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Wednesday I ran a late afternoon and evening trip. Before I hit the water I ran into Capt. Billy Nobles of the Reel Animals who had just returned from offshore charters. Besides a great day with deep water targets they scored Mahi and a Sailfish! How’s that for great offshore action.

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A short run to the Flats near the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Skyway</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bridge</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> was all that was needed to quickly chum up white baits and pinfish. Four tosses of the cast net and we had our ample bait but oh no Captain Steven has to toss one more time. This time I came back with the net all lit up like a Christmas tree with hundreds of tiny baits gilled. Nice mess to clean later.

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Now that is was time to fish Mother Nature had other ideas. A storm rolled in rapidly and we headed to a bridge for cover. We waited and waited as it took 2 hours for the storm to pass. Meanwhile Jim wasn’t wasting time and started fishing. Soon Jim had a large and very chunky snapper in the boat. Minutes later his rod bowed deeply and 5 minutes later Jim landed a crab trap with a flounder and 2 grouper inside on of which was a keeper. Now that’s fishing!

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Finally we were in place for snook and trout fishing. First stop did not fail as we quickly had 2 snook hooked only to have them lost deep within the docks. Then like in slow motion we saw a huge snook come out from a dock and inhale one of our baits. A huge explosion followed as this slob was huge and sprayed water everywhere. Appears the drag was a tick to tight as the big Linesider snapped the line.

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Jim showed everyone how to do it and quickly boated a nice snook. We then hooked another big snook and after a great fight in and out of the docks we lost it while pulling it out for a quick photo. This fish was probably 33” and very fat. In this same spot we took the largest flounder I have seen in years. <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Tampa</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bay</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> continues to amaze.

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We had an early deadline so we only got in 90 minutes of fishing but had a great night. In closing remember to keep an eye on the weather at all times and be prepared to find shelter quickly.

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Capt. Steven

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