Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

FLORIDA: Good Flats & Coastal Gulf Action in Sarasota & Charlotte Harbor

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel, trout, flounder, redfish and snook in Gasparilla Sound and the coastal gulf in that area during the past couple of weeks. We also caught and released numerous Spanish mackerel on fly poppers off of Longboat Key one day.

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and Jack McCulloch from Englewood, FL, fished Gasparilla Sound with me on Friday, 9/28. They started the day off with a bang landing a couple of 10-pound false albacore on CAL jigs with jerk worms and shad tails in the coastal gulf before we headed for the back country. They had steady action catching and releasing trout, flounder, redfish and snook on CAL jigs with a variety of tails. Jack finished the day strong with a 27″ snook on a CAL jig with a shad tail.

I was away visiting family in Delaware from 9/29-10/6, so I don’t have a Sarasota fishing report for that time frame. However, I did have an opportunity to fish Tangier Sound in Chesapeake Bay a couple of days while I was there. My brother Joey Grassett and I fished with our brother, Kirk Grassett, on his Jones Brothers 18′ Cape Fisherman, a perfect boat for those waters. One day we launched at Hooper’s Island, MD and another day we began our trip out of Crisfield, MD.

We had good action both days catching and releasing numerous striped bass (locally know as rockfish or stripers) and spotted sea trout on flies and jigs. It was great to have good action with trout! That area is at the northern extreme of the spotted sea trout’s range. We caught more than 15 trout with many of them from 18″ to 22″. The larger stripers were about the same size and very scrappy. We also caught and released a couple of blues and 3 small reds.

Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, FL, and I scouted the coastal gulf off Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island in his Hell’s Bay flats skiff on Wednesday, 10/10. We didn’t find much surface activity except for a few mackerel blasting out of the water in a few spots, but we couldn’t get them going. With not much to cast to on the surface, we looked for fish over structure and hit the jackpot. We found some bait holding over hard bottom and made a drift over it casting fly poppers. We caught and released numerous Spanish mackerel in the 3 to 4-pound class. It was fun watching them blow up on our poppers when they ate!

Back at home in Sarasota, fishing for false albacore (little tunny), Spanish mackerel and more in the coastal gulf should continue to get better as the water cools and baitfish schools become more concentrated. Although there have been reports of red tide from Casey Key south into Charlotte and Lee counties, it is currently clear in Sarasota from Siesta Key north. Fish deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and more. Shallow water fishing for reds, trout and snook should also improve as it gets cooler.

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Srv
p: 941-923-7799


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FLORIDA: Tropical Weather Tends to Jumpstart Redfish & Black Drum

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

What a difference a moth makes!!

A month ago the sweltering heat and humidity made early mornings a must. The early starts to our days rewarded us with beautiful early morning temperatures, NO rain (usually), and a sunrise that would rival any Caribbean island. Did I mention that the early morning fishing was fantastic as well? The earlier starts of last month provided my customers with banner Redfish, Black Drum, Snook, and Scalloping days due to the early morning activity that most Nature Coast gamefish tend to show this time of year due to the slightest drops in water temperatures.

The start of September on the other hand has been fantastic due to the lower humidity (as of late), the abundance of afternoon and evening showers, and I really can not tell you how much the winds and weather of Hurricane Isaac benefited our area. Throughout the summer months most of the Gulf lacks consistent winds which provideS a cool down through the churning of the seas. Without this churning the Gulf can become a sauna due to the lack of water movement. When hurricanes and tropical storms enter the Gulf the mixing of 81 degree Gulf water with 86 degree local waters not only provides a cool down but also infuses oxygen throughout all of our local waters allowing fish to feed more actively and also jumpstart migratory patterns.

Tropical Weather tends to jumpstart migratory species like Redfish and Black Drum into leaving their backcountry homes for the safer more nutrient rich offshore areas where these fish will begin their spawning ritual. The key to this migration for fishermen is that these fish will tend to school up before heading offshore to spawn, and before they leave they always gorge themselves on one more feast before making their long journey. This most definitely is the time of year that anglers tend to see spectacles that they only read about in magazines or watch on TV. Thousands of fish schools feeding on the surface turning 20ft of water into a giant Red mass is what this time of year is all about. And all it takes is to witness this event one day and you will be sold the rest of your life, just ask my customers Jay and Nancy Allen whom have had the opportunity to witness these events at least 6 times in the 7 years we’ve been fishing together.

Another added benefit to tropical weather is that it enhances currents, tides, and swells. That being said many migratory species pickup these currents and ride them to where ever they take them to. Bonita, False Albacore, and Tuna are noted species that follow this trend which would explain why over the recent weeks a handful of commercial fishermen have landed a number of Blackfin and Yellowfin Tuna along the Grouper Grounds just off our coast. As if that isn’t crazy enough an angler out of Homosassa reported not only hooked but landed an Atlantic Sailfish in the same waters where we troll for shallow water Grouper in 30ft of water.

To cap this amazing chain of events off comes the catch of the year along the Nature Coast. Tuna and Sailfish are great species known to every once in a while swim into our waters, but a BONEFISH to my knowledge has never been seen let alone caught along the waters of the Crystal River until now!!! Capt. Clay whom is a very good friend of mine and excellent Captain came across the first Crystal River Bonefish on September 1st. Obviously, this fish rode the currents of Hurricane Isaac but to know that there was a Bonefish swimming around my local waters shoots shivers up my spine. This is by far the greatest catch in Crystal River to date and I hope I hear of many more in the coming future!!!!

This just goes to show you, you never know what each day of fishing may bring. One day it could be a great battle with a Redfish or Shark, the next day you could be fighting the first of its kind for our area. The only way to do battle with the unknown is to get out and give it a shot.

Capt. Kyle Messier
Red Hot Fishing Charters
p: 352-634-4002


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FLORIDA: Redfish / Trout More Cooperative in Deeper Water

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Just trying to catch up here at Redfish U.

Running double trips for many days to come. No complaints here and it’s great being the most popular guide service on the Gulf Coast. Our mornings our full of speckled trout and redfish and our afternoons are full of sharks in celebration of Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week.”

The redfish/trout have been more cooperative in deeper water but we’re still getting plenty on Sebiles in the early morning. Slow Gulps! will sweep up the rest. The sharks are ranging from 2-5′ and are plentiful throughout the bay.

Doubles tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday and then throughout next week and another extended vacation may be in order.

Thank you Redfish University clients!!

Capt. Eric Holstman
Redfish University
p: 850-748-4368

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FLORIDA: Redfish – Shrimp, Shiners & Cut Bait has been working

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Redfish

Has been on fire when you get the right tide. A few going over the 30″ range. I’ve been doing best on any tide that has good current. Shrimp, shiners & cut bait has been working for me. The schools can be from ten to fifty. Fishing reds on the flats can be a casters’ dream.

On the lower tides, they become very visible with their tails sticking up in the air. Fishing for tailing reds is great fun! The trick is being there when they are feeding. Try working the edges of the sand bars and oyster reefs.

Some people call it fishing for reds, I call it hunting. When poling the flats for reds, move very slowly and watch for wakes, tails and boils. When fishing the mangroves, fish the top end of the high tide and get your fly, bait or jig underneath the mangroves as far as you can. This technique will also produce a few snook. A great way to cover a lot of water and it can be very productive. Flies, artificials and bait all are working well for these beautiful strong fighters. Try bait fishing them with pinfish, shrimp or cut bait. Flyfish them against the mangroves and on the flats with a earth tone colored clouser and for some real excitement try top water on the overcast days. Average size about 18″ to 30″ with some larger ones around. Watch for those TAILS!!!

Tarpon

We’ve been doing well on the beaches and in the Sound. Summer time is tarpon time! So now is the time to book your tarpon trip. We do best with live baits, but the fly and cut baits will work as well.. These critters will range from 40 lbs. to 200 lbs. with the average being around 100 lbs. The Silver King is a fish of a life time, very strong fighters and jumps that will out do any marlin. Either bait or fly, you owe it to yourself to fish for this species.

Snook

Are very active with the water temperature in the 80’s and bait almost everywhere. They can be found near mouths of creeks, passes, canals, pot holes and points. White bait, shrimp, cut ladyfish, flies and jigs all will work. Fish them on a tide with good current, I prefer an outgoing tide.

A well placed shiner or fly will result in a violent fight that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Spotted Sea Trout

You can almost catch one on every cast if you find that perfect sand hole, creek or grass flats. I can’t remember when we have caught more large trout than this year. Summer time produces even larger trout. Fun on light tackle or fly this fish is aggressive. I’ve been fishing them in 3′ to 5′ of water over grass flats or sand holes.

Jacks, mackeral, pompano, cobia, grouper, sharks and more! These fish and others are common on the flats and backcountry. When encountered thay all are a lot of fun with tackle or on the fly.


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FLORIDA: Ft. Pierce Inlet – Small Spoon or a Flashy Jig

Friday, August 10th, 2012

INSHORE

Most of the action has been around the Ft. Pierce Inlet with plenty of spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks and small bonita. All you need is a small spoon or a flashy jig and find the bait schools. The catch and release snook action has also been good around the docks along the Ft. Pierce Inlet. Try using a small shrimp, mullet or a white bait. The best bite has been on the out going tide. The big trout and redfish are still around and feeding the best on pilchards and greenies. Try the islands to the north of the North Bridge and fish in 3 to 5 feet of water on the first half of the out going tide. The snapper bite has been good along the channel edges when using a small live shrimp. Most of the fish were between 1 and 2 pounds.

OFFSHORE

The offshore fishing has been a little on the slow side except for the cobia bite. A good number of the fish caught were in the 20 to 40 pound range and were caught along the beach with most of the fish taking live bait. The dolphin have been scattered from 80 to 300 feet of water and most fish were caught on a ballyhoo. I am still getting a lot of reports of sailfish jumping but not a lot of hook ups. If it is kingfish you are looking for then you need to try the North Beach area in 30 to 50 feet of water and slow troll a live bait like a pilchard, greenie or a mullet. The bottom fishing has been slow due to the cold water temps. The tarpon are on the beaches and they are chasing the schools of bait. Try first light and again just before dark. A live mullet has been the way to go.

Capt. Joe Ward
Capt. Joe’s River Charters
p: 772-201-5770


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FLORIDA: Lake Worth Lagoon – Trout are Taking Live Baits

Monday, August 6th, 2012

The heart of summer and the inshore fishing has been stellar, sure its hot for anglers but nothing beats a bent rod. Low light hours are often the golden hours but rain storms at high noon can cool water temperatures causing a feeding frenzy.

Snook fishing along the beaches and inlets has been outstanding, snook are schooling willing take live baits and artificial lures. Both sides of the tides offer great numbers of hook ups, the average size of the snook has ranged from 10 to 25 pounds. Sight fishing in the morning offers great fly fishing action, nothing beats watching a snook inhale a bait.

The back bays and channels are holding nice sea trout averaging 3 to 7 pounds, trout this size are trophies and are known as gators . These trout are taking live baits, low light hours offer top water action with heddon spooks, flies and jigs work as well. Bait schools in the area offer clues the trout are in the area, either side of the tide produces fish.

Tarpon action is fantastic during sunrise and sunset, anglers looking for big fish the beaches and inlets offer 40 to 90 pounds class fish. The ICW offers schoolie fish weighing 10 to 30 pounds. Small tarpon are a blast willingly take live baits as well as 4 inch heddon spooks, clouser flies and jigs. The silver kings can be spooky at times, a stealthy approach is a must. I like to fish the outgoing tide for the tarpon as the clear water murks up the tarpon tend to chew better.

The mangrove shorelines and docks are holding a plethora species, snook, trout, redfish, jacks, bluefish and even triple tail are patrolling these areas. Look for bait schools and good current as areas to target these species. Birds are also a great clue fish are in the area, blue herons and pelicans can lead anglers to success.

Capt. Craig Korczynski
Phlats Guide Services
p: 561-644-4371


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FLORIDA: Most of the Fish we have caught have been in the 18 to 30 inch range

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Finally, the windy months of March and April are almost behind us and we can look forward to the great fishing weather that May has to offer us on the Treasure Coast. Other than the usual windy days, it has been a pretty mild winter and spring has arrived. Look for warmer temperatures and little less blustery days. As the water temperatures climb, the fishing will steadily improve on the river. It will provide fantastic mornings for top water and lazy afternoons to drift the flats. May is one of my favorite months on the water!

Redfish will be our main target throughout the month of May. The past several years have bought us schools of slot sized redfish along the Indian River. Most of the fish we have caught have been in the 18 to 30 inch range. They have been sunning on the flats and May gets their blood pumping and turns on the feeding. I always have three lures ready during May…DOA shrimp, CAL jerk baits and top water lures. Gold spoons will also be a great addition to the arsenal when fishing for redfish. As the fish school up, look for them around the edges of the flats. Most of the river here on the Treasure Coast has been holding redfish and you should be able to find some on your favorite flats. I tend to enjoy the east side of the river, but we have found many on the west side as well.

Snook fishing in the early mornings will bring some rod bending action as they head up on the flats for an early morning or late evening meal. Top water lures, Baitbusters and DOA shrimp are all great lures to tempt a snook into biting. Docks will also hold snook lurking around for an easy meal. Live shrimp is hard to beat around the docks. In the inlet areas, try around the seawalls and bridges with live bait, Terror Eyz, feather jigs or deep diving plugs. I love early morning for great snook fishing opportunities!

Trout will continue to feed on top water at first light and live shrimp on popping corks during the day. As the sun rises, they will head off the shallows to deeper water in the two to four foot range. We have had some nice gator trout of late and should see some still in the river in the early parts of May. I have had great success with CAL jerk baits and Deadly Combos this year in place of live shrimp. Both sides of the river have been productive in early mornings. Winter fishing for trout has been good this year and spring should continue to give you some great action.

Bridges will hold the usual Sheephead catch, while snapper will be moving into the river along with flounder. Jacks will be patrolling the areas and creating havoc all over the river. Beaches will produce whiting with still a few catches of Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Tarpon will begin their trek into the river and you can start looking for them in the St Lucie River, Big and Little Mud areas and into the channels of the river. May is a great month to fish the Treasure Coast….plan on a trip out on the river soon!

As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby….it’s an ADVENTURE!!

Good Fishing and Be Safe,

Capt. Charlie Conner
Captain Charlie’s Fish Tales Charters
p: 772-284-3852


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FLORIDA: Redfish Have Been Biting Well All Month Using Cut Bait

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Hello Everyone. This April was a great month for fishing in Clearwater Florida. We had a mild winter and a warm spring break which resulted in water temperatures a little warmer than usual.

Pelagics, Spanish Mackerel and Kingfish, arrived in early March and have been around all April. Although I rarely target Kingfish, because of the flats boat, I was able to get offshore on a few calm mornings with great success. Using a chum block and throwing live Sardines out the back of the boat was the secret to get good bite going. Kingfish and Mackerel fillets make a great fish spread.

Large Snook are showing up at their summertime homes near the passes and sandy beaches. A few large fish, up to 37 inches, were caught this month using Threadfin Herring for bait. Some days the Snook had a severe case of lockjaw.

Redfish have been biting well all month using cut bait along the mangrove islands at higher water levels. Also, I am looking for Redfish near small oyster bars and fresh water run-offs. Residential docks have also produced some nice fish this month.

The most abundant fish this April has been Spotted Sea Trout. On a recent trip out of St. Petersburg the two anglers caught and released over 80 fish.
Trout were schooled up in a small sandy cut, near the grass flats, that had a good tidal water flow.

Capt. Paul Hajash
Reel Florida Adventures
p: 727-251-2623

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FLORIDA: Sheepshead & Jacks Crevall

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Over the past few days I’ve been out with some great clients and they’ve been bowing up on a variety of fish including Sheepshead, Redfish, and Jack Crevall. Spring break is coming to a close, and with it goes the sheepshead bite.

It’s been a great 5 weeks, and I have to say it’s been one of the best Spring Break fishing seasons in a long time, with exceptional fishing as well as some great clients.

Every year I look forward to Sheepshead season for many reasons, with a couple of them being they are great eating and are much fun to catch on light tackle. Sheepshead are great for kids and families who just want to go out and have a great inshore fishing adventure.

Even when the sheepshead bite turns off, there will still be a wide variety of fish to target for more fishing adventures.

The kids are back in school now and spring break is over, but the fishing just keeps heating up.

Till the next adventure.

Capt. John Rivers
Mega-Bite Inshore Charters
p: 850-341-9816


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FLORIDA: Great Redfish Action Using a DOA Baitbuster

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The Mosquito Lagoon flats fishing has been about as good as it gets these past couple weeks. Except for a couple days of windy weather, both the conditions and the fishing have been outstanding. Anglers have been encountering from 500 to over 1000 fish per day. Our three springtime species, redfish, trout, and black drum, have all been cooperating. Both fly and light tackle anglers are having success on a variety of lures and fly patterns. Big schools of mullet have arrived in the lagoon and the fish are feasting on them.

Richard spent a couple days on the front of my boat this month targeting fish on fly. He had lots of shots at fish and managed to catch all three species. The black redfish worm and bendback patterns were the most successful.

The third day Richard was to go with me, we arrived at the ramp to 20 knot winds. After some consideration, he decided he would rather not go out in the tough conditions. Since I was already there, I hopped in the boat for some fun fishing. The winds unexpectedly dropped and I was able to get in some decent sight fishing. The redfish were very aggressive and willing to eat anything I threw from Baitbusters to topwater to CAL jigs and flies.

The following day we found some large schools of redfish at first light. The would allow the anglers one shot before moving out of range. As the sun got higher, there were consistent shots at single fish on the clear flat. Several redfish were caught and released. They ended the day with some nonstop catching action for trout using a jig and CAL tail in 3-4 feet of water.

Friday was nearly a carbon copy with more schools of redfish. During the day we found a spot holding redfish, trout, and drum well off the beaten path and had shots at them for nearly 2 hours.

Last Monday I had the pleasure of fishing with John Machin and Paul Procter. They are both fly casting instructors in the UK and needed every bit of their skill as it was the only day last week the wind was blowing. As luck would have it, most of the schools were nowhere to be found. Both guys but on a top notch fly casting display, however, catching both black drum and redfish in sustained winds up to 24mph.

Tuesday there was no wind, clear skies, and redfish in every direction. Jon had an excellent day of sight fishing on the flats catching his first Mosquito Lagoon slam.Tom got to experience some great redfish action using a DOA Baitbuster that he threw to tailing fish. Reeling the bait along the surface to mimic a small mullet, he caught some nice reds and lost a few as well. Later in the day, he finished with some nice seatrout.

The husband and wife team of Ray and Kim were on board for Thursday’s trip. Ray landed the first red on a Baitbuster while Kim followed up with several nice drum and a redfish of her own. They then proceeded to catch a trout nearly every cast for the last half hour of the day.

On Friday, Bob and his son Joe made their first trip to Mosquito Lagoon. The action started off good with some nice schools of reds in the first half hour. After a brief lull in the action, we came across plenty of singles and small groups. The day ended with several large trout being caught and released on 5.5″ DOA CALs with a Woodies Rattle.

The redfish have turned their focus to mullet and pinfish and have been very aggressive the past few weeks. Lures imitating mullet will be effective on both the redfish and trout. Watch for trophy sized trout to be lying on shallow sand holes. Once you see them moving the chance of getting a bite is significantly reduced. Get the lure or fly to them before they see you and your success rate will be much higher. Look for the outstanding sight fishing to continue through this month.

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters
p: 321-229-2848


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