Thursday, July 31, 2008

Inshore Or Offshore IRL Coast Is Great

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, August 2008

Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

The summer heat is on, as fishing opportunities kick in along the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. As long as the summer squalls stay away and the Labrador currents do not cool inshore waters too much, fishing along the beaches and in the inlets will remain equally as hot.

Mark Blyth with a Mullet Run Redfish

Along the beach, look for the silver kings (tarpon), smoker kings, blacktip sharks, jumbo jack crevalle, and redfish to be shadowing pods of Atlantic menhaden (pogies), threadfin herring (greenies), Spanish sardines, and bay anchovy (glass minnows) in close to the beach. Also look for snook fishing in the surf to improve, as we get closer to the commencement of the fall bait run. Remember snook are out of season, so if you target them, handle and release them with care. In and around the inlets, look for Spanish mackerel, tarpon, jack cervalle, and bonita to be working schools of glass minnows on the outside, and snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, and flounder in the area of jetties and other structure. If snook are of interest, Sebastian Inlet is the place to be.

The Labrador currents are pushing in right on cue, cooling down bottom temperatures and the bottom fishing in some areas along Florida's east coast. With average bottom water temperatures in the mid sixties, finding warmer water is the key to locating fish. Look for the blue water bite to improve along the inshore reefs and wrecks of Chris Benson, 8A Reef, and Pelican Flats, with kingfish, dolphin, black fin tuna, and cobia serving as the primary species, along with an occasional wahoo or sailfish. This is also the time of year when cooler waters sometimes push the giant manta rays in close to the shoals off the Cape, bringing cobia with them. Further off shore, the Gulf Stream typically moves in closer making tuna a possibility for smaller boats working in the areas of anchored shrimp boats and thermals, and as long as the summer squalls stay away, running to the other side of the stream isn't out of the question.

Angling on the in-shore lagoons will continue to show improvement, with fishing in the predawn and late evening hours being most productive. Look for schools of redfish in the skinny water holding in the vicinity of bait concentration, and target them utilizing smaller top-water plugs and soft swimbaits like the D.O.A. Bait Buster. Once the sun starts to grow hot, the top-water bite will shut down, and bait becomes your better option. For larger trout, fish live pigfish in close to docks and other structure adjacent to deeper water. In deeper water, look for large schools of ladyfish, small trout, and tarpon pushing schools of glass minnows near the surface. These schools are easy to locate by watching for concentrations of birds, terns and cormorants, joining in on the frenzy, and they are perfect for fly anglers who are interested in the continuous fast and furious action provided by these speedsters. Heavy rainfall has elevated water levels in the Lagoon, so target areas of moving water like culverts and spillways and up close against the shoreline for snook feeding on small minnows, and redfish feeding on fiddler crabs. Last but not least, look for pompano schools holding in the shadows of the causeway bridges. Fish jigs tipped with shrimp or sand fleas (mole crabs) along the deeper edges and drop-offs.

In closing, I would like to thank all of you who enjoy angling on Florida's east central coast for your courteous and respectful treatment of the resource, other anglers, and the sport, and as always, if you need information or have questions, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Switch Baits For Bigger Fish

Fishing Report 07/29/2008 – Capt. Terry Frankford

Among the species caught aboard the Reelin & Chillin trout, redfish, mangrove snapper, and spanish mackerel topped the list. Many additional species have been caught such as lizard fish, juvenile goliath grouper, needle fish and ladyfish to name a few species interesting to visitor's and the kids.

Enjoy a few fish tails aboard the Reelin & Chillin:
Russ and Susie Bolton headed out for a late afternoon trip - four to eight pm. We beat the heat and after a little work found some great action. The last spot I went was near a pass with good moving tidle waters flowing over a large grass flat. We fished the edge of the grass flat where it met with a drop off into a deeper area of sand with a little grass. I believe what happen was the current swept unwary bait such as shrimp and small crabs into this deeper area. There was also small white bait at the edge of the drop off. Starting with shrimp we picked up a few small species, not much to write home about. Russ then used a small pinfish, about the size of a half dollar. To make a long story short on these pinfish we put one nice trout, two nice redfish, and five mangrove snapper to fifteen inches in the box. All this action was in the last forty-five minutes of the trip. We did run out of the couple dozen pins - went back to shrimp, and ended up catching smaller fish again. I have caught plenty of good fish using shrimp, however pins beat them out this trip for sure - not a bad idea to change up on baits every now and then.

It may not have been the backwater flats vision that many angler's want when fishing Florida, however a seawall with old torn down docks, vacant lots, and hotels in the distance did produce some great action. Dan Giordano with sons Chris, and Mikey flipped shrimp around the structure and had a blast. Several species were caught, but the big fish stories were Dan's cuda that was close to twenty-four inches - what a battle on ten pound test line near structure using a mono leader - can't believe he landed it. The second and most exciting was a nine pound black drum. This fish took Dan back into the piles twice before it reached the landing net. I really thought a couple times he just wasn't going to stop it, however he persisted, and won.

Captain's Tip - Change up the Bait
It seems like I'm doing it more often with success. Changing up the type of bait has really been making a difference on my trips. Last month I spent a couple weeks throwing hand-picked select shrimp into a redfish hole catching one after the other then they stopped. I changed up to three inch pinfish and caught them for another week before they left. FYI, I didn't fish the hole out - ninety percent were over the slot of twenty-seven inches and were released. This time the change up brought slot sized fish - all we were catching was pinfish and small snappers while using shrimp. With the half dollar sized pins we put slot sized trout, and reds in the box, however it's the snapper that were the surprise. Many times in the bay the slot snapper are ten to twelve inches. With these pins they were up to fifteen inches and chubby. When we did run out of pins and go back to shrimp it was like turning a light switch, the big fish wouldn't eat and the smaller fish robbed us. So, don't leave the old cast net in the garage, throw it in the boat and if you see those little pins flashing in the turtle grass catch a couple - see what happens, you may be surprised. One last note - these pins are small and a large hook will weigh them down. Try a #4 Owner MUTU circle hook, that's what I used and it worked. Not to be confused with a 4/0 - it's #4.

Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford

Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.

Capt. Terry Frankford

How To Clean Scallops

Capt Jay Schroeder of CJ Flats Saltwater Charters reported free diving for scallops out of Bayport has been phenomenal to date. It seems everyone aboard the Ms. Guided lately has been more content to spend time in and under the water than on it. Who can blame them! Scallop season is in full swing just north of the Hernando/Pasco County Line and although the morning Inshore bite has been hot, it is that mid-day heat that makes Scalloping so much fun. Over the last 2 weeks visibility has been excellent and Scallops have been easy pickings:

Capt Jay Schroeder offered some secrets in cleaning these delectable morsels:

Drain the Scallops and place them on ice for at least 1 hour. This makes their shells open up nicely - which means no prying and tearing the meat.

Push a spoon along the grooves of the top half of the shell to separate the Scallop into to two pieces and expose the meat.

Use a Shop Vac to gently vacuum out the unwanted innards from the bottom half. A sweeping motion from right to left works great: Do not stick the whole nozzle of the Shop Vac over the shell.

The white meat will stay neatly attached to the bottom of the Scallop.

Take the spoon and run it along the grooves of the remaining bottom half. The clean meat will separate nicely.

Always clean the shop vac and dispose of the shells when you are all vanished!!!

For more information or to book your next trip, contact Captain Jay at 1-877-463-5420 or visit online at

Capt Jay Schroeder
CJ Flats Saltwater Charters


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tarpon And Trout On Fly In Sarasota Bay

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 7/14 through 7/27/2008

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with trout and bluefish in Sarasota Bay during the past couple of weeks. In addition, tarpon are still available in the inshore Gulf of Mexico off Sarasota. Fly anglers had numerous shots at tarpon, several bites and jumped a couple, although sea and sunlight conditions weren’t good.

Visibility was poor and the wind blew from the west most of the week of July 14 slowing tarpon action. We spent portions of each day fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Anglers fishing with me caught trout to 21”, bluefish to 3-pounds and mangrove snapper on flies, CAL jigs and DOA Deadly Combos. We spent the early part of each day fishing the flats and shifted to the coastal gulf for tarpon by mid morning when the sunlight was the best. Fly anglers Al Cuneo, from Ellenton, and his friend Buzz, from NJ, fished with me on Thursday. They caught and released trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies along the west side of Sarasota Bay near Bishops Point. Newlyweds Dave and Erin Fetco, from KY, fished with me on Friday and caught and released numerous trout and bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and DOA Deadly Combos.

Conditions improved the following week, but only for a day. Fly anglers jumped a pair of tarpon on Monday, one on a chartreuse Toad and another on a floating Enrico Puglisi fly. Another boat fishing nearby also jumped a tarpon on an Enrico Puglisi fly. We were surprised to find the gulf very rough on Tuesday morning due to Hurricane Dolly churning the gulf all the way from Texas. We fished the bay the rest of the week taking a look for tarpon each day. Fly anglers Mike Delaney, from WA, and his brother Bob Delaney, from NY fished with me on Wednesday. They had steady action with trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and Enrico Puglisi flies along the west side of Sarasota Bay. Sea conditions were still rough through Friday, but visibility improved drastically.

Fly angler Hal Lutz, from Parrish, FL, fished the coastal gulf off Sarasota with me a few days last week. On Friday we counted about 50 tarpon, mostly singles, doubles and a few triples-not bad for the end of July. He got shots at about a third of them, had several follows and a bite on a chartreuse Toad fly. Conditions were even better on Saturday, but we only saw about a dozen tarpon. However, we got shots at most of them, had a couple of follows and another bite also on a chartreuse Toad fly. We made sure we were off the water in time to attend the Sarasota Sportfishing Anglers Club Tarpon tournament awards banquet that evening. Hal was the winner of the fly fishing division with a fish that he caught while fishing with me earlier in the season. Hal is a dedicated tarpon fly angler and works hard to be successful. Congratulations, Hal!

Although tarpon fishing can be inconsistent in the gulf in late July, it can also be fantastic. It is always worth spending some time to see what’s happening. I always say, you don’t know unless you go. Fishing the flats for trout, bluefish, reds and more early in the day and snook in the surf or around lighted docks and bridge fenders should also be good options the next couple of weeks.

Tight Lines,

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

FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799
E-mail and

troutFly angler Al Cuneo, from Ellenton, FL, caught and released this trout on a Clouser fly while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

bluefishErin Fetco, from KY, caught and released this bluefish on a DOA Deadly combo while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Forgotten Coast Tarpon

Wow, what a month July has been! For that matter, the whole summer has been pretty great thus far whether you were fishing or not. The weather has been normal for this time of year (hot, with some needed rain in the afternoons) and the fishing has been memorable for many.

It's no secret any longer that we have a sweet little tarpon fishery here along the Forgotten Coast of Florida and this season so far has been tasty! These fish begin moving into the area in appreciable numbers sometime in mid to late May (we do have some resident fish here as well) and they pretty much stick around until they feel the urge to leave, or about mid September or so, whichever comes first, and making way for the return of Redfish season. Which puts the entire month of August literally in the heat of our productive Tarpon season - and better yet, Flats guides are not booked up solid in August either. Several of our Bayfishing guides are also experienced in live bait or plug fishing for tarpon on light tackle, up to 4 anglers per. Tarpon fishing is just as addictive as billfishing and the adreneline rush can be stronger because the huge fish are launching themselves out of the water close enough to the boat to count scales. There's probably worse things to be addicted to! Bragging Rights: Our regular tarpon angler Bruce Aughtry from Greenville SC caught his personal record of a 150# tarpon on a fly rod with Capt. Chris Robinson this summer!

August Forecast: Hot weather Hot fishing! Fish swim in schools but they don't GO to school. Families with school age kids will be heading home early month after their summer vacations are done, leaving all the rest of us their fish to catch, their seats in the restaurants, and their beachfront homes to stay in. Less people = More fish! Inshore fishing trips will result in speckled trout caught on light tackle, jumping lady fish, hard fighting sharks and the tricky tripletail. Sheepshead and flounder are plentiful. (Night time flounder gigging trips ARE available by the way folks and it's a lot of fun) Offshore adventures are also readily available to do some bottom fishing for grouper & snapper and bit of trolling as well, although you may want to hire the boats with the airconditioned cabins for the ride home!

Tommy heads south to Key West again the first week of September and he still has some 3 day weekend trips open through the end of October. Everybody else will be looking forward to some cooler weather & some awesome fall redfishing. I'm placing my order for my 2009 calendar which means I'll soon be bugging everybody who fished this summer to see if they want to re-up for next year and trying my best to work in those of you who want to get some summer tarpon action in. Fall weekends are already booking up with large group trips of lucky employees and church groups.

Real Estate News - This summer has been busier than I envisioned, with several couples coming from as far as Colorado and New York and Louisiana to take a look at the area during their fishing trip, or was it to fish during their house hunting trip? No matter, It was fun meeting them, showing off our beautiful area and getting some lucky new homeowners hooked up with their new homes. New photos of Capt. Jr. & Rhonda Holland's house are now posted on our Featured Listings page at

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Kathy Robinson
Robinson Brothers Guide Service
118 Commerce St.
Apalahcicola, FL 32320

Monday, July 28, 2008

How To Get An IRL Grand Slam

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report By Captain Tom Van Horn

On the north Indian River Lagoon, a slam is considered to be the fundamental goal of most shallow water flats anglers. Depending on the area you fish the species in the slam varies, but for us it's the successful catch and release of a redfish, sea trout, and a snook all in the same day. Now if the slam is the fundamental goal, the ultimate goal is the grand slam, a redfish, sea trout, snook, and tarpon all caught and released in the same day, and now is the best time of year to do just that. Both snook and tarpon are tropical species calling the IRL home during the summer, and here is how to structure your day to accomplish the IRL grand slam.

D.O.A. C.A.L. Chug Heads

D.O.A. CAL and Chug Heads

First, target your sea trout very early in the morning before first light throwing a top water plug like the Storm Chug Bug or Rapala Skitter Walk if the widgeon grass isn't too thick. If the floating grass is problematic, switch to weedless top water soft plastic bait like the DOA CAL with a Chug Head. Focus your attention in areas of concentrated bait activity, especially along the deeper edges of sandbars and spoil islands.

Once you've accomplished the first leg, it is time to move up into the shallow flats and start looking for tailing redfish while the water's still glassy. Quietly work your way in towards the shallow water, and once you've located a school or tailing redfish, try working the CAL Tail across the surface quickly holding the rod tip high. With the recent heavy rainfall the Lagoon water levels are elevated and the water is usually dirty, so the redfish will often aggressively strike at what they think is a needle fish moving quickly across the top of the water. The purpose of holding your rod tip up high is twofold. First, it helps you keep your lure skipping across the top of the water. Second, when the fish strikes at the bait, you can quickly drop your rod tip giving it some slack and a chance to eat the bait before setting the hook.

Taylor's Summer  NMZ Snook

Taylors No-Motor Zone Snook

Now that you've accomplished the second leg of your quest, it's time to move up in close to the shoreline in search of your snook and tarpon. Remember, water levels are high this time of year, so you shouldn't have a problem getting in close to the shoreline. The best areas to target are those with flowing water like culverts, creeks, or spillways. Also watch for showers of very small minnows near the edge of the shoreline and or grass line. Again throw the same CAL bait, only this time down size it a bit. Snook, tarpon, and ladyfish will all be staged in the discharges of these flowing waters, and once you've located the right spot, you shouldn't have a problem completing the slam. I know of two different anglers who made this accomplishment this past week, so give it a shot.

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
407-366-8085 landline
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free

Book a charter, and let's go fishing.

Visit for all of your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins

Mosquito Lagoon Grand Slam

Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters
Capt. Chris Myers

Fishing Report and Newsletter July 27, 2008

Hot weather and hot fishing continue to be the story. There are a variety of fish to be caught right now in Mosquito Lagoon and the north Indian River Lagoon. If one species will not cooperate, another one surely will. Be prepared to change your tactics if necessary.

Monday, I began the day tarpon fishing. On the first cast to a big fish, I was hooked up. In an unusual occurrence, the line broke and the fish was free. A short while later, I cast my Baitbuster to another rolling tarpon and was hooked up again. This time, the fish stayed on. A quick boatside photo was taken and the fish was released.

boat side tarpon
The tarpon action slowed so I went in search of other species. At my second spot, I caught two snook on the holographic shrimp. Now it was off to look for a red and a trout. I tied on a shallow running Baitbuster and hit the flats. The trout was a bit small but the two reds I landed were both over 27 inches. With the grand slam complete, I went home.

The next Day, I went back to look for tarpon again. I only had about 10 shots the entire morning but one of them resulted in a fish around 70 pounds being released. After the tarpon stopped rolling, I headed back.

Thursday and Friday, I chartered Robbie and his son Chad. They made a trip up from south Florida to experience Mosquito Lagoon. Our objective was to do some sight fishing. We began Thursday by looking for some tarpon. We only saw about five and had no good shots. The rest of the day, they had steady shots at redfish and huge trout. Robbie landed a trout and a 33 inch redfish on a DOA CAL.

With two thirds of a slam complete, we tried for a snook but could not find them. On Saturday, we tried for some tarpon again. This time resulted in a few legitimate shots but no hookups. As on the previous day, they had shots at redfish of all sizes including a good number of tailing and cruising fish in very shallow water. Robbie connected with a trout and later watched a redfish eat his holographic CAL tail about 20 feet from the boat. Although Dad won the first redfish wager, Chad finished strong with a bigger redfish a short while later.

Tip of the Week - Large Tarpon Tactics During the summer months, I am targeting tarpon every chance I get. I prefer to fish for them with artificial lures or fly casting only to rolling fish. This significantly reduces the number of sailfin catfish, large ladyfish, and jacks I catch. These fish are frequently in the same area as the tarpon and will commonly take live baits before the tarpon get to them. For tarpon over 70 pounds, I like to use a trolling model DOA Baitbuster. I cast 2-3 feet in front of a rolling fish, let the bait sink a couple seconds, and then begin a slow retrieve. The faster you get the lure to the fish, the more bites you get. The bite is very subtle and you must react quickly. Convincing the fish to eat is only half the battle. When you get a bite, you must set the hook quickly and forcefully to penetrate the bony mouth. Usually, the fish will surface and jump within a few seconds. This is where the battle often ends. To stay connected, you should be prepared for this jump and put slack in your line by pointing your rod at the fish and extending your arms. As soon as the fish is back in the water, get a bend back on your rod.
To keep the fight to a reasonable amount of time, you must use a lot of drag and always pull in the opposite direction that the fish is travelling. Pulling with your rod tip low to the water will increase the pressure on the fish and end the fight quicker.
Once the fish is at the boat, you have to make a safe release. The ARC Dehooker will easily remove the hook or lure. Do not use a gaff to hold the fish near the boat. Large tarpon cannot be brought into the boat without possessing a kill tag and can be harmful to the fish and you.

August Seminars
Come to the Central Florida Boat Show August 15-17 athe the OrangeCounty Convention Center and visit the Coastal Angler Magazine booth. There will be seminars from local guides, including myself, on a variety of fishing topics.

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Red Snapper Season To Close Early In 2008

NOAA Fisheries Has Issued An
Early Closure of August 5th, 2008
For Red Snapper In The Gulf of Mexico!!!

New Regulatory Action:
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA
Fisheries Service) announces the recreational fishery for
red snapper in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will
close effective 12:01 a.m. local time August 5, 2008,
through December 31, 2008, the end of the current
fishing year. The recreational fishery in federal waters
will reopen on June 1, 2009, the beginning of the 2009
federal recreational fishing season. NOAA Fisheries
Service has determined this action is necessary to
prevent overfishing and to keep the recreational fishery
from exceeding its quota during the 2008 fishing year.

To read the full announcement, click on the link below.
Red Snapper Closure PDF

Friday, July 25, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report 7-25-08

Report for 07/25/2008

Salt Water

The Cobia bite has tapered off significantly. Some are still being caught over structure within 10 miles from shore. Throw a live bait to them and hold on!
Grouper and Snapper are being caught consistently over hard bottom areas from 18 miles out. The baits of choice are live Squirrel Fish, Cigar Minnows, and Hard Tails.

Wahoo are still biting from 20 miles and further offshore. Look for weed lines or large clumps. High speed trollers are working well, as well as Ballyhoo and large live baits.

Tarpon are running the beaches in schools. These fish are very wary and will spook easily. Get in front of the school or anchor and wait for the schools to come to you. Be very quiet and pitch live baits ahead of the lead fish.

King Mackerel are plentiful offshore and near shore. Trolling has picked up while most of the fish are being caught free-lining live baits.

Trout are all over deep grass beds in all of the bays. Live alewives will produce better sized fish, while grubs and topwater plugs will yield the most strikes.
Redfish are spread out 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.

Bluefish, Spanish and Ladyfish are plentiful on all of the major points around St. Andrews Bay, the Middle Grounds, and Camel Back Shoals.

The hottest bite as of late has been bottom fishing for Red Snapper and Amberjack. A former employee Jay Riordan who now lives in Tampa was visiting over the weekend and had a very nice catch of Red Snapper with quite a few fish over the 15 to 20 lb mark.
The King Mackerel bite is once again turning on trolling near shore with live Cigar Minnows and Yo-zuri plugs. We had one customer Jeromy Page and his wife Amy catch a very nice Red and a large Jack Crevalle fishing just offshore trolling with live Threadfin Herring. Take a look at these pictures!!

Jack Crevalle


On the pier the bite has slowed a lot this week. Only a couple Kings and a Tarpon or too have been caught. Most of the action has been Ladyfish and Hardtails but even those are slow due to lots of seaweed and jellyfish. The same is true in the surf as the seaweed is very bad in some areas and so are the jellyfish making if difficult if not nearly impossible to fish. I think we are at least into the worst of the seaweed now and it should start to clear over the next several weeks.

In the bay, the Ladyfish and Blues have been active on the flats. There are a few reds and trout if you fish first light and at dusk. The best things for bait are live shrimp, ly?s and Gulps.

Half Hitch Tackle
2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, FL 32408

Fishing Report prepared by Half Hitch Tackle Staff.

The Captains Corner Fishing Report is provided by local charter captains and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Half Hitch Tackle.

This report is dedicated to the memory of Al Hubbard.
Al Hubbard was a field editor for Florida Sportsman magazine, an outdoor writer for the News Herald and a board member of the Florida Outdoor Writer's Association.
Mr. Hubbard was also the owner of Al's Outdoors Outfitting Services.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Larry The Cable Guy's Fishy Stories

Larry The Cable Guy and Others Finish Strong in June!
Trying to catch up on the reports. June was an eventful month and we caught many nice redfish, trout and black drum. The most entertaining charter was fishing with my good friend Greg Batten and his boy Larry The Cable Guy. It was the most entertaing day I have experienced. The laughs never stopped and Greg and Larry were a hoot. We also got some real nice fish. All of the trips were fun and it was a great month. Check out the photos!

Larry The Cable Guy with Capt Rogers

Larry The Cable Guy and Greg Batten

Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
03 Jul 2008 by Captain David Rogers

The fishing has been really hot the past week! Today we fished some real stupid fish as Allison and Marissa loaded up on the black drum and redfish! It will only get better as July and August roll on. If you would like to go call 407-405-0819 and book your trip today. I have the following days open for July 21, 23, 29, 30, 31. I still have some days open in August but they will fill fast!
CHECK OUT THE NEW PHOTOS! The ladies gallery has some real nice fish also!

beautiful black drum

Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
08 Jul 2008 by Captain David Rogers

Insane Fishing Continues!
The fishing has been wild and crazy all week. Black drum have been the fish of month! We are catching 15 -20 each day on the average. We are also catching redfish and trout daily. The great news is the fishing will only improve. I have openings for the last week of July and I am booking for August! If you would like to have some fun and enjoy the beauty of the lagoon call 407-405-0819!

Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
13 Jul 2008 by Captain David Rogers

Wrap Up on Another HOT Week!
The fishing has continued to be strong! We are averaging 15-20 fish per day. It has been a mixed bag of Redfish and Black Drum. The Redfish have been averaging 30 inches and the Black Drum are about 5-6 pounds average. Both are great fighters and will make the drag scream! The largest has been ten pounds. The fishing only gets better through August and September. If you would like to head out for some fun call 407-405-0819 and book your trip. I do have 3 open days the last week of July. Look for my latest articles in the Sanford Herald and Onshore-Offshore Magazine.

Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
18 Jul 2008 by Captain David Rogers

August and September are hot months to fish! Just check out past reports back to 2005. Just scroll back on the reports! There is a trend! We catch a whole bunch of fish in August and September! I have 14 booked for August, but days are open. Call 407-405-0819 and let's have some fun!
We landed 14 balck drum today!
22 Jul 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 -
407-405-0819 Book Charters

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Charlot Harbor Flyishing Report 7-08


The tarpon fishing on the beach has slowed with a few fish still making the way up north. The good news is the backcountry tarpon has improved with a 120lb and 130lb being taken last week on flies. Snook fishing at night is terrific and the beach snook is the best it has been in four or five years. Redfish has improved on the east side of the harbor and trout are good on the deeper grass flats.... all in all, there are lots of fish to be caught .

I am now booking tarpon trips for 09. The prime time for beach and backwater poons is May 15th thru June 15th. I have three of the weeks vacant at the present time. I am booking 4 to 5 day slots, so if you have a friend that would like to hook a silverking book now. The price per day will be $550, which will include lunch and drinks. IT will be non-stop fishing and it is not for the faint of heart, so practice throwing a 12 weight and get in shape this will insure you a wonderful experience. There is nothing worse than having the fish close and not being able to deliver the fly. These trips are only for experienced fly fisherman, or spin fisherman.

Tight lines,

Capt. Al White

Boca On The Fly
Captain Al White

(941) 697-0320 Cell (941) 830-1375

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Scallops Are Plentiful

I spoke with Twin Rivers Bait & Tackle in Crystal River, and MacRae's Bait House in Homosassa today to find out how the scallop season is going this year. Both report that everybody going out is getting there limits. The biggest concentration of scallops is in 4'-8' of water, but good numbers can be found in as much as 10' depths.

Twin Rivers Bait & Tackle

9687 W Fort Island Trail
Crystal River, FL 34429

MacRae's Bait House
5290 S Cherokee Way
Homosassa, FL 34448

Tampa Bay Summer Fish Keep Moving

Thursday July 17th, 2008

Here and There


It's now mid Summer in the Tampa Bay area and the fish and bait are settling down into there normal summertime pattern. Which is, their is no pattern. One day we'll catch 50 redfish at a spot and go back the next and only catch 5. Then we'll go hit another spot and pick up 10 more fish, but they won't be at that spot the next day. Don't get me wrong, we're catching fish. The thing is that everyday is different right now. One day we get reds over here and the next we get snook over there. One day we catch 10 fish and the next we catch 65 fish. This is typical this time of year as rain, cloud cover and tide phases all effect the water temperature and flow from day to day. The fish are constantly moving to get into a place where they are comfortable.

Over the past couple of weeks, the best bet has been mackerel and redfish. Snook are ever present on the beaches, but their appetite is inconsistent and finicky. The trout bite is typically slow this time of year, but we're picking up a few here and there. The mangrove snapper are starting to turn on and that bite will only get better between now and the end of September. If you're looking for table fare, as well as a great fighting fish on light tackle, snapper is the way to go. We've been getting snapper to 3 pounds, but my fishing logs say that the 5-7lbers are supposed to be getting hooked up consistently soon. In the last couple of years limiting out on 4-7lb snapper was a breeze from late July to early September in Tampa Bay.


Look for the redfish, snook and trout bite to be "here and there" and up and down over the next couple of weeks. There will be stellar days mixed in with the mediocre and the slow. But there is plenty of other action to fill in on the slow days and most of that action has limits of 5 fish per person or more and eat great as well.

Tampa Bay Fishing
Captain Clay Eavenson

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mosquito Lagoon Reds, Trout, And Tarpon

Summer has continued to bring some outstanding fishing to east central Florida. Large redfish, big tarpon, and plenty of trout have made for some great days of catching in the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River.With water levels still extremely low last week, the fish were concentrated and the redfish action was about as good as it gets.

Last Monday, I was joined by Bob and his two sons, Tyler and Matt. Within ten minutes of leaving the ramp, 15 year old Matt was hooked up to a twenty pound redfish.

Bob also hooked a big fish but his line broke when it was struck by another fish in the school. We located another school of smaller fish and both Bob and Tyler got in on the action.

We changed gears and tried some trout fishing and everyone caught a bunch of trout on the DOA Deadly Combo and a CAL tail/jig combo. Around noon, we went back to see if we could locate the big redfish again. We found them and Bob hooked up with two more giants only to have them both break off.

Wednesday was a trip with Ed and his friend Dave. These guys were bass fishermen taking their first trip to Mosquito Lagoon. We found some big redfish finning on the surface at dawn. Dave cast a Baitbuster to the school and had a redfish charge his bait but miss. The school spooked and we could not find them again. Fortunately, there were plenty of other hungry fish nearby. The guys landed four and lost a few others with a copper crush CAL tail proving to be the most effective.

As the morning progressed, we came upon dozens of tailing and finning reds in very shallow water. The fish were clearly feeding but were extremely spooky. Extreme stealth and very accurate casts were needed to be effective. They had consistent shots the rest of the morning and landed two more reds. The weather was so nice when I dropped them off at the ramp, I elected to go back out and get in on some of the action myself. I started off landing a 39 inch redfish and then tried using the DOA Tough Guy for some larger trout. This soft plastic pinfish replica fooled three trout over 24 inches. I switched over to a shallow running Baitbuster and caught four more redfish from 27-34 inches by skimming the bait on the surface.

Wednesday was a fly fishing charter with Bob from South Carolina. His goal was to improve his fly casting and hopefully catch a few fish. For the first four hours, Bob had almost non-stop shots at tailing and cruising fish in very shallow water. There were singles as well as schools prowling through thick grass searching for food. While flies effectively imitate the food they are searching for, their size means it is necessary to have your offering within inches of the fish's nose. Too far away and they will not see it, too close and they spook. Bob had fun trying but found his accuracy a bit less than was needed. I suggested we move out to some deeper water and get him a few trout to bend the rod. He used a clouser minnow to catch a dozen or so small trout and ladyfish. We stopped and had a casting class and Bob's cast improved significantly. The next spot was holding several schools of redfish and Bob landed two on a redfish toad fly. I suggested we search for some bigger redfish and Bob agreed. The first fish he hooked was not a big one but it willingly ate the EP mullet fly he offered.

We found some bigger fish but the wind had picked up making fly casting difficult. I suggested Bob try the spinning rod and tied on a Baitbuster. Bob proceeded to catch five reds all over 28 inches and had some spectacular surface bites to end the day.

Friday, I filmed the pilot to a new fishing show coming out this fall. My co-host was Capt. Tom Van Horn. I began the day early, before the camera crew and Capt. Tom arrived. I found some rolling tarpon and my first cast with a black and gold Baitbuster was eaten my a fish around 60 pounds. I was bringing the fish boatside just as the cameras arrived. As luck would have it, all the happy tailing and finning fish that had been around all week were gone and we struggled to find fish all morning. We finally managed to find quite a few as time was running out and caught a few for the show.

Saturday, Andrew wanted to go fishing for his 11th birthday. He began the day by catching his first ever redfish which measured 30 inches.

Andrew said he wanted to go trout fishing so that's what we did. He caught a few trout and then had a fly casting lesson. After a few more trout on the spinning rod, he managed to land a few on the fly rod. Back to the spinning rod for a competition against his dad. They both used the Deadly Combo to catch at least 25 trout with Andrew squeaking out a victory.

I spent four days this week searching for tarpon. Monday, I fished in Melbourne. The fishing was slow with only one small tarpon, a few trout and a couple snapper all on the holographic shrimp. Wednesday, I found some large tarpon in the Indian River. I cast a Baitbuster to rolling fish and had ten bites hooking 6 over 70 pounds. I returned to the same spot the next day only to find the wind howling and few fish rolling. I had only four good shots but landed one around 75 pounds. Friday, the weather was even worse. I drove 40 miles searching for them and only saw four the whole day. I ended up targeting snook and caught 8 on the holographic shrimp.

Yesterday was the toughest day of fishing in the last two weeks. The water had risen over six inches in the past three days allowing the fish to spread out. We found plenty of big fish at our first stop but my anglers had a tough time getting a bait in front of them. We found redfish and big trout at three out of our next four spots and even had a couple bites with missed hooksets. We ended up getting shut out for the day.

The next few months will present the best opportunity to catch a grand slam in the Mosquito Lagoon or Indian River. Catching a redfish, trout, tarpon, and snook all in one day is definitely not out of the question. Being prepared with the proper rods, leaders, and lures is the key to success.

Tip of the Week - Using Scented Baits
Quite frequently, I am asked if I use the scented soft plastic baits. My answer is "no". I use my soft plastcis as a sight fishing tool. I see the fish and cast in front of them. When the fish see the lure, they have to make an immediate decision to either attack and eat it, or do the other way. The fish do not have time to sniff the lure and decide if it smells good. What I cannot do with my lures is throw them out and let them sit still and wait for a bite. While you can do this with the scented plastics, it is cheaper and more effective to get natural bait if that is your fishing style. In a sight fishing situation, I have not noticed an improved bite by using a scented lure or a scent spray or gel. All platsic baits are going to fall prey to puffers and pinfish. Losing baits that can cost as much as $1 each adds up quickly.

Tarpon Update
While they wre somewhat inconsistent this week, there were big tarpon to be found in the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon the last two weeks. Some of these fish are over 100 pounds. If you hook them just right, you may get away with a leader as small as 40 pounds. For a better chance, use leader of 80 pounds. You can catch these fish with live baits but you will be constantly be battleing the many sailfin catfish and large ladyfish that are in the same locations as the tarpon. A more effective strategy is to cast a baitbuster or TerrorEyz in front of rolling fish. Blind casting will attract the catfish and ladyfish. Look for these fish in the main channel throughout the Lagoon system. While the fish will strike plugs, if you hook on, you then have the task of removing multiple treble hooks from a large angry fish. Remember large tarpon cannot be removed from the water without possessing a kill tag.

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

Friday, July 18, 2008

Indian River Fishing Report 7-18-08

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

July 17, 2008

Summertime on the Indian River.....It's a wonderful time of year. Lots of afternoon thunderstorms have brought much needed rain to the area this year. You have to plan your trips carefully to get out and beat the odds of getting wet. The water has remained remarkably clear in spite of all the wet weather out there. Fishing picked up the latter part of the week and we enjoyed catching a variety of fish around the river.

Joe, Manolo and Pepe were out with me when the fishing was a challenge, but did catch dinner of snapper, mackerel and trout. It was a great day to be on the water. Joe Senneville and Crystal Mutchler went out to celebrate Joe's birthday. Of course, Crystal caught the most and biggest fish! She ended up with a 20" black drum, 21" redfish, several snapper and an assortment of other fish to end up the day. Joe caught his share of the variety, including a grouper and snook. Happy Birthday Joe!

We again found redfish on the shallow flats. A few large schools have been cruising the flats with the higher tides, but have been very hesitant in biting. We found a school of more than a hundred reds this week, but they were not in the mood to eat. Move slowly when fishing the shallows as you never know when you might happen on a school of reds. Gold spoons, DOA shrimp or CAL jerk baits are good choices to use out there.

Trout was on the slower side for us this week. There is so much bait around, it's hard to get them to feed on anything else. We found lots of bait around Bear Point, Harbor Branch and Round Island. Fish around the glass minnows whenever you happen on them. Snook fishing around the inlet has been mostly at night or on the moving tides. There are snook around the docks and mangroves of the river also. Fish early for a chance around these areas. Joe coaxed one to hit his top water lure in the shallows around some of the docks.

There are still some nice snapper around the channel edges and docks. Crystal caught two keeper mangroves and a couple of short muttons from under the docks this week. Around the bridges, the anglers have caught snapper, croakers and sheephead. The mackerel are still around the inlet, but not as frenzied as last week. We did see some bonito crashing bait out there today. The surf has been producing mostly whiting and some croakers and mackerel. We had a lot of fun out this week and will be out there again looking for the action around the river.

Tip of the Week: Keep plenty of water on the boat during the summer months. Drink lots of liquids to begin the day and continue throughout your adventure. It is very important to keep yourself hydrated as the sun beats down on you and the water. Make sure all your passengers do the same! Have fun on the water this summer.

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

Good Fishing and Be Safe,

Captain Charlie Conner

(Captain Charlie Conner has been fishing the Indian River Lagoon for over twenty-five years. Specializing in light tackle fishing in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Jensen Beach, 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.}

Panhandle Fishing Report 7-18-08

Report for 07/18/2008

Salt Water

Bottom fishing is outstanding! You may have to move to a few different spots to locate the fish and once you do, hold on! The Grouper bite starts at 20 miles and just gets better out to 40 miles. Live baits are great, but they are hitting everything from frozen cigars/LY to jigs. Natural bottom is the best, but wrecks are holding their own. The Snapper are there also and can be caught using 6 ft fluorocarbon leaders with your baits, or try the 4oz braid jigs for some action. The King Mackerel bite is great and caught easily trolling dusters or just flat lining cigar minnows.

I recommend targeting the Trout and Redfish at first light around the middle grounds with live bait or Mirrolure "Top Dog”. The late morning sun is warming the water quickly and the bite seems confined to the early morning hours. However, during that time the trout bite is strong with some nice ones caught at the middle grounds and in the head of the bay and along the peninsula between Pig Island and Eagle Harbor. Red fishing is also in full swing and using live LYs or finger mullet will bring them in at the outskirts of the grass flats.

Believe it or not, several Cobia are being spotted and caught on the beaches and off shore! Most are being caught over structure within 10 miles from shore. Throw live bait to them and hold on!

Grouper and Snapper are being caught consistently over hard bottom areas from 18 miles out. The baits of choice are live Squirrel Fish, Cigar Minnows, and Hard Tails.

Wahoo are still biting from 20 miles and further offshore. Look for weed lines or large clumps. High speed trollers are working well, as well as Ballyhoo and large live baits.

Tarpon are running the beaches in schools. These fish are very wary and will spook easily. Get in front of the school or anchor and wait for the schools to come to you. Be very quiet and pitch live baits ahead of the lead fish.

King Mackerel are plentiful offshore and near shore. Trolling has picked up while most of the fish are being caught free-lining live baits.

Trout are all over deep grass beds in all of the bays. Live alewives will produce better sized fish, while grubs and top water plugs will yield the most strikes.

Redfish are spread out 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. One of our customers pictured below with a nice catch!

two redfish

Bluefish, Spanish and Ladyfish are plentiful on all of the major points around St. Andrews Bay, the Middle Grounds, and Camel Back Shoals.

Fresh Water

The water is high and the bass have moved in over grass beds. Fish wild shiners along the grass lines, or if you want to use an artificial, your best bet will be shallow running jerk baits and topwater along the shore.

Half Hitch Tackle
2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, Fl 32408

Fishing Report prepared by Half Hitch Tackle Staff.

The Captains Corner Fishing Report is provided by local charter captains and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Half Hitch Tackle.

This report is dedicated to the memory of Al Hubbard.
Al Hubbard was a field editor for Florida Sportsman magazine, an outdoor writer for the News Herald and a board member of the Florida Outdoor Writer's Association.
Mr. Hubbard was also the owner of Al's Outdoors Outfitting Services.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Skyway Pier Fishing Report 7-17-08

Fishing from the Skyway Fishing Piers, in the mouth of Tampa Bay, is best at night and early mornings. Lots of mangrove snapper are being caught at night and in the morning. Fish around the pylons and rocks when the water is moving. Live shrimp and small baitfish are the best baits and should be fished near the bottom. Spanish mackerel are biting early morning and late afternoon when the water is moving. They will also hit during the day when the tide is strong. Live baitfish, Got-Cha plugs, and Clark Spoons are the best baits. Some gag grouper are being caught early in the day from the rock piles. Pinfish are the best bait. Anglers on the South Pier are catching tarpon, pompano and blacktip sharks along with the snapper and mackerel.

North Skyway Fishing Pier
10501 Sunshine Skyway Bridge
St Petersburg, FL 33701

Everglades Fish Feeding Early

July 14, 2008
dawn patrol
Filed under: Ship's Log — Captain Ned Small @ 3:26 pm

It’s high summer in the Everglades, we’re leaving the dock early in the morning, before sunrise, around five thirty. The fishing has been good, you need to have a plan for your route though, you have to assess the weather every day just like in winter time, and the tides. We’ve been trying to take advantage of that morning bite, snook and red’s primarily, and lots of chances at small tarpon too. I haven’t seen any black drum these past few days but lots of clear, shallow water sightfishing for snook and reds. Here’s a photo of John Frohnhoefer with a red from Discovery Bay, we caught lots of ‘em, just like this one and we lost one that was way bigger. The Big One Got Away!


Captain Ned Small
All photos are the exclusive property of Capt. Ned Small

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Beat The Heat, Catch The Fish

Fishing Report

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

July 10, 2008

Summer heat has sure taken over along the Treasure Coast. Hot temperatures has warmed up the water and it has been an early bite most of the week. Look to deeper water after the sun heats things up out there. Fishing has been up and down this week. Most of the action has been around the turning basin with many anglers out to challenge the hoards of Spanish macks and bonitos that are chasing the schools of baitfish around the inlet.

Trout and snook have been on the flats early and move off as the sun rises. Top water or live bait will be your best choice on the flats, while soft baits are good around the mangroves and docks of the river. With all the bait around the inlet, night fishing can produce snook, tarpon or bonitos if you venture out. All of our trout this week have come on DOA CAL jerk baits in various colors. Mike James even caught a nice bluefish while fishing the flats.

We continue to find redfish up on the flats in the mornings. They have been pretty picky about biting, but there are many different lures and baits to try and coax them into feeding. The schools have been smaller most days and they have been in some shallow water. DOA shrimp or jerk baits are good lures to use along with live pigfish.

The mangrove snapper have continued to hold along the channel edges and structure around the river. Beaches have held whiting and Spanish mackerel. The inlet has been boiling with all the action and many large bull sharks are cruising underneath the frenzy. Don't be surprised to find one chomping on your catch next to the boat. Lionel Lusardi was out with his brother, Adrian, and finally got a bonito in the boat.

Tip of the Week: Summer brings HOT weather out on the water. Harmful rays from the sun are beating down on you. Take a few minutes and make sure you put on good sunscreen during the day. Hats and sunglasses are a given when on the water. Don't find yourself with one bad sunburn to end a good day of fishing. Apply sunscreen before you leave the ramp and at intervals during the day to help protect your skin from the sun.

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

Good Fishing and Be Safe,

Captain Charlie Conner

(Captain Charlie Conner has been fishing the Indian River Lagoon for over twenty-five years. Specializing in light tackle fishing in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Jensen Beach, 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.}

Indian River Anglers Get Bull Rushed

July 14, 2008 - Running with the Bulls
Each year in Pamplona, Spain there is a famous festival which features crazed thrill-seekers running with snorting bulls through the narrow streets of the ancient city. Each summer, in the Indian River, we experience a similar adrenaline rush with our own brand of bulls – bull reds and bull sharks.

Yesterday, joining Capt. Peter and me were Rob and Rick, two veteran anglers from the Orlando area. They sought the thrill of tangling with the ill-tempered bull reds resident on the shallow flats of the river near Titusville. The redfish did not disappoint. Among the seven redfish fought and caught was a monster 51 inch, 38 pound bull which ran Rob up and down the river for an exhausting hour before finally being subdued. This fish, pictured below, ranks as one of the largest landed in our area this summer.

Along with bull reds, we also have bull sharks lurking in our waters. The photos below were taken last Friday in the Melbourne area of the Indian River while prefishing for an upcoming East Coast Fishing Report TV episode. All three Native Sons guides were involved during the trip in which we caught a half dozen bull sharks (shark in pictures), snook, jack carvel and other assorted species. Incidentally, the particular spot where we fished is one of the few in the IRL system where bull sharks are common enough to be targeted.

Also chartering with us last week were four air force reservists on leave – Will, Billy, Wendell and Dave. Fishing docks and drop-offs along the spoil islands in the Sebastian area with Capt. Roland, these four servicemen bagged a super grand slam consisting of snook, redfish, trout, grouper and snapper. The trophy fish from the trip was a nice 32 inch snook caught by Billy.

Our final report comes from a recent charter on the Banana River near Cocoa Beach with old friends John and Andre Le Grande of Merritt Island. This father and son fishing team spent an afternoon with me on a sight-fishing excursion for big redfish and gator trout. Pictured below are Andre with a trout and John with a redfish.

Posted by Rocky Van Hoose on July 15, 2008 at 04:22:43 PM
Native Sons Fishing Guides
Captain Rocky Van Hoose

Captain Brad Jones

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Best Bet I.R.L. Coast, Cobia Reds Tarpon

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Fishing Report

Hot and humid weather defines summer here on the Indian River Lagoon coast of Florida, and just because the heat is on doesn't mean the fish aren't eating. Matter of fact, many of the species calling the IRL home during the summer are tropical fish. Although fishing is good, it is still very important to step up your tackle size and to apply as much pressure as possible during your fight to lessen the length of the battle. Warm water holds less oxygen, so get them in as quickly as possible, and then take the time to revive your fish fully before releasing it.

This week on the lagoon, the wind has been breezy in the mornings when it is cool, and then laying down around noon. This has resulted to tougher conditions for locating fish in the morning, and great fishing conditions in the afternoon when it's hot and the sun is over head. Additionally, the large tarpon are showing up, rolling in the deeper channels in both the IRL and Mosquito Lagoons in the morning, and on Friday morning I watched Captain Chris Myers whip a 60 to 70 pound silver king caught on a D.O.A. Baitbuster.

Captain Chris's D.O.A. Baitbuster Redfish

There have also been plenty of both slot and oversized redfish working on the deeper edges of the sandbars and again the D.O.A. Baitbuster has been the productive lure. Even with the most recent heavy rains, the Lagoon levels are very low, so it's a good time to learn the layout of the shoals, and to get stuck if you are not careful.

Filming Captain Chris Myers on the Mosquito Lagoon

Out off of the beach, cooler water has started to move in with water surface temperatures in the lower 70's have been reported. Additionally, large long period swells generated by Hurricane Bertha have made for some rough sea conditions for smaller boats, but the surfers are loving it. The best bet this week will be the mid summer cobia run. Look for warmer water and bait pods, and you will find cobia. Most of the cobia taken last week came from slow trolling live bait on the reef and wrecks around 8A and Pelican Flats.

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
407-366-8085 landline
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free

Book a charter, and let's go fishing.

Visit for all of your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Mosquito Lagoon Bull Reds, Gator Trout

Fishing Mosquito Lagoon this time of year can only mean one thing, BULL REDFISH!! The southern end will be holding these large breeding reds schooled up, with some mornings on a calm day flashing their bronze backs with tails in the air digging in the grassy areas for an easy meal. The lagoon is one of the only places where reds spend their entire life unlike other areas where they move offshore to spawn. It is not uncommon to get on them in 2-4 feet of water with the fish going well over 40 inches. Trophy reds are caught daily throwing topwaters such as a High Roller or Skitterwalk. As the morning moves on, switching over to jerkbaits will "trick" the fish into eating. As for live bait, nothing during the summer months will stick out better than a pigfish. There's a technique to fishing with pigs, so I suggest you ask around or go with one of our local fishing guides to learn this.

Trout fishing will also be on fire with most fish going between 12-20 inches with the occasional "gator trout" in the mix. To get a shot at one of these monsters, long casts are important as trout have very good eye sight. Which means once they see you chances are slim to none you will get that fish to eat. Pigfish are like candy to a spotted sea trout making this also the live bait of choice.

Tarpon are making their presence known in the ICW and deeper waters of the lagoon, rolling gulping air. Get yourself a few mullet a little larger than a finger mullet for a good chance at a silver king. Any kind of deep running plug or plastic bait will also work.

I still have days available through fall, so give me a shout for some back country flats fishing at it's finest!!

-Captain Jeff

Reel Shallow Charters
Capt. Jeff Dorobiala

Mobile: 386-478-9555
3110 Travelers Palm Dr
Edgewater, Fl 32141

Monday, July 14, 2008

Shallow Water Tarpon On Fly

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 6/30 through 7/13/2008

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, continued to have action with tarpon on fly and spinning tackle over the past couple of weeks. In addition, fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay has also had good variety and action.

The Notari’s tarpon fished a couple of days with me on June 30 and July 1st. They always seem to have good action and a high percentage of fish landed. Terry Notari, from Longboat Key, FL, his son, Craig, and grandson, James, both from IL, fished with me on Monday, June 30th. They had great action landing 3 out of 3 tarpon jumped including a 110-pounder that Craig landed on a chartreuse Toad fly. On Wednesday, James sat out and his younger brother, Josh, got in on the action. We had 3 bites that day, 2 on live crabs including one that Josh double teamed with his dad, Craig, and another hook up on a chartreuse fly that broke off when the fly line wrapped around the foot of the reel. They landed a total of 4 out of 6 fish over 2 days, which is far above average.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune outdoors editor, Steve Gibson, fished with me on Tuesday, July 1st. The goal was a tarpon on a fly in shallow water and we were successful. We had lots of shots, but fish were deep that day which made it tougher to get the fly in front of them. Steve made a long cast to a single and led the fish by 20 feet. When the fish intercepted the fly, all it took was a single strip and the big fish inhaled Steve’s chartreuse Toad fly. After about 30-minutes we had her alongside the boat. She taped out at a 35” girth and 69” long-close to 120-lbs.

Justin and Brandon Bunting, both from CO, fished with me on July 4 and 5. We spent a couple of hours in the morning each day tarpon fishing and had a few shots, but no bites. They opted to fish Sarasota Bay near Bishops Point later in the morning each day. They caught and released trout, bluefish, mangrove snapper and a big red on CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Deadly Combos and Ultra Hair Clouser flies.

Fly tarpon trips on Monday and Tuesday, July 7 and 8, had lots of shots at tarpon in shallow water, several follows and one fish jumped, again on a chartreuse Toad fly. If you’ve never cast a fly at a 100-pound fish in clear shallow water, you won’t understand the thrill that it is. It’s not for everyone, but it is definitely how I prefer to catch them!

I had a group of 4 anglers on Wednesday. Steve and Liz Stallard, from MI, fished with me and Freddie Parish and Cece Woolf, from Land O’Lakes, FL, fished with Capt. Jack Hartman. Anglers fishing with Capt. Jack jumped 6 fish and landed a pair of tarpon of 100 and 130-lbs. Liz landed a 120-pound fish right away on my boat with a live crab and had another hook up that resulted in 4 or 5 beautiful jumps before the fish jumped off. We headed for shallow water by 9 AM, where Steve had numerous shots at tarpon in shallow water. We had a couple of follows, but no bites.

We had lots of shots at tarpon with a fly in shallow water over the next couple of days, several follows but no hook ups. I subscribe to the theory that being successful with tarpon on a fly is making the right presentation to the right fish. The best candidates are usually high in the water column and moving slow. I prefer singles, doubles and small schools since they are usually post spawn fish at this time of the year.

Bill and Sandy King, from Osprey, FL, fished with me on Saturday. Sandy hooked up right away with a nice fish that was making a long run when it wrapped the line around a half submerged crab trap float and cut us off. Sandy also hooked up with what appeared to be a 7’ or 8’ tiger shark that ate a live threadfin twice. The first time the hook pulled and the second time the big fish chewed through the 80-pound leader. Bill also had some action, getting a couple of bites on the same cast from an aggressive tarpon that tried to eat his Dinner Mint Toad fly (black, chartreuse and olive).

Hopefully tarpon action will continue for the rest of the month. As we get later in the month, tarpon numbers will dwindle as they move to inside waters to feed. Snook in the surf and around lighted docks before dawn or reds, trout and more on shallow flats will also be good options.

Tight Lines,

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

FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799 and

James Notari, from IL, caught and released this tarpon while fishing off Siesta Key with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Josh Notari, from IL, caught and released this tarpon while fishing off Siesta Key with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Brandon Bunting, from CO, caught and released this big red on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Liz Stallard, from MI, caught and released this 120-pound tarpon on a live crab while fishing off Siesta Key with Capt. Rick Grassett.