Did someone leave the freezer door open? It got cold, and I could swear I saw penguins swimming down around cockroach bay this week.
With the weather changing ahead of the cold fronts you would expect the bite to be on fire! Me too!
On Wednesday morning I spoke with my client, Kevin (whose birthday happened to be that day) and told him that we are going to slay 'em. Kevin wanted redfish and snook. The week prior we had slayed ‘em in the river, so ahead of the severe cold front, the bite should be on fire.
Folks I have never been soooo wrong or worked so hard for fish! We’d pick at them--one here, one there, but bite definitely was not on fire. Just ahead, I mean minutes ahead of the front; double header redfish and another, a snook, and then nothing. As fast as it started it was over.
I told them my wife would tell me, “Well, that’s fishin’”. I HATE FISHIN’ I LOVE CATCHIN’!!!
I can fish in my bath tub. Talk about a humbling experience.
The bait is still in the bay and the day before we had a group that caught flounder, trout, and cobia.The day that should have been the day! Not so much. Maybe I should take up golf.
Offshore the bite is still on fire, when you can get out. The snapper, red grouper, amberjack and the like are still going off. The trick is to be ready for anything. Carry various dead and live baits to be ready for all situations. Nothing is worse that to get on a certain bite and run out of that “magical” bait. Also carry various rods and reel setups for different species and techniques. But most important watch the weather and make sure all of your safety equipment is up to snuff, because when you need, it’s too late!
Be sure to tune in on Saturday mornings at 6:30 on News Channel 8 WFLA for The Reel Animals Fishing Show and listen to Captain Mike on 970 AM WFLA from 6-9 am on Reel Animals Saturday.Call in on Saturday’s to WFLA 970 for Reel Animal’s Saturday and Sunday’s to WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal for the T.A. Mahoney Reel Animals Fishing Show to win some cool fish gear from 7-9 am. Call 1-866-GAMEFISH to book your fishing trip of a lifetime and until next week, “Do yourself a favor and take a kid fishin’.
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.