Saturday, May 31, 2008

Atlantic Snook Season Closes At Midnight

Snook season will close on Florida's Atlantic Coast, (Monroe Co. line, north to the Florida/Georgia border), for the entire months of June, July, and August. The season has been closed for the rest of the state, Monroe Co, Everglades National Park, The Gulf of Mexico, since May 1st. It will reopen September 1st for the entire state. During the closed season all snook caught must be released.

Birds Point Way To Indian River Fish

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report

I realize I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but the wind still presented us with challenging fishing conditions this past week. On every one of my charters, a strong northeasterly fetch made locating and sight fishing redfish unfeasible and non productive for the most part. On the positive side, the winds have been dying down between civil twilight and sunrise, and we have had shots at tailing redfish before the wind kicked up, so if you're planning a trip this week I would consider being in your desired fishing location when the sky begins to grow light.


Erik Pedersen and His Son Kai with an IRL Snook

On each of my adventures last week, our best action came from jigging soft plastic baits like the Riptide 3" Mullet along the deeper edges of the flats and in areas of glass minnows out in the open water of the lagoon. To be more specific, almost all of the shorelines in each of the three lagoons within the IRL system are paralleled by a vast shallow grass flat. These flats are basically non tidal with the exception of the northern Mosquito Lagoon and the areas around the inlets like Sebastian, so their contours are influenced by wind driven waves rather than tidal currents. The typical layout of the flat is shallow close to shore, and as you move out towards deeper water the flat is bordered by a shoal or sandbar following the contour of the shoreline. As you cross the shoal, the water begins to deepen creating the edge. Most of the fish this past week have been concentrated in two to three feet of water on the deep side of the shoal. Top-water plugs have also been effect in this same location.


Erik's Slot Redfish

To locate schools of bay anchovies (glass minnows) in deeper water, simply watch for bird activity. Look for small white terns dipping down and touching the water, and pelicans diving. Also cormorants and seagulls will often be present as well. Additionally, a good way to tell if pelicans are diving on small baitfish is the amount of time they hold their heads in the water as they strain the water from their beaks before turning their head back and swallowing, the smaller the bait the longer it takes to strain the water. Once you have located diving birds and concentrations of glass minnows, take a moment to observe their direction of travel and setup a drift ahead of the school. On one charter last week we actually caught six species of fish from within one school. Feeding near the surface are ladyfish, bluefish, jacks, and gafftop sail catfish, and below the school are sea trout and hardhead catfish.

Action along the beach is also heating up with good reports of bait pods shadowed by spawning schools of large jacks and even some smoker size kingfish in as shallow as 40 feet of water. The best action has come from anglers slow trolling live menhaden (pogies) on stainless steel stinger rigs. So, if the winds and seas subside a bit, keep a sharp eye on the horizon for the green shades of Three Quarter Time.

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
www.irl-fishing.com
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 office

Friday, May 30, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report 5-30-08


Report for 05/30/2008

Salt Water

MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE
The bottom fishing is good. Getting a good chum line started using chum blocks and chopped Northern Mackerel are working extremely well. Make sure you have fluorocarbon leaders attached, as the Snappers are getting smarter by the day. Big Grouper to include some 50 pounders were brought in from 40 miles out on the ledges due south of Cape San Blas. Be careful of the no fishing zone by the Swanson and Madison... 16 oz Braid jigs are working great along with Northern Mackerel butterflied.

More King Mackerel caught this week in the 10 to 20 lb range. Use a duster with a frozen Cigar Minnow and slowly troll it on the buoy line and over the car bodies. Small Dolphins are being caught starting at 12 miles. Troll small Boone jet baits until you find a school and keep the first dolphin in the water to attract the others to the boat, then toss jigs or cut bait. In addition, some Wahoo caught at 30-mile range, trolling panhandlers and Islander lures with Ballyhoo.

ST JOSEPH BAY
Not much change in the bay except the Trout fishing has improved with the best catches occurring early morning and late evening just before sunset. Live LY’s is the bait of choice and live shrimp a close second under a Cajun thunder float or just enough weight to keep it on the bottom. Choice spots are around Black’s island and in the channel by Pigs bayou.

Redfish schools are working the flats between Eagle harbor and the tip, but be prepared to catch some Ladyfish and Bluefish as they are pretty thick. Gold spoons are the top artificial and live shrimp is definitely your best live bait option, but even frozen shrimp has been working on the larger schools. Some Flounder are still being picked up under the George C. Tapper Bridge and off the oil docks at PSJ marina. Bull minnows Carolina rigged with a size 1 circle hook using fluorocarbon leader material and a 1 oz or smaller egg weight is the bait of choice.

Pompano are still with us and the hot spots are still the stump hole at Cape San Blas and along the Beach of St Joseph Park and a few at east beach and Mexico Beach. Most fish were caught using shrimp on a double hook Pompano rig.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
Chicken Dolphin are still making their presence known offshore. Look for weed lines or clumps. Small jigs and spoons work well.

King Mackerel are being caught more frequently now. Several are being caught around the Whistle Buoy with some better fish taken over the hard bottom to the west. Most of the fish are being caught free-lining live baits.

The Red Snapper bite is still going strong with fish being found in all depths of water. Best baits include chunked cigar minnows, squid, live shrimp and small pinfish. The boundary line for State Waters is out to 9 miles. Be sure to go outside of 9 miles for your Grouper and AJ’s before catching your Snapper limit! FNG will be watching.

The Federal Snapper season opens June 1st. At that time all boats fishing for reef fish will be required to use a Venting Tool, De-hooker and Non-Stainless Steel Circle Hooks.

Grouper are being caught over hard bottom areas from 7 – 25 miles out. Live bait and butterflied Spanish Mackerel are the best bet.

Amberjack remain plentiful over several of the bridge spans with larger fish being caught farther offshore. Live bait, Williamson Jigs, and Butterfly Jigs will bring savage strikes!

Spanish Mackerel are being caught in large numbers. Try the jetties, inside St. Andrews Bay and along the sand bars off the beach.

Ladyfish have moved onto the beaches in droves. For lots of fun and excitement, cast spoons and gotcha plugs for these jumpers.

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

Trout are feeding on the flats now. Bayous with nice grass points are producing well and target the deeper grass flats with live shrimp under a popping cork for best results.

Redfish are being caught all over the bay systems. Throw a live Shrimp on a light lead head or weightless for best results. On a high tide, the Redfish will be laying up in the flooded Spartina Grass. Weedless jerk baits and gold spoons will take these fish out of the grass.

Pompano are still being taken along the beaches in good numbers. Most fish will be on the inside edge of the first sand bar. Throw a jig tipped with shrimp, sand fleas, or gulp. They are also being caught using frozen sand fleas and shrimp, rigged on a 2 hook leader and pyramid sinker.

DESTIN


Great week of fishing was on tap for the holiday weekend. First of all there was a 700.8 lb Bluefin Tuna caught on the Annie Girl out of orange Beach while fishing in the Mobile Big Game Fishing Tournament.


Closer to home Ted Gorder (hope I Spelled it right) caught a 30lb Cobia form his Kayak fishing a few miles off shore at the Miss Louise Tug boat. They beach launch the kayaks near Chrystal beach and make the several mile paddle offshore on many weekends.

The Kings have been steady now that the moon is not so full. You can get them trolling plugs and cigar minnows near the sea buoy, southeast rocks and broken bottom.

Bottom fishing is good for Snapper, Grouper and Amberjack. Also this weekend the Federal snapper season will open. Make sure you have a Venting Tool, De-hooker and circle hooks as of June 1st for all reef fish.


On the pier, things have been slow, a few Pompano, Spanish and a Red or two. They did have a nice catch of Kings on the pier Monday morning when it was very windy. I have a nice picture of a little girl and a Hardtail at the pier on Tuesday afternoon.

On the jetties good catches of Ladyfish, Blues and Hardtails.

In the bay the Reds are still good in the sound and the Trout have been very good on the flats around the mouths of the bayous very late in the day.

For offshore where the water is dirty green near the edge, nipple and 131 hole; a few reports have pretty water from the Ozark and back to the east towards the squiggles.

Fresh Water

APALACHICOLA /WHITE CITY

Bluegill fishing is still going strong. A nice wiggler on the bottom is producing the numbers in 3-4 ft of water. The bass anglers are finding them on the sandy bottoms and 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 quick. They are also starting to hit the soft baits like the Zoom brush hogs really well around structure and on sandy bottoms as the bass are starting to get ready to spawn.

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.

Huge Indian River Lagoon Redfish, Trout

Fishing is Good! Book for June and July!
The summer pattern has started and the mullet schools are showing up in good numbers. The big reds are here and so are the trout. There are other species to catch also such as ladyfish and jacks. They are both hard fighting fish. The make for a good by-catch. The past week has been solid and the redfish and trout are a good bet. So if you would like to catch a trophy redfish like you see in the photos call 407-405-0819 and book your adventure today. We will have some fun, tell a few jokes and catch some fish.


Book now for your chance at a trophy redfish! The photos speak for themselves! Call 407-405-0819 and let's have some fun fishin'! I am booking for June and July and 11 days are already booked for June!
YOU CAN ALSO CHECK OUT REPORTS BACK TO 2005.
There is a pattern! wink

Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
28 May 2008 by Captain David Rogers

Captain David Rogers
AAA Hawgwild Saltwater Charters LLC

Host The 'Hawgwild Fishing Show'
ESPN WIXC 1060 /WAMT 1190 Saturdays 6-8am (407-273-1190) Live call-in
ESPN WHOO 1080 Sunday 6-8am/ replay - www.hawgwildradio.com
407-405-0819 Book Charters
www.aaahawgwildcharters.com

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tampa Bay Fishing Report

After the last cold fronts came and went in early April, spring fishing heated up. Trout action remained strong, highlighted by some exceptionally large fish. More large trout were caught this past month than in any April in recent memory. As whitebait showed up, the trout clearly showed a preference for this type of meal. Baits "bobbered" about a foot off the bottom seemed to trigger the most strikes. Many of these fish came off of the spoil island areas however some of the oversized gators hit baits being floated for redfish on the flats. Look for the remaining large trout to move to the beaches in May before their final farewell to their summer haunts. Un-weighted whitebait will probably be the best way to catch these May fish.

Schooling redfish are clearly "back in the neighborhood" now. Numerous trips produced in excess of 15 redfish. Almost all of these highly productive days were when the big tides pushed way up into the bushes. Schooling reds like to get up in the mangroves in search of one of their favorite dinners...crabs. Also, there is also an argument to be made that these fish like moving way in to stay out of reach of their primary predator, the dolphin. Whatever the reason, finding a group of reds back in the sticks during a high tide is redfishing at its best. Whitebait is a preferred bait for this type of fishing however once fish are located, a variety of baits can trigger strikes. Having excess whitebait does allow you to chum areas heavily however and may help pull these fish out of the mangroves and get them in a frenzied, eating mood. Bobbered, free lined and split shotted baits can all work in this scenario. Finding these schooling reds is hard work in that it just takes time on the water to locate them. If you find a group of fish though, chances are, they'll be in that same area for at least a few days.

With water temperatures now locked in the mid to high seventies, Snook are a good possibility on every charter. Moving tides are always better, and outgoing is best. Fish are now everywhere from the mangrove shorelines to the beaches. As a general rule, beach fish tend to eat a little more aggressively so it's always nice to find a group of fish on the "outside". Although Snook will eat cut baits on occasion (yes, it's true), there's no doubt that whitebait, both pilchards and threadfins, are the most available bait of choice. Grunts and ladyfish are great bonus baits if you can find them. For the most part, all of these baits should be fished with no weight on a hook that is properly sized to the bait. In particularly deep areas or areas with strong tidal flow, split shots may be appropriate. For those of you still looking for your first larger Snook, rest assured that when you hook it, you'll know. Your drag is guaranteed to scream and, with a little luck, you'll see some "air born activity" as well. Snook are just plain exciting to catch.

For those of you interested in fishing near shore waters, reports are that both of our migratory mackerel...the Spanish and the King...are back. For a little excitement, head out with a bait well full of whitebait and a medium action spinning rod, find some hard bottom and chum aggressively. Enjoy some potential fast action from the Spanish Mackerel and challenge yourself not to get spooled should a healthy kingfish decide to eat one of your offerings. Fishing is hot right now so look for a good tide day and get out there and pull on some fish.

Good luck and good fishing.
Captain Stewart Ames
US Coast Guard Licensed Captain
Member Florida Guides Association
www.tampa-fishing-charters.com
sames001@tampabay.rr.com
727-421-5291
© 2007 Captain Stewart Ames, Gone Fishing Charters, Tampa, FL

Tripletail In Apalachicola Bay

I just got off the telephone with Capt. Tommy Holland who tells me that the tripletail are in the bay. He says there are lots of 8" fish - he saw about 30 of them and he's catching them 12-15 lbs even caught a 20 lb tripletail this morning. Bayfishing trips are available this week/weekend and the next.

Capt.Jason is open Friday May 30 through Sunday June 1st AND he just took delivery on his brand new Hells Bay Boca Grande. Capt. Chris is available to fish on Monday June 2nd and Sunday June 8th. Capt.'s David & Travis both have some additional days open in the next week or so for everything from Reds to Tarpon.

Call me if you have any questions or if you wish to fish!

Kathy Robinson
Robinson Brothers Guide Service
118 Commerce St.
Apalachicola, FL 32320
850-653-8896
www.FloridaRedfish.com

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indian River Predators On Flats

Fishing Report

Fort Pierce - Port St Lucie - Vero Beach - Jensen Beach

May 22, 2008

INSHORE:
Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that it was May and not March! We continue to see windy days and finally got some rain to help the area a little. We ended up braving some challenging conditions on some days and ended up getting wet one of those days. This weather will continue for now and at least we will have a chance at rain showers most afternoons to try and green up the grass a little. The river has remained clean in spite of the winds.

Mike McCann and his son, "L", were down and we fought some windy weather to get a chance at some fish. Mike's son ended up with a big ladyfish and lost a slot redfish to end a blustery day. Nick Palladino and Mick Howells were up to fish this week, and we found a few places that were fishable. Mick found a 25" snook under one of the Fort Pierce docks and Nick boated a nice trout later in the day. Sandy and Todd Langler stopped by the area this week to fish. We missed a number of good hits before Sandy boated a 26" gator trout. They also boated several mangrove snapper before the day was done. It was a tough week to try and beat the wind, but we did have some great fun out there trying!

Live pinfish and pigfish have done well this week. Shrimp bought out the cats, jacks and pins around the flats. The river is loaded down with baitfish just about everywhere we have fished. The predators have been on the flats giving chase. It has been hard to spot redfish lately, but they are out there. As we finally get to summer conditions, look for sight fishing to greatly improve. We fished from Round Island to south of Bear Point this week. Try around the docks and grass flats to the south and Queen's Cove to the north.

The inlet was boiling with Spanish mackerel this week and that means bluefish and jacks as well. Remember that snook fishing is almost over.....May 31st is the last day. The bridges have been on the slow side of late. We should see a surge in fishing this last weekend of snook season. The beaches have held some pompano, bluefish, mackerel and whiting for those anglers. Just off the beaches have held some kings, permit and bonita. The jetties have been producing jacks and bluefish mostly. Looking forward to next weeks fishing adventures!

Tip of the Week: Take a few minutes one day and check out your First Aid Kit. At some point during the year it will be used for cuts, scrapes and assorted mishaps aboard the boat. Check out the contents and replenish any items that are missing, old or low in quantities. If you don't have one......it is a good idea to get one. Accidents can happen anytime and it pays to have the equipment to handle most situations that might occur.

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

Good Fishing and Be Safe,

Captain Charlie Conner
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.}

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Homosassa Tarpon Get In Your Blood

Capt. Mike Locklear
May 21, 2008
Homosassa - Saltwater Fishing Report

Without a doubt, fly fishing for tarpon gets in the blood and when you come from a family of tarpon guides. As much as I try to relax about the sport I still get so excited when I look at these huge fish that Homosassa offers.

Being back on the poling platform requires me to stay calm and give instructions to my client so he does not get too excited. It does not always work unless I am with Peter Moyer of Jackson Hole. Then we are both cool as a cucumber. We have fished together many times and I know Peter's fishing prowess is right on cue.

Recently, our season's largest fish was hooked up with long time visitor Peter Moyer of Homosassa. We guessed the 7-foot thick and wide toad to be 190+. I could go into the poetry and art of how that big fish reacted but I just can't bring myself to write it right now. Like Flip Pallot once said, the memory of the experience is burned into the mind.

From experience of more than 15 seasons of 10-14 consecutive trips Moyer has figured the game and is one of the top producers of the sport. Only his neighbor, Tom Evans has more time on the water spending the entire month of May each year with his dedicated captain. Evans holds the current 8kg (17.5 lbs.) 190.5 pounds beating out Billy Pate's 188 set back in 1982.

Moyer is eccentric. His standard fly rod is a 10-weight Sage with an Abel fly reel. He uses a clear Monic fly line. His leaders are long and lighter than most anglers except he chooses the 8kg class tippet almost exclusively. The hook he uses is a 4/0 SSW Owner and tied to the shock leader using a loop knot. This is said to give it more action.

This year I witnessed a 7-weight outfit in his hand. I was reluctant that this tack might be akin to shooting an elephant with a BB gun. He proved me wrong as I watched him bring in an 80-pound tarpon to the leader within 30 minutes. All I had to do is get super close to the fish as the backing he had on the reel was minimal at best. The trick is to fight the fish off the reel, not the rod.

Many hours of preparation goes into his hand tied flies that he prepares while in his home near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He might be watching tarpon videos and perhaps pulling on a Michelob Ultra or something better.

Truly the real big tarpon are having a full moon party somewhere far away from here. No one has seen a big school of fish since Sunday. They have gone away to who knows where. We are finding 80-100 pound tarpon laid up in areas normally reserved for June tarpon.

No doubt, Moyer's huge tarpon was beside the boat and considered caught by Gentlemen rules. To accurately determine the weight of the fish would require a gaff and holding up the head to get a girth number. A tarpon that size could equal 10 pounds for every inch of girth in the middle 40's. That why the record chasers measure them. I hate to see huge female tarpon sacrificed not to ever remain in the gene pool of giants.

Moyer asked me to release the tarpon. I grabbed the tippet in my hand and held tight as the line broke leaving a little reminder in the jaw of the fish, a custom fly by Moyer.
Our faces were glowing with satisfying grins ear to ear as we said good bye to our big friend.

Moyer and I were very pleased he caught the fish of a lifetime.

This is what Homosassa tarpon fishing is all about. Getting a shot at a fish of a lifetime and preparing for it because it is in our blood.

Capt. Mike

P.S.

Currently, I have a few openings for last minute planners. I welcome anyone including novices to introduce them to an awesome addictive sport. Everything you need is provided by me to challenge the greatest game fish on earth.



Homosassa tarpon will fizzle out by the end of June. Apalachicola tarpon action will peak in June and July with a few stragglers throughout August.

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

Skyway Tarpon Slow, Redfish Awesome


May 24th, 2008

Red-iculous



B.J. and his two sons scheduled a charter with me early in the week and they really wanted to do some tarpon fishing in St. Petersburg. We met at the dock at 7am and headed out to pick up some bait and then swing by the Skyway Bridge for some tarpon fishing. Things didn't turn out as we planned but the result of our changed plans was what I have decided to call, "red-iculous".

The original plan, as mentioned earlier, was for tarpon. The torrential down pours, high winds and threat of lightning shut us down on our first attempt of the week. We tried, through one quagmire, to fish for the "poons" by the bridge on the first day but the threat of a much larger storm forced us off of the water by 10am. Not wanting to give up, B.J. said they could come back later in the week, and I did have one other day open, so we reconvened two days later for another shot.



On the second go around I asked if they would be game for going after redfish for the first part of the day and tarpon the second. The redfish bite the day before had been awesome and I figured we could get some catching in before we tried for a silver king. They said , "let's do it".

So after catching bait, we headed for a spot where the bronze bombers had cooperated all week. When we first got there I told them they we may not hit real pay dirt for a couple of hours because the tide wouldn't really be right until about 11am. The bite did turn out to be slow for the first part of the morning but we did manage about 6 redfish before all heck broke loose. Just when I was about to give up I made one more toss of chum into the water and that's when the water erupted with all too familiar sounds of redfish crushing wounded sardines on the surface of the still water.

The frenzy was so intense that the natural bottom feeders were actually coming completely out of the water to annihilate the intentionally wounded baitfish that I had thrown out in large quantities. Once we sent out the same baitfish armed with hooks the bite was on; and oh was it on. We had at least one fish on for every minute of almost an hour and a half and we had more double hook ups than I could count and several triple hookups to boot.



The bite finally slowed to slightly under a break neck pace and we decided to try for tarpon. The boys had their fill of bronze and wanted to upgrade to silver. We headed over to the bridge to get some threadfins for bait and while catching them we saw a few tarpon crushing baits so we stayed right there and tried for an hour. Unfortunately, even though we saw several more tarpon, we just couldn't get a bite. Then we headed out to Egmont and once again the tarpon showed themselves to us but they just wouldn't take a bait with a hook in it.

The full moon may have had something to do with out lack of silver but thankfully we locked up a solid bronze finish for a charter that looked to be doomed by weather. It turned out that their perseverance and patience was what it took to have a "red-iculous" day.


Tampa Bay Fishing
Captain Clay Eavenson
813-300-2147

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tarpon Showing In Apalachicola

What's the one word guaranteed to make every anglers heart race in anticipation, sure to cause obsessive bahaviour and make grown mens eyes glaze over and their mouths water? That word is TARPON! If you guessed correctly, you are probably one of the many people who have been calling and emailing and chomping at the bit to know if they're here yet. (The rest of you, get your minds out of the gutter.) Enough for the lead in, because at this writing the early fish are starting to show up, yes we're already jumping a few, and we anticipate a spectacular summer of tarpon fishing, beginning now!

Chip & Mack Faircloth - This Redfish has 28 spots!

May has been mostly dry and fairly windy, causing guides to bring out everything in their arsenals to make a successful day of it but fish are biting and anglers are catching. Capt. David Heinke had 14 redfish caught by Scott Norman from Point Clear AL on a flyrod in St. Joe Bay on April 30th. Kim & Artie Turner fished with Capt. Tommy Robinson on May 12th and they caught 23 redfish on light spinning tackle. Henry Vandever from Boulder caught tarpon on a fly with Capt. Nathan starting the first day of his 3 day trip May 12th. Capt. Chris has also had some excellent redfishing days (see photo above) since he returned from the Keys. Yesterday (May 23rd) started stormy and wasn't looking good for any kind of fishing - then the bad weather moved off, and all the guides headed out as the sun broke through and it turned into a picture perfect day for sightfishing in shallow water.


June historically is a month where you can't go wrong. You can fly or plug fish for Tarpon or cast at tailing redfish or hook up on tripletail on the way to catching your limit of speckled trout. Going offshore? Everythings biting & the season is open for all offshore species including red snapper in federal waters. Several recent offshore trips although possibly a bit on the rough side were very successful on the "Catching" side. Need a guide? We've got the best!

The 2nd annual Fins & Family fishing tournament on Mothers day weekend was a success! I have to brag a little on "Top Captain" Tommy Holland who guided his angler, 8th grader Sarah Soares from Biloxi MS to win Top Junior Lady Angler and Top Saltwater Angler Status. Sarah won in Black Drum, Sheepshead and Speckled Trout, placed second in Mullet and third in Trash Slam (catfish, croaker & pinfish). This is their second annual win!

ITEMS OF INTEREST - SHARK fishing trips are available NOW! Hook up with Capt. Tommy Holland or Capt. Ken Finch for your shark fishing adventure. And in August, you'll even find Capt. Chris Robinson guiding some shark trips when he's not tarpon fishing. FYI - August Tarpon fishing can be excellent - just because the kids head back to school doesn't mean the tarpon go with them - plan on them through the month and into September. Be sure to check out our new Photo Album format - choose from recent local photos, Keys fishing, Tarpon photos or find yourself with your catch in our Photo Archives. www.FloridaRedfish.com

REAL ESTATE - Capt. Jr. Holland has substantially reduced the price of his house and 2 acre lots. Based on personal experiences, real-estate-wise things are looking up! If you've had your eye on a little something in our area, you can check the properties currently listed for sale via our other website. www.RobinsonRealEstateCompany.com

ACCOMMODATIONS - The Water Street Hotel is getting RAVE reviews! Not only will you enjoy a riverfront sunrise view from the huge private screened balcony out front of your spacious condo unit but the best part is your fishing guide can pick you up from the Hotel Dock. The friendly staff & convenient location - about 3 blocks from downtown shops & restaurants - make this definitely worth checking out. www.WaterStreetHotel.com. And speaking of restaurants, Tamara's Cafe has moved to the corner of Market Street and Ave. D - just about the first thing you'll see as you come on into town - be sure to stop in and say hello. (and grab a meal!) Trattorio Georgio's Italian Restaurant will be open shortly in the space Tamaras vacated - Corner of Ave. E and Commerce Street and right next door to MY office. And be sure to check out the new Sugar Shack Barbecue place on Hwy 98 & 12th St.or AJ's Sports Bar on 9th & MLK - I hear they serve Blue Crabs 3 ways on weekends!

Have a safe & happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Kathy Robinson
Robinson Brothers Guide Service
118 Commerce St.
Downtown Historic Apalachicola Florida
850-653-8896
www.FloridaRedfish.com

Tarpon Pouring Down Sarasota Beaches

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 5/12 through 5/25/2008

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action during the past couple of weeks with reds, snook and trout on the flats of Sarasota Bay. Due to a persistent west wind, tarpon fishing got off to a slow start. Tarpon arrived in force, but the west winds made the gulf too rough to fish. However, on the 3 days that I was able to get out into the gulf in the past 2 weeks, we saw lots of tarpon.

My brother, Kirk Grassett from Middletown, DE, stayed over a couple of days after our Andros South trip and fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, May 12th. He caught and released a pair of snook to 26” and a nice trout near Buttonwood Harbor and north of Long Bar on Crab Clouser flies (olive, tan and white with lots of gold flash). Bill King, from Osprey, FL and Mike Mallod, from Sarasota, FL, fished with me the following day and caught and released about 15 trout on a DOA Deadly Combo near Buttonwood Harbor.

The best day that week was on Wednesday when Kyle Ruffing and Chopper Johnson, both from Sarasota, FL, tarpon fished with me. The wind laid down and the coastal gulf calmed enough to allow is to tarpon fish and we found tarpon schools pouring down the beach. They had more than 15 shots before Chopper hooked up to a feisty 80 or 90-pounder with a chartreuse Toad fly, which is when the real fun began. Chopper was clearing his fly line when a large knot came up through his guides and separated the fly rod in the middle. Chopper fought the fish through numerous jumps with only the butt section of the rod. We got the fish back on the reel, recovered and reassembled the tip section of the fly rod, picked the knot out of the fly line and had the tarpon close to the boat putting some real heat on the fish when a large bull shark showed up and ate the fish!

Patrice Camillieri, from France fished with me on Thursday and Friday and the wind kicked back up out of the west. We did get into the gulf briefly one day and he landed a nice king mackerel on a free-lined blue runner. Although catching a tarpon on a fly was our goal, conditions wouldn’t allow it. In addition to the king, Patrice caught and released snook and trout on Clouser flies in Sarasota and Terra Ceia Bays.

Keith McClintock and Barry Slee, from Lake Forest, IL, Barry’s nephew Paul Browring from the UK, Dave Kinnamon, from Milwaukee, WI and Steve Liska from NJ fished with me, Capt. Kelly Stilwell and Capt. Jack Hartman during the week of May 19. The wind blew out of the west all week long ruining our chances for tarpon but fishing in Sarasota Bay was good. Keith, Steve and I got into the gulf briefly one morning and caught a nice false albacore on a jig and Keith landed an 80-pound tarpon in the bay another morning. The group had steady action with reds to 28”, snook to 26” and trout to more than 20” with CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos and flies.

When the weather calmed at the end of the week, we found tarpon plentiful in the coastal gulf but not eating very well. This should change by next week as we get further away from last week’s full moon.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.

FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com


Kirk Grassett, from Middletown, DE, caught and released this 26" snook on a Crab Clouser fly while fishing north of Long Bar in Sarasota Bay with his brother, Capt. Rick Grassett.


Patrice Camillieri, from France, caught and released this nice king mackerel on a free lined blue runner at Point of Rocks in the coastal gulf off Sarasota while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, caught and released this 80-pound tarpon on a live crab while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Steve Liska, from NJ, caught and released this red near Buttonwood Harbor on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mosquito Lagoon As Good As It Gets

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

Wind has been the dominant factor in our fishing for the past two weeks. Add in some clouds along with smoke from numerous fires and sight fishing has been nearly impossible on most days. The last two days, the winds have finally subsided but the clouds persist. On a positive note, the fish have been plentiful and bait is everywhere. As soon as the weather stabilizes, fishing should be as good as it gets.

Last week's poor weather kept me off the water most days. We cancelled Monday's trip due to wind. Wednesday, the forecast was for moderate winds but it blew 15-20 all day. The goal of my charter with Mike from North Carolina was to catch as many different types of fish as we could. Mike carves fish as a hobby and wanted photos of saltwater fish to use as a reference. We began the day looking for some small tarpon. Unfortunately, we did not find any. Our next stop produced a mangrove snapper and a toadfish. Spot three resulted in a flounder, a trout, and a nice redfish.


Our final species of the day was a snook to complete a Mosquito Lagoon slam.



I had seminars Thursday and Saturday. Sunday, it was back to Mosquito Lagoon. From dawn until 8, I fished with Paul, the owner of Mosquito Creek Outdoors. I caught a redfish on a DOA Chughead/CAL combo and followed up with a trout on a Baitbuster. Paul had several bites on the Baitbuster as well but switched over to a greene back CAL and landed two nice trout.



We ran back to the ramp as the wind began to blow and I picked up Paul's sister, Liz, and his son, Lee. We found several large schools of redfish on a shallow flat and Lee hooked up first.



A short while later, Liz had a redfish break off when another fish in the school hit the line. The next one made it to the boat for some photos and was her first ever redfish.

Thick clouds and the wind ruined our sight fishing so we decided to move out to some deeper water and blind cast for trout. After a couple moves, we found the hot spot and I spent the next hour unhooking one fish after the next. Liz used a DOA Deadly Combo and Lee threw various color 3 inch CAL tails. We caught too many to count but Lee had to take a break because his hand was tired from reeling in fish. Now that's a good problem to have.

Tuesday of this week, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Orlando Kayak Club. The following morning, I met Capt. Ron Presley in Cocoa Beach and we went in search of some early season tarpon. By mid morning, the winds were blowing over 20 and we did our best to hide in the canals. We found plenty of small tarpon as well as a few in the 20 pound range. We had a lot more strikes than we did hookups but I did land two tarpon using a holographic DOA shrimp. I switched over to the darker morning glory color and boated a snook as well.

Thursday was a fly fishing trip with Chad from Montana. It was a pleasant change to find slick calm water when we arrived. We never saw the sun all day but the water remained calm. We soon found ourselves surrounded by dozens of schools of tailing and finning fish. It was a fly fisherman's dream except for one thing. The fish would seem to let us get almost within Chad's casting range and then they would take off. We would approach the next group and the same thing would happen. Each time, the fish were five feet farther than Chad could cast. This scenario went on for nearly five hours before we gave up on them. Chad is a long time fly fisherman but in his waters, there is rarely a need to cast over 30 feet. On this day, a 60-70 foot caster could have had double digit hookups. While travelling to our next stop, we came across a school of large reds tailing along the edge of a flat. As we got near, they dropped off into the deep water and vanished. I took Chad to the spot that produced the numerous trout last week and he used a clouser minnow and a 5wt rod to land ten small trout. It began to rain but we were determined to get a redfish on the fly. We tried one more spot and found some tailing singles. Chad finally hooked a redfish using a small black and chartreuse crab.





Tip of the Week - Line to Leader Connection

Last issue, I discussed the benefits of using braided line. While I use braid on all my reels, I always tie on a piece of fluorocarbon leader before attaching my lure. I double the end of the braid with a seven turn spider hitch. This gives me added abrasion resistance and prevents the thin braid from cutting through the leader at the knot. I like to attach my leader to the braid with a Yucatan knot. To make this knot, wrap the braid around the leader ten times when using 10lb test. Use less wraps for heavier line and leader. Bend the end of the leader back and insert it into the loop in the end of the braid. Slowly pull on all four pieces until the knot is nearly tight. Release the tag end of the leader and continue pulling until the knot tightens. You will have a compact knot that will go into the rod tip easily if needed.

If I am on the water and need to tie on a new leader. I will cut off the old leader just below the knot. I will then tie on a new leader with a double uni knot using seven turns with the braid and 4-5 with the leader.

For most flats fishing applications, I use 20 lb. leader when targeting redfish and trout. For small snook and tarpon, I use 30 lb. For larger snook and medium sized tarpon, I go with 40. Large tarpon, use 60-80 lb test.

FishStock 2008

This Saturday and Sunday, FishStock 2008 will be held in New Smyrna Beach. I will be giving a seminar on how to catch tarpon in central Florida at 1pm Saturday and Sunday. There will be a fishing tournament, boats, vendors, and additional seminars at the event.


Beginning with this issue, I have added the tip of the week. This week's tip is in response to a question from a reader. If you have any topics you would like to see covered in the tips section, please send them to me.

I have also added a link to the Mosquito Coast Fishing Report by my good friend Capt. Tom Van Horn. I believe you will find this report interesting and informative as well.

If you have any friends that you think would enjoy receiving this newsletter, please use the link at the bottom of this page to forward it to them.

Occasionally, I hear from a single angler that is wanting to share a charter with another person. Anyone that is interested in splitting a trip, send me your contact information and I will try to put you in touch with others when I receive requests.

Thanks.

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

http://www.floridafishinglessons.com
321-229-2848

Friday, May 23, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report 5-23-08


Report for 05/23/2008

Salt Water

MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE
Grouper fishing picked up a little this week with some twenty to thirty pounders brought to the docks. The bite is over some natural bottom starting at about 180’. Live baits or butter flied northern mackerel working well. Snapper bite is still going strong with the bite starting at 10 miles out. Dolphins are hanging on the weed lines and flotsam.

The king mackerel numbers are rising on the buoy line with dusters and cigar minnows. Closer inshore, the Spanish mackerel are still being caught along the buoy line and over at crooked island. Trolling just the Clark spoon seems to be the best option for the bigger Spanish.

ST JOSEPH BAY
Big trout, up to nine pounds caught this week on live LY’s and many Redfish as well. The head of the bay is the place to go given the wind direction this week. In the head of the bay, the best area seems to be right between Black’s island and the shoreline drifting live baits under a Cajun thunder or free lining the baits while drifting.

Some Spanish Mackerel are still moving around inside St Joseph Bay from the buoy line to Blacks island and huge schools of ladyfish and bluefish being reported outside Eagle harbor. Trolling mackerel rigs and Clark spoons about 5 knots will work nicely, or sight casting gotcha plugs and double speck rigs work well too. The Flounder bite continues in and around the deeper holes near the head of the bay and around Black’s island and better numbers caught this week under the George Tapper Bridge in the gulf canal and in the Mexico Beach canal also.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
Chicken Dolphin are still making their presence known offshore. Look for weed lines or clumps. Small jigs and spoons work well.

King Mackerel are being caught more frequently now. Several are being caught around the Whistle Buoy and many have been seen running the beaches. Most of the fish are being caught free-lining live baits.

The Red Snapper bite is still going strong with fish being found in all depths of water. Best baits include chunked cigar minnows, squid, live shrimp and small pinfish. The boundary line for State Waters is out to 9 miles. Be sure to go outside of 9 miles for your Grouper and AJ’s before catching your Snapper limit! FNG will be watching.

The Federal Snapper season opens June 1st. At that time all boats fishing for reef fish will be required to use a Venting Tool, De-hooker and Non-Stainless Steel Circle Hooks.

Grouper are being caught over hard bottom areas from 7 – 25 miles out. Live bait and butterflied Spanish Mackerel are the best bet.

Amberjack remain plentiful over several of the Bridge Spans with larger fish being caught farther offshore. Live bait, Williamson Jigs, and Butterfly Jigs will bring savage strikes!

Spanish Mackerel are being caught in large numbers. Try the jetties, inside St. Andrews Bay and along the sand bars off the beach.

Ladyfish have moved onto the beaches in droves. For lots of fun and excitement, cast spoons and gotcha plugs for these jumpers.

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Trout are feeding on the flats now. Bayous with nice grass points are producing well and target the deeper grass flats with live shrimp under a popping cork for best results.

Redfish are being caught all over the bay systems. Throw a live shrimp on a light lead head or weightless for best results. On a high tide, the Redfish will be laying up in the flooded Spartina Grass. Weedless jerk baits and gold spoons will take these fish out of the grass.

Pompano are still being taken along the beaches in good numbers. Most fish will be on the inside edge of the first sand bar. Throw a jig tipped with shrimp, sand fleas, or gulp. They are also being caught using frozen sand fleas and shrimp, rigged on a 2 hook leader and pyramid sinker.

DESTIN
Offshore is turning on nicely. One boat returned from the rigs with 4 Wahoo, 4 Dolphin about a dozen Blackfin Tuna and released a Marlin.

The charter boat No Alibi caught a Swordfish in the 270lb range. Another customer Kevin Almodovar caught a nice 20lb Dolphin trolling 20 miles offshore near the edge Saturday. He said the fish put on a nice show jumping several times before being boated.

The bottom fishing has been good when you can fish as it has been very rough and windy. Snapper are still biting and good numbers of Red Grouper and Amberjack. The charter boat Big John had an incredible catch of Black Groupers over the weekend with several fish over 30lbs.

The Trout and Reds are becoming more active over the flat and in the sound. They are mostly taking live shrimp and gulps.

On the pier and the jetties they are getting Reds, lots of Ladyfish and Hardtails and an few Spanish.

For the surf fisherman they are still getting fair numbers of Pompano, a few Whiting and some Reds. At night using pogies for bait there are plenty of Blues and Sharks to be had.

Trolling for Kings and Spanish has been a little slow right now as the water is still a little cool and we are on a full moon. Expect the Kings to get better all of next week as we begin to get away from the full moon and the temps warm.


Kevin Almodovar caught a nice 20lb dolphin

Fresh Water
Great shell cracker/bluegill action happening in the rivers. Live crickets or wigglers fished outside of structure are working great. The fly-fishing action is really turning on in the river. The best color fly to be throwing right now seems to be orange. The bass action is a little slow. There have been some reports that the bass are biting buzz baits in the Dead lakes. If you cannot seem to get bit using the buzz bait try throwing a bang-o-lure. Look for offshore weed lines, humps, channel bends, and just anything that could attract the baitfish right now. That is probably were the bass are. Also, try Howard’s creek the bream are still biting in Bear Man creek. The Dead Lakes is also a good place to try for bream and shell cracker.

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.

No-Motor Zone Redfish Worth The Wait

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report

Compliments of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka, Florida

Well it looks like May has finally arrived on the Indian River Lagoon Coast. Today was my first day on the Lagoon where the winds laid down, and yes we even had a rumble of thunder and some well-needed rain although brief, thank you Lord.

I started out my week fishing on Sunday, where I was privileged and honored to spend the day on the water with Paul and Diana Faircloth and their nephew Clay. You see, it was Clay's 11th birthday, and it was our mission to break in Clay's new fishing rod. Our day started out slow with a few small sea trout in the morning, but as the day grew longer the bite improved, and we ended the day with a good number of sea trout caught on Riptide Jigs and top-water Rapala Skitterwalks, and yes Clay was successful in breaking in his new birthday rod.


Several other trips were planned during the week, but they were either scrubbed or postponed for future dates due to windy conditions.

For the past two months, I have been diligently trying to fish in the No-Motor Zone with local angler Jim Rawnsley from the Oak Hill/Edgewater area, but windy conditions kept us off of the water until today. Jim was the winner of the ISAA Raffle for the Captain Shawn Williams Family Charity charter I donated last spring, and I'm glad we waited.


The wind was light from the southwest as we polled out onto the flat, and we didn't see any significant fish for the first few hours. After covering a lot of ground and messing with small trout on top-water plugs, we located a nice school of redfish. At first Jim made several nice top-water presentations, but the school lifted and began moving off. At that point, we opted to leave them rest and catch us some bait and then return later.

As the day grew longer, the wind laid down even more, and on our return the redfish school was spread out across the flat happily tailing in every direction. In addition to the redfish, there was also a good number of tailing black drum mixed in, which was an unexpected surprise. For the next several hours we chunked cut bait, and Jim successfully land three over slot redfish with the larges being 43-inches. The tails continued to pop-up everywhere, but a distant rumble of thunder sent us hightailing it back to the launch site as the rain set in. Hopefully, this trip was a prelude to the summer and the wind has finally begun to subside, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

As always, if you need more information or have questions, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

www.irl-fishing.com
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 landline
886-790-8081 toll free

Visit www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Banana River Trout Bite Going Strong

Banana River Trout Bite Going Strong

The wind has not stopped blowing, but it hasn’t hurt the early morning trout bite. Top water lures have produced spotted sea trout consistently, up to about 9:00. After that, switch over to your favorite plastics to continue the fun. The bigger fish are more likely from first light until 7:30 or 8:00 but the smaller ones have been will to bite most of the day.

A pink colored X-Rap, a color I don’t use that often seemed to out produce other colors on a recent trip. Once we changed to Rip Tide Mullet and Curtailers, the color didn’t seem to matter as much as the retrieve.

Rig either a Rip Tide Mullet or a Curtailer on ¼ ounce Pro Jig Head and vary the retrieve until you find what works and stick with it until the bite stops. Then, vary the retrieve again until you find another pattern.

Good friends Lari and Tim were visiting from Minnesota last week with an eye toward catching some redfish. Both were excellent casters and never gave up, throwing artificial baits all day long. Although the redfish avoided us, many trout were caught and released by the pair of anglers. Lari added a snook, a huge ladyfish, and a jack crevalle for a little variety in bending the rod.

We pushed hard for that single red that would have made an East Coast Slam, but it continued to elude us.

There are more mullet in the river this week than last, and that should only mean better fish ahead.

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

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tarpon Invade Tampa Bay

Fishin Reports

By Captain Jazz

05/18/08

Right now finding fish hasn’t been the hard part, deciding what to fish for has. Tarpon have invaded Tampa Bay and can be found near bridges or just off the beaches early and sometimes late in the day. Fish are in the 60-120 pound range and that will only increase as more females make their way here. Peak Tarpon fishin will last until the first major moon in July. Baits of choice have been crabs, Pinfish, Threadfins or large Sardines. Tarpon fishing will last until about late October or early November. As summer comes so does the heat. Fishing at night is a great way to beat it. Water Temp is 80.

Snook : Have made their way to the beaches and passes. They spawn on the New and Full moons, from May thru August. On the quarters they roam up and down the beaches and hang in the passes. Live bait works well and so does artificial baits and flies. Fish during the time of the day that the water is moving. Snook are very active at night. Fishing at night with a strong outgoing tide has been best.

Redfish : Have been found in schools. On incoming tides, the fish move up the grass flat to the mangroves and oyster bars. Sand potholes hold fish on the lower tides. Look for schools of Mullet for places to start. Use a small Pinfish or a Sardine under a float. Don't over look docks as they will hold fish too.

Sea trout: Drift the grass flats in 2-6 feet of water throwing D.O.A. shrimp, plugs and jigs/jerk baits, flies and top waters have caught some of my largest Sea trout in the morning, that's a fun way to catch any fish in my book. Trout tend to be in deeper water as the water warms.

Others: Sharks, Bonita and Spanish Mackerel are roaming the Inshore waters and just off the beaches. Look for birds diving around the bait pods and make a few casts and see what happens. If nothing follows or don’t get bit, keep looking..

If you have any questions about my charters, fishin reports, send me an email.

Tight Lines,
Captain Jazz
727-409-6733

Captain Jazz
727-409-6733

http://www.fishintampabay.com/
info@fishintampabay.com

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

South Andros Bonefish

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Andros South, Bahamas Fishing Report
for 5/3 through 5/10/08


I hosted a group of 9 other anglers during the week of May 3rd through 10th at Andros South Bonefish Lodge on South Andros in the Bahamas. This was my 6th trip to Andros and my 3rd visit to Andros South, one of the best lodges that I have visited anywhere. My brother, Kirk Grassett from Middletown, DE, Bill King from Osprey, FL, Hal Lutz from Parrish, FL, Walt Durkin from Tampa, FL, Frank Rhodes from Auburndale, FL, Harry Davis and Dan Combs from Dalton, GA and Richard Miller and David Dempsey from Atlanta, GA joined me for the week.

The group met at the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport on Saturday morning and anxiously awaited our 1-hour Lynx Air flight over to Congo Town. The level of anticipation was high as group members swapped stories, compared flies and checked their gear over. After arriving, we were picked up at the airport and driven 20-minutes south to the lodge. Andros South is located in the settlement of Kemp's Bay on the eastern shore of South Andros Island in the western Bahamas. South Andros is the southernmost portion of Andros Island, the largest and least-inhabited island in the Bahamas.

South Andros is flanked to the east by The Tongue of the Ocean, a deep-water trough that drops to more than five thousand feet not more than a mile offshore. Along the edge of the drop lies the third largest barrier reef in the world. South Andros Island itself is riddled with innumerable tidal creeks and inland flats, all home to hundreds of thousands of hungry bonefish.

After getting settled, we learned that legendary singer and songwriter, Jimmy Buffett and a few friends would also be visiting for most of the week. Although they would be staying on his 130-foot yacht, the Continental Drifter III, they would be sharing guides with us. Jimmy’s yacht arrived on Saturday afternoon followed by his Grumman Goose and Cessna Caravan float planes and private jet. Although we never had a chance to meet him, we did meet his 1st mate Brian and had numerous fly bys during the week. Frank and I along with our guide, Fredlon, drove up to the yacht, anchored off Jackfish Channel, on the way back to the lodge one afternoon and were in awe of the huge yacht and the Hell’s Bay Marquesas flats boat tethered to its stern. Although we hoped to meet and share a Landshark beer with him, it was fun keeping up with their daily catches through guides Josie and Charlie.

We had a lot of fun during the week. Fishing was fantastic some days and just like anywhere else, was slow a few days. Most anglers averaged 4 or 5 fish per person per day. Some of the best parts of the trip were the fantastic meals, sharing a cool drink at the Slack Tide Tiki bar each evening and swapping fish tales.

Some of the more memorable events of the week were when Richard jumped an 85-pound tarpon on a bonefish fly with an 8-weight while fishing with guide Lonix. Richard and Dan also had non-stop action while wading a lagoon with Torrie one day. Richard and I fished the Jackfish Channel flats, Water and Curly Cut Cays with guide Fredlon on our last day and had lots of action. We doubled several times while working a large school of bones at the Water Cays. David and Harry fished with guide Torrie one day and David landed a memorable 4-pounder that ran into the mangroves but was still landed. Harry also had a good day that day landing a 7-pound fish, one of the largest of the trip. David and Harry encountered some permit while fishing with guide Ellie and Harry saved the day by grabbing Ellie’s push pole out of mid air as it bounced out of the boat while they were running.

Hal and Bill fished a few days with guide Torrie and Hal landed a 4-pound bone on his first day with his new Orvis Helios rod. Bill also caught a nice bonefish of 4 ½ -pounds that snuck up on them while they were targeting tarpon. My brother Kirk and I fished together with guide Josie on the first day. We waded all morning long on a large flat in Grassy Creek and encountered a large school of bones on a point. Kirk caught a big single that day and together we caught and released 12 to 15 quality fish. Kirk also caught a couple of big ‘cudas on top water plugs with spinning tackle. Josie was cleaning one at the boat when a big shark charged from under the boat cutting the ‘cuda in half only 10” from his hand!

Dan caught 4 nice bonefish out of one school while fishing with Harry and guide Josie. He also fished with guide Norman one day and got some helpful casting tips. Walt had several good days. He landed a 5’ blacktip shark one day and hooked another that had to be over 7’ in length and more than 100-pounds on a popper with a 10-weight rod while he and I fished with guide Lonix. He also hooked a legitimate double digit bonefish one day. Walt and Kirk fished with guide Ellie and had nonstop action with a school of over 500 bonefish on a point. They also encountered some tailing permit that day.

Frank and I had one of the best days of the trip when we fished the “airplane flat” on the southwest corner of Andros with guide Fredlon. The broad flat, which is well offshore of Fish Key, has a crashed airplane on it left over from past drug smuggling days. We fished one of the largest schools of bonefish that I have ever seen-thousands of fish! We caught about 30 fish each for the day and most were 3-pounds or more. Frank stood in one spot and cast 17 times and landed 17 bones-a great day! David and I had a good day fishing the west side with guide Norman. One of the more memorable fish was when Dan and I fished Grassy Creek with guide Timothy. I cast to 3 large bonefish that were cruising a mangrove shoreline on a flood tide. A wind gust pushed the end of my fly line over a small mangrove bush just as I released the cast, but that didn’t stop the biggest fish in the group from charging and eating my Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp fly. Then the real fun began as the fish weaved its way through another 5 or 6 mangrove bushes. I bailed out of the boat and ran the fish down finally landing it way up in the mangroves!

A few other memorable events of the trip were the multiple “blue holes” with sharks, tarpon, jacks, ‘cudas and more in them, Gloria’s cooking, taking care of LD (short for Little Dog) with leftovers at Little Creek each day, stalking big bonefish singles, doubles and massive schools. Torrie saying at the end of the day, can’t you hear that sound, “Kalik-Kalik”, coming from the cooler? Frank has been to many fishing destinations around the world and he rates Andros South as one of the best lodges he has visited. All in all it was a great trip. I can’t wait to go back again next year! I should have a full slide show posted on my web site within the next few days.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.

FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
www.flyfishingflorida.net"> and www.snookfin-addict.com


Kirk Grassett, from Middletown, DE, caught this big 'cuda on a top water plug while fishing with guide Josie Sands out of Andros South lodge in the Bahamas.

David Dempsey, from Atlanta, GA, caught this nice bonefish on a fly while fishing the west side of Andros Island in the Bahamas with guide Norman Rolle out of Andros South Lodge.

Richard Miller, from Atlanta, GA, caught this nice Bahamian bonefish on a fly while wading a flat at Jackfish Channel with guide Fredlon Dames out of Andros South Lodge.

Sheriff's Catch Fish To Raise Money

From Captain Jay,

A slow incoming tide coupled with strong winds from the SSW made for some challenging fishing conditions during the 3rd Annual Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office Fishing Tournament; however the 4 FDLE Officers (including one previous FWC Officer) fishing with Captain Jay aboard the Ms. Guided made a great team for a day on the water.

Weedon Island proved again to be hit or miss, with Saturday's fishing falling into the miss category. Lots of boats were stacked up working the cuts and drops all the way down to Christmas Pass. The Boys in Blue raised one nice redfish, a few smaller Trout, and one really large Spanish Mackerel. In Coffee Pot Bayou things picked up a bit; lots of nice trout were willing to cooperate on a variety of artificials with 3" Gulp! Shrimp being the most productive. Each of the 4 Officers picked up a nice trout for the scoreboard and the crew pushed Southwards towards Ft. Desoto in pursuit of an Inshore Slam.

Around Tarpon and Whale Key, the water quality was poor and the Redfish that were more than cooperative the last few weeks had all but disappeared. Heavy boat traffic, including the weekend crew with little to no respect for the posted signs around the keys made the long run a waste. Water conditions were just too rough to head out to Egmont. There were however some nicer fish on the backside of I275, out of the wind in a bit deeper water.

When the bell rang at 3:00PM and the scores from the Captains and crews were being tabulated, the results were the same; struggles in finding bait with lots of trout but not a lot else. The great news was the 3rd Annual Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Tournament was a success and that money had been raised to benefit the Judeo Christian Health Clinic.

v/r
Capt Jay Schroeder
CJ Flats Saltwater Charters

1-877-463-5420
www.cjflats.com/
reservations@cjflats.com

Monday, May 19, 2008

Top Waters Taking Trout At First Light

Fishing Report

Fort Pierce - Port St Lucie - Vero Beach - Jensen Beach



May 15, 2008

INSHORE:

May has brought us some great fishing around the river and the usual conditions to test your fishing skills, too. I had to get out today in spite of what the weather predicted for winds. It was a mostly a scouting trip for redfish. Mornings aren't too bad to fish around the river and top water works well this time of year. Look to the islands to give you plenty of areas to fish and use the wind to your advantage. May will continue to give us warmer water and great fishing action on the Treasure Coast.

Redfish was my target this week and I found several small schools feeding around on the flats. Look in the shallow water this time of year. They will most likely not show themselves and slip off unseen, but whenever the opportunity for sight casting come up.....it's a very exciting way to fish! I lost one upper slot redfish near the boat and watched three lazily swim in front of the boat and boated one 28" redfish while sight casting to them. I only stayed a couple hours, but did find my target to try this weekend. I like to use smaller soft baits, like the DOA CAL grub tails when fishing shallow. The fish are rooting around on the bottom and these lures can entice them into a strike. May and June have traditionally been very good for redfish on the river. Stealth and patience can provide some good rewards!

Snook feeding on the many baitfish around the river. Watch for bait being chased and it will more than likely be a snook, trout or jack creating the havoc on the flats. Only a short time left this month to catch that slot snook! There have been some snook taken around the bridges and inlet at night, but with the weather it has been a little quieter this week out there. Live pinfish or mullet has been a good choice for bait.

Trout have been caught up around Queen's Cove and Round Island. I spoke to an angler at the ramp who had caught several nice trout on top water at first light. Watch for nervous baitfish on the flats. There is usually something lurking around them! Top water early and jerk baits as the sun rises will give you a good chance at a hookup.

Bridges have been slow this week. Some sheephead and snapper, but a quiet week for fishing those areas. Jetties have held mackerel, bluefish and jacks. The Surf has produced whiting ,bluefish and a few scattered pompano when fishable. As the winds finally die off for the summer, look for fishing to continue to improve around the river. I love this time of year on the river!

Tip of the Week:

I plan each trip around weather, tides and winds. I set up the equipment for my first two stops on the water. Always a top water, soft bait and suspending lure ready for any opportunity that presents itself. You already know where you plan to start fishing and being ready for that first cast can save you valuable fishing time. When I am done fishing an area, I have the gear set up for the next place I plan on fishing. Certain colors or lures for redfish flats and different set ups for trout flats. A little preparation ahead of time can give you more fishing time on the water. Have a great May out there!

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

Good Fishing and Be Safe,
Captain Charlie Conner
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.}

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Titusville Trout Fast And Furious

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report

Windy conditions have held the upper hand all week along Florida's east central coast. Thus far, April weather patterns have carried into mid May making fishing conditions less then desirable. Additionally, the hot western flow and drought conditions have combined to create dangerous brush fire conditions with tragic results. If you plan to be out and about in the outdoors anytime over the next few weeks, please be vigilant and take extra precautions to prevent wildfires.



Left to Right, Brothers Robby, Allen, and Dave Robertson with Redfish for Supper.

My adventures this past week started last weekend when brothers Robby, Allen, and Dave Robertson joined me for a day on the water. The trio has fished together for years in a number of locations, and I was honored have them aboard Three Quarter Time for a day of fishing.

After studying the conditions and our options, I chose to launch early at Kennedy Point in Titusville to avoid encounters with tournament anglers fishing the Extreme Redfish Tour. Of course, we faced strong west winds, so my first stop was on the west shoreline about a mile south of the ramp. As the morning light began the wane and I polled in, the trio began working a Storm Chug Bug, three inch Rapala Skitterwalk, and a Mirodine, and the small sea trout and ladyfish were chewing. The bite was consistent in three feet of water, but as I polled in shallow looking for redfish it shut down.

When exploring for fish on a flat, it is important to poll in a diagonal direction, crisscrossing from the deep edge in shallow and then back out again until you locate the depth the fish are holding at. In this case, the action began to pick up once we returned to deeper water. Soon the west wind began to settle down, and I opted to give the east shore a shot, where we scored seven redfish and one respectable sea trout all caught on chunked ladyfish.

My next adventure was with repeat clients Don and April Christopher from the Jackson area as they celebrated their 33 wedding anniversary. Two years ago we fished together and we scored several sizable fish, but this was not to be the case this time. I spent the first several hours checking some of my favorite locations for big redfish, but the choppy conditions availed. So we decided to target sea trout instead and the action was fast and furious. The majority of the sea trout were dinks, but at one point we were seeing how many we could catch on consecutive cast, and the record was 8. All together, at least fifty sea trout were caught, and the hot bait was a 3" chartreuse RipTide Mullet on a ¼ ounce jig. If you are interested in some real fun, fish anywhere along the west flat in the north Indian River Lagoon between the Carbide Flat and the Scottsmore ramp just off of the deep edge where the flat drops off into 2 to 3 feet of water.

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

Captain Tom Van Horn
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