 16 Sabikis.
Earlier in the week, Greg LaChance caught a 35.6-pound king using the zip-line technique.
Al Trice really has been catching the flounder, bouncing a jig with a motor-oil/gold-flake shrimp tail around the pilings. I saw Trice catch a couple while waiting for a kingfish.
Anglers about halfway out on the pier were catching speckled trout and pompano floating a live shrimp under a cork. Black drum to 40 pounds were also being caught using shrimp on the bottom near the pilings.
Captain Billy Miller guided Michael Ryan and Alex Varner to big tripletail to 10 pounds using DOA shrimp around the crab buoys. Later in the day they moved inside and caught lots of keeper trout and a few pompano over the grass flats around Fort De Soto.
Captain Van Hubbard reports good fishing down in Lemon Bay and Charlotte Harbor. Hubbard says bait is easy to find, and trout, reds and snook are biting inside. The near-shore reefs have some hungry mackerel and a few kings on them.