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Spanish mackerel have arrived along our beaches. This appears to be the early scouts with the major migration not far behind.

Capt. Billy Miller and I both limited out our parties with mackerel just off Blind Pass on the early morning outgoing tide. Although I haven’t heard any reports, my guess is the same thing is probably happening in front of other local passes like John’s Pass, Hurricane Pass, and Clearwater Pass.

These early arriving mackerel can be here today and somewhere else tomorrow. There was lots of bait in the gulf and the diving birds located the schools of hungry macks for us.

Early in the week I went down to Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound with Eric Bachnik of MirrOlure to film the first episode of my new TV and Internet show, “Fishing with Bill Miller.” Capt. John Ochs guided us and we caught 30 trout and 2 redfish mostly on topwater lures.

I was using a She Dog that has a high pitched rattle and Eric and John were using a MirrOmullet XL that it a little smaller in size and has a duller, lower pitched sound. After falling behind my partners 10 fish to none I switched to their lure and started catching fish.

On this particular day, sound and shape seemed to matter most. Some days it does not. Many of us have favorite lures we always start with, but if the fish are not biting your preferred bait, don’t be afraid to try another one.

Jonathan Grantham and his dad Jim fished with me this week and we had a mixed bag of action. We started the day catching mackerel in the gulf and them moved inside and had a nice day on the flats catching speckled trout, silver trout, bluefish and assorted other flats fish on DOA Deadly Combinations and MirrOlure ‘Lil Johns.

Reprinted with permission of The Tampa Tribune

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