Friday, February 29, 2008

Indian River Lagoon March Forcast

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, March 2008
Compliments of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka Florida
In angling terms, March on the east central coast of Florida means, cobia, cobia, and more cobia. Yes, the brown clowns are the jesters of the sea on the Space Coast, and their court consist of the monster jacks (jack carvalle), smoker kings (large kingfish), and the silver kings (tarpon) to name just a few. As spring progresses and the ocean begins its gradual warming phase, 67 to 68 degrees, the migration of baits schools bring, Atlantic menhaden (pogies), threadfin herring (greenies), bay anchovies (glass minnows) and black and silver mullet into the near-shore waters bringing the cobia and other predators with them. Warmer waters will also draw manta rays into the shallows as they migrate north shadowed by pods of cobia. Other distinguished species are tripletail around the buoys and under flotsam, and large redfish and blacktip sharks following bait schools along the beach. Currently, both the cobia and the manta rays have been showing up in our near-shore waters ahead of schedule. When targeting cobia out of Port Canaveral, my strategy is to concentrate on filling my bait well with live pogies in the morning, and then run south to a point off of Melbourne beach. Then I return slowly using a zigzag pattern (shallow to deep and back shallow) with the afternoon sun to my back until I locate fish, and then I mark and maintain the same depth and water temperature. Also, if I locate bait schools pushed to the surface, I stop and drop a live bait through the school targeting the predators below.

Moving out into deeper water, the spring kingfish run should begin with the smaller kings showing up around the middle of March, followed by the smokers, 30 to 50 pounds near the beginning of April on the near-shore reefs and wrecks like Pelican Flats and 8A reef, 60 to 90 feet of water. If the bait moves in close to the beach, look for the larger kingfish to follow them. Also, the beginning of April marks the start of the fishing season for many of the blue water anglers with the start of the April/May northern migration of dolphin in 120 feet of water and beyond, and the first part of the run usually includes some of the largest bulls taken all year. Again, good reports of dolphin have been coming in, also ahead of schedule.

Fishing in and around the inlets and along the beaches will produce, whiting, pompano, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel, with sheepshead and black drum holding on jetties and rock piles. As we move into April, watch for the snook and tarpon action to heat up in Sebastian Inlet, and then move north to Port Canaveral and Ponce De Leon Inlet following the bait progression. On the lagoon, rising water levels will draw the slot size redfish schools up onto the shallow flats, with the larger breeder schools forming up and holding along the deeper edges and sandy shoals. On the cooler days, focus your attention on sand pockets or potholes, and once the afternoon sun warms the water, look for tailing fish on the shallow flats. Also, mid March signals the return of finger mullet into the estuary, and the beginning early morning and late evening top water sea trout and redfish action. Remember, spring is the season when sea trout become egg laden for the spawn, happening just before the full and new moons, so it is very important to handle and release the large females with extreme care; fore their survival is essential for the proliferation of the species.

Seminars and Events

Anyone who is interested in volunteering to assist in the March 8th Kids Fishing Day at Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka, please contact me. Thank You

March 8th, 9am-3pm, Woman in the Outdoors presents a Kids Fishing Day. Event includes a full day of activities and lunch, and the cost is $25 per child. To register, contact Mosquito Creek Outdoors at (407) 464-2000.

April 18th, 19th, 20th, Coastal Angler Magazine Boating and Fishing Expo, Melbourne, Florida, Angler's Improvement Clinics Sponsored by Mosquito Creek Outdoors, RipTide Soft Plastics, Woodie's Rattles, TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group, and D.O.A. Lures

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


Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

http://www.irl-fishing.com/
407-366-8085 landline
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free

Book a charter, and let's go fishing.Visit http://www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com/ for all of your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Target Trout On Treasure Coast


February 28, 2008
INSHORE:
In spite of the latest cold front that cruised through the Treasure Coast, it's really been a mild winter. I think I only had to dig out the ol' long johns once this season. The coming weekend should bring some mild temperatures and great fishing weather. Let's go fishing!
Trout was our best fish to target again this week. We totaled over a hundred trout in three outings over the past week. Bob Alton topped off the trout catch with one around 24" at first light. The majority were caught on DOA CAL jerk baits and shad glow and root beer colors. As long as the water temps stay up above 70 degrees, look for the action to continue in 2 - 5 feet of water.
Bob also boated two pompano that went over three pounds each. They were in the same water as the trout and hit the same baits. We had picked up a couple of flounder on the same flat a few days before. Louie took home a nice flounder for dinner.
We managed a few short snook from around the mangroves. Most of the snook fishing has been at night with live bait or jigs. Action around the bridges and jetties has been good during February and should continue into March. The redfish are still in shallow water during the warmth of the day, but not biting like they will next month. We will see more action as the spring temperatures warm things up.
There are still black drum, sheephead, snapper and sand perch to catch around structure, docks and off the bridges. Live or dead shrimp will work best. The beaches will continue to provide whiting and pompano along the surf. Mackerel are still holding around the inlet and channels. And once again, the ladyfish and jacks are just about anywhere you can toss a lure.

Tip of the Week:
Popping corks are a wintertime staple for fishing. Whether you use live shrimp or soft baits, you can usually stir up some action when those corks start popping! A quick, short jerk on the line will make the popping action and the noise will make a nearby fish look to see what is going on. That's when they see the shrimp or soft baits hanging there looking like an easy meal. As always in the river, you just never know what might decide to strike at it. You will find a great many anglers out there using them, so join in on the fun!
As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!Good Fishing and Be Safe,

Captain Charlie Conner
http://www.fishtalescharter.com/
email: captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
772-284-3852

(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, Stuart 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.}

Half Hitch Tackle Fishing Report 2-28-08


Report for 02/28/08 Salt Water

MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE
The grouper continue to be caught trolling the Mann’s stretch 25’s in 50’ or shallower over shallow wrecks like the lumber ship and the stretch 30’s in 60’ plus over the car bodies will work. No change as far as the trigger fishing goes, they are biting well right now and can be caught with a drop rig of three #2 Owner Fly liner hooks 12” apart baited with squid. They are around any wreck or reef and are a great eating fish. Amberjack are also still hitting well, set up a chum line over the offshore reefs and Air Force towers and toss a free line bait in amongst the chum line.

ST JOSEPH BAY
The trout season will be back open as of March 1st. This week has been hit or miss at the PSJ Marina and outside the mouth of the gulf canal. However, the action is consistent further up the canal around the “T” and beyond to lake Wimico. With the warmer weather trend, look for the trout fishing to improve on the flats over the next few weeks. Sheepshead fishing is still great at Bob Sikes cut in Apalachicola bay and at the old bridge pilings of the St George bridge. Use small live shrimp or fiddler crabs. Redfish also reported on the flats of St Joseph bay on the incoming tide. A few flounder have found their way back from offshore and some were caught on the sandbars and entrances to the intercostals canal this week. The whiting bite continues along the surf at Cape San Blas and The Stump Hole. The first solid reports of pompano being taken along St Joe beach have come in this week too.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
Grouper is closed in Federal waters until March 15. However, Grouper and Scamp are being caught within state waters over hard bottom areas. Live bait, whole Boston Mackerel and jigs (Shimano Butterfly or Williamson) are working well.
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.

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Sheepsheads are slowly starting to migrate to the jetties. Live Fiddler Crabs is the absolute best bait to use. Use a Carolina rig with a small hook and light lead for best results. Pompano are being caught along the beaches. Throw a jig tipped with shrimp, sand fleas, or gulp. They are also being caught using frozen sand fleas, rigged on a 2 hook leader and pyramid sinker.
Silver Trout are being caught in large numbers under the Hathaway and Tyndall bridges. Use live shrimp on the bottom for best results.
Trout season opens March 1st. Most Trout will still be holding in the creeks and canals. Live Shrimp on the bottom is the best bait.
Bull and Slot Reds are still in the pass. Gulp, Gold Spoons, Live Shrimp, LY’s, Bull Minnows, Pinfish and Cut Bait are working well.

Fresh Water
APALACHICOLA /WHITE CITY
The Crappie bite has slowed dramatically this week. So, go after those pre-spawning largemouth bass. They have bass moved up a little and can be caught using Bandit crank baits at the mouths of the tributaries right along shore. They are hitting the bait about 2 feet from shore so be ready to set your hook quickly.

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.

Half Hitch Tackle
850-234-2621
2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, Fl 32408

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Time To Chase Cobia Offshore

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, February 27, 2008
Complements of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka Florida

Angling along the north Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida has shown some improvement this past week with the best action coming from anglers fishing in surf along the beach and those chasing cobia offshore.I always use my lavender Formosa azaleas as an indicator for the arrival of the cobia migration north through our near-shore waters. Their magnificent blooms favors the same temperatures and weather conditions, and when the azalea blooms peek the time is right. Currently my azaleas are in full bloom, and like the azaleas delicate blooms, the cobia run will pass before you know it.This year, warmer weather and water temperatures have arrived about two weeks early, and some significant catches of cobia have come from under manta rays in 60 to 80 feet of water. As the water warms up (68 to 70 degrees) both the cobia and manta rays should move in closer, and the weather should be favorable this weekend with seas predicted to be 2 feet or less, so it sound like it could be a cobia weekend to me.The other hot bite this past week occurred along the beaches, with good catches of pompano, whiting, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, black drum, and jacks being landed by both surf anglers and anglers fishing from boats along the beach. Good catches have been coming from up and down the east Florida coast, with Playlinda Beach, North Cape Canaveral near Jetty Park, Patrick AFB Beach, and Melbourne Beach serving as the local hot spots on the Space Coast. The best bait of course has been live mole crabs (sand fleas), but fresh peeled shrimp works very well. Also, if you live in the Titusville area, Skeeter Lagoons Bait and Tackle on Garden Street has live sand fleas for sale.Inshore in the north Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons, the redfish and black drum fishing has shown some improvement, but extremely low water conditions have made access with skiffs challenging. When water levels are low, it is important to take extra effort to reach the fish and not to damage sea grass. Also, paddle anglers have had the advantage in reaching fish, so you may consider that option.

Seminars and Events

Anyone who is interested in volunteering to assist in the March 8th Kids Fishing Day at Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka, please contact me. Thank You

March 8th, 9am-3pm, Woman in the Outdoors presents a Kids Fishing Day. Event includes a full day of activities and lunch, and the cost is $25 per child. To register, contact Mosquito Creek Outdoors at (407) 464-2000.

April 18th, 19th, 20th, Coastal Angler Magazine Boating and Fishing Expo, Melbourne, Florida, Angler's Improvement Clinics Sponsored by Mosquito Creek Outdoors, RipTide Soft Plastics, Woodie's Rattles, TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group, and D.O.A. Lures

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

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

http://www.irl-fishing.com
407-366-8085 landline
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free

Book a charter, and let's go fishing.Visit http://www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com for all of your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tarpon Springs Redfish On The Move

From Poland to Tarpon Springs Flats.

Andrew was in America this week for the first time. He was here on business but he's an avid angler and wanted to try his hand at redfish while here. He scheduled two fishing charters with me here in the Tampa Bay area while on his visit. The first day we decided to fish near St. Petersburg. I had been on some really big trout and a good number of redfish there this week so things were looking good for the first charter. Unfortunately, the wind switched directions and doubled in speed from the day before. It made finding redfish tough but the trout and bluefish were very willing.

But, the big prize Andrew was after was redfish. So, on day two, I asked him to meet me in Tarpon Springs where I have been very productive on redfish for months. We met at the dock at 7am and the wind was howling. Fog had set in and my XM Radar on the boat said rain was eminent. After about 30 minutes of getting beat up by the waves near Anclote, I told him that if he really wanted to catch a redfish then he should go back to the hotel for a few hours and wait for the rain to pass and then we'd try again.

We reconvened at 1pm and began our hunt for Andrew's first redfish. The change in the weather over the past few days, combined with the full moon, made finding them tough. All of my favorite spots were bare. Not even the mullet showed themselves. Then when things were looking bleak, I remembered a time just like this last year. The tide was leaving and it was just after a storm that I had found a large number of redfish on a very shallow flat. They poured off of the flat back then heading for deeper water and we picked them off as they went by the boat. So, even though I hadn't been there in months I decided to give it a try. We were well rewarded. The wind laid down and the water turned to glass. There they were. We could see the reds pouring off of the flat very easily. We threw pinfish out and it wasn't long before we were hooking up. Wave after wave of redfish schools kept coming by the boat. it was really an awesome sight. Unfortunately I left my camera at home so hopefully Andrew will send me some pictures to add to this report.

It was a tough couple of days but we were rewarded for our perseverance at the end we saw tons of redfish and caught our fair share. It was a 15 hour day for me but it was well worth it to see the smile on his face and to hear him say that he would be back to do this again.

Fish are on the move and they seem to have bunched up pretty tight. So if you aren't finding them, keep looking. they didn't go to Mexico (even though I was beginning to wonder). Cover as much water as you can. Definitely look for mullet. If you don't see mullet schools you aren't near the redfish.

Keep fishing. They are out there and there are lots of them. It might take a little work but when you do find them it will be well worth your effort.

Captain Clay Eavenson
813-300-2147

Everglades Fishing Is Great



February 2008
FISHING REPORT BY
CAPT. BECKY CAMPBELL
239-695-2029
Everglades City, Florida
Spring is on the way. The fishing is good and the weather is nice also. The white pelicans are heading back to the north while the Sea Hawks are sitting on their nest. Great weather is ahead of us, along with some great fishing. As I write this, the temperature is 81 with the wind out of the east at 5 to 10 mph. The nights are a consistent 63 degrees. This is really pleasant to be out in.We are still catching a mixed bag of fish. For the last couple days I fished Scott and his son Jarrett. We caught a good variety. Let's see, we got Trout up to 21", Redfish up to 25", Pompano up to 4 lbs, Jack Crevelle up to 15 lbs, Goliath Grouper - his first ever, about 5 lbs. Bluefish, Ladyfish and a lot of snook. We saw a lot of Manatees, dolphins and a couple tarpon jumping. Are the tarpon on their way? Could be!! Yesterday on our way back in we saw a school of shad. The tarpon could very well be behind the shad. I am going to have to watch for them the next couple days I am out as everything seems to be a bit early this year.For the next couple months we should be having fantastic trout fishing. This time of year is when we catch our big trout. Along with some big pompano. Don't forget Snook season opens March 1st. Looks like it is going to be a good season. So come on, what are you waiting for, pick up the phone and give us a call for that fishing trip you have been thinking about. No time better then the present. The fishing is great and the weather couldn't be better.

Captain Becky Campbell
239-695-2029

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Keys Permit On Fly

Black-Tailed Devil
Whenever someone claims one fish or another is the ultimate game fish, it tends to start a big controversy. I am no exception. Some people think big black marlin have no equal, while others think a trout on a dry fly is it. I am not going to argue that a permit is it. What I will say is that the permit is the ultimate game fish for me. I started fishing like many of you for blue gill with a Zebco 202. This was the start of a long fishing journey for me that is still evolving. As I got older, my father taught me the fine art of fly casting for trout and large mouth bass. This led to me buying my first boat with lawn cutting money and fishing for stripers on the Chesapeake Bay. From there I moved to Ocean City, Maryland where I worked as a mate on offshore sport fishing boats for marlin, tuna and shark. Tuna, wahoo, dolphin and shark all got me fired up, but marlin was the real deal for me. When I first started off shore fishing, all I wanted to do was catch bigger and bigger fish. After catching several fish over 500 pounds, I really got into the challenge of bait and switch for marlin. The teamwork needed between the captain, mate and angler for billfish completed my needs for the ultimate challenge. I was perfectly content being an offshore mate until I discovered flats fishing in the Florida Keys. My first real shot at permit was a very humbling experience for me. My guide pointed out a school of 5-6 fish and told me to cast my small crab three to four feet in front of them. Not problem I thought. I made the cast and landed right in the kitchen. One of the permit spotted the crab and raced over to inspect the offering. The guide told me to get ready. I slowly turned the handle to get some of the slack out of the line in anticipation of the bite. When I turned the handle and the bail clicked over, all the fish took off in different directions. The guide said something I cannot repeat. “What did I do wrong?” I asked the guide. After he calmed down, he explained that you have to manually turn the bail over by hand so the permit do not hear you engage the reel. I was shocked at how good their hearing was. It was love at first sight. I knew this was right up my alley. Hunting for big fish on light tackle on a moveable tree stand. When I got back to Maryland, flats fishing was all I could think about. This is when I decided to make the switch from offshore to the flats. I started training to be a flats guide 4-5 months out of the year for several years. In order to take that much time off to train, I worked many odd jobs. I ran tug boats on the Potomac River, mated on a commercial conch boat, ran dinner boats and supply ships in the Gulf of Mexico, and even gave tours of Washington, D.C in a World War II 1942 amphibious vehicle called a D.C. Duck. Every time I see the White House on TV, I go into tour mode in my head - White House, 132 rooms, 22 of which are bathrooms…. The White House is the oldest government building in D.C….. George Washington is the only president not to actually live in the White House. You get the idea. I did all these odd jobs just so I could train to be a guide. Was it worth it? You betcha. I love my job most days provided the weather is good. Mostly I live vicariously through my anglers on the bow of my skiff. Hearing people say, “That was my first permit on fly,” or “That was my biggest one yet,” is what makes me tick. Fishing with some of the best guides in the world on my days off is not too bad either. Fishing for permit is not for everybody. It is sick and sadistic. Why would you want to stand all day on the bow of a skiff in the hot sun in hopes of getting shots only to get rejected time and time again? Because, when you do catch one it is magical. Group hugs are not uncommon, and I have seen more then one grown man cry. It is that hard at times to catch one. When you do finally catch one, you have just landed the world’s hardest fish to catch in my opinion. I am as proud of a small permit as most of the large gamefish that I’ve caught. It is one of those experiences that stick with you forever. One permit a day on a fly rod is a great achievement. Two or three in a week with a fly rod is not a bad week. Tossing a live crab in front of one increases your odds, but it is still very challenging. Permit are far from a beginner fish. They are better left for anglers who feel like they have mastered their typical quarry. It’s not about quantity but quality. If you can catch fifty in a lifetime on fly that’s very good. What makes a permit appealing is unique for each person. Pound for pound, they pull harder and have more endurance then most fish. A permit’s eye sight is off the chart. They can feel the pressure waves coming off the skiff with their lateral lines like no other fish I know of. They tip their black sickle tales up in the air on shallow flats taunting you as they sip crustaceans off the bottom. Every tailing permit I see still makes me weak in the knees. I guess when that no longer happens, I will be ready to stop fishing. I have a great appreciation for hunting for tarpon and bonefish on the flats, but on my days off, I fish for permit. I go to bed thinking about permit, and most mornings I wake up thinking about permit. But I like many other permit junkies, will cast over the back of a tarpon in hopes of catching the black tailed devil. I know this is a marlin magazine, but many of you go to destinations that also have permit, and I highly recommend you give it a try if you feel like you’re up for the challenge. With the beauty of the flats and the challenge of the fish, I am confident you will enjoy the experience. Who knows, maybe you will catch one on your first cast. Many of you are obsessed with fishing, and I hope by me writing this, it makes you feel like you are not alone. We fisherman, regardless of what we fish for, get to experience so many things a lot of people will never see. I know I will never truly master permit fishing, but it sure is fun trying.

Captain Bob Beighley
305-748-4398
www.doublehaulcharters.com
doublehaulcharters@hotmail.com

Stalking Titusville Redfish

February 23, 2008 - Rockets and Red Tears
The City of Orlando is renowned for her world attractions such as Disney World and Sea World. However, Titusville, a small community less than an hour to the east of the Orlando, is home to two attractions that are literally out of this world – the Kennedy Space Center and phenomenal redfishing. For the past several months, the northern arm of Native Sons Fishing Charters has combined these later two by fishing in the shadows of the NASA facilities. And the resulting angling adventures have been the experiences for which many have only dreamed.

Late last week Hunter Tully and Mike, his long-time fishing buddy from Michigan, took a day away from the theme parks in Orlando to join Capt. Rocky stalking redfish on the flats near Titusville. These two caught six reds measuring up to 33 inches and lost two freight trains that they’ll not soon forget. Pictured below are these two good friends and several of their trophies from the day.









Earlier this past week it was Ohioan Dick DePu's turn to join Capt. Rocky along the same stretch of water for a half day charter. Although this Buckeye did not land as many as the two from the land of maize and blue, he did get to experience the exhilaration of the incredible acceleration and raw power of the bronzed titans tearing across the flats. Unfortunately fights with five of these rockets were aborted prematurely, but the one pictured below did not escape his destiny with Dick



Fishing a bit further south along the Space Coast last week was Capt. Roland. He guided several successful charters into the pristine waters of the Grant/Sebastian area of the Indian River (55 miles southeast of Orlando) including Michiganders Vince Blumberg and his daughter Erin. These two caught a variety of fish on their full day charter including five reds, two jacks and a mango snapper. They also experienced Florida at her finest with manatees and dolphins under beautiful blue skies. Pictured below is Erin holding one their prized catches.




Finally, it was Gary Jarrold and his party with Capt. Roland for the full day charter yesterday. Again fishing the south Melbourne stretch of the Indian River (50 miles southeast of Orlando), this memorable guide trip featured six reds, two gator trout and one fine snook. The smiling angler below is Gray posing with the snook and one of his redfish.





Native Sons Fishing Guides
Captain Rocky Van Hoose
321-986-9588
rvanhoose@cfl.rr.com
Captain Brad Jones
321-626-5072

jonesmelb7@bellsouth.net

Posted by Rocky Van Hoose on February 23, 2008 at 09:41:09 AM

Monday, February 25, 2008

Nature Coast Redfishing Is Awesome


AWESOME REDFISHING!!!!!!
Report Date: February 22, 2008

Now this is a fat Redfish!
Most people may be unaware that the Groundhog has predicted Spring would come early this year and to my amazement that prediction has been the most reliable weather forecast we Nature Coast Guides have received all year. Our local temperatures have been hovering in the mid-to-upper 70’s and we have been blessed with summer like temperatures minus the humidity and rain. These warm late day temps have helped keep the water temperatures around 65-66 degrees which has helped keep most local inshore species active and hungry. At these temps most fish don’t have to move far in search of food and finding a consistent water temperature during this time of year can be the most important part of fishing any area along the Nature Coast.On recent charters I have worked particular areas were warmer water can be found. On the first trip I decided to work a local spring fed river that pumps out millions of gallons of 72 degree water every day. With water temps consistently remaining the same in one are for a long period of time the idea is not to just fish were the fish will be, but fish during their feeding times. Fishing this are for the last 10 years I have learned the most Redfish really get fired up as the tide goes slack near these springs. When the tide goes slack the ticket is to sight cast Redfish while laying on the bottom in crystal clear water from 5 feet to 6 inches of water.



Mike Harris did an excelent job of enticing this hungry Redfish to bite his Berkley lure.


My clients have thrown live shrimp and finger mullet at them, but a Berkley Gulp! seems to still be the bait of choice. Now as fun and exciting as river fishing can be, discharge areas of Power Plants can be even better. The Citrus County area also has a local Power Plant that also discharges millions of gallons of warm water every day. Most discharge areas are loaded with long oyster bars and huge boulders all of which can hold redfish during particular times of the year. However, there is nothing more exciting than sight casting to huge schools of redfish pushing down a long mangrove laden shoreline. On a recent charter I put Trey Carr and Michael Potapow on a nice school of Reds on crystal clear sandy shoreline just outside the outflow of the Power Plant. As the school approached we tossed live select shrimp at them provided by the world famous Ed’s Bait and Tackle. If you could only see the looks on these 10 and 11 year olds as they reeled in their monsters, it was priceless. To make this even better these two boys out fished their dads that day, giving them a little bit of “bragging rights” for the next fishing trip.


Trey Carr and Michael Potapow did an excellent job of teaming up to land these nice Redfish.

Captain Kyle Messier
Red Hot Fishing Charters
(352) 634-4002
kylemessier@yahoo.com
http://www.redhotfishingcharters.com/

Fly And Jig Fishing In SW Florida

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 2/18 through 2/24/2008

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action this week with Spanish mackerel, bluefish, trout and redfish. We also caught and released a few snook on an evening trip.
Dick Reece, from Dayton, OH, his son-in-law, Dave Reinhart, and grandson, Daniel Reinhart, both from Lennox, MA, joined me for a trip in Sarasota Bay on Monday. They caught numerous bluefish in Big Pass and Spanish mackerel, bluefish and trout at the Middleground flat on CAL jigs with shad tails. We moved to skinny water near Bishops Point for the last portion of our trip and they each caught and released a redfish, also on CAL jigs with shad tails.
The next day, Charlie Troccia, from Dalton, MA and sons, Travis and Dan, fished the same areas with me. The action was a little slower, but they still managed to catch bluefish in Big Pass and blues, Spanish mackerel and trout at the Middleground flat on CAL jigs with a variety of tails. That evening Firman Schlabaugh and Junior Miller, both from Sarasota, joined me for an evening trip. We found a mix of ladyfish and snook feeding heavily on glass minnows near the Venice Inlet, but they were being very selective. Firman and Junior caught and released 4 snook to 22” on CAL jigs with glow curly tails, one on my Grassett’s Grass (Snook) Minnow fly and lost a couple more.
A mechanical problem sidelined me the next day. A seal failed on the lower unit of my outboard causing an oil leak, but I was up and running again by Thursday. Dennis Stehlik, from IL, and Ron Mosetich, from RI, fished with me on Thursday and Friday. We fished Sarasota Bay on Thursday and caught and released bluefish in Big Pass, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and trout at the Middleground flat and 3 reds near Bishops Point. We fished Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor on Friday where they caught more than 30 trout to 20”, including 3 in the slot, on DOA Deadly Combos. We spent the afternoon fishing skinny water in Gasparilla Sound. We saw lots of nice reds and several snook on the flats and caught and released a 25” red on a CAL jig with an Arkansas Glow Shiner shad tail.
I was the instructor for an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Saturday held out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. If you are interested in learning how to fly cast or improving your fly casting skills we have several more schools scheduled on March 15th, April 5th and 19th. Contact me or CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 to sign up. Cost is $150 per student and includes a textbook, instructional video and lunch. We are heading into a great time of the year for fishing the flats and coastal gulf waters. Fishing is good and should get even better in March.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799
E-mail
snookfin@aol.com
http://www.flyfishingflorida.net/ and http://www.snookfin-addict.com/


Dennis Stehlik, from IL, and Ron Mosetich, from RI, doubled on this nice pair of trout caught in Gasparilla sound on DOA Deadly combos while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Ron Mosetich, from RI, caught and released this big red on a CAL jig with an Arkansas Glow Shiner shad tal while fishing Gasparilla Sound with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Junior Miller, from Sarasota, FL, caught and released this snook on a CAL jig with a Night Glow curly tail while fishing the ICW in Venice at night with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Snook Nook Fishing Report 2-22-08

This is a brief recap of Henry's web cast from the Snook Nook in Jensen Beach for 2-21-2008. You can watch the web cast live every Friday at 8:30pm, or view archives of past shows at the link below.

Offshore

Trolling is good in 80'-125' of water. King mackerel, spanish mackerel, and dolphin are all biting well. Ballyhoo, riged ballyhoo, and big mullet are good baits. Bottom fishing is also good. Snapper and gag grouper are on ledges and other structure in 80'. Live bait is best if you can catch some but frozen ballyhoo also is working well.

Beach

There are lots of bluefish and jacks on the beach in the morning. Pompano, whiting and croaker are there in the late morning through the afternoon. Anything flashy will catch the blues and jacks, sand fleas, live or dead shrinp, and small jigs will catch the rest. Also look for flounder in the Ft Pierce inlet. Most are in the sand on the north side.

River

Snook are around the bridges and on grass flats. They feed best when there is a strong tide. Some will be caught during the day but most are being caught at night. A lot of these snook are over the slot. Pinfish, mullett, and shrimp are the best live baits, hawk and redtail hawk jigs are the best artifical baits. Redfish, trout, and pompano are on grass flats. Live shrimp, D.O.A. or Gulp shrimp, pinfish and mullett are all good baits for the trout and reds. Shrimp, sand fleas and small jigs will catch pompano. A gold spoon also works great for redfish.

For more information you can watch Henry's live webcast on Thursday nights at 8:30pm, or watch archived shows any time at; http://www.snooknook.net/webcast/index.html .
Snook Nook Bait & Tackle
3595 NE Indian River Drive
Jensen Beach, FL
(Just South of the Jensen Causeway)
(772)-334-2145
(Since 1949)
E-Mail: henry@snooknook.net

Half Hitch Tackle Fishing Report 2-22-08


Report for 02/22/2008 Salt Water

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
Grouper is closed in Federal waters until March 15th. However, Grouper and Scamp are being caught within state waters 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.


ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Sheepshead are slowly starting to migrate to the jetties. Live Fiddler Crabs is the absolute best bait to use. Use a Carolina rig with a small hook and light lead for best results. Pompano are being caught along the beaches. Throw a jig tipped with Shrimp, Sand Fleas, or Gulp. They are also being caught using frozen Sand Fleas, rigged on a 2 hook leader and pyramid sinker.
Silver Trout are being caught in large numbers under the Hathaway and Tyndall bridges. Use live shrimp on the bottom for best results.
Trout season is closed for the month of February. For catch and release, try the hot water canal in Warren Bayou.
Bull and Slot Reds are still in the pass. Gulp, Gold Spoons, Live Shrimp, LY’s, Bull Minnows, Pinfish and Cut Bait are working well.




Redfish caught on Perfect Cast Charters with Capt. Dan Van Treese. 850-227-5149


DESTIN
Things are starting to look up for Spring as the water is warming so is the fishing. This weekend the Sheepshead were good at the jetties and the Destin Bridge. A big surprise from fishermen this week; reports of several Spanish Mackerel being caught on the jetties and many were keepers.
In the surf, we had reports of Pompano from Topsail Hill and also in Navarre. The report from Topsail was an angler that had 3 Pompano. The angler in Navarre reported catching 7 Pompano while fishing with a friend. In the bay, some Reds and plenty of Sheepshead along with a few Black Drum.
Out in the gulf the Amberjack bite is on! If you fish the large wrecks with butterfly jigs or clouts you will have a great day. Also good reports of Red and Gag grouper on the east beach, fishing waters 40 to 80 foot deep on natural bottom.
NAVARRE

The Whiting and occasional Pompano are still being caught in the surf using live shrimp and frozen shrimp. Bluefish are being caught on 1oz. and 2 oz. silver spoons off the beach.
The rivers continue to hold Trout and Redfish in the deeper holes and bends. Live shrimp, curly tails and grubs on jig heads and GULP shrimp on jig heads will catch fish. There have been a lot of White Trout caught off the Three Mile bridge in Pensacola over the last four weeks. Live shrimp on a bottom rig and 3/8 oz. Jig Heads with Nuclear Chicken and New Penny Gulp Shrimp are catching the fish.
Sheepshead, some Black Drum and an occasional Redfish are being caught off all the bridge pilings in the bays and sounds. Live shrimp, Gulp and gold spoons do well. The Flounder bite with in five miles of the beach on structure is still on. Get there when you can. Live Pinfish and Bull Minnows will catch them.
Fresh Water

Half Hitch Tackle
850-234-2621
2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, Fl 32408
www.halfhitch.com/


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.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Time To Catch Sheepshead In The Gulf

February 22 2008
From mid-April to July we will be targeting tarpon on the fly rod or spinner. The big and mighty tarpon are king of the game fishes in my book. If you are an advanced fly rod fishermen that is a plus, but if you are just beginning don’t hesitate to give it a try.
We will fish Homosassa waters until June 15. Then we will move up the coast to the Big Bend and Panhandle and fish through July among a very productive tarpon fishery where you are sure to get hooked up with the fish of your life. Heck if it is a tarpon they are all counted as fish of your life!
February and early March are the months to go out to the gulf and catch Sheepshead. They are sometimes called "convicts" because of their black and white vertical stripes. Their mouth is full of molars and ugly buckteeth. Setting the hook can be tricky as the nickname implies. The spiny dorsal fin saltwater bream are professionals at stealing your bait and run up to about 10-pounds.
Unlike the freshwater version these fish are great table fare. Along our west coast of Florida these fish are located around rock piles in depths from 6 to 12 feet of water and beyond.
We use fresh bits of shrimp to chum them up and the same is put onto a #1 hook with a small one-eight egg sinker.
7-foot medium action spinning rods with 10-pound line wound on a spinning reel is what I prefer. I like Power-Pro braid and find it unpleasing to use monofilament once you are used to the braid.
My choice spinning reel is the Spheros Model 3000 and the rod is a Shimano Teramar. I use this combination for redfish, trout, macks and blues. Basically anything under 10-pounds excluding grouper.
Most of my clients will switch off Sheepshead and target spotted sea trout beginning on March 1, opening day of trout the 11-month trout season. We will keep after them sometime around the middle of April. At that time we would rather target the hard fighting redfish and we usually try to fish for both species on a full day trip if the tides are favorable. However, a six hour trip for redfish is the preferred time I like to spend on the water. I also offer a 4-hour trip for those who prefer that.
On any given day in the mix could be Bluefish, Pompano and Spanish mackerel should the wind lay down enough to travel offshore to 10 feet of water, about 10 miles out. For the most part our shallow clear waters are made up of flat bottom and one can see redfish from a distance and sight fish those. Our Blues, Pomps, and Macks will come in closer as the water warms up to the mid 70’s.
We will use jigs, spoons, top water lures and cork rigs for everything except the Sheepshead. You probably would not want to come here in February to target Sheepshead alone, however, if you are in town and want to fish with me that would be an option. If our water temperature gets down in the high 50’s that is about the only game in town.
Today we have south winds and a warm front is moving through so I know from the direction of the wind that redfish action will be very good.
Give me a holler if you are thinking about heading down this way and we will see if we can get hooked up on some fun fishing!

Captain Mike Locklear
352-628-4207
http://www.homosassafishing.com/
captmike@homosassafishing.com

Winds Make IRL Tough, Try The Beach

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, February 21, 2008

Compliments of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka Florida

Typically, the reports I write are about catching trophy redfish, black drum, and sea trout on the Indian River Lagoon system, but in this case, this is truly a fishing report. You see, out of the three charter opportunities I had last week, all were scheduled on days with unfavorable weather condition, two were canceled, and the third should have been. Day before yesterday, I had the pleasure on fishing with Kristy and her father John from southern Illinois, and they wanted to fish regardless of the weather. I knew we were in for a tough day when at 7am there were only three boat trailers in the Parish Park lot. As I launched my skiff a steady north wind had already kicked up a solid two-foot swell, and as the day progressed, conditions only worsened. Kristy and John were great clients, and thankfully they were just as excited about being on the water together as they were catching fish, because after five hours of hard fishing, our score was 6 hardhead catfish and two buck tooth toadies. Again the porpoises and manatees saved the day and there wasn't an ounce of snow to be found anywhere.

This morning I tried it again, meeting my good friend Captain John Kumiski at around 7am, and then he and I ventured into the Banana River No-Motor Zone on a scouting mission. Again our expectations were low due to overcast skies, blustery northeast winds of 15 plus knots, and the full moon. Altogether we spent about 3 hours looking, and called the day early with very few shots at fish and rain squalls approaching from the west. We did see a few decent redfish and black drum, but we were unsuccessful in making the connection.

On a side note, I did catch a fat pompano and a few whiting off of the beach on sand fleas while fishing with a group of friends.

Altogether it was an extremely tough week of catching, and as the moon wanes, the bite can only improve.

Seminars and Events

March 1st, 2nd, and 8th 9th Bass Pro Shop Spring Fling, Orlando Florida

March 8th Woman in the Outdoors presents a Kids Fishing Day. Event includes a full day of activities and lunch, and the cost is $25 per child. To register, contact Mosquito Creek Outdoors at (407) 464-2000.

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 and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

http://www.irl-fishing.com/
407-366-8085 landline
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free

Book a charter, and let's go fishing.Visit http://www.blogger.com/ for all of your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kids Just Have Fun Fishing

Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island Fishing Report, February 2008

An Underrated Fish

This wind is beginning to bother me. The last two outings have been plagued by 15 to 20 mph winds and difficult fishing conditions. Each of these two days was made bearable by what most consider to be an unworthy target. The jack crevalle is considered by many to just be a junk fish, but pound for pound they are one of the toughest fighters around.

Both of my last two fishing trips included kids, and they don’t care so much about what kind of fish they catch as they do about how hard they pull. Just look at Robert in the picture below. Does he look like he’s having fun - sure he does, and that’s a jack on the other end of the line.

He caught 10 or 12 that day and made what could have been a horrible wind blow day turn in to an exciting day for this young fisherman. Better yet, the jacks give an excellent opportunity to coach kids in how to land a fish on light tackle. The practice alone made it all worthwhile.

My next trip was also greeted by high winds, starting early and getting worse as the day went on. The first hour was unproductive as we tried some various spots that were hidden from the wind. My anglers were from New York. Tom was the dad and his two sons were Nick and Will. They were 11 and 12 years old. Then, we found some jacks again, just like the day before. We proceeded to catch a few and then move on to look for some more glamorous fish.

After a couple more hours of not finding a redfish or even a trout, the boys were ask if they wanted to go back where we caught the jacks. It was a unanimous YES! We did return to the previous location and the boys caught many more fish, doubling up on several occasions. On both days the jacks were eager to hit either a Rip Tide Mullett or a Rip Tide Flats Chub (see picture) rigged on a red Pro Jig Head. The favorite colors included glow and gold apricot.

Just having fun fishing was a lot more important for these kids and catching a lowly jack did not detract from their excitement and enjoyment of the fishing trip. As a matter of fact, it didn’t detract from mine either. I had a blast watching those kids pull on those hard fighting jacks.

Peacock Bass

Talking about this cold weather may make you dream of a tropical climate like Brazil to do some fishing. This is one of those trips of a lifetime deals. It’s not inexpensive but what a trip. It’s a 10 day trip that includes at least 6 days of fishing. A trip like this is a bargain at $3,550 plus airfare and tips. If you would like more information send me an email at presleyr@bellsouth.net. The trip is to the Amazon for some of the best Peacock Bass fishing in the world.

I hope to talk to you real soon with great fishing reports from Florida’s Space Coast.

If you have kids and live in the Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island area you can take them out for a great day of fun and fishing this coming Saturday, Feb. 23 at Kiwanis Park on Merritt Island. The event is part of the Brevard Parks and Recreation’s Sykes Creek Adventures. Coastal Angler Magazine, supported by the Florida Guides Association and numerous volunteers and supporters, are offering a kids fishing clinic. Hook Kids on Fishing will be held from 10:30 to 1:00 with the first 100 kids receiving a free rod and reel. Safety, Conservation, Rigging and Tackle, Knot Tying, and Casting will all be covered and the last hour will be spent fishing.

That's what it's all about. Good fishin'.

Capt. Ron Presley
www.inshorefishingadventures.ocm
presleyr@bellsouth.net

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Good Weather Great Fishing


Monday Feb. 18th, 2008
Two Weeks in Review.

What a great couple of weeks we've had fishing in the Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, and Clearwater areas. We've had 25+ redfish days along with 40+ trout days and some of the best weather you could ask for in February.




Redfish charters have been pretty consistent and the fish have been easiest to find on low tides. We've used live shrimp, pinfish, and greenbacks for bait.





Smaller trout can be had in great numbers in deep cuts found in shallow flats and the larger trout have been caught on those same shallow flats once the tide came in high enough for us to get onto the flats. Trout have been taking live shrimp and Exude jigs fished on 3/8th oz. jig heads. Truth be told, the jigs have produced just as well as live bait. Sometimes better.



Of course, every day hasn't been a banner day and I don't want to mislead anyone by saying that it has. The weather and good tides have played a huge part in the success of our trips. Just about every time we had a cold front come through, the bite really slowed down for the following day or two. Though aggravating, this is normal for this time of year and even though these types of days are slow, we still caught fish. Just not in great numbers. When the water temperature drops 5 degrees or more over night, the fish tend to move to different areas and then when you do find them, their appetite isn't what it was when the water was warmer.



Thankfully, it doesn't stay cold for long and after fronts pass, the water warms back up and the bite is on again.





Look for fewer strong cold fronts over the next couple of weeks as we head towards springtime. As the water stays warmer, the bite will get even more consistent and the action will be even more steady. Spring is just around the corner and it should be awesome. Redfish will be schooling, snook will be hungry (after being nearly dormant all winter), and the trout will be biting as usual.

Tampa Bay Fishing
Captain Clay Eavenson
813-300-2147
http://www.captainclay.com/
gofishing@captainclay.com

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mosquito Lagoon Reds Eat Flies And Jigs

The fishing and catching in the Mosquito Lagoon have varied with the weather during the past week. Last Monday, I fished on a breezy day with Scott, Tom, and Smitty from Maryland. We found a school of big redfish at our first stop but, with the sun still low, the guys had a tough time seeing them and could not quite get a cast in front of the school before they vanished. At our second stop, we had two bites from black drum but the fish shook free before we landed them. This was followed up by a couple of redfish that Scott landed. The third flat produced two progressively bigger redfish, one for Smitty and the biggest one for Tom.

Tuesday and Wednesday brought a cold front with high winds and rain.Thursday was the coldest day of the week with the temperature still at 38 degrees when Blaine and Rick from Indiana stepped onto my boat at 8am. Despite having great visibility, we didn't see a lot of fish but the guys did have shots at small schools of redfish, a few large schools of drum, and singles and pairs of redfish from 5-20 pounds. Rick used a 3 inch DOA CAL in the new watermelon seed color to fool the only redfish we caught all day.

Friday was a bit warmer and I was joined by the father and son team of Pat and Matt from New York City. Matt started the day off on a good note landing an 18 pound black drum.Unfortunately, Matt forgot his polarized glasses and as the sun got higher, he had a hard time seeing the fish. Throughout the day, we encountered schools of redfish including one that was holding fish of 15-30 pounds, as well as numerous single redfish and large trout. The lures never quite seemed to get into the fish's strike zone, however and the drum turned out to be the only catch of the day.

Saturday, the weather was perfect. Calm, sunny, and near 80 degrees. I fished with Rich from Connecticut who was enjoying a break from the sub-freezing temperatures. His first cast to a school of fish resulted in a redfish around 17 pounds, his biggest ever.
He followed this up at our second stop by catching another redfish and a trout on a DOA CAL. Rich had some shots at some 30 pound reds but they were put on alert by a boat that drove up on us and would not eat. Rich spent the rest of the day casting to numerous redfish, black drum, and trout, and managed to land three more reds before we reluctantly called it quits.


By Monday, the nice weather was gone. The winds ahead of an approaching cold front were topping 20 and the clouds were rolling in. Jeff and Vick were some hard core anglers who wanted to give it a try despite the tough conditions. Many of the spots we fished Saturday were no muddied up by the wind. We did not see a lot of fish and many that we did see were only a few feet from the boat. The guys each caught one redfish and had a few bites before an approaching storm cell chased us back to the ramp.


As the winds calm down and the temperatures rise over the next few days, look for the fish to be back on the shallow flats searching for small crabs. If you are getting good presentations to fish but they will not eat, try using the smallest lure you can effectively cast. Fly fishermen will have good success throwing tiny crab patterns in olive, black or brown. If the water is calm, you may need a leader of 12 feet or more to keep from spooking the fish.

Captain Chris Myers
321-229-2848

Trout And Reds On Treasure Coast Flats


February 15, 2008
INSHORE:
Once the latest weather front moved through the Treasure Coast, the summer like conditions returned to the area. We were fortunate to have some very nice days to fish the Indian River this week. Some windy days are still ahead of us, but the coming weekend should be pretty nice to get out fishing again. We did have some fun this week on the water.
I had Mark Boucher with dad, Fred, and seven year old Cody on the boat this week. Cody had a good day fishing and bought in the biggest trout, along with his fair share of ladyfish and jacks. Jay Fields and Gerry Sniffen were on the boat today. We saw lots of fish, but could only muster the jacks and ladyfish to cooperate. We had numerous shots at redfish, but they were keeping tight lips today.
Trout have been on the flats, but harder to coax into biting the past several days. The water is clearing up nicely and I expect the bite to improve with better water quality and an increase in temperature. We saw several over 25" cruising the flats today. Young Cody did pull in a fat 17" trout this week.
Redfish are on the flats in shallow water. We drifted up on a couple tailing and found a good number under the mangroves and in the shallow flats. They are picky this time of year, but keep on fishing and they will bite sooner or later once the water temps begin to rise! I'll be after them again next week.
Snook fishing has been mostly around the inlet and bridges. You can still find some under the docks when the weather permits fishing them. Live bait has worked best along with pink feather jigs around the bridges and inlet.
Most of the bridges have held black drum and sheephead. Live or dead shrimp is the bait to use. The jetties have produced some snook, jacks, mackerel and bluefish. The SURF anglers have been catching whiting, pompano, bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Shrimp or sand fleas on the pomps and whiting and shiny lures for the rest. We continue to find ladyfish and jacks all over the river.
Tip of the Week:
Bring something back to the ramp each time you are on the water. There is always the trash of the inconsiderate out there floating around the river. Yes, sometimes it's blown out by accident, but it's our responsibility to keep our waterways clean. When you see a bottle, can or bag floating nearby....pick it up and bring it back to a trash container. Make sure your own trash is secured in the boat to keep it from blowing out. We can all do a little to help out a lot........
As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!Good Fishing and Be Safe,
Captain Charlie Conner
772-284-3852
(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, Stuart 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.}

Monday, February 18, 2008

Flies Catch Fish In Charlotte Harbor

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 1/29 through 2/17/2008

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action in Sarasota Bay and Charlotte Harbor during the past couple of weeks. Sarasota Bay had the most variety and best action with bluefish, pompano, Spanish mackerel and trout. Anglers fishing Charlotte Harbor with me also had good action with trout.
Fly angler Pete Walacko, from MI, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Jan. 31st. It was Pete’s first saltwater fly fishing trip, so the goal was to catch a few fish and get comfortable with different tackle and techniques. Pete caught and released trout, ladyfish and bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies fished on an intermediate fly line in Big Pass and in Roberts Bay.
I was gone on a short vacation the following week and I returned with one of the worst cases of the flu that I’ve ever had, causing me to miss the next 3 days of fishing. While I was out sick my son-in-law, Capt. Andy Cotton, filled in for me on one of the days and took fly anglers Marshall Dinerman, from Atlanta, GA and his guest fishing in Sarasota Bay. They caught and released several pompano in Big Pass and ladyfish in Roberts Bay on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
Dick Reece, from Dayton, OH, and Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday, Feb. 12th. They had fast action with bluefish in Big Pass and trout at Stephens Point on CAL jigs with shad tails. Leonard Calhoun, from Toronto, ON, and his friend, Murray, also from ON, fished Charlotte Harbor with me on Thursday. They caught more than 20 trout to 19”, including 7 or 8 fish in the slot, on CAL jigs with shad tails. The best action was in Gasparilla Sound and in Bull Bay.
Fly angler Tom Newman, from Oakton, VA, got blown out of a trip with me on Wednesday, but we were able to make it up on Saturday due to a cancellation. Tom caught and released bluefish, Spanish mackerel and trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and my Flats Minnow fly. He caught and released 6 or 8 blues and a Spanish mackerel in Big Pass and at the Middleground flat. The best action was sight-casting big trout in potholes near Long Bar where Tom caught and released several trout including a 3-pounder and a pair that went over 4-pounds.
Next week’s tides are favorable for reds and trout in potholes of Sarasota Bay and Charlotte Harbor as we head towards a full moon on Feb. 20th. Also, the action with bluefish and Spanish mackerel in the passes and deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay should continue. A front forecast to move through on Monday will cool things off for a couple of days but we should be back to normal by Thursday.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799
E-mail:
snookfin@aol.com
http://www.flyfishingflorida.net/ and http://www.snookfin-addict.com/


Fly angler Tom Newman, from Oakton, VA, caught and released this nice trout on a Grassettt's Flats Minnow fly while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett

Saturday, February 16, 2008

South Florida Fishing Report 2-15-08


This is a brief recap of Henry's web cast from the Snook Nook in Jensen Beach for 2-15-2008. You can watch the web cast live every Friday at 8:30pm, or view archives of past shows at the link below.
Air and water temperatures are cold right now due to passing cold fronts so you must get your baits into the fishes 'comfort zone'. Offshore the dolphin and sailfish are scattered. Get your baits down deep, (30'+), and cover a lot of teratory. Kingfish and wahoo are also deep. In the river, wait for mid-morning when the sun warms the water to go fishing. There are lots of slot sized trout around. Look for them in deeper water and slow down your presentation. Top water plugs are catching trout. Redfish like the cooler water. Look for schools of reds on shalow flats. Gold spoons and soft rubber baits are catching redfish. Pompano are around bridges an in deeper holes. Doc's Goofy Jigs or pompano jigs tiped with shrimp are the best baits. Black drum are around the bridges and on the beach. The beach is also holding plenty of bluefish. Hard plastic baits will will provoke strikes. Whiting, croakers and pompano are in the first trough on the beach. Sand flees and shrimp are the best baits. Snook fishing is best at night. Look for dock lights. DOA Shrimp or small topwater baits skiped on top of the water just out of the light will produce territorial strikes from snook. Also look for snook around bridge pylons and other ambush points that create eddies in the water.

For more information you can watch Henry's live webcast on Thursday nights at 8:30pm, or watch archived shows any time at; http://www.snooknook.net/webcast/index.html .

Snook Nook Bait & Tackle
3595 NE Indian River Drive
Jensen Beach, FL(Just South of the Jensen Causeway)
(772)-334-2145
(Since 1949)
E-Mail: henry@snooknook.net

How The Barometer Affects The Fish Bite

Ahoy there Anglers,

Barometer in fishing forecasts:
Familiarity with atmospheric pressure is essential in the understanding of weather because the pressure distribution in the atmosphere controls the winds and to a considerable extent, it affects the occurrence of clouds and rain.
I know, anglers want to know how the barometer affects the fish biting. The barometer affects when fish, animals and humans even, feed more. Humans are used to eating at certain, regular times of the day and evening so you won’t recognize the times when this happens as much but you may recall times when you just can’t get full. You feel more hungry than normal or you may not feel as hungry at your regular mealtime. The barometer is at play during these times. We just don’t notice it as much because of our ‘regular’, by the clock meal times.
Now, depending on all things normal, a rising barometer is when fishing is at it’s best. A rapidly fluctuating barometer, (pressure going up and down within a few hours) is an indication of good fishing also. A static barometer, (when the barometer is steady for hours at a time) the fishing is usually poor. When the barometer is falling the fishing is usually good for the first part, (like the start of fluctuating pressure) but if it continues to fall for several hours then it gets slower and slower and if the barometer is unusually low then it’s very poor fishing. This time of the year though, the cold water temperatures can make the difference between fish biting or not. When the water temperatures drop suddenly then it stuns the fish as they are submerged and are the same temperature as the water. It will need to even out for a few days after a sudden drop to allow the fish to get used to the new temperature.
My dad used to say if the cows are lying down in the pasture then it’s not a good time to go fishing because the animals are not feeding but if they’re standing up and eating then it’s time to go!
The words “Fair-Change-Rain” on most barometers are mainly decorative. It depends on the pressure AND the temperatures as to what’s in the forecast. It is generally true that a rapidly falling barometer forecasts the development of strong winds. This is so because a falling barometer indicates the approach of a low and the pressure gradient is usually steep in the area of a low-pressure center. On the other hand, a rising barometer is associated with the prospect of lighter winds to come. This is true because a rising barometer indicates the approach or development of a high and the pressure gradient is characteristically less steep in the area of a high-pressure center. The barometer does not necessarily fall before or during a strong breeze. The wind often blows hard without any large change in the barometer. This means that a steep pressure gradient exists but that the well-developed high or low associated with the steep pressure is practically stationary. In this case, the wind may be expected to blow hard for some time. Any slackening or change will take place gradually.
A general rule is, with your back to the wind the low pressure is to your left. The use of this rule has helped many sailors to head for calmer seas.
Other barometer rules are:
Foul weather is usually forecast by a falling barometer with winds from the east.
Clearing and fair weather is usually forecast by winds shifting the west and a rising barometer.
When the wind sets in from the points between the south and southeast and the barometer falls steadily, a storm is approaching from the west or northwest and it’s center will pass north or your area within 12 to 24 hours and then the wind will veer to the northwest by way of the south and then southwest.
When the winds sets in from the east and northeast and the barometer starts to fall steadily then a storm is approaching from the south or southwest and will pass in your area within 12 to 24 hours and then the wind will back to the northwest by way of the north.
How fast the storm’s approach and its likely intensity will be indicated by the rate and the amount of fall in the barometer.
A falling barometer and a rising temperature often forecasts rain.
Barometer and thermometer rising together often forecasts fine weather.
A slowly rising barometer forecasts settled weather.
A steady-slow falling of pressure indicates forthcoming unsettled or wet weather.
All this may seem unimportant to fishing but then fish are used to feeding in certain conditions and when those conditions are optimal the feed is better. Lower winds allow natural baits to swim closer to the surface, like grass shrimp or mullet, and the fish can locate their meals better when they can see them easier. When they can find them easier then they want to feed as much as possible before the baits become hard to find again. When the pressure begins to change, the fish can feel the change and they feed while the getting is good. When fish feel the pressure is changing, the winds begin to blow, the rains come, the water gets cloudier and the natural baits are harder to find. Nature takes care of this intuition to help them survive. The barometer or atmospheric pressure is Nature’s way of letting animals know that they had better eat now if they’re going to.
Now we’ve all seen beautiful, sunny days when it looks like the fish ought to feed like crazy but they just won’t bite a thing. That’s what we call “blue bird days”. If you check your barometer reading often you can see a steady, non-changing pressure and it could change in the next half hour or hour or two. If you’re already out there, don’t give up. I always say, “the best time to go fishing is when you can!”

CREEKS:
Here's where the most action is at the moment. This winter has been harsh. Our water temperature has not been this low in many, many years. I checked back with my logs and I don't even see water temperatures down to 53 degrees much less the 51 degrees we had last month, (where's the global warming?) It's all about to change though in the next week or so. Customers of mine know it also and they've booked up almost the entire month of March and half of April early. Talk about your global warming, yesterday I had three customers out and we almost froze. 31 degrees and it never got out of the 50's. Didn't take jackets off all day. Can you believe that's happening right now? Anyway, redfish are schooled up and that's a good thing except for when you don't see them moving around and then spook them with the boat. They're just holding in locations, sitting still in the mud warming their bellies. Today it was slick as glass and there were redfish everywhere. We caught some nice keeper redfish to 26 3/4". Perfect. I bet we saw 150 reds in the shallows in probably 6 to 8 different schools. It's so much fun casting to those guys when you see them and then watching them fight in the shallows. A couple winter flounder here and there but not many and no size to them.



RIVER:
Spotted trout doing better now, (of course it's closed season now), whiting and yellow mouth trout doing better now also. A few black drum still in the river system but it's nothing you can count on. One day you might get 9 and the next day you might get 3 if any at all. That'll all change too in the next couple of weeks too. It'll be a real difference in just a short time now. I've actually seen a few bull redfish still in the river and that's kind of strange for this time of the year. The sheepshead should be firing up in about another week or two in areas up the rivers and don't forget about the giant drum. They'll be coming in at the full moon next month and will hang around for about 4 weeks. Please revive and release those giants. They're not good to eat with all those worms inside them and most importantly, they'll supply our future drum.



JETTIES:
The rage will be sheepshead and good, eating-sized black drum in just another week or so. Look for the action to really begin to fire off real soon. Large female sheepshead will be heading in to lay their eggs on the sandbars, hard bottoms and deep rock areas around the jetties and up the rivers. Don't overlook humps on your depth finders and especially areas where your bottom line gets thicker. Regular sized sheepshead from 1 to 6 pounds will be biting at the boulders too during this time. Yellow mouth trout and whiting in the sandier areas around the jetties and check out the speckled trout just around the corner/end of the South jetty. You can float fish live shrimp for these guys just back from the end on the outside. Ringtails bite better on the outgoing tides and they're very good to eat also.



SURF:
The whiting moved so far South that they've been about non-existent this season in the Jacksonville area. That should also change real soon too. I'm afraid that I don't have much to report in the 'surf section' this month but expect that to change very soon.
Remember, please secure your trash after eating and drinking aboard your boat, fishing on the bridges or on the shores. Please take your trash back with you and don't let it end up in our beautiful waterways. Mother Nature needs all the help we can give her. Let's all help!

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

Capt. Vic Tison
VIC2FISH & ADVENTURES, INC.
Web site: http://vic2fish.com/
904-699-2285
P.O. Box 28208
Jax., Fl. 32226-8208

Neither Captain Vic nor Vic2Fish & Adventures, Inc. claims any responsibility for any injury or loss of property arising out of any party using these Fishing Reports.If you no longer wish to receive Capt. Vic's Fishing Reports, please e-mail me to unsubscribe and I'll remove your address from the lists.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Boca Grand Fish Scattered

THIS MONTHS FISHING REPORT
Passing cold fronts and east winds have scattered fish to different than normal holding waters. The snook are in the creeks and up the Peace and Myakka rivers in the tributary streams which are accessible . We are finding tailing reds on low tides and first of the incoming tides. East winds push water out of the harbor and that coupled with negative tides produces islands and oyster bars that are exposed. Seatrout are available and we have been catching some to 24" and some bigger. The gulf is producing spanish mackerel and blue fish on almost every cast. Some triple tail on the outer crab traps and buoys. tailing reds are extremely spooky. Fly fishers using floating lines and soft presentations with shrimp patterns cast 2 feet in front of reds will have some success. Flies should be non weighted but tied with material that absorb water----like chenille wrapped eyes or chenille thoraxes. Eyes should be plastic not bead chain or lead. Barred craft fur tails have been the ticket. Book now for TARPON, It promises to be one of the best seasons in years.... Don't miss out!
Capt. Al

Boca On The Fly
Captain Al White
(941) 697-0320 Cell (941) 830-1375
e-mail: BocaOnTheFly@yahoo.com

Half Hitch Tackle Report 2-14-08

Report for 02/14/2008 Salt Water
MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE

Those heading out to the deeper reefs are catching some big Red Grouper and an occasional Scamp. Live bait is working best, but cut bait has also taken a few fish. Red Snapper are ferocious right now and you will have to work to get your baits past them for the grouper. Amberjack catches are strong too.
ST JOSEPH BAY
Whiting are hitting in the surf. Try the Stump Hole and around Indian Pass when the water is clear, if not go the outer shore of Cape San Blas. A simple double drop rig is very productive. Sheepshead and Red and Black Drum are being caught in the St Joe Canal and the ICW. Use shrimp or curly-tail grubs or Berkley “gulp” water temperatures are slowly beginning to rise and we are hearing increasing reports of Pompano catches in the surf along the Cape and West around Crooked Island.
PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
Grouper and Scamp are being 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 areas. Live Cigar Minnows or Pinfish will entice the larger fish, while jigs (Williamson Jig or AJ Jig) will trigger the most bites.
ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Several Black Drum have been caught lately along the jetties. Live Shrimp or just about any cut bait fished on the bottom will work. Sheepshead are still moving in to the area. Around the jetties are the best spots. We have live Fiddler Crabs. This is the absolute best bait to use. Use a Carolina rig with a small hook and light lead for best results.
Pompano are being caught along the beaches. Throw a jig tipped with shrimp, sand fleas, or gulp. They are also being caught using frozen sand fleas, rigged on a 2 hook leader and pyramid sinker.
Silver Trout are being caught in large numbers under the Hathaway and Tyndall bridges. Use live shrimp on the bottom for best results.
Trout season is closed for the month of February. For catch and release, try the hot water canal in Warren Bayou.
Bull and Slot Reds are still in the pass. Gulp, Gold Spoons, Live Shrimp, LY’s, Bull Minnows, Pinfish and Cut Bait are working well.






Redfish caught on Perfect Cast Charters with Capt. Dan Van Treese. 850-227-5149


Fresh Water
APALACHICOLA /WHITE CITY

Bass fishing is good if you know where to look. Reports say that anglers who are reading the water correctly are more successful. The secret to their success is seeking out areas with just a couple of degrees variation in water temperatures to the surrounding areas. It is easier than you might think too. Look for scour hole in the bends of rivers, these areas very often will have warmer water that the main current. Another excellent place to fish will be dark water with muddy bottoms. These areas heat up much more quickly than open water. One more suggestion is to fish the west side of the shore. The sun warms these areas much more quickly.

Fishing Report prepared by Half Hitch Tackle Staff.


Half Hitch Tackle
850-234-2621
2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, Fl 32408

www.halfhitch.com/

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.