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Monday, Sep 01, 2014
Go Fishing

Snook swarming Bay area’s flats

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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: Mike Anderson, right, with “Reel Animals” partner Billy Nobles.

The snook bite on the west coast of Florida is on fire. Oversized, slot and under-slot fish are roaming all over the Bay area flats. Guides are reporting 40- and 50-fish days all along the South Shore from Apollo Beach all the way down to Joe’s Island. Almost every pass along Cockroach Bay is loaded with fish.

A live pilchard free-lined or under cork is almost impossible for them to turn down, and most anglers are finding redfish and huge speckled trout in the same passes and sand holes as the snook. Remember to limit your catch and don’t catch your limit, as we just got our snook back, so let’s enjoy them for a while.

The deeper flats are still alive with Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish and small sharks.

Along the beaches, kingfish are starting to show in really strong numbers. Anchoring and chumming or slow-trolling live threadfin herring or pilchards will produce almost every time. Even trolling silver spoons will produce on most days.

The key to finding the kingfish is finding the hard bottom that’s holding the bait. Once you do that, you’re in the game. If you like to anchor up for your kings, be sure to drop a bait down to the bottom. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by what you find. Mangrove snapper, red grouper and gag grouper are normally on areas of hard bottom holding bait.

Catch Billy Nobles and Mike Anderson on the “Reel Animals Fishing Show” on Saturdays from 6:30-7 a.m. on WFLA, Ch. 8, and from 6-9 a.m. on 970 AM, and on Sundays from 7-9 a.m. on 620 AM. To book a charter, call 1-866-GAMEFISH or visit www.reelanimalsfishingshow.com.

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