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There’s good fishing all over the Bay area now

Posted Apr 26, 2012 by Frank Sargeant

Updated Apr 26, 2012 at 01:50 PM

Ray Markham continues to catch plenty of big trout, reds and snook in the Terra Ceia area on artificial lures. He throws a CAL jig with shad tail in water deeper than three feet, but usually relies on nosy top-water lures in shallower areas; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Captain C.A. Richardson of “Flats Class TV” reports great flats action on big trout plus reds and some catch-and-release snook, most on Z-Man soft baits and Aqua Dream spoons. Richardson said tarpon action is building at the Skyway and elsewhere; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

For mixed bag action, drift the flats north of Anclote Key at depths of 6-10 feet and throw a swimbait or jig ahead of the boat – you’ll catch loads of trout right now, plus black sea bass, baby gag grouper and plenty of Spanish mackerel on the outside edges where the grass becomes scattered.

Offshore, kings continue to do their thing, both around the ship channels and offshore reefs. Live threads or blue runners slow trolled on stinger rigs do the job.

Captain Mike Shellen reports hot action on panfish this week as the first major spawn takes place in the shallows.

“Anglers are catching about 90 percent bluegills, 10 percent shellcrackers,” Shellen said. “A lot of the shoreline is murky right now, and you have to locate clear water so you can see the beds, but when you find them you can load up.”

Live worms under a small float, fished on a spinning rig with 6-pound-test mono, will do the job on both species, he said. Both canals and main lake shorelines are producing; http://www.okeechobeebassfishing.com.

Bassing has dropped back to normal levels after a spectacular spring spawn at the Big O. Fish outside edges with topwaters and jerkbaits early and late, and flip creature baits, jigs and worms in the thick grass the rest of the day.

Tribune correspondent Frank Sargeant can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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