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Long-range trips produce big hauls

Posted Jun 16, 2012 by The Tampa Tribune

Updated Jun 16, 2012 at 09:45 PM


Long-range deep-water fishing trips are possible this time of year as the weather slips into a normal east in the morning and westerly sea breeze in the afternoon.

The “Fishing with Bill” film crew took full advantage of the weather and went with captain Travis Palladino on a trip 100 miles out into the Gulf. Our target was a deep-water structure Palladino knew to hold giant red snapper.

The fish finder told us that fish were there, and our Boston mackerel baits dropped to the bottom confirmed it. We used electric reels, and a pound of lead was needed to get to the bottom. As soon as our line stopped going out we waited 5 seconds and pushed the button. Giant red snapper, all over 20 pounds, put up a good fight in 300 feet of water but after a while they finally surfaced.

Also included in the catch were lots gag grouper to 25 pounds and amberjack to 80 pounds all of which had to be vented and released. Captain Billy Miller, Jeffrey Brown and Jeremy Brown joined me on this father-son fishing trip. Both of the Browns caught monster snapper, grouper and amberjack on their first long range trip.

Captain Eddie Harrington reports that Greg LaChance and A.J. Helnyk landed multiple tarpon from the Redington Pier. Other anglers were scoring as well using pumpkin seeds and big greenbacks for bait.

Deep-water expert Billy Caldwell made a long-range trip from Boca Grande and caught big red snapper, scamp, gag grouper and amberjack. The highlight was a 55-pound true black grouper wrestled to the top by captain Robbie Hehenberger.

Tarpon fishing along the Gulf beaches was very good this week. Luke Helms and Andy Maida fishing with Billy Miller jumped six and landed two during a morning trip, using greenbacks for bait.

To book a charter with captain Bill or his son captain Billy, call (813) 363-9927.

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