GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Billy Nobles, left, with "Reel Animals" partner Mike Anderson.
To be honest, I haven't been out here this week as Mike and I were in Key West filming with captain Alex Canejelo, so I'll tell you what we did last week. The tuna, dolphin and kings (rather large kings) are all around as our good friend captain Larry McQuire calls the running game. That is on the flat lines you need to have deployed while digging for grouper or fishing for any bottom.
The gag grouper and mangrove or gray snapper bite remains strong. Last weekend, I was out on a charter about 60 miles west of Pass-A-Grille on a little piece of hard bottom that was loaded with nice red and gag grouper as well as mangrove snapper with yellowtails in the mix.
A buddy of mine, captain Glenn Taylor, had fished earlier in the week and told me the sharks were bad and would come in waves. He wasn't lying. We had as many as 30 sharks come up in the chum and hang for a while. They were pretty cool, but when we slowed up on the chum they went away. We started catching again and it would start all over.
While we were doing this, we had a big — well big for here, maybe — wahoo show up, about 65 to 70 pounds. We fed him a large pilchard attached to a heavy Finwick Rod, with a Penn 860 Slammer loaded with 65-pound braid. Long story short, he spooled us and is probably still going.
Inshore, the mackerel are thick in the bay, along with trout. You will find flounder out in the bay around the artificial reefs. The redfish have moved in, as well. Look around the passes near the Gulf for schools of large snook.
On the snook, grass grunts and pinners are the bait of choice.