A big wave of the Spanish mackerel fall migration showed up in our area this week. I was running one of my boats up from Boca Grande this week along the beach and saw schools of feeding mackerel all the way up.
Capt. Kevin Walton had a banner day with his charter off St. Pete Beach catching easy limits mackerel using light spinning tackle and white bait. Walton likes to anchor on rocky bottom and start a chum line using frozen chum and crippled live bait. If mackerel are in the area it usually does not take long for the action to start.
Big schools of Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle and ladyfish were also reported between the Gandy and Frankland Bridges. Anglers casting spoons and yellow pompano jigs into the striking fish were hooking up on every cast.
Joe Gaynor caught a 28-inch speckled trout and many other smaller ones using top water baits on the Charlotte Harbor grass flats. Roland Reems and Jake Sherrick also scored with top waters catching big snook and redfish in the Bull's Bay area.
Capt. Mac Gregory guided me and the “Fishing with Bill Miller” film crew this week on a redfish day to remember. Gregory took us to one of his honey holes in Anna Maria Sound and we caught slot sized reds on every cast. The tide was high so we fished close to the mangrove shore lines to start. As the tide dropped the reds moved out onto the flat, farther from shore, and so did we catching them non stop all morning on live and dead threadfin herring.
Colby Gregory caught a seven foot sailfish in 85 feet off Anna Maria. Gregory and friends were bottom fishing when the sail showed up in their chum line along with a feeding school of black fin tuna. A fly lined Spanish sardine was all it took the fool the big sail. The black fins were caught with live white bait.
Night fishing for tarpon under the bridge lights has been productive for fly fishing anglers casting streamer flies. Live bait anglers have also been hooking up.
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