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Monday, Dec 22, 2014
Go Fishing

The bigger trout are out and about

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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: Frank Sargeant.

Captain Ray Markham reports big trout are available from Sarasota to Homosassa.

“Sarasota Bay has gator trout coming from the flats between New Pass and Longboat Pass on DOA Deadly Combos, MirrOlure MirrOdines and 5M MirrOlures,” Markham said. He said some of the fish have been in the 5- to 6-pound class. Anglers working the Clam Bar south of Pinellas Point, Coffee Pot Bayou and St. Joseph’s Sound are finding some big yellow-mouth trout, with topwater baits like the MirrOlure Top Dog, Rapala Skitterwalk and Sebile Stick Shad all effective.

Markham also reports some monster snook are holding in the residential area surrounding Riviera Bay. Deep holes and drop-offs butting up to mangrove islands in this area are perfect habitat for these giant snook, which top 20 pounds, and most are caught on big live baits. Markham said redfish action is also excellent around Christmas Island, Master’s Bayou just south of Gandy, and in Clearwater Bay along the ICW around spoil islands; www.captainraymarkham.com.

From the Venice area, captain Van Hubbard reports loads of mackerel and good numbers of kings just off the beaches taking live sardines and threadfins. Find the birds and bait schools and you’ll find the fish here; www.captvan.com.

Kings are also all over the place between Sarasota and Clearwater, with several fish over 40 pounds reported along with lots of schoolers. The big fish come on slow-trolled live baits including blue runners and ladyfish, while the school fish of 7 to 10 pounds whack Drone spoons behind a No. 2 planer as well as large diving plugs. The offshore party boats have been loading up on mangrove snapper; www.hubbardsmarina.com.

Tribune correspondent Frank Sargeant can be reached at franksargeant@charter.net

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