Even before our late week cold front brought a chill to the air, the bay area rivers fired off. The Hillsborough, Palm, Alafia, Little Manatee and Manatee rivers all seemed to turn on this past week. Big Trout, Snook, and lower slot Redfish all seemed to strap on the feed bags in the rivers. Maybe they sensed this cold front or maybe they just got to they’re happy place.
Live Sardines and Shrimp both produced well. On the artificial side DOA CAL shad tail jigs in pearl with a chartreuse ¼ ounce jig head worked very well, especially around the docks. Look for the oldest most dilapidated deep water docks you can find. The fish seem to congregate around these structures as they create great ambush points. Also work the points and areas of good moving water with depressions that give the fish some refuge from dropping water temps. On afternoon trips work the areas of dark bottom as the sun will heat these areas first. Offshore, the Amber Jack bite is really going crazy in as little as 50 feet of water.
Several wrecks just off of Anna Maria Island are covered with 20 to 40 pound AJ’s. These pieces are also holding Snapper, Kingfish and Red Grouper. It can be hard to catch anything but Amber Jack at times as these feisty creatures devour just about every bait that hits the water.
Catch Capt. Michael Anderson and Capt. Billy Nobles every Saturday morning on News CH8 at 6:30am and Sundays at 11:00am for the Reel Animals Fishing Show and Saturdays for Reel Animals Saturday on 970WFLA from 6:00am to 9:00am and Sunday mornings on AM620 for the TA Mahoney Co. Reel Animals Radio Show from 7am to 9am or to book a trip call 1-866-Gamefish.