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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Go Fishing

Action heating up under area bridges

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GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Bill Miller.

Captain Billy Miller guided Tom Fillion and family to an exciting day of Tampa Bay fishing.

Starting with early-morning tarpon off St. Pete Beach resulted in two tarpon to the boat for photos and release, and two more were hooked and jumped.

The tarpon slowed as the sun got higher, so the target became mangrove snapper and trout around structure and deep grass flats. Using cast-netted small and medium white bait with light spinning tackle, easy limits of both were achieved along with mackerel, blue fish, jacks, ladyfish and some small and medium sharks.

To avoid the intense heat of the summer, try fishing under area bridges. Mangrove snapper are thick on the bottom around the pilings. Use white bait and pieces of shrimp for the snapper.

Big black drum to 50 pounds also are available around the pilings. Try half of a fresh blue crab for the drum on heavy tackle.

Free lining medium white baits behind the boat will result in Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and jack crevalle action. Tarpon also are all over the bridges, so don’t be surprised if a tarpon or two comes to eat your feelined baits. A frozen chum bag will help speed up the action.

Fine-tasting pompano also are at the bridges and can be caught vertical jigging around the pilings with yellow or pink pompano jigs.

Scalloping in the Homosassa/Crystal River area continues to be good. The scallops are in deeper water, 6 feet at low tide, so planning your trip around the bottom of the tide will make for easier diving.

Catch “Fishing with Bill Miller” on the World Fishing Network on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesdays at 3 a.m. and 10 a.m., and Thursdays at 5 p.m. For more, visit www.fishingwithbillmiller.com. For charter information, call captain Billy Miller (813) 363-9927.

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