Monday, December 31, 2007

Big Trout, Reds In Tarpon Springs

Thursday, December 27th, 2007
Quality Fish

We again had a negative low tide this morning in the Tarpon Springs area so I asked Curtis and Nikki if they wouldn't mind starting the day when the tide was coming in. So I picked them up at the ramp around 10am and we headed off to try and find some low water trout. The bite was slow but just as the rest of the day would play out, it was a quality bite. We didn't catch a ton of fish today but the ones we did catch pulled drag. If you ask me, one drag puller is worth 25 dinks.

We landed trout from 18"-25" and redfish from 24"-27". The first few trout of the day were caught on white/red tail curly tail grubs and rootbeer colored curly tail grubs fished on 1/4oz. jigheads. The redfish were caught again today on cut pinfish around oyster bars and mangrove points. They didn't want anything to do with a live baitfish. All I can assume is that the lower water temp has them a little sluggish and looking for an easy meal. The last few, and biggest trout of the day, were caught on cut pinfish as well. I've never caught trout on cut pinfish before this week and yet we've managed to boat 5 trout fishing like that this week.

Hopefully as we get farther away from the full moon the number of bites we get will increase again. That's the only thing I can think of that has slowed the bite down a tad. Oh well... we may not have caught the huge numbers of fish on the last two trips but the fish were good fighters and have been on the larger side.

Tampa Bay Fishing
Captain Clay Eavenson

Sunday, December 30, 2007

January Fishing Forcast East Central Fla.

East Central Florida Fishing Outlook for January 2008

Compliments of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka Florida

First, both myself and the good folks at Mosquito Creek Outdoors would like to wish all of you a safe and happy New Year in 2008.

With the exception of a few additional gray hairs, I eagerly embrace the arrival of the New Year to Florida's Space Coast along with the many exceptional angling opportunities winter brings to the Indian River Lagoon coast.

Last year my resolution was to enlighten new anglers on the many attributes angling and the outdoors provide, and during the summer of 2007 I was elected president of the board of directors of Anglers For Conservation. The AFC is a new nonprofit organization with a mission to create a new generation of coastal stewards using community-based angling education, habitat restoration, and applied conservation science. Our primary educational tool is a program called Hook Kids on Fishing, where kids and parents alike learn basic fishing skills, safety, and conservation, encouraging them to use not abuse our priceless resources by putting conservation first. With eleven events scheduled in 2008, we hope to reach about 1200 kids this year, and to begin developing regional chapters throughout the state. The AFC is only in its incipient stage so stay tuned for more details.

As always, angling opportunities in the winter are influenced by strength of passing cold fronts as they cycle through Florida, typically highlighted by a few days of strong easterly breezes followed by several really nice days. It's just a matter of keeping in touch with the weather, and being prepared to take advantage of the nice days, no

Captain Tom with a hefty No-Motor Zone Redfish

JT Thompson and Captain Tom with Doling Redfish

As water levels and temperatures drop, clear and shallow conditions on the Mosquito, Indian River Lagoon, and Banana River Lagoon flats facilitate some of the best sight fishing experienced all year. On clear sunny days, successful anglers' focus on quietly polling the flats is search of redfish and sea trout holding in the sandy potholes soaking up the suns warmth. An early start is not necessary, so read the paper and have an extra cup of coffee before heading to the lagoon. Additionally, mullet and other finfish have migrated out of the area for the winter, so as the predators feeding habits switch to smaller shrimp and crabs, and anglers should switch to smaller baits and a slower presentation. When targeting redfish, black drum, and sea trout during the colder months, I like to downsize my bait and fish with a shrimp or crab imitation baits like the Rip/Tide Realistic Shrimp and Realistic Crab on a Woodie's Rattle Hook. January and February are also key months for targeting tailing black drum on the exclusive Banana River No-Motor Zone. The zone is one of the only locations I know of where a well-presented black Clouser fly can land you a 25-pound drum on the flats.

Offshore, kingfish will still be consistent along the inshore reefs and wrecks, and they will remain there as long as the water temperature stays above 68 degrees. When targeting kings, focus on bottom structure in the areas of 8A reef, Pelican Flats, and Bethel Shoals to the south. Also look for cobia and amberjack to be present on the inshore wrecks like the Carol Lee, Dutch, and Sub Wreck out of Port Canaveral. Additionally, live bait is sometimes tough to find this time of year, so always carry a box of frozen Spanish sardines with you as backup.

Near-shore, look for tripletail concentrations to improve greatly along the Port Canaveral buoy line and under floating weeds and structure, and for cobia to move in shadowing manta rays if the surface water temperatures reach the upper sixties. If we expedience an extended period of warm weather, mid-winter thaw, look for a mid-winter cobia run to commence.

Now is also the time for shore anglers to target pompano, bluefish, weakfish, small black drum, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel and whiting in the surf and larger redfish and flounder around the inlets and jetties. As the water temperatures cool, the pompano will move out of the lagoon and gather in the troughs along the beach in search of mole crabs, sand fleas, and their favorite winter food source.

In addition to the saltwater bite, the American shad run will be improving on the St Johns River as we progress into the New Year. These aerobatic fish are great fun on fly rod or light tackle spinning gear, and they are easily targeted on blustery days when coastal fishing is tough.
Seminar and Event Schedule:

January 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th, Central Florida Boat Show Orlando Convention Center.

January 22nd, Orlando Kayak Club Meeting, Gander Mountain in Lake Mary 7 PM, Rigging Soft Plastic Baits for Redfish and Sea Trout.

March 1st, 2nd, and 8th Bass Pro Shop Spring Fling, Orlando Florida

April 18th, 19th, 20th, Coastal Angler Magazine Boating and Fishing Expo, Melbourne, Florida.

As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.Good luck, good fishing, and Happy New Year,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
407-366-8085 landline
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free

Book a charter, and let's go fishing.Visit for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Half Hitch Fishing Report 12-27-07

Report for 12-27-2007 Salt Water

Snapper season is closed. For catch and release of these fish, try to stay in 60 feet of water or less to help insure a better mortality rate.
Grouper are being caught in shallower water. Scamp are being caught within 5 miles of the beach. Lots of Red Grouper can be caught within 10 miles over hard bottom areas. Live bait, whole Boston Mackerel and jigs(Shimano Butterfly or Williamson) are working well. Jigs with a glow color to them are a sure bet.
Amberjack are on many of the inshore wrecks and reefs in good numbers. Try the Bridge Spans for lots of action. The larger fish will be well offshore over hard bottom. Live Cigar Minnows or Pinfish will entice the larger fish, while jigs (Williamson Jig or AJ Jig) will trigger the most bites.

Team Half Hitch employees:Capt. Dan, Tanya, Gary, and Jay showing off their Bull Reds. Fish caught on Perfect Cast Charters, (850) 227-5149.

Silver Trout are being caught in large numbers under the Hathaway and Tyndall bridges. Use live shrimp on the bottom for best results.
The Flounder bite has been great. Best reports are coming from close to shore structures in up to 75 feet of water. Also, try Deep Water Point in St. Andrews State Park. Use a Carolina rig with live Bull Minnows for the best results. For artificial bait fishermen, use a 3/8 oz. jig with Gulp Curl Tail Minnows in a variety of colors.
The Trout bite is very good as many have started to move into the creeks, marinas, and intercostals waterway. The cooler water temperatures will push these fish into deep holes in these areas. Not much is better than live shrimp worked slowly on the bottom with a jighead or Carolina rig.
Bull Reds have moved into the pass in numbers. Gulp, Gold Spoons, Live Shrimp, LY’s, Bull Minnows, Pinfish and Cut Bait are working well.
On the piers the best action is still on the Pensacola Gulf Beach Pier where there has been a few good Bonito runs, some Flounder and Sharks. On the Okaloosa Pier there have been a occasional Bonito and some Flounder.
Out at the jetties there are a few Sheepshead and a occasional Red Fish. Some reports of a few Black Drum and an occasional Grouper.
In the bay we have heard of Grouper on the bay wrecks and Reds trolling in the channel that surrounds Crab Island and the Destin Bridge. In the Fort Walton bayous there are a few Trout and Sheepshead around most bridges. Also up near the river mouths we have heard of a few Stripers.
Out in the gulf there are Flounder on most of the near shore wrecks. In 60-100 foot of water you can find some Triggers and White Snapper. Most of the Grouper and Amberjack are in water 160-400 foot deep and biting on butterfly jigs and Pinfish.

A Yellowfin Tuna and a catch of Amberjack

If you are wiling to travel to the rigs they are getting the Yellowfin Tuna when the weather is right along with lots of Blackfin Tuna.

Offshore: The Head Boat "The Swoop" is reporting catches of Amico Jacks, Grouper and Mingo's. They have also had plenty of action on Red Snapper, but keep in mind that the season is closed. Take advantage of the days that have a light wind and calm seas.
Inshore: We have had some reports of anglers catching Redfish and White Trout around the Garcon Point bridge. They are drifting live Bull Minnows and live Shrimp on the bottom around the bridge channel and around the deeper pilings in twenty to twenty five feet of water.
Sheepshead and Redfish are being caught around structures in the sound and Pensacola Bay. The Three Mile bridge is holding White Trout, Sheepshead and some Redfish. Anglers are using live Bull Minnows, live Shrimp and 1/2oz jigs tipped with shrimp. Color does not seem to be important.

Half Hitch Tackle
2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, Fl 32408
Fishing Report prepared by Half Hitch Tackle Staff.
The Captains Corner Fishing Report is provided by local charter captains and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Half Hitch Tackle.
This report is dedicated to the memory of Al Hubbard. Al Hubbard was a field editor for Florida Sportsman magazine, an outdoor writer for the News Herald and a board member of the Florida Outdoor Writer's Association. Mr. Hubbard was also the owner of Al's Outdoors Outfitting Services.

Adapt To Improve Winter Fishing

December 28, 2007 - Winter Wonderland
We do not experience what many would picture as a winter wonderland along the central east coast of Florida from late December through early February. There is not even a remote chance of snow, sleet or blizzard. However, even though we do have our share of cooler temperatures, gray skies and windy days, the fishing can continue to be dreamlike nonetheless … dreamlike provided we adapt to the conditions and change our fishing locations, species, tactics and patterns accordingly.One of the unique aspects to winter in our waters is the rapid changes in the habits of our fish, even during the course of one day. For example, yesterday I guided out of Titusville a trio from the frozen tundra of Canada, Lou, Dennis and Ericka. After finally finding bait balled-up in a deep canal, we proceeded to a slightly depressed area along a shoreline. This was located near the bait-filled deep canal and, along with ample ambush points, provided a perfect point for the game fish to wait for the finger mullet to migrate when the sun finally broke through and warmed the water. In the two pictures below, notice the heavy clothing worn by our crew during the cooler morning portion of the trip.It was nearly noon before the fog lifted and the water finally began to warm.

By this time, the schools of bait had flooded the flats and brought the hungry predators into the shallows. The fish pictured below were found in the afternoon, roaming in water less than two feet deep in an area where the grass flats are punctuated by sandy potholes. (This was on the same day as the photos above – note the difference in sky, sun, water surface and clothing)Winter also brings us a different mix of species. Redfish and trout remain the solid staple of our inshore fishery. This time of year they are joined by black drum and pompano. Our most tropical species, such as snook and tarpon, require a warmer environment and either migrate south or push deep inland into the canals, creeks and rivers feeding our main waterways. However, we may still find a few of these fish in their summer haunts like the snook hooked on Christmas day in the Titusville area. (Pictured below is Crystal with a small black drum caught recently in the Melbourne/Sebastian area)During extended periods of very cold days (usually three to four days in a row), our fish generally struggle to keep warm by slipping into the deepest troughs available. This packs the fish into smaller confines and can make for some awesome fishing … provided you know where to look for them and what to do when you find them.The bottom line for winter fishing in our area is adapt, adapt, adapt! The patterns so predictable last month may prove so fruitless the next. The tactics proved so deadly last week may be so ineffective the next. The locations where fish were so plentiful in the morning may become a desert by afternoon. Winter fishing can be wonderful if you are able to adapt, adapt, adapt.

Native Sons Fishing Guides
Captain Rocky Van Hoose
Captain Brad Jones

Posted by Rocky Van Hoose on December 27, 2007 at 06:03:43 PM

Merry Christmas From Hawgwild Fishing

Merry Christmas to everyone! Thanks to all of you who have fished with me. I was blessed this past year! MERRY CHRISTMAS!Capt. David
24 Dec 2007 by Captain David Rogers

Good Fishing!
Went to St. Augustine Wednesday and fished with Jason Keating and Steve Chapman. We had a great day as we landed 27 redfish, 10 trout, 3 bluefish and a flounder. Steve actually landed one more fish than I did. I am sure he will be busting me on the radio show in the morning.The fishing has been good in the Mosquito Lagoon also. The fish have been tailing well thes past week. There are a few schools and plenty of single fish hanging around. Now is the time to book for January. I have Dec. 24 and 30 open. The other days are booked.Check out the 'Reel Animals' Sunday at 2:30 on Sun Sports. We had a blast filming that show.Check out the 'Hawgwild Fishing Show' every Saturday from 6-8 am on ESPN 1060 WIXC and WAMT 1190. The replay is every Sunday from 6-8 am on ESPN 1080 WHOO.Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
21 Dec 2007 by Captain David Rogers

Fishing Has Been Steady
The fishing has been good this past week. There are a few schools of slot reds and some nice trout on the flats. I am currently booking for the remainder of December and for January. The weather is great and now is the time to book. come enjot the beauty of the Mosquito Lagoon.Check out the 'Hawgwild Fishing Show' live every from 6-8 am Saturday on ESPN WIXC 1060 Space Coast. and WAMT 1190 Olrando If you miss Saturday check out the replay every Sunday from 6-8 am on ESPN WHOO 1080 Olrando.We are giving away the Karma Rod and Quantum reel this week.Call for GIFT CERTIFICATES!
13 Dec 2007 by Captain David Rogers
As promised a report of the snook trip to Ft. Pierce. It was awesome! We ended up landing 7, but must have missed 10-12. I personally had 2 fish just drill me and I could not turn them away from the structure. Darren and Doug had a blast also. Doug got 3 fish in the boat and Darren landed 2 for the night. We all had our butts handed to us a couple of times. It was a great night! We only fished for 3 hours of the tide. I am booking for the remainder of December. I have 3 days open next week and 3 the week of Dec. 19-24. I am also booking for January.CATCH THE 'HAWGWILD FISHING SHOW' THIS WEEK. STATE GATOR TRAPPER JEERY FLYNN WILL BE IN STUDIO. GO TO for details.Gift certificates on sale! $25 off regular price!Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
07 Dec 2007 by Captain David Rogers

Captain David Rogers
AAA Hawgwild Saltwater Charters LLC
Host The 'Hawgwild Fishing Show'
ESPN WIXC 1060 /WAMT 1180 Satudays 6-8am
(407-273-1190) Live call-in
ESPN WHOO 1080 Sunday 6-8am/ replay -
407-405-0819 Book Charters

A Happy Holiday Season Of Fishing


From Captain Charlie
December 27, 2007
It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone so fast. Lots of great fishing memories from 2007 and hopes for a fantastic fishing 2008. I appreciate everyone that I had the privilege to have on the boat this past year. Thank you! It looks like we will have some nice weather bring in the new year. Have a safe and happy New Year!
Fishing had slowed down some over the past weekend with the winds and rain that filtered into the area. As this week progressed, the weather cleared and it was like summertime out there. The fishing picked up as the winds died off opened up the river to anglers. I hope you had a chance to get out this week. Lots of boats in the water this week, so be careful and aware of your surroundings.
Snook, trout and redfish have been hanging around the flats. The windy weather kept many areas hard to fish, but the fish have been there. I fished north of Fort Pierce over the weekend and found trout hitting soft plastics in the usual areas. Mike Lazorik and his dad were on the boat this week. Mike managed a nice snook in spite of the windy weather. I had Alex West and Kalib Guettler out from Teen Anglers. The guys caught a lot of fish and had a great time, even though they caught none from the fishing list. The weather wasn't the greatest, but the guys had a good day fishing.
I found a lot of trout later this week to the south of Fort Pierce. Even though they are catch and release, there have been some big trout cruising in two to five feet of water. Soft baits, like DOA CAL rootbeer jerk baits have worked well out there. Fish them slow along the bottom and you could also find some redfish in the same area. Today produced four redfish, over a dozen trout, a few small snook and more ladyfish and jacks than you care to count. It was a soft plastic day out there!
Bridges have yielded black drum, sheephead and flounder. Spanish mackerel have continued to be around the inlet and hitting small Clark Spoons. I did find a few flounder around some of the local docks. Bluefish are around the river as well. It's been a wonderful Holiday Season and many anglers have been enjoying a day or two fishing around the river or ocean.
Surf: Most beach anglers have been targeting whiting and pompano. Shrimp and sand fleas should get you some bites out there. You can still find some bluefish, jacks and mackerel along the beaches. I like a silver spoon for these guys. Make sure you use some sunscreen out there on the beach!
Tip of the Week: Holiday weekends traditionally bring out lots and lots of boaters. Plan on the ramps being filled beyond capacity and wait times to be longer. Take along a survival bag that includes: A large bottle of patience, a six pack of awareness, a bucket full of safety, a couple of caution tablets and a cooler full of smiles! Have a safe and happy New Year!
As always, remember, fishing is not just another's an ADVENTURE!!
Happy Holidays,
Captain Charlie Conner
(Captain Charlie Conner has been fishing the Indian River Lagoon for over twenty-five years. Specializing in light tackle fishing in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Jensen Beach and Port St Lucie, Florida. His weekly South Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report gives you the latest inshore fishing information for the Treasure Coast area on the Indian River Lagoon.}

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays from Robinson Brothers





Kathy RobinsonRobinson Brothers Guide Service118 Commerce St.Apalachicola, Florida 32320850-653-8896 850-653-7196 (cell)

REALTOR - Robinson Real Estate Company 850-653-1653

Member:Apalachicola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Chamber of Commerce County Chamber of Commerce Guides Assn. Realtors Assn.

Super Sized Spanish In Sarasota Bay

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 12/17 through 12/25/2007

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with trout and bluefish on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay recently. In addition, we also caught scattered large Spanish mackerel and pompano in the same areas.
Fly angler Jeff Miller and his son, Reed, from St. Petersburg, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me a couple of days on Dec. 19 and 20. They caught a variety of fish, including trout ladyfish and bluefish, on deep grass flats with Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms. The action got better toward the end of the week. Fly angler Mark Eddy, from CO, fished with me on Friday morning and had similar action with Clouser flies fished on an intermediate sink tip fly line.
Sarasota winter resident, Tom Lamb, his daughter, Diane and granddaughter, Katherine, joined me for an afternoon trip on Friday. They had steady action with trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and flounder on CAL jigs with a variety of tails and DOA Deadly Combos. Katherine had the hot hand that day landing several quality fish including a large Spanish mackerel.
Longtime friends and customers, John Collins from CA, his brother-in-law Greg Weatherby and nephew, Peter Weatherby, both from RI, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday. They had steady action most of the day on deep grass flats on the west side of Sarasota Bay with trout, bluefish and large Spanish mackerel caught on Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms. We caught some of the largest Spanish mackerel that I have seen in Sarasota Bay in a quite a while. One of the fish weighed 5-pounds on a Boga Grip before being released and we estimated another, much larger one, at 7 or 8-pounds.
The action continued this week as David Farbman, from MI, and his dad, Burt Farbman, from Sarasota joined me for a trip in Sarasota Bay on Monday morning, Christmas Eve day. They had steady action near Bishop Point with trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and a pompano. Most fish were caught on CAL jigs with a variety of plastic tails and DOA Deadly Combos. I gave Dave some hands on, basic fly casting instruction and he was able to catch a couple of trout with a fly in addition to many that they both caught with spinning tackle.
I‘d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year! Hopefully you got to spend some quality time with family and friends. Negative low tides later this week are favorable for reds in potholes or tailing in backcountry areas of Gasparilla Sound. In addition, trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and more should be found on deep grass flats of Gasparilla Sound and Sarasota Bay.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799
E-mail and

Peter Weatherby, from RI, caught and released this big Spanish mackerel on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Katherine Muhlfeld with a nice Sarasota Bay Spanish mackerel caught on a CAL jig with a shad tails while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Reed Miller, from St. Petersburg, FL, with a Sarasota Bay trout that he caught and released on a CAL jig with a shad tail on a trip with his dad, Jeff Miller (in background), while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Offshore Fishing Improves With Weather

Fishing Report
December 22, 2007
Complements of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka, FL
The holiday season has arrived, and more than ever families and friends are gathering to celebrate life and living. It is again time to count our many blessings and thank those who sacrifice their time and lives to defend our freedom. It is also time to relax and enjoy life with those within our circle and there is no better place than the outdoors to do this very thing. The weather this weekend shows improvement, so plan some time on the water and enjoy.
Currently, the sea state offshore is expected to reach 5 to 7 feet, so I don’t think anyone will be venturing out until the seas settle around the middle of the week. Once conditions wane, look for snapper, grouper, and amberjack to be concentrated on the deeper reefs and wrecks from 120 to 240-feet. Also look for cobia holding on the near-shore wrecks from 90 to 160 feet of water. If trolling is your preference, there are still some dolphin and wahoo possible outside the 120-foot mark with an occasional sailfish mixed in, and plenty of kingfish on near-shore structure.
Along the beaches the red tide is letting up, so consider pompano, whiting, sheepshead, bluefish and Spanish mackerel off the beach, ocean piers, and in the inlets, with sand fleas, cut clams, and fresh shrimp serving as choice baits. As the temperatures on the flats warm up, look for slot redfish and sea trout to return to the shallows, and small dark colored soft plastics and cut mullet and ladyfish should produce best for them. Also, remember sea trout season is closed until January first, so please handle and release them with extreme care.
This past week, I ventured out on the freshwater side, and spent some time on the St. John’s River, and although I didn’t catch any, I heard of several hickory and American shad being caught. Also, as the moon grows full, look for speckle perch spawning activity to increase, and schooling bass to be feeding on small surface minnows in the confluences of small sloughs and creeks flowing off of the pastures.
Remember, fishing and boating activity will be at an elevated level this week, so please be kind and courteous to each other and the environment.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity thank all of you who fished and worked with me in 2007, you are all truly a blessing, and I’m looking forward to a glorious 2008.
Seminar and Event Schedule:
January 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th, Central Florida Boat Show Orlando Convention Center.
January 22nd, Orlando Kayak Club Meeting, Gander Mountain in Lake Mary 7 PM, Rigging Soft Plastic Baits for Redfish and Sea Trout.
March 1st, 2nd, and 8th Bass Pro Shop Spring Fling, Orlando Florida
April 18th, 19th, 20th, Coastal Angler Magazine Boating and Fishing Expo, Melbourne, Florida.
As always, if you have any questions or just need information, please contact me.
Happy Holidays, and good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 office
866-790-8081 toll free
Visit for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Friday, December 21, 2007

St Petersburg Has A Nice Balance Of Fish

I spoke with Larry at Mastrey's Bait & Tackle Inc. in St Petersburg this morning. He was telling me that there is still plenty of bait around, so fishing is steady with a nice balance of fish being caught. Before this last cold front blew through anglers fishing the ship channel just inside Tampa Bay, and in 30'-40' of water in the gulf, were still catching king mackerel. Slow trolling live bait or king spoons around structure, drop offs, or anything that holds bait may still produce a few kingfish. Grouper action is also good in the ship channel and near shore wrecks and reefs in 30' of water and up. Anchor just off of the structure you are fishing and drop your bait to the bottom. Start with frozen sardines to draw in smaller reef fish and they will draw in the grouper. Once the grouper start to bite, switching to live pinfish, pigfish, or grunts will produce larger grouper. Snook, spotted sea trout, and redfish are still biting well. Snook season is closed in Gulf waters until March, and spotted trout season is closed until January 1, so these are catch and release only. Snook are moving into rivers and residential canals and can be caught on live bait or artificials. Trout can be found on deeper grass flats and will eat jigs, slug baits, Gulp or DOA shrimp and live shrimp fished under a popping cork, Cajun Thunder or Deadly Combo float. Silver trout are a good alternative to spotted trout. Look for them just off of the beach and inside the bay and intercoastal waterway in 6'-12' of water. When you find a school of silver trout, catching 50+ fish in an hour is not uncommon. Shrimp works well, but I like to use Loves Lures in the pink color. This tandem jig combo is irresistible to silver trout! Sheepshead are starting to show well around bridges an rock piles. Fiddler crabs, shrimp. green mussels and barnacles are all good baits. Use the smallest, long shank hook you can get away with, and 30lb fluorocarbon leader to increase your hook ups. Keep your bait near the bottom and when you feel a light tap, set the hook. For more information contact;
Mastry's Bait & Tackle Inc.
1700 4th St SouthSt. Petersburg, FL 33701

Tampa Bay Reds And Trout On The Flats

Fishing after this last front has been extremely tough. The extremely warm seasonal weather that has kept kingfish on the nearshore reefs has passsed. The high pressure system has is holding over us continues to affect the fishing. Drifting the deeper flats during the day has produced good amounts of redfish. The redfish have been less affected by the front and therefore they have been my main target over the last week. The schools have bunched up on the deeper flats because the water is warmer there. They are most active on the outgoing tide as they wait for they wait for the tide to flush bait off the flats. The trout have also been biting strong. Larger trout have been holding in the same depth as the redfish and are extremely easy to catch. Jigging darker color soft plastics has been the key to these fish. A popping cork and a shrimp is also a very productive combination. Night fishing tends to be a lot more productive. The redfish are extremely concentrated in the underwater lights. The underwater lights warm up the water around them and are more productive than above water lights.The snook have been hard to get to eat. The key to hooking these fish is to get a well full of whitebait and chum the lights heavily. Slip in the biggest whitebaits that you have in with the chummers and you will have success!
Tight lines and Happy Holidays!!
Ben Choi
727 432 7232

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Everglades Cobia, Triple-Tail, More

WHAT'S New ...
Yes, Mikey, the cobia are here!
We are please to be able to now offer online booking for all our trips. However, we are still right here to speak you on the phone or via email. Please never hesitate to call about any of the charters, to personally work out the details of your fishing trip, discuss accommodations, or anything! We will always be here for you. Click for online booking.
Yep, there are still plenty of triple-tail around. Most fish are in the 5-12 lb range. DOA Shrimp work well.
Sight fishing has been spectacular. The Redfish and Snook, in water as shallow as 4-6", are waiting for baits to be forced out of the mangrove. These fish risk attack from ospreys in the shallow water for one reason to feed. Plant a small bait in front of them and they will eat. Timing the tide is paramount for these trips. A 1/2 or 3/4 days is best and you do not have to get up early. A sight fished snook in the shallows ... What can be better?
Pick up a copy of Mike "Stubbs" Stubblefield's new book "Confessions of a Fisherman and Other Lies". It is a collection of over 30 of Stubbs funniest short stories. Here is his website!
We are very please to announce the launch, The road here was long and a bit bumpy, but we kept diligently moving forward. We have added a second kayak transport boat, the Yak Attack 2, some great captains & guides, over 20 new kayaks and three new kayak trailers to the operation. We can now offer kayak anglers a wide variety of fishing experiences throughout the area You can sight fish laid up snook on the flats one day, cast to rolling tarpon in a remote back country creek the next, and catch large mouth bass and Oscars on fly the third. This all comes about from lot of hard work, but most of all, from the continued support of our anglers. Vickie and I would like to thank every one of you. The sport of kayak fishing has come a long way and EKF is simply a reflection of where the sport is sport today.
We just finished the first Marquesas, Overnight "Special Destinations" trip. We took a 43', twin air-conditioned, Torres out of Key West loaded with fishing kayaks for. The trip was awesome. We are going to be taking reservations for these trips beginning in Janurary. Click for more information.
Please congratulate the winners of this month's drawing for the free fishing trip!! Joe Winston (Houston), Eydie Heller (Naples) and Sara Galer (Ft. Myers) were the winners of the 11/1 drawing. Don McCumber (Naples, FL), Jeff Bivins (Atlantic Beach, FL) and Greg Travis (Houston, TX) were the three winners from the August 31st drawing. Rob Phelan (Ft. Myers), Benny Landrum (Houston, TX) and Ed Chamberlain (Atlanta, GA) won July 31st. Gary Robinson (St. Pete, FL) & Jim Dolan (Allen, TX) won in June. Remember, you must register for each drawing to be eligible to win. Click here for more info on the Kayak Fishing Trips
Dec 21st and 22nd we will be camping and fishing Wizard Creek. We still have a couple of openings for this trip. In January, February and March will be camping on Cape Sable again .... great snook fishing. The January and February trips are booked but we do have availability for the March 17, 18, & 19 trip. (Read more about our February 2006 fishing amongst crocodiles.).

Captain Charles Wright

Biscayne Bay Holding Reds, Snook, Tarpon

While most of the snook caught this past two weeks have been small, schools of larger linesiders can be found.


Flamingo, Biscayne Bay and Florida BayDecember 10th, 2007

Snook fishing has been the ticket in Florida bay with redfish in the mix as well as a couple of smaller tarpon here and there. The past two weeks catches included a 35lb tarpon and a slew of smallish snook caught in the some of the backcountry creeks and ponds. We did however jump a bunch of tarpon in the 50+ lb range in larger creeks on topwater lures. Tim Slawson along with his two sons, Jeff and Chris, combined to catch over 20 redfish – the largest at 12 lbs – on live pilchards fished around structure in moving water. Snook fishing has been good as always this time of year, but most of the snook are a little smaller than normal. On less windy days we are finding a lot of small schools of much larger snook – 8 to 15 fish in a pod swimming on the flats. Most of these fish are over 10 lbs! This last weekend we landed a 24 lb linesider on the flats with 8 more over 10 lbs. All of these fish were caught sight-fishing with artifical lures.. and you have no idea how many snook we saw like that!!! I have had a couple days when the fishing wasn’t that great – like days when a cold front passes over first thing in the morning, shutting everything down – but for the most part, the fishing has been very good. I expect the same scenarios to continue for the time being. If the weather stays warm, the fishing will get even better! Until next time, TIGHT LINES!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Kingfish, Little Tunny Stealing The Show

Fishing Report 12/18/2007
Capt. Terry Frankford
The fish have really been hot in the Gulf of Mexico on the near shore artificial reefs with Little Tunny, and King Mackerel on lite tackle stealing the show. Inshore is a little different, client's aboard the Reelin & Chillin had to work for there catch, however hard work paid off on most all trips. Great fighting snook to twenty-six inches and Redfish to over twenty-seven inches were found around structure and mangroves. A few Sheepshead have been caught along with a couple Black Drum. Just a quick review of a few trips aboard the Reelin & Chillin this week:
Grandpa Rosy, son Todd, & Grandson Troy Rosenlund had a slow day at first, seemed all we could find was undersized Redfish. The day was completed with four snook being caught and released by all three anglers. Troy had the big fish of the day, a nice twenty-six inch snook he caught on only eight pound test line.Barney Sack & Dave Levine found some lite tackle action starting on the flats in Big Pass. We caught & released several Trout, and Ladyfish using white bait on lite tackle. Fun, however the dinner bell wasn't ringing. We headed for structure working docks off of St. Armand's and New Pass. By the end of the trip Barney had a twenty-five inch Redfish in the live well, and David a nice twenty-seven inch Redfish to top off the day. Great work guys.Pat Bryne and Merv Griffin headed out to the Silvertooth artificial reef off of Lido Key for some great lite tackle action. These two anglers had a ball with Little Tunny and King Mackerel ripping line off there reels. I would have to crank up the engine and follow the fish just to get more line back on the reel. Total count "landed" was five Little Tunny and three King Mackerel.The Jordan's had a fun day, however we were limited to inshore fishing do to weather conditions. Rob, Robb, Ben, and Elliott all caught fish, Betsy just enjoyed the show put on from the anglers, along with a group of about five Manatees that hung around the boat in New Pass for awhile. Rob picked up a Black Drum, and a twenty-two inch Redfish. Elliott caught a Red that measured in at twenty-seven inches, and Ben stole the show with "big fish of the day" a Redfish that was just over the twenty-seven inch limit that he released after a quick photo. Robb didn't land the big fish, however he was the Jack Crevalle king of the day for sure.Quick-Release Anchor set upAt times both inshore and near shore I find line being stripped off my light tackle reels at a rate that requires me to detach the anchor and follow the fish. This is necessary not only to get more line back on the reel, it's also necessary to keep the fish out of structure such as docks, crab buoy lines, other anglers fishing lines, and anchor rodes. I have one anchor, chain, and shackle for this purpose, and two different lengths of anchor line. Depending on where I'm fishing determines which length I will use. Inshore I carry a thirty foot section of line and for near shore reefs I carry seventy-five foot section. Length of line will vary depending on the size of your boat, mine is twenty-three feet. I attach a float at the boat end of each line, a large cork float for the inshore set-up and a small fender for the near shore set-up. When anchoring up I tie two half hitches, however only over the front horn of the cleat, this way I only have to grab the slack end of the line and pull to release the anchor. There are a few safety concerns, watch that angler, you don't want to gun the boat and possibly cause a fall. Also, keep an eye behind you when backing. It's very easy to get excited about the angler and his fish, losing site of what your about to run over. One nice benefit about using this set-up aside from the obvious being you just landed a big fish on lite tackle, is that you end up back in the exact location you just left and don't have the hassle of re-anchoring. Hope this tip helps you to have a better chance of getting that big one to the boat on lite tackle - Good Luck.Tight Lines & Good Times,
Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fish Are Schooling In Mosquito Lagoon

Fishing in the Mosquito Lagoon the past two weeks has been about as good as it gets. Winds have been calm, the water clear and low, and both air and water temps have been in the mid 70's. The best part is that there have been plenty of fish each day. Schooling fish, tailing fish, and fish in the sand holes. Some days they have been less aggressive than others, but the numbers of fish have been excellent.Last week brought catches of black drum and redfish on DOA crabs along with other reds caught on fly. On Friday, I fished Mosquito Lagoon with Capt. Ron Presley of Cocoa Beach. We spent most of the day targeting the numerous black drum in 1-2 feet of water. We both caught black drum on soft plastic crabs and spooked a ton of big trout. The black drum normally do not eat the wide range of artificial lures that redfish will. The most effective technique was to slowly drag the crab along the bottom in front of the fish. If you are not getting bites, slow down even more.The drum were in schools of 10-200 and could be seen crossing the sandy patches.This Monday, Al from Orlando returned for his second trip. This time he brought his friend Danny from England. Within ten minutes, Al had the first redfish of the day to the boat that he caught casting a 4 inch DOA CAL to a group of tailing fish.We spent the next couple hours casting to redfish with not much success. When the sun got up, the drum appeared. Danny scored first with a drum of about ten pounds. A short while later, both guys we hooked up to some smaller drum.Al caught a trout to complete his Mosquito Lagoon slam and we moved on to look for some bigger fish. We found several schools finning and tailing and both Al and Danny caught some nice drum.We spent the end of the day trying to get Danny his red for the slam. We saw some reds and had some shots but it just didn't work out. Still, it was an excellent day.The next day, I had two fly fishermen from New York. The skies were clear and the winds light. We probably did not go for five minutes the entire day without having fish near the boat. It was their first time sight fishing for redfish and my anglers could not quite get the fly to the fish. Shallow water sight fishing requires stealth and quick accurate casts. If you are missing any one of these elements, the level of success diminishes. Although my anglers were questioning whether or not the fish were willing to eat, the fact that they were tailing aggressively, proves they were. The guys were dedicated to the fly, though, and stuck with it to the end. Even though we had at least 100 shots at fish, none came to the boat.Thursday, I took my flyrods and friend Capt. Tom Van Horn back to see if the redfish were still tailing. Capt. Tom let me go first and I landed three redfish and pulled the hook on five more within twenty minutes on an olive #2 crab pattern. We saw some black drum but could not get any shots at them and we both spooked quite a few redfish that were tailing and finning. Tom and I caught six or seven redfish and a few trout including a beauty of about 28 inches that Tom landed along the edge of a shallow flat.Friday, I was joined by two ladies from Orlando, Debbie and Connie. Although the weather was still warm, the leading edge of a front had moved in bringing clouds and wind. The redfish that had been so plentiful all week, were few and far between. We saw only three tailing reds the entire day. Fortunately, the trout and drum were much more cooperative. The women started the day catching around a dozen trout on four inch CAL tails in Arkansas Glow and Stark Naked. Next, Connie landed back to back black drum around fifteen pounds and Debbie caught her first drum also.We left the drum biting to make one more attempt at some redfish to complete the slam. I spotted several reds moving away in front of the boat. Debbie cast here CAL tail towards them and her line came tight with what we thought was the first red of the day. Instead, it turned out to be here largest trout to date. We never did catch a redfish but it was still another excellent winter day in Florida.If you are looking for some Christmas gifts for the fisherman in your family, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka. Everything in their fishing department is 20% off.

Fish Take Flies In Gulf And On Flats

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 12/5 through 12/16/2007

The best action in the last 10 days has been on deep grass flats and in the coastal gulf off Sarasota. Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had great action with Spanish mackerel, bluefish and trout. In addition, we also caught and released pompano and king mackerel in Sarasota Bay and the coastal gulf. The best action was in Big Pass and deep grass flats on the east and west sides of Sarasota Bay.
A night snook trip in Blackburn Bay on Dec. 6th was slow, with only 3 snook and several jacks and ladyfish caught and released with flies. It is important to have a good, moving tide for this type of fishing, which we didn’t have. Since this is usually a 4-hour evening trip, if there is a tide change during that time frame, it will usually kill the action. A couple of trips in Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound targeting reds were also slow. Despite good conditions, negative low tides and not much wind, fish in potholes and tailing on shallow grass flats ignored us. Although these things were slow, action on deep grass flats and passes of Sarasota Bay made up for it.
Walt Poxon, from MN, and his brother and sister-in-law Bill and Sue Poxon, from Sarasota, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, Dec. 10th. We had steady action with large ladyfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel on CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos and MirrOlure Top Dog, Jrs. The next day, 970 WFLA’s Capt. Mel Berman, fished the same area with me. We had fast action at Stephens Point and near Buttonwood Harbor with trout, bluefish and Spanish mackerel on jigs and Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
I was the guest of my friend, Capt. Rick DePaiva from Ft. Myers, FL, on Thursday. Capt. Rick is an expert at locating and fishing tailing reds in Pine Island Sound. We had near perfect conditions and the reds obliged us by waving their tails all day long. Although everything was right, the reds had other ideas. They proved to be very challenging, ignoring most of our fly presentations. Rick’s friend, David McCleaf, did catch and release a nice red with a weedless-rigged DOA shrimp and I caught and released a nice trout on one of Capt. Rick’s Kwan flies. If you want to fish that area, Capt. Rick can be reached at
One of the best trips of the week was with fly angler Justin Bunting and his girlfriend, Sarah, from CO and Sarah’s dad, Duke Doster, from IN. We had fast action for a couple of hours in Big Pass with bluefish and large ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and Diamond jigs. We then headed for the coastal gulf to hunt for little tunny and Spanish mackerel. We found fast action at the Silvertooth reef off Lido Beach, where they caught and released a little tunny on a Diamond jig, a king mackerel on a fly and a couple of Spanish mackerel on flies and jigs. The next stop was Stephens Point and the sand bar along the east side of Sarasota Bay where they caught and released trout to 20” and more bluefish and ladyfish. A great day!
On Saturday, my son-in-law, Capt. Andy Cotton and I did some scouting in Sarasota. We had fast action with bluefish, Spanish mackerel, trout and pompano on Ultra Hair Clouser flies near Bishops Point. Fishing will be challenging for a few days early next week due to a strong front that moved through our area Sunday morning. It will be cool and windy for a couple of days and fish will move due to the drop in water temperature. By the middle of the week it should warm back up and fishing will improve. Tides will also improve as we head toward a full moon next weekend.
Capt. Andy Cotton, from Sarasota, FL, caught and released this nice pompano on a fly while fishing Sarasota Bay with his father-in-law, Capt. Rick Grassett.

Sarah, from CO, caught and released this nice trout on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
(941) 923-7799
E-mail and

Snook Head Up River, Trout Come On Strong

December 18, 2007
A warm November did slightly prolong our Snook season as some fish were still holding on spoil islands and even on the beaches until mid month. As December rolls in though, there will be no escaping the cold so if you are intent on catching a Snook, head back into the bayous, residential canals or up a nearby river to find fish that will bite as inter-coastal water temperatures continue to drop. Live bait and slowly retrieved artificials will be most effective at getting the job done. The best day to catch a Snook in the cooler months will be the last day of a warming trend right before the next front comes through.
If you’re more interested in catching volumes of fish, it’s time to target trout. Our fantastic winter trout fishery is just beginning as some 20 inch plus fish have started to show on local flats and spoils. These “early season” trout are typically aggressive and respond well to jigs and even top water plugs on some days. With jigs, swim or bounce them across the bottom just above the grass. Top waters should be fished with the “walk the dog” retrieve…twitching the bait back and forth on the surface. Suspend plugs are also effective this time of year when fished with the same twitch type retrieve. On the live bait front, there’s probably no better bait than a nice select shrimp under a bobber, but whitebait, pinfish, and grass grunts all work well for larger trout…and yes, there is still whitebait out there.
Redfish are present through the winter and provide a nice alternative to the trout fishing. Legal fish are around but finding the big bruisers that we catch spring though fall is more difficult. Isolated pockets of bigger fish can be located on certain grass flats and docks, but the bulk of the winter fish are 15 to 20 inches. On the bright side, these fish will often school up in big numbers and can provide consistent action. Shrimp will catch these fish all day long as will a new penny colored “Gulp” shrimp. In certain locations, these reds will mix with the trout, making for some good “one stop” fishing.
The near shore “bonanza” that we had going for the last six weeks on the big Spanish Mackerel, Kingfish and Bonita seems to be settling down a bit. Although bait is still off the beaches, the predators have thinned out, with one interesting exception. Some kingfish are still holding as close as 150 yards off the beaches. A slow trolled large threadfin seems to be the bait of choice as that’s what they are feeding on. You would expect the Spanish to still be strong in close with all the bait, but they’re here one day for a few hours, then gone. One bite that is picking up now is the silver trout. There are schools of them off the beaches and in other locations so if you have a silver trout spot, give it a try. Although these trout are a little smaller than our winter sea trout, they can be caught in large numbers once a school is located. They’ll readily eat shrimp and small jigs. So get out there with the family and catch a bunch of fish.
Good luck.

Captain Stewart Ames

US Coast Guard Licensed Captain

Member Florida Guides Association

© 2007 Captain Stewart Ames, Gone Fishing Charters, Tampa, FL727-421-5291

Monday, December 17, 2007

Silver Trout, Whiting Take Up The Slack

Hey everyone! December is here and the New Year is around the corner. Even with a few coldfronts, the weather here in Florida has been mild and the fishing action is great. There have been some exciting days out here as we have been able to see a lot of calm winds and blue skies. What better opportunity than Christmas break, to get out and do some fishing. Keep in mind, Gift Certificates can also be a creative gift idea for a loved one. OK. Here's what's happening.You haven't heard me talk a lot about Silver Trout, but they are a nice alternative during the closed season on Spotted Sea Trout for the table. These fish are very cooperative when you find them and can be easily caught no matter what experience level of the angler. We are using Gulp Shrimp by Berkley which is a heavily scented artificial bait on an 1/8 oz. jighead. There are a couple of good locations for the Silver Trout in my area. One is off of the beaches in 5 - 10 feet of water. The flat sandy bottom has held schools of bait over the past few weeks and the Silvers are hugging the bottom under these unsuspecting baits. Just cast out the Gulps and slowly hop them back to the boat. We are also getting a few Whiting and even some Spanish Mackerel with this same technique. Although smaller in most cases than the Spotted Sea Trout, these fish will bend the rods.Speaking of Spotted Sea Trout, they are really starting to show up again as they do each year around this time. The spoil islands are holding decent numbers as well as some of the flats along the East. A slow drift across these shallow flats with a jerkworm can often lead the discovery of a large school of Trout. The sandy potholes and scattered rocks seem to be a feature they like to stage around. Live shrimp under a cork or especially Greenbacks are an easy way to draw them in for a strike. While working the spoil islands, try to focus on the deeper edges until the water gets in the low 60's. The fish have seemed to be in the 6 or 7 foot ditches well off of the islands themselves. Of course, the grass flats between the dump banks are full of the smaller versions. I tend to use a smaller 3 - 4' tail on a jighead when drifting those areas. The season reopens for Spotted Trout on January 1st. there will be tremendous pressure on this species so be very careful while handling them. We need to preserve them as much as possible if not taking them for food.Redfishing has been pretty spotty lately. We are mostly catching the smaller variety around the rocks near the spoil islands. Mangroves are still a target when the tides are up, but not too close. The potholes in front of the bushes are holding the most fish. Oyster bars are also a good area to work. Even a few Snook are eating when the water temps are right. On a recent trip, we were able to hook a Red then a Snook nearly each cast. The Reds were 16 -20 inches and the biggest Snook was around 25 inches. Although not the monsters we see in the summer, the action was unbeatable.Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish are still around. These fish both have very sharp teeth and when not rigged correctly, you can lose a hook, sometimes without even feeling the bite. When targeting the Macks, I use a long shank hook such as the Mustad brand. This prevents their teeth from getting to the leader in most cases. They will still win a few times though.Even through the cold fronts we have had some beautiful days. Sometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Call me at 727-365-7560 to plan a trip or to purchase a Gift Certificate while there is still time. Have a Merry Christmas.
Capt. Brian

Captain Brian Caudill

Key West Fishing Report, December 2007

Key West Fishing Report
For December 2007
Living here in the lower Florida Keys sometimes you have to be reminded to seasonal changes by going in to your local stores. The shelves have put away the Halloween stuff and now it is a mix of Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas trees. Hmm, must be close to December. Checking my calendar shows that the temps should be starting to plummet and the fishing will take a change that happens every year in the months of November and December.
With the business of the fall behind us the streets are quieter here in Key West. Fantasy Fest and Parrot Heads was a great time to be had by all. Fishing wise the tarpon stuck around for late fall appearances right in the harbor all last week during the power boat world championship, some of the spectators in the harbor were greeted by a few rolling fish as they watch the 100 + mph boats run the track. Pretty neat if you ask me, I call that multi tasking. Watch the race - catch a tarpon.
The fishing out of Key West late October into November was as good as I can remember. It was all here in the inshore waters with the big three for the traditional Key West flats Grand Slam and the transition that happens every year brought us the start of our trout fishing in the back country around the mullet mud’s. Along with the trout the lady fish are showing up in great numbers letting all of us know that winter is indeed on its way. These inshore species are always a great hit with my clients to finish off a day.
December is an awesome time to visit the lower Florida Keys and Key West with your own boat or to hire a professional fishing guide. The crowds are a non issue on the water and the boat ramps are easy access with plenty of parking. Granted we do get cold fronts that blow to 25 kts but in between and even during you can find fish that will entertain you. This is also the time that we look forward to the start of our winter fishery both inshore and offshore.
Spanish Mackerel start to flood the harbor and the outlying channels close to shore, along with them you will find Bar Jacks and Jack Crevales. On the flats the larger Barracudas will begin to show up on the white spots in 14 – 24 inches of water, all of them making for great winter backcountry fishing. During the warming trends Tarpon will come into the harbor and channels to feed along with Permit. So as you can see, inshore the month of December in Key West is not the end of summer fishing but the beginning of the winter routine of constant rod bending action.
Offshore the boats will be focusing on the birds and the defined color changes. The need to run way offshore will be squelched by the abundant fishery that will show up right on the reef in December. Sailfish will continue to grow in number and size cruising along the color changes. Don’t discount the shallow outer patch reefs for Sails, Tuna and other pelagics as they wander in there where the bait is. Catching live Ballyhoo is a great way to almost guarantee your success offshore, they can be found most anywhere. When you get tired of working the free swimmers don’t hesitate to drop a line for some reef fish rewards too. Grouper and Snapper fishing starts to heat up when the water cools down.
Winter fishing out of Key West is AWSOME ! Although this is traditionally our slower season the fishing guides get booked up. If a guided fishing charter is part of your Christmas week out of Key West, Call soon. We are always happy to get you on one of our boats if we are available for Flats, Backcountry, Wreck and Reef fishing here at Dream Catcher Charters, if we cannot help you ourselves we can certainly direct you to someone who can. Feel free to drop us a line and ask questions we are delighted to help you chose the fishing charter or Key West activity that will show you the best time for what you are looking for during your visit.
While your hear in the Florida Keys be sure to listen to AM WFFG 1300 for My fishing show called “Live the Dream” fishing in the Florida Keys every Tuesday at 5 pm. Till next month enjoy your fishing and remember.“Tomorrow is Gods way of saying its ok we fished today”….

Capt. Steven P. Lamp
Office 1-888-362-3474
Cellular 1-305-304-0497
President Dream Catcher Charters
Fishing Guide for Flats, Back Country, Wreck and Reef Fishing.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Snook Season Closed

Snook season closed for Florida's Atlantic coastal waters today, December 15. The season will reopen on the Atlantic coast February 1. Snook season on Florida's Gulf Coast, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County, closed on December 1 and will reopen on March 1.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Florida Panhandle Report 12-14-07

Report for 12-14-2007

Salt Water

The Grouper bite is improving this week as they are moving in closer. Trolling Mann’s stretch 25s or 30s in 50’ or shallower water and the stretch 40s in sixty feet of water is accounting for the majority of catches this week.
Amberjack continue to hit on the offshore reefs, and Black Fin Tuna reports are beginning to come in and anglers say to go fifty miles or so out trolling a skirted ballyhoo.


The Trout and Slot Reds are moving in with good numbers in the intercostals canal. Live shrimp are best, but grubs will work, along with DOA’s and Gulp.
Whiting are hitting along the surf all day long, but better numbers are at first light and at dusk.
Flounder are around inshore wrecks. Carolina rig a Bull Minnow on a 1/0 mutu light circle hook with 15lb. fluorocarbon leader and drift near and over the structure.

Snapper season is closed. For catch and release of these fish, try to stay in 60 feet of water or less to help insure a better mortality rate.
King Mackerel can be caught on hard bottom areas well offshore. Troll Dusters and free-line live or dead bait for the most action. Try a Stretch 25 or large Drone Spoon with 4-6 ounces of lead for bigger Kings.

Grouper are being caught in shallower water. Scamp are being caught within 5 miles of the beach. Lots of Red Grouper can be caught within 10 miles over hard bottom areas. Live bait, whole Boston Mackerel and jigs(Shimano Butterfly or Williamson) are working well. Jigs with a glow color to them are a sure bet.
Amberjack are on many of the inshore wrecks and reefs in good numbers. Try the Bridge Spans for lots of action. The larger fish will be well offshore over hard bottom. Live Cigar Minnows or Pinfish will entice the larger fish, while jigs (Williamson Jig or AJ Jig) will trigger the most bites.
Ladyfish, Bluefish and Bonita are everywhere up and down the beaches right now. Throw Pompano Jigs, Gotcha’s and Spoons on light tackle for a lot of fun.
Team Half Hitch employees: Capt. Dan, Tanya, Gary, and Jay showing off their Bull Reds. Fish caught on Perfect Cast Charters, (850) 227-5149.


Mangrove Snappers are all over the jetties right now. They are easy to catch and great to eat. Use live Shrimp with light weight and small hooks for best results.
The Flounder bite has been great. Best reports are coming from close to shore structure in up to 75 feet of water. Also, try Deep Water Point in the state park. Use a Carolina rig with live Bull Minnows for the best results. For artificial bait fishermen, use a 3/8 oz. jig with Gulp Curl Tail Minnows in a variety of colors.
The Trout bite is very good as many have started to move into the creeks, marinas, and intercostals’ waterway. The cooler water temperatures will push these fish into deep holes in these areas. Not much is better than live Shrimp worked slowly on the bottom with a jighead or Carolina rig.
Bull Reds have moved into the pass in numbers. Gulp, Gold Spoons, Live Shrimp, LY’s, Bull Minnows, Pinfish and Cut Bait are working well.

Fresh Water

Bass fishing is slow but reports say fish in 10-12’ of water along drop-offs. They are hitting the bait on the way down, so keep your line tight, and watch for the slight movement.
The Crappie fishing is in high gear and anglers are using live minnows. Fish submerged cover with a small cork and vary your depth until you catch your first one and then do not leave until you get your limit.

Half Hitch Tackle
2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, Fl 32408

Fishing Report prepared by Half Hitch Tackle Staff.
The Captains Corner Fishing Report is provided by local charter captains and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Half Hitch Tackle.
This report is dedicated to the memory of Al Hubbard. Al Hubbard was a field editor for Florida Sportsman magazine, an outdoor writer for the News Herald and a board member of the Florida Outdoor Writer's Association. Mr. Hubbard was also the owner of Al's Outdoors Outfitting Services.

Bridges, Docks, And Surf Holding Fish

December 14, 2007
Today is the last opportunity to catch that slot size snook until next year. The season closes today and won't open again until February 1st. A lot of anglers have been fishing around the jetties with live bait and having success in catching....not necessarily a slot size though. Bridges have continued to hold snook for night anglers with live bait or feather jigs. Early mornings can find them cruising along the flats. Joe Novak emailed me and caught a nice snook around the Jensen Beach Causeway that was just a little short of slot size. After today.....catch and release them with care.
Trout fishing picked up this week, even though they are still out of season. The have been hungry for live shrimp or soft baits along the flats. Most have been in the slot size with a few above the 20" size. Fish the edges of the flats where the water drops off to 3 to 4 feet of water. It will be a couple more weeks until the season opens on January 1st, so again catch and release for now. Harbor Branch and Round Island has been good for trout lately.
Redfish action continues to be good on the flats. They have been hanging around the shallows in the warmth of the sun and you can find a few hungry ones if you use soft plastics and fish them slowly along the shallows. Bobby found his nice redfish on a soft baits and boated it after being chased around the boat a few times. Again, fish your lures slowly and then slow it down some more. Redfish can be lazy this time of year and slow to move around. Cooler water slows the metabolism and reaction time is I want to get off the couch and get myself a snack or wait here for my wife to come through the kitchen????
Other action around the river has been around the inlet with Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and jacks cavorting most days on the bait schools. Shiny spoons or diamond jigs can help you find them. You might consider a short wire leader if you want to keep that lure very long. Jacks and ladyfish are everywhere again. Ten year old Michael wore himself out on ladyfish this week. He lost count, but kept on fishing for them. He sure kept me busy! Sand perch and flounder have been reported around the bridges along with black drum and sheephead. Docks have held many species for those wading or drifting along them. It's been a great week on the water!
and pompano are again the fish being most sought after on the beach. Shrimp or sand fleas are the bait of choice. Silver spoons and pompano jigs are good artificials to be working along the surf. I have heard of bluefish and a few mackerel also being caught by the beach anglers. The nice weather has made it great along the Treasure Coast surf.
Tip of the Week:
Cooler water temperatures in winter brings clean water on the flats. As the water clears, it's more important than ever to move quietly and slowly across the flats. Fish usually more skittish in clean water. Start on the edges of the flats. I watch many boats motor up on the flats and start fishing. Most of the fish around them have already moved off that area. Redfish will lie in very shallow water to soak up the sun's rays. Noises will send them off the flats in a hurry. Drifting across the area will allow you to keep the noise down and have time to fish your lures slowly. I keep a mushroom anchor in the boat to allow me to stop on any given spot to fish it more thoroughly. Slow down and you should have better success this winter.
As always, remember, fishing is not just another's an ADVENTURE!!Good Fishing and Be Safe,
Captain Charlie Conner
(Captain Charlie Conner has been fishing the Indian River Lagoon for over twenty-five years. Specializing in light tackle fishing in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Jensen Beach and Port St Lucie, Florida. His weekly South Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report gives you the latest inshore fishing information for the Treasure Coast area on the Indian River Lagoon.}

Offshore, Inshore, Inland Are All Great

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, December 13, 2007

Compliments of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka Florida

Twelve days before Christmas and it feels like March outside, you've got to love living and fishing in the sunshine state. Speaking about March weather, without the wind of course, this past week we've experienced outstanding conditions and some quality fishing from the deep blue to the inland lakes and rivers.

My adventures this past week have covered the entire spectrum of Florida angling with good catches coming from each arena.

My first adventure began with a paddle fishing trip into the Banana River No-Motor Zone. The wind was light from the east so we elected to paddle in of the east side, and when all was said and done, we caught a good number of sea trout up to 20-inchs and several redfish in the slot size, but the big redfish and black drum alluded us.

Captain Rodney Smith with a Beach Snook, Photo by Willie Howard

Next, it was off to the deep blue with my good friends Captains Rodney Smith and Keith Kalbfleisch of MTC Charters. We departed out of Sebastian Inlet in Captain Keith's new 22' Angler, what a sweet ride, and we headed east until we located fishy conditions. The winds were very light and the seas were less than two feet so it was easy to see fish activity, and as soon we spooked a huge school of 2-inch flying fish in about 110 feet of water, we slowed down and started looking closer. At first we started sight fishing a pod of dolphin using a run and gun tactic resulting in three nice gaffer sized fish on ice. We would ride on a slow plane, and when we would see the dolphin harassing the flying fish we would run to them and throw small jigs on light spinning tackle. After a while we decided to attempt trolling, and quickly picked up several kingfish in the 10 to 15 pound range. The most exciting part of the trip was near the end, when we located a large school of black fin tuna skyrocketing out of the water chasing small flying fish. At one point they were all around us flying through the air, and despite our unsuccessful efforts to hook one up, it was quit a sight to see. I also had a nice tripletail hooked up, only to become unbuttoned near the boat, and we also sighted a nice sailfish working in with the tuna.

December Dolphin, Photo by Rodney Smith

Yesterday in preparation for an upcoming charter in the Mosquito Lagoon, I decided to do some scouting. The water levels have dropped considerable, which makes for some good sight fishing, but it also means a lot of time on the polling platform pushing through skinny water.

I started out in the north end just before sunrise, and quickly found a good number of tailing and pushing redfish. The reds were not bunched up but instead were scattered across the flat. It was tough poling, and since I didn't have clients, I decided to look for fish with easy access and soon located a school of black drum, managing two black drum and a slot redfish on a black and green clouser minnow fly.

Around noon, I decided to leave the lagoon and check out the St. John's River to see if the American shad have arrived yet. Well, I have good news and bad news about my findings. The bad news is I didn't see any signs of shad yet. The good news is the bass, speckled perch and bluegill were going off on the surface feeding on very small minnows, and in two hours I caught 14 bass in the one to two pound range, 4 nice specks, and several other pan fish. All of the fish were caught on fly rod throwing a small blue half-inch soft plastic minnow fly.

St. John's River Bass

In closing, the weather looks good through Saturday, so I would fish while the fishing is good. Also, there is still a considerable amount of red tide off of the beach, so keep that in mind if you are planning to surf fish.

As always, if you have any questions or just need information, please contact me.
Happy Holidays, and good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 office
866-790-8081 toll free
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

NE Florida, Where The Fishing Action Is

Ahoy there Anglers,

Well, here is where the action is right now. I'm talking bull redfish, slot-sized redfish, black drum to 17 pounds and loads of sheepshead up to 8 pounds so far. If you want action and lots of it then head to the Mayport Jetties. There is also whiting, nice, legal-sized black sea bass, ring-tail porgies and black margates and guess what, there are a few nice sized croakers around too. Yes, the action picked up at the rocks just like an early Christmas present. So get em while the action is good. Now the sheepshead should be around until around two weeks after Christmas, (unless we have a mild winter) and they'll head offshore then they'll be back the first week of March just like clockwork, every year on time. If we have a mild winter and the water temperatures do not drop under 60 degrees then we can catch them throughout February again. The black drum should stick around until about the first week or so of May but not as thick as they are now. We're catching our limit including the one per person over 24". So far up to 17 pounds each. You just can't beat that. A few flounder are still around but not like a few weeks ago when we were catching 15 to 37 per day averaging 4 to 7 pounds each. This was the best flounder run I've seen in 4 to 5 years. THAT was a blast!

Bull reds, a few slots and a few croakers left and some pretty nice spotted trout are being caught in the rivers around Jacksonville. Nice yellow mouth trout are hitting best on the outgoing tides on cut croaker. I've seen them to 4 pounds so far and for yellow mouths that's nice. Whiting in the sandier areas of the rivers including the St. Johns, Ft. George Inlet and Nassau River. Black drum around the mouth of Trout River, around the Dames Point area, the White Shell area, the docks at Sister's Creek and at the Little Jetties. Sheepshead on the rocks and docks in the rivers and the older the docks the better they are. Flounder here and there but not in abundance.

Now here is some fun fishing. The reds have been schooled up in tight areas lately and we've been seeing schools of 15 to 30 fish per school. Now you just gotta love this. I even took my friend Larry Finch out to check out the schools and he's fished here for about 30 years now and he even said he's never seen anything like that. Since the wind has calmed down, finally!, we've been seeing more and more reds in the shallows and that's pretty exciting. Spotted trout are getting better and better in the creeks and they're hitting top waters real good now. If you haven't caught these guys on some top waters you just don't know what you're missing. Spotted trout are just built for top water lures. A few flounder are still being caught but in the creeks most of them are pretty small, especially after this year's fall flounder run we went through.

My surf fishing buddy tells me there are so many black drum in the surf right now that he can hardly catch any whiting or pompano so he traveled down south of St. Augustine and caught a few pompano and some whiting down that way but then the drum moved in down there also. I hear the Jacksonville Beach Pier anglers are catching loads of whiting and some black drum along with bluefish and a couple of pompano.
Remember, it takes all of us anglers to protect our rivers and waterways so help all you can.
I want to thank all my Fishing Report e-mail subscribers for wanting to be included in receiving my reports. I hope you all enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them. Keep up the good work on keeping the trash out of the water and I hope you ALL have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a GREAT new fishing year!!!

You can say what you want about the South but, you never hear of anyone retiring and moving up North,,,,,

Capt. Vic Tison
Web site:
P.O. Box 28208
Jax., Fl. 32226-8208

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