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Head for warm water to load up
Posted Dec 22, 2012 by The Tampa Tribune
Updated Dec 22, 2012 at 04:57 PM
BY BILL MILLER
Cold weather should move good fish into the warm-water outflows of local power plants.
Cobia are prime targets and can be seen cruising on top. Quietly casting a live bait or big, dark-colored soft plastic eel on a jig in front of the cruising cobia will usually draw a strike. When cobia are not visible on top, try anchoring on the channel edge and putting over a chum bag. Jumbo shrimp on the bottom and free-lined in the chum will draw blind strikes form cobia.
Also expect to find pompano, trout, reds, sharks and many others in the warm-water plume. Pay special attention to Homeland Security signs.
Tripletails are hanging around crab-trap buoys in the Gulf. A live bait, jig or DOA shrimp cast uptide of the crab buoy will usually draw an immediate strike from a tripletail.
Silver trout are solid off Redington Beach in hard-bottom areas in 10-16 feet. Silvers show up like clouds near the bottom on your depth recorder. When you find them, a tandem Love’s Lure vertically jigged will fill your cooler.
Before the cold front, Larry Mastry was still catching kingfish in the Egmont ship channel. Mastry was using Sabiki rigs to catch bait around the markers and putting them out on a slow-trolled stinger rig. Also included in the catch were big Spanish mackerel, bonito and sharks. Markers 3 and 4 were hot.
The St. Joseph Sound speckled trout bite is heating up. The deep grass areas and spoil islands are the best spots, using soft plastics and jumbo shrimp for bait. A few pompano and bluefish are also being caught.
For more information, visit http://www.fishingwithbillmiller.com. To book a charter with captain Bill or his son captain Billy, call (813) 363-9927.