Captain Mel Berman, Sept 19, 2008

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Despite Heat, Fish Decide to Bite
Posted By The Tampa Tribune at Sep 19, 2008 at 04:10 PM
Updated Sep 19, 2008 at 04:12 PM

http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/sports/comments/despite-heat-fish-decide-to-bite/

By MEL BERMAN

One thing hit home during this week’s fishing trips: Late-summer conditions don’t entirely dictate whether fish will start eating.

With water temperatures in the upper 80s and scarcely any breeze, John Litz and I anticipated another day of casting practice. Yet, as we reached our destination off Dunedin, the water was alive with activity.

Great schools of bait were being pursued by hungry fish below, while circling birds took their shots from above at the terrorized pilchards. Using a combination of 12-Fathom Slam R jigs and Storm Chug Bug topwaters, we received the immediate attention of several different species.

John cranked in a couple of nice 3-pound trout, while I hooked a hefty bluefish, a 20-inch almost-keeper grouper and several larger trout. Between all that action, hordes of frisky ladyfish kept our lines tight.

While all this was going on, kayak guide Neil Taylor also had what he called a fantastic day.

“We ‘wasted’ some time tossing lures into droves of ladyfish, jacks and mackerel that were feeding in the same area at first light,” he said. “We caught trout, and then we moved in on the reds and snook. Those fish might have fed heavily during the night, but they fed just fine this morning.”

Coming off that full moon, tides should still be moving well for weekend anglers, continuing what appears to be a very productive fishing period.

Hear “The Captain Mel Show” Saturdays from 6-9 a.m. on WFLA, 970 AM. Also, visit “Fishing Florida OnLine Magazine” at capmel.com.