Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Best Near-Shore Fishing Is Now!


Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, October 2008

Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka Florida

Gazing out across the field behind the home, it is easy to tell fall is in the air. The whitetail bucks that frequent my back yard in the afternoon have rubbed their antlers clean of velvet, and the goldenrods have completed their late summer flush of golden-haired flowers. Another sure sign of fall is the waves of baitfish working their way south through the lagoon and along the beach as the fall bait run commences. Both black and silver mullet, along with Atlantic menhaden (pogies), thread fin herring (greenies), and bay anchovies (glass minnows) have begun their southerly migration in search of warmer waters. This migration creates a smorgasbord of yummy baitfish, which in turn are shadowed by a large array of hungry predators looking to fatten up for the winter.


Weather permitting, near-shore opportunities are the best you will see all year. Target areas along the beaches where you find concentrated bait schools for a mixed bag of snook, tarpon, kingfish, cobia, jack crevalle, oversized redfish, and sharks. Additionally, snook fishing in the surf will improve as the baitfish move south along the beach. And let's not overlook the schools of glass minnows showing up bringing larger Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and tarpon with them.

In and around the inlets of Ponce, Port Canaveral, and Sebastian look for flounder, snook, jack crevalle, and oversized redfish feeding on migrating baitfish along the jetties and just outside the inlets. When fishing in the inlets, heavy easterly swells, falling tides, and aggressive anglers can make for dangerous angling conditions, so please pay attention, be patient and work together, and enjoy the rewards.

In the north Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons, higher water levels will allow anglers to venture into areas normally inaccessible during the spring and summer months. Look for slot redfish in close to the grassy edges along the shoreline shadowing pods of finger mullet, and for the larger redfish staged in deeper water ambush sites where migrating mullet are forced to venture out from the safety of the shallow flats. In deeper water areas, look for ladyfish, spotted sea trout, jacks, and tarpon feeding on schools of glass minnows. These schools of fish are located by watching for bird and fish activity. Once located, these schools will produce explosive action on small top water plugs, or popping bug flies. Also, if you locate a school of the larger black mullet, try fishing spoons or soft plastic D.O.A. Shrimp slowly under the school. Even though, mullet are vegetarians, redfish and sea trout will often mingle in feeding on shrimp and crabs kicked up from the bottom by feeding mullet.

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 land line

Mackerel Hot On Sarasota Beaches

September 28, 2008

Sarasota Florida Fishing Report
By Capt. Bob Smith

Saturday morning at first light, we anchored up at the south end of Zwicks
channel where the channel starts to choke down. We had none-stop redfish
action until we got tired of catching them. Most of the redfish caught
where in the slot. We also caught some keeper size flounder and snapper.
Live bait, shrimp, or fish with a small splitshot worked well.

Kingfish and Spanish mackerel are hot along the beaches from New Pass to
Point of Rocks. Small kings and large Spanish are taking live bait and
artificial lures. For now, you just need to look for the birds to find the
fish offshore or fish around the numerous artificial reefs within three
miles of the beach. Along with the macks, we are finding barracuda, sharks,
and little tunny. Sometimes a keeper size grouper would not be unusual.

We have had good runs of kings along the beaches in September for the last
few years. I feel this is due to the mild winters that allowed large
schools of baitfish to remain in the bay all during the winter. The Redtide
also gave the baitfish a head start three years ago by killing off most of
the predator fish. That first summer after the Redtide, the shrimp never
left the bay and got too large to be good live bait. Give me "Hand-Picks"
meant, find me some smaller shrimp.

We are also seeing an increase in some species on the bay like look-downs,
Bermuda chubs, 12" barracudas, etc. I don't mean that we never caught them
before; we are just doing it more often. Some fishermen have told me that
they had to start carrying a fish identifier book. Not a bad idea for
anyone new to the area. If you like to eat fish, it is nice to know if you
have a large black sea bass or a small black grouper.

Enjoy & Protect
Thank you!

Capt. Bob Smith
Phone: (941) 366-2159 Cell: (941) 350-8583.
Email: capt.bobsmith@verizon.net
My Website: http://www.sarasota-fla-fishing.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 9-29-08


Fishing 09/27/08


Lets go catch a fish. Tides are high, higher and highest, not sure why but you can launch your boat from the parking lot. Lots of water just means more environment for the fish to play in and for you to look in. Lots of water for big fish, big Tarpon from many locations. Channels and the deep flats around the channels, with all the bait in the river and this unusual tide if the Tarpon are not there now wait thirty minutes and they will role in. From Little Mud creek south to the inlet, bridges, marina entrances, the spoils in the Sail Fish Flats Tarpon and more Tarpon. Yes those pesky Snook are hanging out with them. If I were targeting Snook the bridges would be the location, with all this high water it gives them plenty of running room. If it looks like a Mullet use it, Bombers, yozuri, D.O.A's and yes a live one will work also. When standing on the bridge hook your Mullet between the anal fin and his tail, they will swim down and try to get away from the hook, the best part is the last thing in their mouths will be the leader. Big Flounder made the catch list this week, not a lot but a lot of anglers took one of two home. Good numbers of Trout this week on a wide assortment of baits, keep the smaller ones let the bigger ones go, it seems I keep hearing about the worms in the bigger Trout. The Indian River with all this high water and Mullet has been the place.
Finally hearing about Dolphin, fish in the twenty five pound class, from 200' out on weed and other flotsam. North or south of the inlet, on trolled or live baits the Dolphin bite is on. Good mix of Sails continues but it is the Yellow Tail Snapper in good numbers that has caught a lot of attention. There is always a few Yellow tails but now we have anglers with limits just drifting over the reefs. Twelve inches is the minim and ten is the aggregate bag limit. Did not hear the words King Fish, every body was deep playing with the Dolphin. The Kings that were reported were in sixty feet north of the inlet, lots of small fish but just right for the grill. For the reef anglers it has Muttons and more Muttons remember the aggregate bag limit.
Surf has settled and the Yozuri Krystal has been the plug for Snook on the edge. I would like to say early and high tide but it has been higher all day so come on down when you are ready. The Blues have slowed now it is two cast per fish????But just like last week 9:am they just turn off, oh well just have to fish for Snook or maybe a Tarpon or two.
It has been a good week fishing, come on down and enjoy, even if you don't fish........Henry

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

Friday, September 26, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report 9-26-08


Report for 09/26/2008

Salt Water

MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE
Reports have the snappers at the 100’ depth and 120’ for the grouper. The King mackerel bite has slowed this week, however at the Air Force tower this week some reports of nice catches and reports from outside the car body area in 70’ of water. Drifting live and trolling dusters and cigar minnows are working. Spanish mackerel continue to be caught trolling Clark spoons and Mackerel trees, or drifting cigar minnows along the buoy line and the cape shoals area.

ST JOSEPH BAY
Redfish reports this week are coming in from all over the bay. Hit the flats from town beach on the east side and on the west side starting outside the fire tower all the way up to Pompano Point. Hit the flats early morning and late afternoon for the best bite. Topwater plugs, DOA shrimp, and gold spoons working well. The flounder bite picked up nicely this week with the water temperature dropping nearly 10 degrees. The main bite is in the channels off Blacks Island, but quite a few flounder are being taken in the gulf canal under the George Tapper Bridge and also farther up at the “T” with the intercostals waterway. Live bull-minnows fished on a Carolina rig along the drop-offs are working the best. The best trout bite is on the west bank of St Joseph Bay. Hit the edges of the flats between Pigs Island and Eagle Harbor and between Eagle Harbor and Pompano Cove. Live LY’s or hard/soft jerk baits for artificial are working. Pompano are starting to show up in the bay at along the surf. Use pink pompano jigs tipped with shrimp.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
Remember Red snapper season is open until November 1st in state waters. For all you out-of-towners, LaQuinta Inn on Thomas Drive (7115 Coastal Palms Blvd.) is offering a room with double beds and breakfast for $79 + tax. This rate will be available for the month of October at this location only. All you have to do is contact LaQuinta Inn directly at (850) 234-3133 and mention you are with Half Hitch Tackle to reserve your room at a great rate.

The inshore Grouper bite has slowed slightly. Many are still being caught on structure within 9 miles. Check the hard bottom areas in the 100-120 feet range further offshore. Take some big live baits and get ready for action!

Big Spanish Mackerel are schooling all over inshore from 3 miles in. Free-lined live baits, spoons, and Speck Rigs are working well.

For fun and excitement on light tackle, give the huge schools of Bonita a try. They are all over up and down the beach within a mile or two. Small jigs, spoons, and live bait will take as many as you want.

The Red Snapper bite has remained very good. It is generally not hard to get a limit within state waters. Live cigar minnows, herring and even alewives are excellent baits. Red Snapper season is closed in Federal waters. The State Snapper season remains open within 9 miles from shore until November 1st.

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

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Redfish are schooling on the beaches right now and making their way into the jetties. Live baits, artificials or cut bait – they’ll hit anything!

Flounder are just now starting their fall migration. Try any of the deep points leading out of the bay with live bull minnows on a Carolina rig.

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

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

DESTIN
Here we are September 25, 2008 and the Destin Fishing rodeo is now less than a week away. The weather and fishing is looking awesome. It appears we are going to actually get a fall season this year and it is bringing some fantastic fishing.

Offshore the White marlin bite is very good from the nipple, across the flats and out to the 131 hole and the spur. Also some good reports on Blackfin tuna on the edge and around the offshore shrimpers.

In the bay area the redfish around the jetties, Destin Bridge, Midbay Bridge and the Santa Rosa sound have been very good. The flounder are showing up in the harbor in great numbers early this year. I believe this is due to the cooler temps we are getting at night.

In the surf the Pompano are back in the game and the Spanish, blues and ladyfish are cruising good chasing schools of bait.

On the pier they are getting good runs of Spanish everyday and the kings are good. The kings are being caught in numbers ranging from 5 to 10 a day with a few days seeing numbers in the 20’s. Pompano and reds are also good at the pier most days.

Remember the Destin Fishing Rodeo is the entire month of October. It has awards for Private Boats, Charter Boats, Party Boats, Pier Bridge and Surf. Bring us a fish to the weigh station at AJ’s Restaurant and let us make you famous! Weigh-in’s are daily from 10am to 7pm, prime time is from 4pm to 6:30pm. There is a dock party every night.

Saturday is the kickoff party at AJ’s. There will be food, boat wagon parade, kid rides, games and a street dance.

Don’t forget the Seafood Festival is at the docks by the Emerald Grand this year, October 3-4-5. They will have great food, music and you can watch them weigh in fish.

Fresh Water

Sorry, no freshwater report this week.

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.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Skyway Pier Macks And Snapper

Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper and keeper sized grouper are keeping anglers buisy at the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Piers in the mouth of Tampa Bay.

Snapper are being caught around the pylons and rock piles. Shrimp and green backs are the best baits.

Spanish Mackerel are being caught early morning, late afternoon and around tide changes. Got-Cha plugs and small silver spoons will catch lots of mackerel.

Grouper are being caught on pinfish around the rock piles.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

N.E. Florida Fishing News And Reports

Ahoy there Anglers,

I want to take the time to thank all the listeners that tune in to our "Just Fishin" Radio Show on Saturday mornings. For those of you who haven't heard, we've been doing a fishing radio show now for over a year on WOKV, on 690 AM and 106.5 FM Stations from 6:00am to 8:00am.
This radio show started out with the radio station contacting me and wanting me to become one of "their experts" to start out their Saturday Experts Shows each and every Saturday morning starting at 6:00 am. Captain Mike Darveau, a top-notch angler, charter Captain and a very good friend of mine was gracious enough to join me. WOKV would have one of their top news producers and reporter, Adam Kirk to join in and be available to help co-host the show. Adam has become more of an asset to us than he realizes. It would be hard to do the show without these two great guys.

This show started out over a year ago being what I wanted to do and has now evolved into what it has become because of you, the listeners. THANK YOU ! You have made our show the NUMBER 1 Outdoor Show in Northeast Florida. Each and every time the radio ratings come in I'm so proud to know that our Just Fishin Radio Show's ratings are double the Florida Sportsman's Radio show ratings and are three times what the Outdoor Show's ratings are. It's because of you, the listeners, that help make our show what it is. We enjoy our callers and try our best to help answer any and all questions you have concerning fishing, boating, cooking seafood, etc. I cannot express our appreciation enough and hope we can help you all to target better quality, more and larger fish.

We get callers all the way from Missouri to South Florida and we even have a caller that listens to us on his computer from Virginia every so often. Our show is heard on the air waves from Beauford, S. C. to just South of Daytona, Florida and people listen to us all over the U.S. 24 hours a day on WOKV.com.
Again, I thank you and I hope the show has become what you've expected. If not, please let me know how we can improve it. after all, we're here to help.

In the latest news:
Council Approves Amendment 16 to End Overfishing
Interim rule will implement measures for gag, black grouper, and red grouper by early 2009

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council gave final approval to Amendment 16 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan during its meeting in Charleston, South Carolina this past week. The amendment includes measures to end overfishing of gag grouper and vermilion snapper, including a 4-month spawning season closure for gag and shallow water grouper, reductions in bag limits, commercial quotas, and other measures. Approval of the amendment was delayed during the Council’s June meeting when the Council agreed to consider additional management measures for analysis in the amendment. However, after considering the analysis of the additional options and receiving public comment as part of the week-long meeting, the Council moved forward to approve their original preferred management measures in Amendment 16. The amendment will go through review by the National Marine Fisheries Service and receive approval by the Secretary of Commerce before management measures are implemented. It is estimated the review process will take several months.


The Council’s actions are driven by mandates from the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act that require fisheries managers to implement measures to end overfishing within a one-year period after overfishing has been identified. Both gag grouper and vermilion snapper stocks were identified as undergoing overfishing through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment process in June 2007. An age-based SEDAR stock assessment for vermilion snapper is currently underway and the results of the recent Assessment Workshop, part of the three-step stock assessment process, is indicating the stock status might be better than originally reported. The Review Workshop is scheduled for October 20-24, 2008 in Savannah, Georgia and is open to the public. Amendment 16 contains a provision that would allow adjustments to the reduction of vermilion snapper if necessary, based on the updated assessment. The final stock assessment results will be reviewed by the Scientific and Statistical Committee and the Council during the November 30 – December 5, 2008 meeting in Wilmington, North Carolina.


Measures in Amendment 16 to end overfishing for gag include: a spawning season closure January through April for both commercial and recreational fishermen for gag and other shallow water groupers including black grouper, red grouper scamp, red hind rock hind, yellowmouth grouper, tiger grouper, yellowfin grouper, graysby, and coney; a commercial quota for gag of 352,940 pounds gutted weight. After the quota is met, all purchase and sale of shallow water grouper would also be prohibited; reducing the 5-grouper aggregate bag limit to a 3-grouper aggregate bag limit and the existing bag limit from 2 gag or black grouper to 1 gag or black grouper; and excluding the captain and crew on for-hire vessels from possessing a bag limit for groupers. Additional measures for vermilion snapper, including commercial quotas, bag limits and a recreational closed season are likely to be modified following the stock assessment. The amendment also establishes interim allocations for both gag and vermilion snapper.

“These measures should end overfishing for gag and vermilion snapper,” said Council member Mac Currin, Chairman of the Snapper Grouper Committee. “Everyone is hopeful that the ongoing age-based assessment of vermilion snapper will allow the Council to reduce the measures impacting fishermen.”

Interim Rule
In order to end overfishing for gag grouper, black grouper, and red grouper as required by the Magnuson Act, the Council approved an interim rule to implement reductions in fishing mortality as specified in Amendment 16. This includes the 4-month spawning season closure for gag, black grouper, and red grouper; the commercial quota for gag, with the harvest of black grouper and red grouper prohibited once the quota is met; and reductions in the recreational bag limit. Black grouper and red grouper are included in the interim rule because they are also experiencing overfishing and there is a bycatch of gag when black and red grouper are targeted. Earlier provisions to address overfishing for vermilion snapper and red snapper through the interim rule were removed and red snapper will be addressed by the Council during its November 30-December 5 meeting. An interim rule can only be used to address species undergoing overfishing and would be in effect for 180 days. The rule can be extended for an additional 186 days if necessary. Provisions of the interim rule with respect to federally permitted vessels for South Atlantic snapper grouper would apply regardless of where the fish are harvested (i.e., in state or federal waters). The Council’s intent is to have the interim rule effective by January 1, 2009.

Elections
During its meeting, the Council elected Council member Duane Harris as its new chairman and David Cupka to serve as vice-chair. Mr. Harris, an obligatory member of the Council from St. Simons Island, Georgia, replaces George Geiger of Sebastian, Florida as Council Chair. Formally serving as vice-chair, Chairman Harris has a long history of service to the Council, initially serving as a representative of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division and continuing his service after retiring as director of the division in 2003. Vice-Chairman Cupka also has a long history with the Council, serving as the South Carolina representative for the Department of Natural Resources’ Marine Resources Division before his retirement and currently serving in an at-large position.

The next meeting of the Council is scheduled for November 30-December 5, 2008 in Wilmington, North Carolina. For additional information regarding Council meetings, including briefing book materials, committee reports, and summary motions from the September 2008 meeting, visit www.safmc.net or contact the Council office.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, one of eight regional councils, conserves and manages fish stocks from three to 200 miles offshore of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida.



RIVER:
Here's where the action is. Virginia croakers, black drum, sheepshead, bull redfish, whiting, yellow mouth trout, speckled trout, flounder and mangrove snapper are all biting in the ole St. Johns River right now. We're having what I consider some of the best fishing action I've seen in a long time because of all the different species that's biting good in the river. The larger Virginia croakers and the sheepshead started about 3 weeks earlier than I've ever seen them start and the black drum never stopped all summer long. That's been amazing. It's now time for the bull redfish to really get schooled up and man, have they. They are loads of fun but please be sure to take the time to revive these monsters so they can survive and spawn millions of new rats for us. The black drum which usually starts feeding about the middle of October through May are still in from this past spring. I think that has a lot to do with people realizing, finally, that those huge, giant drum are not good to eat but do wonders for our growing population of smaller, eating-sized drum when revived and released back into the wild. Sheepshead and mangroves around pilings and docks, whiting and yellow mouth on the sandier areas of the river and the croakers are everywhere.


JETTIES:
Bull redfish, tarpon, sharks, black drum, croakers, whiting and ring-tails are all feeding out at the jetties now. Get out there when you can because all these windy days are not letting anyone get out there very often. They're out there waiting for someone to bring them something to eat and we've been catching so many fish up river and in the creeks that I haven't been out there in over a month. When you see the mullet leaving out of the rocks and you get a calm day ahead then you'd better make the move and get out to the rocks. The tarpon will leave with them.


CREEKS:
Here's where the action is exciting to me. Sightfishing reds in the shallows is so fun and then we have those high low tides which I can't stand but we have to put up with them anyway. What's happening best of all right now though is a live shrimp under a Cajun Thunder float with about a 14" TO 16" leader to a 2/0 Eagle Claw Kayle hook. Redfish, flounder, speckled trout, black drum, jacks, mangrove snapper and ladyfish are all being caught on this rig right now in the creeks. I use this rig just before, during and just after high tides and it's been working so good and people just love to see that float all of a sudden disappear. Be like Mikey, try it, you'll like it.


MILL COVE:
Again, redfish, speckled trout, yellow mouth trout, black drum, whiting and flounder are all biting in the Cove right now. Captain Mike Darveau called me the other day and said, " you can't believe all the tarpon in here right now. Must be 25 to 30 of them and they're feeding", well let me tell you I saw them a few days later and they were back! The tarpon were feeding like there was no tomorrow. Get into these guys before they're gone. They're a blast.


SURF:
A few pompano, black drum and redfish are doing pretty good in the surf now but your best bet is targeting the whiting. Nice whiting are biting just South of the Jax. Beaches. Try down at Ponte Vedra or even further South for the better bite.

OFFSHORE:
My good friend Captain Chad Starling has been telling me the Red Snapper, vermillion snapper, black sea bass, grouper, triggerfish, and amberjack are all biting offshore. Wahoo should start picking up along with doplhin as they begin their southerly migration. The "cold front" season will be upon us soon so the number of offshore fishing days will be limited as a result of weather. Pick your days and go when you get a chance. Don't hesitate to call Captain Chad last minute! (904) 502-7408.

Let's all remember to please take a small trash can or just a trash bag even on board so none of your trash ends up in our great waterways. It's up to all of us to keep it clean!
You can say what you want about the South but,
you never hear of anyone retiring and moving up North,,,

Captain Vic Tison
Co-Host of WOKV's 'Just Fishing' Radio Show, Saturdays 6:00am to 8:00am
United States Coast Guard Licensed Captain
International Game Fish Assoc. Certified Captain
Regional Director for the Florida Guides Assoc.
Member of the National Assoc. of Charterboat Operators
Member of the American Professional Captain's Association
Sponsor of The Inshore Saltwater Anglers Club

Vic2Fish & Adventures, Inc.
P O Box 28208
Jax., Fl. 32226
904-699-2285
Web Site http://vic2fish.com

Neither Captain Vic nor Vic2Fish & Adventures, Inc. claims any responsibility for any injury or loss of property arising out of any party using these Fishing Reports.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Top Water Reds And Trout

Top Water Reds!
Capt. Mike from the Keys came down today and witnessed quite a sight! He got to see 20 to 30 pound redfish bust top water plugs. It was awesome! We went 8 for 11 on the big boys. When you see a 20 plus pound sky rocket on a plug it tends to get you frisky! Call and book today! 407-405-0819!

Capt Mike with double header redfish

22 Sep 2008 by Captain David Rogers


Fishing Is Great!
The fishing has been great the past few weeks. I am working hard and having fun each day. We have been catching slot reds, big reds, black drum and a few trout. Come stretch and line and have some fun on the beautiful Mosquito Lagoon. I have a few days open the last week of September and I am booking for October! Call 407-405-0819! Check out the photos!

Tight Lines and Good fishing!
17 Sep 2008 by Captain David Rogers


Busy Week! Nice Reds and Trout!
After 7 straight days of fishing I finally can catch up on my reports. The fishing has been steady with the high water levels on the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River. The coolest fish of the week was Doug's BIG TROUT on a top water plug. All the fish were fun to catch and many of the reds were taken on topwater plugs also. Top water plugs, jerk baits, mullet and cut bait have been the best. find the bait and there will be fish. Book now for September and October. I have days open in September although 13 days are taken.
Check out the new photos! Call 407-405-0819 and book today!
Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
31 Aug 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

Scouts Get Chance To Hunt For Reds


Dr Bill's slam and a TWIST!

Dr Bill Slomka and his friend Frank joined me on Sunday 9/21 for a day on the Mosquito Lagoon. The stained waters were not ideal for sight fishing and the action was less than stellar. Bill did, however manage a River Slam by casting a Bone colored Skitterwalk across sand patches in the back country ponds. Sorry no pics of the reds (Bill has too many already), but you'll find the trout and snook in the photo gallery!

Here is the Twist in the report:

I’ve always said one of the greatest perks of my job is the interesting people I meet. Some of these folks through repeat business and similar interests become friends, both professional and personal. Usually distance dictates which category the relationship rests.

Dr. Bill Slomka of West Palm Beach, Florida is one of if not my favorite and best client. We met several years ago when he coordinated a fishing trip for a group of doctors in the area for a convention.

We have been on numerous fishing trips in the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons, all of them successful. Of course some of these trips were more successful than others, but all of them memorable. Last October we fished in the 9th annual Hunt for Reds in October. While we didn’t catch any spotted redfish Bill really enjoyed the experience and booked me for the following year.

This past July it became clear that personal commitments were going to keep him from keeping our engagement for this year’s “Hunt”. While I had no problem with letting the good Doctor “off the hook” as I knew I could rebook the day, he already had an interesting solution for the dilemma.

Dr. Bill contacted the Brevard County chapter for the Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts of America. They held a little competition of essay form. The winner and his father or guardian will be fishing with me on tournament day October 5th compliments of Dr. Bill Slomka. The winner will be named on Friday October the 4th at the Captain’s Meeting and you know that Dr. Bill is already in next years log book for the first Saturday in October to fish the Hunt for Reds in 2009.

Captain Mark Wright
cell - 321-302-3474
home - 321-264-3474
e-mail: CaptMarkWright@earthlink.net

Monday, September 22, 2008

Montana Fly Fishing Adventure

Crane Meadow Lodge, Twin Bridges, MT Fishing Report for 9/13 through 9/19/2008



I was in Twin Bridges, MT last week hosting a group of fly anglers at Crane Meadow Lodge (www.cranemeadow.com) on what was our 7th trip there. The timing was just right this year with the weather being perfect, frost on the ground or mid 30’s in the morning, warming to the mid 70’s with almost no humidity. Unlike several other years when water flow was an issue, we had plenty of water this year due to a good snow pack last winter and spring.

Before I left I fished a few days in Sarasota during the week of Sept. 8th. Fly anglers fishing with me fished deep grass flats on the east side of Sarasota Bay where we caught and released trout, ladyfish, jacks and bluefish on Clouser and Enrico Puglisi flies. We also scored with DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs with shad tails.

On Saturday, Sept. 13, Nick Reding, Bob Harness and Bob Reynolds, all from St. Louis, MO, Mike Perez from Richmond, IN, Bill King from Osprey, FL and I all met up in Bozeman, MT. After collecting our gear, we made the 1 ½ hour drive to Crane Meadow Lodge. Dennis Kinley from NJ joined us on Sunday. The best fishing was on the Beaverhead, Ruby and Big Hole Rivers and on Mill Creek, a tributary to the Ruby River (private water). We rotated anglers, guides and fishing locations daily. The Madison River was not a good option this year due to a gate being stuck open at Hebgen Lake causing an extremely high water flow. Other than that, we were able to fish everywhere else including the Jefferson and Big Hole rivers which have been closed in years past.

I fished a couple of days on the Beaverhead and had great action. Guide Tom Caffrey and I floated from Henneberry to Grasshopper Creek one day and had great action with brown trout to 18” on hoppers and hopper/dropper combos. Mike Perez and I waded with guide Dave King one day at the High Bridge on the Beaverhead and had fast action with browns and rainbows to more than 20”. Most fish were caught on nymph rigs but a few were on dry flies. Mike caught a 24” fish another day, which I think was one of the largest of the trip.

Nick Reding and I fished private water on the Beaverhead one day and his best fish of the day was a big rainbow. He and Mike Perez fished the Ruby another day and had good action. Mike fished a new bamboo rod that performed beautifully for him. The biggest fish that I caught were browns that were close to 20”, which were caught with hoppers on my 4-weight Orvis TLS rod, when Bob Harness and I waded a section of the Ruby River and Mill Creek with guide Tom Caffrey. Bill King and I also floated a day with Tom on the Big Hole and caught a few nice fish. Dennis Kinley had one of his best days ever on the Ruby and Mill Creek on the last day of our trip.

It’s great to watch them blast the hopper as it floats along a current seam! If you’re saltwater angler, these may not sound like big fish, but believe me when you put a fat 18” to 20” brown or rainbow trout in fast water on a 4 or 5-weight rod, you may have your hands full. Proprietor Cody Meine, his staff of guides, Sue (who almost single handedly runs the place) and Chef Nick did a great job. It’s like a home away from home for a week and the wildlife and scenery are incredible. I’m sure I missed several bites while the scenery distracted me from my fly. Whitetail deer, elk, moose and hundreds of the lodge namesakes, Sandhill Cranes, abound. If you are looking for a great western trout fishing experience that has a good mix of floating and wading, you should check out Crane Meadow Lodge.

Back at home, we’ve had a little taste of fall weather with the passing of a front on Thursday. With shorter days and slightly cooler mornings, fishing should get even better in the next few weeks. Next week’s tides will improve towards the end of the week as we head towards a new moon on Sept. 29th. Fishing deep grass flats for trout, blues and Spanish mackerel, reds in skinny water and snook in the surf or around lighted docks and bridge fenders should all be good options.



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.snookfin-addict.com and www.flyfishingflorida.net


Nick Reding, from St. Louis, MO, and guide Gary Avis with a nice rainbow.


Bob Harness, from St. Louis, MO, and guide Tom Caffrey with a nice Mill Creek brown.


Mike Perez, from Richmond, IN, with a fat Beaverhead River rainbow.


Bill King, from Osprey, FL, and guide Tom Caffrey with a nice Big Hole river rainbow.


Capt. Rick Grassett with a nice Mill Creek brown caught on a hopper.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report 9-18-08


Report for 09/18/2008

Salt Water

MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE
Some grouper caught about 40 miles out. Big dead baits such as butter flied Spanish or Boston Mackerel are working very well. Red and black snapper are biting strong around the inshore wrecks starting at 10 miles out. Live pinfish caught the majority, but good numbers brought in using cigar minnows. King mackerel fishing picked up this week and the majority of the fish are out 15-20 miles and averaging 10-15 pounds. Flat lining while bottom fishing is again the most effective method in bringing kings this week. Spanish mackerel are thick along Mexico Beach and on the buoy line.

ST JOSEPH BAY
Redfish are still off the grass flats and sand bars and the best time is first thing in the morning. Live LY’s are plentiful and are the bait of choice, but the Capt Mikes spoon with the green reflective tape is not far behind. The trout are mixed in with these schooling redfish and are swallowing baits whole. A few nice trout were caught outside Pigs Island and around the middle grounds. Live shrimp free lined is working well. Do not be afraid to use a Topwater or other artificial baits in the morning and late afternoon as these are still catching nice trout and redfish as well. Mirrolures and Berkley gulp are working well along with the Cajun Thunder popping corks. Spanish mackerel and bluefish are still around the bay in nice numbers. A Christmas tree rig is still your best bet, and it will pick up some bluefish too. A few pompano were caught this week around pompano point on a pink fairwater jig.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
The inshore Grouper bite is still excellent! Every structure within 9 miles seems to be holding fish. No need to run out 20 miles right now. Take some big live baits and get ready for action!

Black Snapper are still biting good. These fish can be caught over most any of the in-shore wrecks and reefs. The key to catching them is to lighten up. Use 1 or 2 oz’s of lead, light wire 4/0 or 5/0 circle hooks, 30 or 40# fluorocarbon leader and live cigar minnows or herring.

The Red Snapper bite has remained very good. It is generally not hard to get a limit within state waters. Live cigar minnows, herring and even alewives are excellent baits. Red Snapper season is closed in Federal waters. The State Snapper season remains open within 9 miles from shore until November 1st.

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

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
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. On a high tide, the redfish will be laying up in the flooded Spartina Grass. Top water plugs, 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.

DESTIN
It has been a week of quality fishing. The reds are very good around the Destin Bridge, Midbay Bridge and pass.

The red snapper and kings have been very good near shore on live cigar minnows that have been plentiful around the pass. The grouper are also very good on the natural bottom.

On the pier good numbers of reds and some Spanish. There have been a few pompano and a stray king or two. Blues and ladyfish are the staple.

In the surf the pompano are picking up and there are plenty of sharks.

NAVARRE

SURF
Fishing for Pompano has started to pick up this week. There have been some reports of good fish being caught. Best baits remain live or frozen sand fleas and live and frozen shrimp. As the water continues to cool, the Pompano bite will increase. There are a lot of Ladyfish (skipjack), Spanish mackerel and Bluefish to be caught as well. Bright spoons, Gotcha plugs, Straw Rigs, Top Water and regular plugs will catch them. Live and frozen Shrimp will take them too. There is no shortage of sharks to catch on the beach, there have been a lot of reports of Bull and Blacktip sharks caught using Bonito and Skipjack (ladyfish) for bait. September and October should be great months for surf fishing.

SOUND AND BAYS
Trout remain on the grass flats in three to five feet of water. If you have no luck there try to go deeper, say five to nine feet. You can catch your biggest Trout early and late in the day on top water baits and on live baits. Live Shrimp, Tiger Minnows, Pinfish, Menhaden and Mullet all catch Trout. A host of artificial lures will catch them as well. Redfish can be caught on the same live baits and artificial lures. Work all visible and underwater structures to increase your chances at landing a red. Skipjack, Jack Crevalle, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel and Flounder can all be caught in the bay this time of year. Flounder fishing should start to pick up with gradually cooling water. King Mackerel will be in the bays from now until the water gets to cold. Try slow trolling live baits in the pass, along the three mile bridge and in front of the Palafox Pier. You can also anchor and chum for them. Put your live bait under a balloon and wait for Mr. King to come along.

NEAR SHORE – GULF
There have been some good reports of King Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel caught right off the beach in the last few weeks. Live Cigar Minnows and Blue Runners (hard tails) are the bait of choice. If there are large schools of bait around the King and Spanish Mackerel are not far away. Jack Crevalle have also been caught while fishing for King and Spanish Mackerel. The big Redfish have begun to show up in the pass. Jigs, cut bait and live bait all take these fish. You may encounter a slot Red while fishing, but be sure to put the big ones back. I have heard of Cobia being caught on the inshore reefs with some consistency. Use live baits or jigs to catch them.

OFFSHORE – GULF
The bottom fishing for Snapper and Grouper remains very good. Live bait and frozen bait will work on both. Don’t be surprised if an Amberjack shows up, especially if you are jigging with Butterfly jigs or fishing with live Hardtails. Black Snapper (Mangrove) have been on all the reefs this year. Use live shrimp and live Tiger Minnows. However, they will eat the same baits as Red Snapper. I have had some reports of Cobia being caught over some live bottom here lately. Don’t forget that Federal waters are closed to Red Snapper but State waters (within 9 miles) remain open. I have had some good reports of Yellowfin Tuna being caught around the offshore oil platforms. Most anglers are trolling, jigging or chumming. Look for weedlines and floating debris if you are interested in catching some Mahi Mahi, Wahoo and other species. There was a report of a good weed line about 40 miles due south of Pensacola Pass that was holding some good Mahi Mahi last weekend.

Fresh Water

The largemouth bass are holding around tributaries and hitting spinner baits regularly. For the big boys, fish wild shiners along the grass lines, or if you want to use an artificial, your best bet will be a shallow running jerk bait or topwater plugs along the shore.

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.

It's Mullet Time!


Fishing Report

Fort Pierce - Port St Lucie - Vero Beach - Jensen Beach
September 18, 2008

INSHORE:
Mother Nature sure dealt us a great week of fishing weather. Winds inshore were mild most days and we had some fantastic fun out on the water. Fish were in the mood to bite and the water clarity has continued to improve, especially south of Fort Pierce. Looks like this weekend the forecast calls for more of the same conditions, so plan on fishing and enjoying the sunshine!

I was out scouting a couple days and found snook, jacks and bluefish around both the river and along the surf. Large schools of jacks are roving the water and can provide some great fun out there. Snook have continued to hit around the jetties, bridges and docks of the area. The best bite has been the outgoing tides. DOA TerrorEyz, shallow running Baitbusters and the Big Fish Lure has been the best producing artificials along with top water lures. Live mullet or pinfish are the preferred live bait. Redfish have been hitting around the inlet and docks this week as well. The bait has flooded into the river and the hungry predators have followed it.

I also had the pleasure of having Will Whitehead and Ty Fisher on the boat this week. I could tell right off that it was gonna be one of those competitive days. We found jacks, snook, redfish, flounder and grouper as we fished the area. The guys caught a number of snook, a couple of nice slot reds and a host of other fish. We lost a couple big snook and had several big grouper break us off. It was a great day out there with wonderful weather and hungry fish.

Today, I ventured down to the beach to see what is happening out there in the surf. Anything that resembles a mullet will catch you some fish right now. The trough along the beach was loaded with snook, jacks and bluefish. I ended up with one slot snook (released) and lots of jacks and bluefish. I was using a DOA Big Fish Lure and the fish ended up tearing it up by the time I was finished. Lots of fun in the surf this week!

Tip of the Week:
With the fall mullet run in full force, look to find which of your lures will best imitate a wounded mullet. The fish are keying in on the bait schools and will attack anything that looks like an easy meal. Top water, Baitbusters, etc will get you the strikes. It wasn't long ago that the fish were gorging on pinfish, but now it's mullet time! Match your lures to the bait and you will have better success out on the water.

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.}

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fish Wreak Havoc On Schools


Fishing Report

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


Take a minute today and remember all the loved ones who gave their lives on 9/11.

September 11, 2008

INSHORE:
As Ike decided to stay south of us, the weather was fantastic for outdoor activities over the past weekend and looks the one approaching will be just as nice. The fishing really on Saturday and Sunday, even though Ike decided to throw some winds at us the past several days to make it harder to get out there. If the forecast is correct, get out some top water lures and head out for a weekend of fishing!

I was delighted to get the opportunity to take out the grandkids this weekend. Grandma Eva and mom, Dena, met me at the ramp with 3 year old, Chloe, and 6 month old, Brody for an adventure on the water. Just remember that pinfish isn't always just for bait. Chloe excitedly reeled in pinfish after pinfish and even caught a catfish in the process. Of course, being a three year old, she was determined to reel every fish in herself and did it like a seasoned angler. There's nothing as rewarding than watching children enjoy a day on the water!

Snook fishing has remained good for those fishing around the inlets, bridges and docks. Some overslots were reported along with shorts and several elusive slots. Live mullet and pinfish has been the bait of choice, but diving plugs and jigs have also worked well around the jetties. Some big snook are out there in the shallows as well. DOA's Big Fish Lure has worked great this time of year. It looks and swims like a mullet and presents an easy target on the flats for many species. A 31" snook exploded on it in three feet of water. I was able to fish south of Fort Pierce and the water is showing good signs of clearing up soon.

Big schools of jacks have moved into the river to wreak havoc on the bait schools. They are easy to spot on calm days and are great fun to catch and release. Some are in the 15 - 20 pound range. The bluefish have also been crashing the bait. There are still some snapper along the channel edges. The trout bite has remained slow for now, but should pick up again soon. Redfish have begun showing back up on the flats as the water begins the slow process of clearing up. Most have been north of Fort Pierce on the flats from Queen's Cove to the Moorings. The surf report has been spotty with all the windy weather lately. Offshore has also been pretty quiet of late. It's a great time of year to be living and fishing around the Treasure Coast.

Tip of the Week:
Once in while, I manage to get one of those days to just get out and enjoy the weather and water. Not so much concentration on fishing as relaxing and watching everything around you. The many birds and fish provide a natural serenade of sights and sounds to help soothe your soul and mind. It brings back the memories of many fishing adventures on the water. There's a lot going on in this world we live in, so once in a while it's good to get out on the water to ease the tensions. It might not change a lot, but is gives you a break from the news, TV and routine. Plan on getting out soon!

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, September 16, 2008

Schools Of Reds Harassing IRL Mullet


Mosquito Creek Outdoors Fishing Report, September 14, 2008
By Captain Tom Van Horn

With lagoon water levels dropping and weather conditions improving, it's once again time to start enjoying the great fishing fall brings to the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. We definitely dodged a bullet as a high pressure system blocked hurricane Ike from entering Florida, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who were less fortunate.

Despite the windy weather and occasional rain band passing through Central Florida, my fishing and outdoor adventures this past week were not only successful, but rewarding and fun. The catching certainly wasn't off the hook, but our efforts were rewarded with some outstanding catches.


David Blue's Fall IRL Redfish

My adventures began last Sunday when I had the pleasure of fishing a half day charter with Al Bauchly and his son-in-law David Blue from Winter Park. We were on the water before sunrise and were rewarded by a light show as the dark water became alive with streaks of underwater luminance flashing out the trails of fish fleeing in all directions. As we reached our destination and twilight grew, we could hear schools of mullet showering across the waters surface and larger fish busting off in the distance along the edge of the mangrove shoreline. Working in towards the commotion, we could see larger fish harassing schools of mullet, but our efforts to connect with one went unrewarded.

From there we began out search for more corporative fish without results, until we received a phone call from Captain Tom Carver inviting us in on a school of large redfish he had located within sight of us, thank you Captain Tom. As we moved in on the school both Al and David hooked on monster redfish, and although only David was successful in landing his fish, forty-five minutes later, its extreme size made the day.

My next charter was on Tuesday when Zac and his fishing buddy Kyle from Lakeland Florida joined me for a windy day adventure. We followed the same plan as the trip before; only we found happier fish along the shoreline and received good results on top-water plugs despite a 15 knot east wind. As the day grew longer and the wind increased, we managed to fine some cooperative redfish willing to eat some chunks of cut mullet.

On Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I had the pleasure to attend the Florida Outdoor Writers Association conference in Punta Gorda, Florida; about three hours drive southwest of Orlando. The area is loaded with great fishing and outdoor activities, and the highlight of the trip was our first west coast Hook Kids on Fishing event where in cooperation with Charlotte County, Fisherman's Village, and Anglers For Conservation, we introduced over 150 kids to fishing, and each kid walked away with a new rod, reel, and tackle box.

All in all, it was an eventful and enjoyable week on and off of the water.

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

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

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

Monday, September 15, 2008

Apalachicola Fishing Good In Dirty Water


As I'm writing this Hurricane Ike is headed to Texas and all we can do now is pray for those in its path. Fortunately we were spared yet again - Water Street flooded, alligators were swimming in the street where you'd normally park to launch your boat, but we weren't hit with the wind that could have made it so much worse. Local property owners may check with their management companies for specifics.

Tommy left last Tuesday for the Keys, fished for Permit 3 days and had 13 shots on one of the days then he turned right around and drove 12 hours back home on Saturday. He says his new career is driving the entire state of Florida - he's headed back south tomorrow til sometime in November.


Dierlam Brothers with double Redfish hookup

As for local fishing, it's been good, even between tropical storms & hurricanes. On Sept. 4th, Joe Halbleib from IL fished a half day in the Bay with Capt. Tommy Holland where they caught and released over 100 redfish, about a dozen black drum, 12 big croakers (good to eat, by the way) a couple of sheepshead and a 3lb flounder. The Frost party fished with Capt. Ken Finch on 9/3. They caught & released 30 to 50 Reds on dead shrimp (also caught over a dozen trout) He says the fish are there like he's never seen them in a long time, even in less than pristine conditions. They also saw tarpon up the river. And on Sept. 9, Capt. Nathan Donahoe sight fished 12 out of the 20 reds they caught in shallow water. They started fishing with Chug bugs & gold spoons, then switched over to Gulp jerk baits. Nathan caught a 5 lb trout his second cast - they caught at least 8 in the 3-5 lb range. He reports that the redfish were in numbers "Unlimited" and the water clarity was less than crystal clear. Capt. Chris Robinson even got in about a half day of redfishing on Wednesday the 10th and though the water was getting up there, they managed to hook some on a fly. Synopsis: water slightly dirty, fishing good!

Just a couple of quick non-fishing items this time. We are helping to sell "Homeless" shirts to benefit homeless animals so stop in next time you are in town. Prices from $5 to $50 for Hawaiian print to basic fishing shirts. Just listed - "Sadie's House" MLS # 209384 You can check everything for sale in the entire area via our "other" website www.RobinsonRealEstateCompany.com . Kathy Jansen, LMT is selling the Spirit of the River Spa houseboat. Contact KJ at www.riverfronttherapy.com . Get on board an Apalachicola River Kayak trip. Click this link for details & video of last years river paddle trip www.ammfl.org/RiverTrips.htm.

I'm cruising all next week, so if you need to come fishing while I'm gone, either Capt. Chris Robinson or Capt. Jr. Holland can help you. When I return on Sept. 22, I'll be focusing on Spring Keys bookings and next years tarpon season so be sure to let me know your druthers! Have a good weekend wherever you are.

Kathy Robinson
Robinson Brothers Guide Service
Apalachicola, Florida
850-653-8896
www.FloridaRedfish.com

Friday, September 12, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report 9-11-08


Report for 09/11/2008

Salt Water

MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE
The King mackerel bite is still on over the car bodies. No big ones reported this week, but plenty of fish in the 10-15 pound range to go around. Drifting live baits is working the best, but dusters and cigar minnows are also effective. No change in the Spanish mackerel as they continue to be caught trolling Clark spoons and Mackerel trees, or drifting cigar minnows along the buoy line and the cape shoals area. Bonita schools are still with us at the 20-mile mark and picked-up on trolling spoons. Bottom fishing remains steady with live bait really starting to work on the grouper and snapper. Snapper bite starts at 80’ and the best numbers seem to be at about 100’, although several reports have the grouper and snapper closer to shore. Lighter rigs are still the key to catching more fish, but be prepared to lose a few rigs. Grouper limits are being picked up in 170-190’ of water in the hard bottom area south of Cape San Blas, mainly reds, but a few more gags and scamps are being caught as well. Tarpon are at West Pass right now.

ST JOSEPH BAY
Scallop season closes on September 10. It was a good season this year and a sign for another good year next year. Decent trout caught on the west bank of St Joseph Bay. Try sight fishing the trout on the flats between Pigs Island and Eagle Harbor and between Eagle Harbor and Pompano Cove. Live LY’s or hard/soft jerk baits for artificial are working. The reports for redfish are coming in from all over the bay. Good reports from town beach on the east side and on the west side starting outside the fire tower all the way up to Pompano Point. A few flounder caught in the channels off Blacks Island and in gulf canal and intercoastal waterway on live bull-minnows fished on a Carolina rig along the drop-offs. Many reports of much larger than normal flounder this week. Spanish mackerel are along the St. Joseph peninsula between Eagle harbor and around the tip along the Gulf beach. Trolling Clark spoons and throwing Gotcha plugs will work well for you. Tarpon have been moving in the channel off the oil docks. Try sight casting a bigger Rapala to get in on the action with these bruisers. Also, the oil docks are a hot spot for gray snapper right now.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
The inshore Grouper bite has been on fire! Every structure within 9 miles seems to be holding fish. No need to run out 20 miles right now. Take some big live baits and get ready for action! Black Snapper are still biting good. These fish can be caught over most any of the in-shore wrecks and reefs. The key to catching them is to lighten up. Use 1 or 2 oz’s of lead, light wire 4/0 or 5/0 circle hooks, 30 or 40# fluorocarbon leader and live cigar minnows or herring. The Red Snapper bite has remained very good. It is generally not hard to get a limit within state waters. Live cigar minnows, herring and even alewives are excellent baits. Red Snapper season is closed in Federal waters. The State Snapper season remains open within 9 miles from shore until November 1st. King Mackeral are plentiful offshore and near shore. Trolling has picked up while most of the fish are being caught free-lining live baits.

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
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. On a high tide, the redfish will be laying up in the flooded Spartina Grass. Top water plugs, 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.



DESTIN
It has been a great week to fish. Off the jetties there has been a steady bite of black snapper on live shrimp. Some blues have been there along with hardtails and an occasional red.

On the pier they had been getting Spanish and blues almost every day. They have had some sporadic runs of kings and Friday was a very good afternoon for them. Some days they have gotten a few reds and plenty of ladyfish and hardtails.

In the bay and harbor the blues have been active. The flats past the coast guard station have had blues and ladyfish. Reds have been around the Destin Bridge and Midbay Bridge.

In the gulf the red snapper and king mackerel have been back on the bite since the passage of Gustav.

Offshore the blue water has also pushed back in. Several boats reported good water north of the spur. One boat had 2 small swordfish one nights and a Mako. A few Marlin have also been tagged and released. The path that Ike is one should only push the blue water even closer so expect the fall run of White marlin to be very good.

NAVARRE

SURF
Fishing for Pompano has started to pick up this week. There have been some reports of good fish being caught. Best baits remain live or frozen sand fleas and live and frozen shrimp. As the water continues to cool, the Pompano bite will increase. There are a lot of Ladyfish (skipjack), Spanish mackerel and Bluefish to be caught as well. Bright spoons, Gotcha plugs, Straw Rigs, Top Water and regular plugs will catch them. Live and frozen Shrimp will take them too. There is no shortage of sharks to catch on the beach, there have been a lot of reports of Bull and Blacktip sharks caught using Bonito and Skipjack (ladyfish) for bait. September and October should be great months for surf fishing.

SOUND AND BAYS
Trout remain on the grass flats in three to five feet of water. If you have no luck there try to go deeper, say five to nine feet. You can catch your biggest Trout early and late in the day on top water baits and on live baits. Live Shrimp, Tiger Minnows, Pinfish, Menhaden and Mullet all catch Trout. A host of artificial lures will catch them as well. Redfish can be caught on the same live baits and artificial lures. Work all visible and underwater structure to increase to your chances at landing a red. Skipjack, Jack Crevalle, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel and Flounder can all be caught in the bay this time of year. King Mackerel will be in the bays from now until the water gets to cold. Try slow trolling live baits in the pass, along the three mile bridge and in front of the Palafox Pier. You can also anchor and chum for them. Put your live bait under a balloon and wait for Mr. King to come along.

NEAR SHORE – GULF
There have been some good reports of King Mackerel and Spanish mackerel caught right off the beach in the last few weeks. Live Cigar Minnows and Blue Runners (hard tails) are the bait of choice. If there are large schools of bait around the King and Spanish Mackerel are not far away. Jack Crevalle have also been caught while fishing for King and Spanish mackerel. The big Redfish have begun to show up in the pass. Jigs, cut bait and live bait all take these fish. You may encounter a slot Red while fishing, but be sure to put the big ones back. I have heard of Cobia being caught on the inshore reefs with some consistency. Use live baits or jigs to catch them.

OFFSHORE – GULF
The bottom fishing for Snapper and Grouper remains very good. Live bait and frozen bait will work on both. Don’t be surprised if an Amberjack shows up, especially if you are jigging with Butterfly jigs or fishing with live Hardtails. Black Snapper (Mangrove) have been on all the reefs this year. Use live shrimp and live Tiger Minnows. However, they will eat the same baits as Red Snapper. I have had some reports of Cobia being caught over some live bottom here lately. Don’t forget that Federal waters are closed to Red Snapper but State waters (within 9 miles) remain open. I have had some good reports of Yellowfin Tuna being caught around the offshore oil platforms. Most anglers are trolling, jigging or chumming. Look for weedlines and floating debris if you are interested in catching some Mahi Mahi, Wahoo and other species. There was a report of a good weed line about 40 miles due south of Pensacola Pass that was holding some good Mahi Mahi last weekend.

Fresh Water

No report this week.

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.

Tarpon, Snook, Jacks In The Surf



FISHING SEPT. 6/O8


Wind, rain, more wind and rain, the sky looks like at any moment something is going to happen. The fish know and feed, prepare for the storm. So now here is the question, to fish or stay home and put up the shutters, that's the question.
The surf was brown and great for surfing but usually these conditions do not make it good for fishing. So why were these surfers buying black and chrome Bomber Long A's, Wind Cheaters and Cast Masters because the Tarpon, Snook and big Jacks were swimming around their boards while in motion. When I asked how far out I was told just get them wet the fish are on the edge. Heard allot about Mullet not much about Whiting but plenty about big Snook, big Jacks and Tarpon feeding on the mullet so close you could watch. One angler had 21 Snook another filed the barbs off the hooks and had to many Tarpon in the air and then the Jacks would come in and take every thing they were casting. This was the report from the beach, so the question, fish or stay home and put up shutters? Things have calmed now and there is plenty of Snook, Tarpon and Jacks on the beech, plenty of bait and yes the water is brown????
The bridges have been busy fishing with Black Drum, Snook and plenty of Snapper. Strong tidal movement will have plenty of "Big Snook" waiting for the tide to bring them dinner. Big baits, big fish, Pins, Mullet or big artificial have been leading the menu. The water has calmed smaller baits will work, shrimp for the Snapper and the Drum, fish up close to the pilings. Trout bite is there just no one has been looking, fish the power plant area, this area is not as influenced by the inlets. The water looks dark but the salinity level is there, fish a dark color baits and slow down. Shrimp on a jig head moving slowly across the bottom is a sure catch.
Off shore run to the color lines and start or run all your lines down. That brown water is fresh and it floats, so the green blue water is below and that is where the fish are. When you find bait with your machine you now know where the salt water is so put your baits down, no need to run to 200 to 300' the fish are up close just deep and just when you think you have it figured out the fish will change it all, I would rather be lucky than skillful.
Till next week, where are the life jackets...........Henry

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

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Snapper, Redfish Bite Between Storms

Fishing Report 09/10/2008 – Capt. Terry Frankford

The Reelin & Chillin was able to put angler's on some great redfish, mangrove snapper, and even a cobia recently. It was tough working around the hurricanes and the associated inclement weather however, it's always been a factor that before a front fish tend to feed, this I took advantage of.

Here are a few fish tails enjoyed aboard the Reelin & Chillin, I will associate the storms showing how fishing around them can be productive. Please note I say "fishing around them" NOT IN THEM.

With hurricane Fay near Cuba, my tarpon trip canceled. However, for me this was the calm before the storm. I had the day off so I went fishing. M-5 a near shore artificial reef located in about forty feet of water made of concrete culverts was my target. Long story short - mangrove snapper to sixteen inches, I had my limit in a half hour and started culling my catch. Water conditions were mild, maybe one to two feet however, by the late evening hours conditions went down hill, and the Gulf of Mexico was not the place to be.

With Fay past and Gustav near Haiti Frank Winkle and I headed out to M-5 with snapper as the target. It took about three hours to catch our limit of snapper including culling part of our catch. We then moved out to another reef M-7 in about fifty feet of water. We culled a couple more snapper then the catch of the day was on, a forty-four inch cobia ate my shrimp. After a thirty minute battle using fifteen pound line and only a #4 Owner circle hook I was using for the snapper, we were able to land the fish. The water conditions were like glass and unbelievably clear.

I did three redfish trips between hurricanes Gustav and Hanna, here are the results:

Ashok and Peggy Sawe with family:
Three reds, twenty-six to twenty-eight inches

Birdena Samuel and friend English:
Around eight reds all over the limit to thirty-inches except for Birdena did catch dinner landing a twenty-six inch red just at the end of the trip.

Sam Vilardi caught and released this 28" redfish while aboard the Reelin & Chillin.

Sam Vilardi and Steve:
Twelve reds four in the slot, eight over to thirty inches.

Captain's Tip - Working the Storms

It may sound like the testosterone level is a little high going out before or between storms, however, you can do it with out incident, if you pay close attention to conditions. When I say before the storm it's not hours, it's more like a day. I'm not going far, inshore or within a ten mile distance from shore to the artificial reefs. My boat is in perfect condition, I have towing with Boat U.S., several Captain's who are personal friends wouldn't have a problem coming out to help me, and someone always knows my plan for the day. I keep a 360 degree eye on the horizon for storms, and with a boat that can go upwards of 40mph, ten miles isn't far. Don't take chances, but try working the storms, it will prove productive and keep you on the water.

Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford

Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.
941-228-7802
terry.frankford@verizon.net
www.charterfishingsarasota.com

Capt. Terry Frankford
941/228-7802
terry.frankford@verizon.net
www.charterfishingsarasota.com
www.naturetourflorida.com