Friday, October 31, 2008

Fish Don't Mind The Cold

This week we experienced record cold temperatures in Central Florida. Water temperatures in Mosquito Lagoon plummeted 15 degrees. Fortunately, the fish did not seem to mind the cold as much as I did and were feeding happily throughout the day. Water levels have been fluctuating over the last two weeks with the best days of fishing coming on the days with the lowest water.

On the 17th, Capt. Ron Presley and I teamed up on Mosquito Lagoon hoping to get the last few photos needed for his upcoming book. We started off throwing topwater and withing a few minutes, Capt. Ron landed a redfish and I followed with a nice trout. We had a few more blowups before the action died. With the sun up, we went in search of black drum. We each caught a few with Ron landing a nice fish around 20 pounds.

We ended the day fishing some deeper water along the edge of flat. Trout and large ladyfish were keeping us entertained when suddenly the water began to erupt into a white froth. Hundreds of jack crevalle we attacking the schools of mullet. After catching a few, I got out the 5wt flyrod and we set up ahead of the fast moving school. On my first cast my fly was grabbed the instant it touched the water and the fish took off. After the fly line smoked my finger for several seconds the hook pulled out. On my next attempt, the hook stayed and the jack offered a great fight on the light tackle.

Last Tuesday, A large trout on topwater, a black drum on fly, and a handful of redfish on four inch DOA CALs were willing to cooperate. Arkansas Glow was the most productive color.

The following day, Dave from Washington state joined me hoping to fly fish the Mosquito Lagoon. The wind was a bit too much for Dave to overcome with the flyrod but he had consistent shots at redfish throughout the day with spinning gear.

This Monday, I fished the Lagoon ahead of the cold front. The water was high and the fish were spread out. A large seatrout was willing to eat an olive clauser minnow fly and DOA Cals in Arkansas Glow and Stark Naked were willingly eaten by several redfish.

Yesterday, Steve from Tennessee had a great day of fly fishing. We decided on a late start to avoid the 40 degree morning temperatures. We began seeing redfish immediately. Using a bendback fly, Steve landed redfish on 27 and 29 inches and had several more bites and quite a few follows.

Despite a steady breeze throughout the day, Steve stuck with the fly and was able to hook two black drum on an olive clauser landing one.

Fortunately, temperatures are predicted to return to normal for the next two weeks. If the water levels continue to drop, the fishing will get even better. Big trout are beginning to appear in shallow sand holes with more frequency and the redfish are starting to school. With clean water and sunny skies, the sight fishing will be outstanding.

Tip of the Week - Reel Care
Saltwater is hard on the equipment. Fail to care for your reels and corrosion will quickly set in. At the end of each fishing day, take care to clean your reels and they will last a long time. Spraying your reels with a hose will wash the salt of the exterior but will drive it deeper into cracks and crevices where it will cause unseen damage. I prefer to take a towel and soak it with fresh water and wipe the reels down at the end of each day. Periodically, add a few drops of oil to the roller bearing, handle, and other moving parts. Keep a cover on your reel while transporting it will prevent scratching the finish and keep out salt spray.

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

Florida Space Coast Fishing 10-08

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Fishing Forecast, November 2008

By Captain Tom Van Horn

November is one of the best months to target snook at Sebastian Inlet. In addition, large flounder and oversized redfish have begun to show up on the Port Canaveral buoy line and in the inlets of Ponce De Leon and Sebastian, and the flounder numbers will increase as the flounder begin their seaward migration out of the lagoon. Also, let's not forget the influx of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and black tip sharks shadowing schools of finger mullet and glass minnows along the beach. Another important note, is to remember sea trout season closes November 1st on Florida's Space Coast, and remains closed through January 1st, 2009.

As water temperatures cool offshore, look for cobia and tripletail to begin showing up on the Port Canaveral Buoy line and on flotsam, both near-shore and offshore. When you find weeds and other debris, look for tripletail to be hanging just below the floating structure. Live shrimp and small jigs tipped with shrimp work well when targeting these brim on steroids. Fishing later in the day keeping the sun to your back will improve your range of sight, and always remember to keep a medium heavy rod rigged with a one-ounce buck tail jig ready to throw to any cruising cobia. Also, look for the fall dolphin and kingfish run to commence as well and an occasional sailfish or black fin tuna on the near-shore reefs and wrecks like 8A and Pelican Flats.

On the inside, pompano will begin to form up and move off of the lagoon flats thought the inlets, and invade the beach in search of mole crabs (sand fleas) their favorite winter food. Currently, reports of pompano skipping have been coming from anglers working the flats in various locations within the Lagoon. Also look for large schools of ladyfish, jacks, Spanish mackerel, and sea trout to be feeding on the migrating schools of glass minnows as they move south through the Lagoon.

Fishing Buddies Tom and Rich with a Hefty Fall Redfish

Sight fishing this past month for redfish has was tough due to higher water levels and tons of finger mullet, but water levels have begun to drop a little and the early arrival of cold air and cooling water has the redfish schooling up again. There's still a large amount of mullet on the flats, so the mullet run isn't over yet. Additionally, a good numbers of quality black drum and some gag grouper will begin to occupy the deeper channels of the ICW and areas around bridges and power structures throughout the lagoon.

Last but not least, the tailing black drum and redfish will begin to show up on the flats of the Banana River No-Motor Zone as the water levels recede and the water temperature cools down. If you have never experienced black drum tailing in a foot of water, it is worth the long paddle. When targeting black drum in the zone, concentrate your efforts on the deeper side on the sandbars that parallel the west shore, and the sandy submerged bars located on the middle flats located on the east side. When you locate tailing black drum and redfish, try throwing crab or shrimp imitation artificial baits like the D.O.A. Shrimp, a black Clouser fly, and chunks of blue crab or live shrimp work well for natural baits.

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

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
407-366-8085 land line
407-416-1187 on the water

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nature Coast Gators Like Big Baits

Awesome Speckled Trout Fishing!!
Report Date: October 22, 2008

October has been a great month for fishing along the Nature Coast. Light winds and cooling temperatures have not only made fishing more comfortable but they have also helped to make the inshore fishing more productive. No species of fish benefits more from cooling temperatures than the Nature Coast Speckled Trout. As water temps begin to cool a plethora of baits move into the shallows to feed and take up residency for the impending mild winters we have. Glass Minnows, Threadfins, Pinfish, Silver Mullet and Mud Minnows all become more prevalent and give hungry Redfish and Monster Gator Trout plenty of options to choose from.

This time of year most Big Gator Trout tend to feed on bigger baits in order to store up fat for the winter. Because of this a large Pinfish or Silver Mullet stands no chance if it crosses paths with a hefty Trout looking for a meal. Therefore, I tend to upgrade the size of baits that I normally use on a regular basis. Instead of using regular shrimp I switch to Large Select Shrimp, instead of using a Puppy Spook, I will switch to the full size Zara Spook. These bigger baits are what hungry fish are looking for this time of year.

JC with speckled trout
JC one up himself this time with this slob 23" Speckled Trout.

On a recent charter this was definitely evident as JC Livingston and I went searching for Large Gator along the Nature Coast. We started targeting trout along a patchy grass flat ranging from 2-3 feet of water. As I poled him around I notice that a majority of the trout we were seeing were staging on the edges of many of the potholes we were drifting over. However, they didn’t seem to be interested in JC’s smaller 3” Berkley Gulp! shrimp. I immediately had JC switch to a larger 5” Berkley PowerBait JerkBait and the next Pothole we hit WHAM!! A 23” Speckled Trout came out of its Pothole and nailed the bait. After a strong fight we brought the fish boat side, snapped a photo and sent him on his way. A few casts later JC brought his jerkbait over another pothole and WHAM!! a 24” Speckled Trout was thrashing around on the surface. Once we switch baits it was like we turned a switch on and every other cast we were getting strikes. In total we landed over 40 Speckled Trout a majority of them were between 17”-24” inches. What a Great Day and all were released to fight another day.

So if beautiful weather, awesome strikes, and great fights is what gets you excited, give RED HOT FISHING CHARTERS a call today.

Capt. Kyle Messier
(352) 634-4002

Red Hot Fishing Charters
Crystal River and Homosassa, Florida

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Everglades Offer More Then Fishing

October 26, 2008
Filed under: Ship's Log — Captain Ned Small @ 5:21 pm

Captain Wayne Krystopa picked me up this morning an hour before daylight. The plan was for me, this time, to be the foredeck guy on Wayne’s boat so that he could try a recon survey of his favorite spots. Wayne’s technique is a little different than mine, and it was a pleasure to have a little time on the point casting Dead LadyFish Chunks up and down the Islands. The weather was perfect with calm winds and we had a baitwell full of pilchards, finger mullet, and ladyfish by 8:30.

With the sunrise, the wind finally letting off and all that, the calm conditions and with Captain Wayne’s relentless pursuit, when we finished the day, (we were in the Rock Bottom by 2:30,) we had seven redfish between 26 inches and twenty six pounds. We caught four redfish over twenty pounds, we caught and released a bonnet shark, got spooled by a mystery fish, jigged up a bunch of bluefish, iced a couple of trout, had fish for dinner and didn’t catch any snook.

There were Bald Eagles, a pair, on an isolated coastal island, we saw ducks, roseatte spoonbills, ibis, iron headed wood storks, cormorants, white pelicans. Ospreys and flocks of small shore birds. Egrets and little green herons.

We jumped a spinner shark, porpoise were rolling around us, spotted eagle rays were leaping out of the water beside us, all day.

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

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 10-25-08

FISHING 10/25/08

Rain, wind and cool mornings, that was last week, enough of that. The cool mornings we can deal with but it is time that the weather settles down. Amazing what a few days of cooler water will bring, anglers report Pompano skipping and the Flounder have put on weight.
Pompano like cooler water they are a sure sign of seasonal change. From the surf last week we were talking about all the sand fleas on the edge and that is where the Pompano were feeding, at your feet. As the surf settles and weeds leave now is the time to find Pompano up close if the fleas are on the edge why would the fish be any where else. We have had several from the bridge, not limits but good numbers of three pound fish on small jigs. Boaters report plenty skipping in their wash from several locations, skipping not biting but that was yesterday.
Now about those Flounder, these fish have been in the five pound class, catches reported from all locations, surf, flats, bridges and inlets. If there is a slight drop off, soft sand, any where there is an edge a bait move slowly across the bottom is dinner to a flounder.
Trout, Snook, Jacks, Blue fish to name a few have been on the Mullet schools, watch for the bait spray, from north to south, east side of west just watch for the bait spray. The only Tarpon this week were reported on the west bank of the St. Lucie river. The mouths of the canals are the locations, big fish, 100lb fish, do not take a knife to the gun fight.
Off-shore the zone has been 200', run a little south of the St. Lucie inlet.The Dolphin have all been in the twenty pound class, good Sail Fish bite and still Black Fin Tuna. The wind has finally slowed, fuel prices are going down and the fish are biting I and not sure if it can get better.
Surf has finally laid down and the action on the edge is moving up. As the water cools the Snook will move off and the Blues, Jacks and Pompano will move in. Big Whiting and Croaker will show in the later morning and the Snook will follow, they like the warmer water.
Till next week do not forget the camera..........................................Henry

Snook Nook Bait & Tackle
3595 NE Indian River Drive
Jensen Beach, FL
(Just South of the Jensen Causeway)
(Since 1949)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trout And Jacks On Indian River Flats

Fishing Report Fort Pierce - Port St Lucie - Vero Beach - Jensen Beach October 24, 2008

In spite of a blustery week of windy weather, we managed a couple nice days to get out on the Indian River and find the fish in the mood to eat some baits. We had to cancel a few days due to the conditions. Looks like this next week will continue with strong winds and rainy days in the forecast, so plan your ventures wisely out there. Inshore has been fishable, but offshore still has been difficult most days to get out.

Todd Dziak and his dad, Fred, were out with me this past week and we encountered lots of trout and jacks on the flats on a near perfect day for fishing. Richie and JoAnn Adams also had some nice weather the day we fished the Indian River this week. Once again, the fish were feeding and we had a great day on the water. We caught a variety of fish this week on the Treasure Coast.

We fished some docks on the outgoing tides for snook this week. Richie and JoAnn caught a half dozen snook in the 22-25" range and lost one big snook under the docks. Fishing the outgoing tides has been the most productive around the inlets and bridges as well. Live baits have worked best for us, but some are still being taken on artificials, especially around the jetties.

Richie landed a nice 26" redfish from under a dock as well while snook fishing. He even caught a few gag grouper both at the docks and on the flats. We spent the rest of our trips on the flats catching lots of trout up to 22" and many jacks. Todd, Richie and JoAnn had a busy, but fun time catching and releasing a lot of fish on their adventures. We have still been fishing mostly south of Fort Pierce down towards the Power Plant on the eastern side of the river.

Bridges have continued to hold sand perch, black drum, snapper and some croakers on live or dead shrimp. The surf has been pretty quiet with the strong northeast winds coming onto shore. The jetties have held snook at night and jacks, bluefish and mackerel most of the time on active tides. It a good time of year to play around with a top water lure around the inlets.

Tip of the Week:
Now that fall is showing signs that winter isn't far off. It's a good time to check on your batteries and make sure they are in good working condition. Cold weather and batteries don't always make a good combination. As the temperatures cool off, if you are going to have battery problems, it will most likely happen on a cold morning when you least expect it. Clean terminals for good contact and replace any worn or corroded cables that can cause problems. If a battery is in question, most places that sell them will also check yours out to see what condition it is in and if replacement is necessary. Oh...and you might locate those long johns soon, too!

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.}

Jacks And Trout Bite In Banana River

Jacks Can Save the Day

Rain and wind have been common characteristics on recent fishing trips. Last Sunday was no exception. The rain cleared out early enough, but the day started with heavy NW winds that slowly shifted from the North. The chop on the Banana River made it less than comfortable anytime you were trying to move on the river. Fishing had been slow and I revealed this to my group of three anglers, Cliff, Ed, and Jeremy. Ed responded by saying “you probably always say that.” Actually, with the wind as high as it was and the water stirred up and murky I just didn’t want them to get their expectations to high.

The redfish were not willing to participate in our outing, but a few trout did. Still, the game saver was the Jack Crevalle. We got into a school of Jacks and immediately had a couple hookups. Ed was first, and then I think it was Jeremy, but his pulled off. Then Cliff’s pole was bent over and he was working his first Jack to the boat.

Ed is showing off the first Jack in the picture below. You can see how rough the water was, and we were glad to have found some rod bending action.

man landing jack crevalle

We didn’t accomplish a triple hookup, but we did have a couple of doubles to add to the excitement. Cliff is shown with one of his fish in the picture below. If you are like me, and as it turns out, like Cliff, Ed, and Jeremy, if it pulls hard it is a good fish and these Jacks were pulling what seemed to be extra hard on this windy day.

man holding jack crevalle

We were fishing live shrimp under popping corks when we first encountered the Jacks, but switched quickly to plastics to increase the fishing time by not having to re-bait after each fish fight. Color did not seem to matter. The Jacks were hungry and willing to eat almost anything we threw at them.

We lost track of how many Jacks we actually caught, but everyone had a chance to pull on several. There were also a few trout thrown into the mix as evidenced by the slot sized trout Jeremy is holding below.

man holding speckled trout

In my humble opinion, Jacks are one of the most fun-filled fish you can catch. Pound-for-pound they will give you a better fight than many other fish we target. And don’t forget, when summer rolls around again the big ones will be roaming just off the beach waiting to give some lucky angler the fight of his life. Just don’t forget to beef up your tackle if you go in search of the big summer Jacks.

man holding big jack crevalle

Florida Sportsman Fishing Shows
There are two more Florida Sportsman Fishing Shows left this Fall. I will be manning the booth for the Florida Guides Association at both the Jacksonville and Orlando shows. The Jacksonville show will be held on November 8th and 9th and the Orlando how will be the following weekend on November 15 and 16.

Come by the booth and say hi if you are in the area.

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

Capt. Ron Presley

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mackerel Still Strong Off Sarasota

October 26, 2008

Sarasota Florida Fishing Report
By Capt. Bob Smith

King and Spanish mackerel are still going strong along the beaches! Live
sardines, pilchards and shrimp on free-line are working best.
Diamond jigs and deep running plugs are working best with trolling and
casting. Don't forget your Sabiki bait rigs for the larger bait-fish. We
have had barracuda, little tunny and black-tip sharks mixed in with the
mackerel along the beaches and out to about the thirty foot depth.

The standard live bait rig for the above is a 4/0 to 6/0 hook, six inches of
#5 or #7 coffee wire, black swivel, three to four feet of forty to sixty
pound mono leader attached to double line with a blood knot. I like to
double my line with a Bimini or spider hitch. I use this on twelve to
twenty pound test line. Some anglers like to add a stinger hook for less
missed fish.

If the fish get picky or I just want to pick up the action, I use a 4/0
Aberdeen 202 light long shank gold hook with thirty to forty pound mono
leader without the wire leader. I use this rig on twelve pound line. Yes!
They eat a few more hooks but I put more fish in the boat and have more fun.

The bay fishing has been good on the deeper Middle ground grass flats. A
mixed bag of, seatrout, mackerel, bluefish, flounder, snapper, jacks, and
ladyfish is being caught, just to name a few. Live bait, shrimp and fish
is working well. Artificial lures like the DOA shrimp will help you pick
out the better fish and not feed the pinfish.

I know that the small pinfish and grunts can be agitating, but this is the
sign of healthy grassflats and is what will draw the better fish to the

Enjoy & Protect
My Website: http//

Thank you!

Capt. Bob Smith
Phone: (941) 366-2159 Cell: (941) 350-8583.
My Website: http//

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report 10-24-08

Report for 10/24/2008

Salt Water

The red snapper bite continues to be excellent around many of our inshore wrecks and reefs. Again, this week reports put the grouper in 150’ of water. We expect some high seas this weekend due to another weather front moving through, so plan your trips carefully. King mackerel catches are sparse; however, flat lining baits over or near structure is accounting for most catches. If you are looking for a fight, amberjack are abundant right now. Look for larger wreck or reef structures like the Air force tower and send down larger live baits for larger AJs. Big Spanish mackerel and bluefish schools are along the shorelines and reports say Crooked Island Sound is a hotspot with large schools of finger mullet in the area. Christmas tree rigs trolled and gotcha plugs are accounting for many catches this week.

Trout are beginning to move into deeper pockets of water and reports of trout in the intercoastal waterway are increasing due to cooler water temperatures. Several trout caught inside the St Joe Marina this week on live shrimp. The redfish made a healthy showing throughout the bay this week. Many anglers reported fun filled hours of catch and release fishing. The flats along Town Beach is a good spot for redfish and trout and are easily accessible to wade fishermen. The flounder bite continues but is tapering off with each succeeding cold front that passes through.

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.

King mackerel are still biting well near shore. Trolling and free-lining live baits are both working well. The Grouper bite is still good. 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.

Pictures sent in by Donna Fries
Half Hitch has always been so much help to HK and I, and just want to say thank you! HK says thanks also! We did well yesterday and here are some pictures to show you! 4 Nice AJ's - 2 were 34-36" each and 2 just a little smaller, some nice Snappers, a trigger and a grouper! We KNOW where to go to get OUR FISHING Supplies! --- Donna Fries

woman holding amberjack

man holding amberjack

Pompano are starting to be caught in greater numbers along the beaches. A 2-hook rig or Pompano jig will catch these fish. Mangrove Snappers are all over the jetties. Live shrimp fished on the bottom is the best bet. 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 and around the bouys with live 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.

Destin Rodeo
Fishing has been fantastic. We are entering the last 10 days of the Destin Fishing Rodeo and it will likely be an all time record year for the number of fish entered. Last year we had 790 fish entered and in 1999 we had 909 fish entries and with 10 days to go this year we already have 827 fish entered.

Tuesday the 21st was highlighted by a 104lb Yellowfin tuna. It was also the first day that Miss Destin (Leah Stewart) got to go fishing this year during the rodeo and she had a nice 15lb Red snapper. One of the kayak fisherman also landed a 12lb King mackerel yesterday.

Overall the King fishing has been steady. The Redfish near the Destin Bridge and pass have been on fire. They have had very nice catches of Red snapper with a 26lb fish leading that division. Grouper have been very good along with Amberjack.

Offshore the Dolphin, Tuna and Wahoo are still on the attack. We had a Dolphin come in on Sunday just 3lb shy of a Rodeo record, the fish weighed in at 45lbs. that was a great fish for October.

To see a complete list of the current standings for the Destin Fishing Rodeo go to


The Pompano are all along the beaches. There have been some reports of a few good fish being caught. Best baits remain live or frozen sand fleas and live and frozen shrimp. Pompano jigs will catch them too. 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. Redfish have showed up on the beach as well. Some will be slot size fish but for the most part they will be over the slot. Live, frozen and cut baits, especially cut mullet will catch them. There have been reports of the occasional Flounder being caught, some will be nice fish over five pounds. Best baits are Tiger, Bull minnows and live finger Mullet.

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 and live baits. Live Shrimp, Tiger Minnows, Pinfish, Menhaden and Mullet all catch Trout. Now is a good time of year to throw the top water baits early in the morning for the bigger Trout. Redfish can be caught on the same live baits and artificial lures. Work all visible and underwater structures to increase your chances at hooking up with a red. Skipjack, Jack Crevalle, Bluefish, Spanish mackerel and Flounder can all be caught in the bay this time of year. The Flounder fishing should start to pick up with the gradually cooling water. Finger Mullet, Bull Minnows and Tiger Minnows are hard to beat. Mangrove Snapper on are the bridge pilings, tie on a 12” piece of 10# to12# fluorocarbon leader, a #1 hook, ½oz sinker and a live shrimp. This rig will take Sheepshead as well. The upper part of east Bay has been good for Redfish and Trout. Try fishing around the power lines and the surrounding oyster bars. 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 should prove productive. Don’t overlook trolling a big Rapala bait for these fish as well. You can also anchor and chum for them with Menhaden Oil or cut up Menhaden. Put your live bait under a balloon and wait for Mr. King to come along.

There have been some good reports of King Mackerel and Spanish mackerel caught right off the beach and outside Pensacola Pass 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. The big Redfish are being caught 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. This is a good time of year to look for the big schools of Redfish to be on top just outside and within one or two miles of the pass. Try looking for birds working the schools. Throw top water baits for some great action or a large spoon or jig. For the fly rod enthusiasts this is prime time. Any pattern that imitates a large baitfish will serve you well. Live baits or jigs will catch them to.

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 a Butterfly jig or fishing with live Hardtails. Black Snapper 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 good reports of Yellowfin Tuna being caught around the offshore oil platforms. The Destin rodeo has weighed in two fish over 100 lbs so far. Most anglers are trolling, jigging or chumming. Look for weed lines and floating debris if you are interested in catching some Mahi Mahi, Wahoo and other species. I had a report today of a couple of Wahoo in the 30lb and 50 lb range being caught yesterday.

Fresh Water
Sorry, no freshwater report this week.

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.

Friday, October 24, 2008

N.E. Florida Fishing Report 10-08

Ahoy there Anglers,

Well, here we are in one of my favorite times of the year. Now if we could just get the winds to work with us. Loads of sheepshead, lots of flounder, the larger Virginia croakers, good sized yellow mouth trout and more black drum are all available this time of the year. Plenty to choose from although the winds have been keeping us from getting to the jetties sometimes. Like today, NOAA's Marine Forecast is for Northeast winds 25 to 30 knots, (30 knots is 35 mph) with frequent gusts to gale force, (gale force is 39 mph). Seas 6 to 9 feet. Inland waters rough. That's why I'm home today. When the bite is as good as it is right now on the species I mentioned, I hate not being able to take customers out there to get on them. Get out there when you can as they're biting like there's no tomorrow. And yes, a lot of people like to eat jacks.

On another note of interest:
I've heard so much about certain people AND a certain Charter Captain even, using treble hooks to float fish for spotted trout. THAT is strictly against the law ! The law states that "no live or natural bait is to be used with ANY multiple hook". A lot of people even tell me that particular Captain even tells people that's how to do it and has his customers use treble hooks and they're the ones who are susceptible to hefty fines if caught even though he is the one having them use them. Everyone I know catches plenty of spotted trout and other species on 2/0 Eagle Claw Kahle hooks on float rigs and we're NOT tearing up the small trout's mouths like the treble hooks do. Let's be responsible with our resources. Please don't use treble hooks with live or dead shrimp. Use single hooks when using live and natural baits so you don't tear up the trout's mouths or kill them to get the treble hooks out where they don't survive the release. I've been anchored close to and seen the small trout float off from that Captain's boat when released and wondered why he kills so many small trout and other fish while float fishing. Now I know. If you're not quite a good enough angler to catch a trout on a single hook then go to Publix and get your fish. At least there they're already dead.

NMFS is soliciting nominations for the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel (AP). Nominations for the HMS AP will be accepted to allow representation from Atlantic HMS recreational and commercial fishing interests, the conservation community, and the scientific community. Nominations must be received on or before November 20, 2008. Please see the attached notices for further details or visit the HMS homepage at and click on the Breaking News or the HMS Advisory Panel links.
If you do not have adobe you may download it here for free

I always start off with the area that's happening the best and that's the Mayport Jetties. Loads of sheepshead are biting at the rocks right now. We're having catches of 10 to 15 on a bad day and 25 to 38 on a good day. Sheepshead to 8 pounds are taking fiddler crabs and it's on right now. Black drum from 5 to 14 pounds so far are eating dead shrimp or cut blue crab on the hard-bottom spots just off the rocks in the deeper areas. Bull redfish are schooling up and man, what a fight! Tie into one of these guys and they'll change your mind about having to be offshore to catch a big fish. Flounder are on the sand right beside the rocks but getting to them when the wind is blowing is difficult. The black margates have shown up again this year and they are great to eat. Just like a sheepshead, they're a member of the porgie family and eat the same things as their relatives. Nice-sized ringtail porgies are being caught also. Small sea bass, a few croakers and some whiting are out there also although the whiting bite just hasn't been happening this year as it should be. A few sharks are left over but as the water cools they should be leaving also. The tarpon have been heading out and when the pogies or mullet are being hammered by the pelicans the tarpon fire up and feed aggressively. It's off and on but when they're feeding like that they're actually jumping out of the water at times.

Big Virginia croakers and some of the largest yellow mouth trout I've seen in years are biting very good right now in the St. Johns River. Flounder just about everywhere but you have to pick the right tide for the right area to get on them good. We've had catches so far of 6 on a slow day/wrong tide to 31 on the right tide. We're catching more on 1/4 oz Sure Catch Jigs with the 3" Gulp baits in the Natural color. The reason is when you miss a flounder on a big mullet or mud minnow they usually get the bait and it'll be another hour or more before that one bites again. When you miss one with the Gulp they don't usually get the bait off the hook so you can cast out and he'll be looking to bite again. They ought to be here for another month and a half, I hope, depending on the mullet run, water temperature, etc. Black drum from 5 to 14 pounds are still biting in the river and man, do they fight. Bull redfish are in their usual spots and are real fighters but PLEASE remember to take enough time to revive and vent, if need be, these magnificent fish. AND please release them! I see too many people that catch them and then pull anchor and take off. They're not good to eat that big. They're a lot of fun but we need their babies to restock our waters. If you need fish that bad then go to Publix. Spotted trout are doing good one day and not so good the next. Mangrove snapper are still in the river also and quite a few spots around. Whiting, yellow mouth trout and drum are in the Nassau River and closer to the bridges you can catch the sheepshead around the pilings although it'll really scratch your boat up. Whiting and spotted trout are in Ft. George also.

Black drum from 12" to 18" are eating live shrimp on Sure Catch Jigs in the creeks while we're searching for the reds and trout. Good eating size. The spotted trout and redfish have slowed a little in the creeks and I think it's all this wind out of the Northeast. When this straightens up look for the bite to really pick up. Redfish have been pretty aggravating here lately. I know people are catch a couple here and there but usually in October we should be catching 10 to 20 a trip. It's hardly worth it to me to fish for a couple when you can have way more action on the other species like we're having. The reason for the redfish slow bite is in September, October and November we have the highest tides of the year. That's when people like to fish for tailing redfish in the flooded grass and that happens about every other week during those months on the new moon and the full moon weeks. But, since we're having all those Noreaster blowing in and making the tides higher than normal, even on the weeks they're not supposed to be, the reds are gorging themselves on fiddler each and every day and they're just not that hungry. They gorge on the fiddlers because that's an easy target for them. They spend no energy chasing other baits when they can just ease around and suck fiddler out of the holes. Flounder in the creeks have been doing good though. Nice jacks to 8 pounds are really tearing up the surface in the ICW. Fun to catch on top waters!

Spotted trout, black drum, flounder and a few reds are biting good in the Cove. The action is better in the Cove for these guys because you don't have near as much spartina grass near the Cove as you do closer to the creek areas off the ditch. Try spinner baits, or MirrOdines. Yellow mouth trout at the Cove's entrance along with a few whiting. Nice sized jacks are fun to catch in there.

The whiting and pompano bit has picked up a little in the surf and they're also catching black drum and a few redfish. Small bluefish are more a pain than anything else. Flounder around the Jax. Beach Pier along with sheepshead, whiting and a few pompano but most of the pompano are small.
Let's all remember to take a trash bag on board with you so you can bring it all back to the ramp!

Captain Chad Starling of Team Buck Rogers Fishing Charters tells me the grouper have turned on lately and the snapper are biting good when you can get out there. Sea Bass are also biting good. Limits of fish can be caught within 12 miles as the water continues to cool. Further out, vermillion snapper and triggerfish are biting well in 80 feet on out! So when this wind lays down get out there and have some fun.

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
Web Site

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.

Sebastian Inlet Fishing Report 10-08

Whiteys Outfitters Fishing Report

Look for the action to heat up along the coastal beaches

as schools of baitfish begin popping up in the surf. September is an early start for the fingerling mullet to begin their migration from the northern Atlantic waters along the Carolinas to swim south to the Florida coastline for winter.

Schools of mullet look like patches of nervous water along the shore. They range from a few dozen fish grouped together, to thousands stretched out along the beach as far as the eye can see. Migrating schools will swim for protection close along the shoreline holding right in the waves, which is in range for land based fishing. Predators will also push large groups of mullet just offshore into large bait pods easily accessible from a kayak or by boat. While these little silver fish swim for their lives, all the big guys show up to feed on them and it is one of the best times of the entire year to fish in Florida!

Many species of fish will gather to feed on the mullet and attack the schools endlessly. Monster snook can be caught off the beach along with redfish, bluefish, jacks, spanish mackerel, sharks and the most sought after, tarpon. Most tarpon will range from 20-40 lbs., but look for plenty of the big boys coming in at 80+ lbs. Make sure your gear is in great shape and the spool is full of line because you will need every yard of it. Tarpon are notorious for making an instant strike and then heading for a run that will dump over half of the line from your reel. If you’re lucky, they might stop before you get spooled!

The key to fishing these huge schools of bait is to stay where the action is. Stop and check the local beach accesses to see where the bite is happening. Most of the time it is right out your back door, and will stay there most of the day. More active feeding times will be a couple hours after sunrise and later in the evening several hours before sunset. Live bait, mullet, and of course an assortment of lures should be rigged up and ready to go on a 30-40 lb. leader of mono or fluorocarbon. Swim baits that look very natural work great tracking through the water at different depths based on the rate of your retrieve. Try some of the Calcutta Flash Foils in a mullet, pinfish or red/white color, and/or the Berkley paddle baits in a mullet pattern around the 5-6 inch range. For the surface bite, grab your favorite wind cheater or any surface popper like the Cotton Cordell pencil poppers. Top water and diving lures will stand up to more aggressive strikes and are not prone to having the tails bitten off by smaller fish.

As the mullet round the tip of the jetties at Sebastian Inlet everything goes crazy. Snook will start doing cartwheels out of the water and the redfish will blaze through the schools inhaling baits. Live pinfish and pigfish along with croakers are showing up in the inlet and moving out from the river during tide changes. Live bait on the tide changes during the night is always a snook favorite along with diving plugs and bucktails. During the day live shrimp and pinfish drifted from the piers on incoming tides should produce some redfish and snook action.

The mangrove and mutton snapper have been holding in the deeper inlet channels and along the piers. The snapper bite was still strong at the end of August and should continue to hold most of September, with the continued supply of bait coming into the inlet.

With the long awaited start of snook season coming September 1st, the timing could not be better for the mullet run to start. Keep in mind that the snook regulations are 28-32, and one fish per person, per day. Let’s hope September is a calm month in the Atlantic, and all the storms stay away so that we can dry things out. Take some time off for yourself, and hit the beach or Sebastian Inlet for some of the best fishing times all year…

Whitey's Bait & Tackle

9030 S Highway A1a
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sarasota Gulf And Bay Fishing

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 10/13 through 10/23/2008

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with Spanish mackerel and little tunny recently in the coastal gulf off Sarasota. Action in Sarasota Bay slowed but anglers fishing the bay with me still caught trout on deep grass flats. One angler had a slam fishing the east side of the bay with me one day consisting of a red, a snook and several trout.

Luther Penny, from NC, and Beth Harrison, from VA, had good action in the coastal gulf and Sarasota Bay on a couple of days. They caught Spanish mackerel off Siesta Key and trout and bluefish in Sarasota Bay from the Marina Jack flat to Stephens Point on the east side on Diamond Jigs, top water plugs and flies.

Later in the week on Oct. 16th Bill Taylor, from NH, and Robb McDonald, from OK, fished the same areas with me. They had fast action in the gulf with Spanish mackerel and little tunny on jigs and top water plugs. They even had a king skyrocket on a top water plug right next to the boat! We moved into the bay in the afternoon where they caught a few trout near Stephens point. Robb had a slam consisting of a red, a snook and several trout caught with DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs.

Phil and Brenda Rever, from Sarasota, FL, fished the coastal gulf with me on Monday, Oct. 20th. They had fast action in the coastal gulf off Siesta Key with Spanish mackerel on Diamond jigs and CAL jigs. They also hooked a pair of little tunny and landed one. The little tunny have been much tougher to fool than the Spanish mackerel due to their keen eyesight and selective feeding on glass minnows.

I was the guest of my friend, Steve Gibson from Sarasota, FL, on Wednesday. In addition to being the Outdoors Editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Steve is also a successful kayak fishing guide ( We fished Lake Manatee, east of Bradenton on Rt. 64, and caught numerous bluegill and stump knockers on 1 through 5-wt fly rods on popping bugs and nymphs. The freshwater fishing in our area is virtually untapped and Steve knows it well. In addition to fishing many freshwater locations, he also does well fishing many other areas in saltwater.

Next week’s tides are favorable for fishing the flats as we head towards a new moon on Tuesday, Oct. 28th. In addition, the action in the coastal gulf should continue for Spanish and king mackerel and little tunny. If you are looking for something fun to do, you might consider fishing the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers/Coastal Conservation “Fall Fly Fishing Challenge” on Nov. 1st. The event, which pits fly anglers fishing against each other in a catch, photo and release format for a variety of species, is a laid back, low stress fishing event that also features an awards BBQ and a raffle. Contact me for more info.

Tight Lines,

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

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

Beth Harrison, from VA, with one of many Spanish mackerel caught and released off Siesta Key while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Robb McDonald, from OK, with a nice little tunny caught and released off Siesta Key while fishing Capt. Rick Grassett.

Florida Fishing Quiet On Treasure Coast

Fishing Report
Fort Pierce - Port St Lucie - Vero Beach - Jensen Beach
October 16, 2008

A quiet week along the Treasure Coast.....rain blowing and wind howling most of the week kept all but the diehard angler off the water. Both inshore and offshore fishing was all but lost this week. It finally calmed a bit today to allow some fishing, but dirty water and higher than normal tides made it difficult to say the least. But....tomorrow is another day and we will be out on the water in search of our quarry once again! The coming weekend should provide us with fishable weather ahead.

Ian Moss and I finally got a day that we could get on the water after cancelling earlier in the week. The day provided us with trout and jacks on the flats. The bait was harder to find, but we were able to catch some fish. Tom Hull reported catching trout and jacks as well. He caught some up to 23" on the flats south of Fort Pierce. DOA CAL jerk baits continue to work well on the flats. They have even out fished live bait this week. Seek out the bait schools and clean water when you can for your best fishing opportunities.

Bridges have held some sand perch, snapper and black drum recently. Whiting has been the mainstay on the beaches for those who have dared venture on the sand. Snook around the inlets have been caught mostly at night or on the outgoing tides. Overall....a pretty quiet week around the river.

Tip of the Week:
Jig heads have always been a pet peeve of mine. Lots of types, brands, sizes, colors, etc....... I use lots of jigs on the flats and rely on them to work the way I want them to. Pay attention to how the head is made. Is it tapered to allow the jig to lift up over the grass or made so it will nose down when jigged. Below are two photos of a few types of jig heads. All are designed as jigs, but most will act differently on the flats. In shallow water, I like jigs that have a tapered head and the eye of the hook positioned so that it will pull up at an angle when used. It allows my lure to work through the grass effectively without picking up grass on the retrieve. Next time you are looking at jig heads.....notice how they are made. Choose yours based on your own fishing needs.

O.K. jig heads

These jig heads all work well, but do tend to nose down and can pick up grass on the flats.

better jig heads

Notice the upward sweep of the head and the eye positioned to pull up on the head as it is worked across the flats.

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.}

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Permit And Bonefish Move To Keys Flats

October 17, 2008

The Lower Keys have had a bout with windy conditions this week. It has not deterred the fish from getting up on the flats to feed. Large permit are a great target in late October and in November. These fish particularly like flats that are near deeper channels or along the edge of a large basin like Key West Harbor. That way they can pop up onto the flat, feed and then return to safety in deeper water.

Bonefish are also a great target species in the fall months. The bonefish in the lower Keys range from 6 to 8 pounds on average with some larger bones mixed in that can be upwards of ten pounds!

There are still some baby tarpon available in the Lower Keys. They don't always cooperate but we can certain try and find a few to cast at. The bigger tarpon will not be around until early 2009 unless you happen to run into a resident tarpon along the edges of Key West Harbor or near Bahia Honda Bridge.

The winter fishing in the Keys brings on a whole new roster of species. Barracuda, jacks, sharks, seatrout, redfish and sometimes even snook are up on the flats and ready to feed. We also have the opportunity to fish for snapper and grouper when the water gets cooler. They may not all be of size to keep but they are fun to catch and a great fight on light tackle for adults and kids.

You can reach Captain Justin Rea at 305-744-0903 or email

Captain Justin Rea
Sugarloaf Key, FL 33042

Change Strategy As Water Cools

First Cool Front
The fishing has been steady the past few weeks. Some days the fish eat real well and others they can be difficult. With our first front passing today the fishing should heat up in the coming weeks. We will change our strategy as the water cools. It is the time of year when you will find some big trout and nice reds to cast to in the shallow waters. The key is finding clean water with a good mix of bait. When the water levels drop you will finds nice schools of reds in sand holes. November is a fun time to fish and the weather is great. Give me a call at 407-405-0819.


Want a chance to win a free charter? Go to and click on the photo for all the details. My new sponsor Crown Royal is offering a free trip. Get the new Crown Royal Camo Bag and keep it on your boat so you can take a photo of you and a fish. The winner will be picked at the end of the year. Listen to the 'Hawgwild Fishing Show' every Saturday from 6-8 am on WAMT 1190 ( or WIXC 1060 on the Space Coast. The replay is every Sunday ON ESPN WHOO 1080 Orlando form 6-8 am.

Tight Lines and Good fishing!
19 Oct 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

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Indian River Redfish Tactics

Early October Fishing Report

I love the Fall season and although so far it’s been a bit breezy the reds have been chewing. I’ll re-cap the past few trips starting with the Hunt for Reds held on October 5th.

Greg won the essay contest with the Brevard County Boy Scouts and was treated to a fishing trip with Yours Truly on Hunt Day (thanks, Dr. Bill Slomka!). Soaking cut mullet along eastern shorelines in the Indian River produced a nice slot red within a few short minutes of the tournaments official start time. It took mother Nancy a few hours longer to reel in her slot redfish, but we finally succeeded in catching our limit. We also did a good job of terrorizing the local catfish population. LOL! High winds kept us confined to anchoring the boat and soaking baits, though that’s not my preferred method for catching reds.

The following Tuesday Bill & Mike joined me for a short boat ride in 15 mph winds. After a few minutes in our first location the winds cranked up to 25+ mph and we hurried back to the ramp ahead of a major storm. Rescheduling for Friday was a great call…

Thursday Dennis and Jeremy enjoyed their first inshore fishing experience. Well versed in bottom fishing off of Port Canaveral this light tackle stuff was different to say the least. While we didn’t see the “schools of a thousand redfish” that Dennis has read about in the fishing publications the guys did very well indeed.

Blind casting to schools of finger mullet that were forming about 25 yards from eastern shorelines produced 5 redfish in short order. All fish were caught on Exude RT Slugs fished in a twitch-twitch pause retrieve. The bites came on the pauses as is typical with this style of artificial bait.

After the action slowed we moved to a group of big fish that wouldn’t hold still for us and we moved again for more slot fish. We were surprised to find a few fatties with the slot fish and Dennis catches a 43inch red and later Jeremy hooks another big girl that comes unbuttoned.

Friday Bill & Mike come back for round 2 and the weather is much better and so is the fishing. Within 15 minutes of dropping off of plane we are into the redfish in big way. The guys are, however not hooking them. A little coaching and I get them to slow down and the screaming drags begin, for Mike anyway. It’s 5 to 1 in 20 minutes as Mike is landing all of his and Bill’s are coming off. Same rods, reels, line and hooks! The action only stopped because of another boater coming too close and spooking the fish. Oh, well. We caught a few more and a couple of trout to round out the morning. Once again an s-l-o-w moving R T Slug did the job in solid white, smokin’ shad and mangrove red.

Saturday was more of the same, albeit a bit more breeze, a lot more fisherman and far fewer redfish. Still, Rick and Keith had a great time with their handful of reds and trout. We had to cover a little more of the eastern shoreline than the previous few days and play leap-frog with some of the other anglers, but that’s Saturday in the IRL!

The water is a bit dirty y’all either all white or dark colored Slugs are working best for us. Twitch them aggressively one, twice or even three times, but let them pause long between your groups of twitches that the lure can touch the bottom. Virtually all of our bites are coming as the bait is coming in contact with the bottom or after it has rested on the bottom for a split second.

Captain Mark Wright

cell - 321-302-3474
home - 321-264-3474

Tampa Bay Florida Fishing 10-08

Capt Jay Schroeder with CJ Flats Saltwater Charters reports bait was still plentiful throughout Tampa Bay last week and everything was biting to include Snook, Redfish, Sea Trout, Spanish Mackerel, and Mangrove Snapper. All species were caught on a variety of live and artificial baits on and near the flats at Tampa's familiar haunts; however winds and water conditions were more influential in spot selection last week then tides or recent trends.

Captain Jay noted a consistent and noticeable East/North East winds generating a bit of chop. Some parts of the bay had very poor water conditions. Picnic Island for example which had been previously holding Redfish and Snook, was calm but nearly impossible to fish due to the amount of floating debris in the water.

As for tactics aboard the Ms. Guided, Redfish succumbed to live shrimp rigged on jig heads when schooled up along shoreline, Snook and juvenile Tarpon inhaled free lined pinfish on a 1/0 circle hook near bridges and pilings with good tidal flow, and Trout aggressively punished topwater plugs later in the evening over patchy grass flats.

For those in the know, this week was the opening of Stone Crab Season and the results are in: Captain Jay reports there are a lot of Stone Crabs! If you were brave enough to tackle the rough conditions and low visibility, you were rewarded with delectable table fair. Captain Jay was quick to point out these dives are not for beginners nor the faint of heart, but if you found yourself frustrated after taking a pounding looking for King Mackerel, it is a phenomenal way to cool off and fill the ice box.

For more information or to book your next saltwater adventure in the Tampa area, contact Capt Jay Schroeder at 1-877-463-4520 or email

Capt Jay Schroeder
CJ Flats Saltwater Charters


Monday, October 20, 2008

Crappie Masters National Championship

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast

Fishing Report, October 19, 2008

By Captain Tom Van Horn

As the harvest moon wanes and the sweet pungent fragrance of night blooming Jasmine fills the night air, fall has finely arrived blessing us with gorgeous cool crisp breezy days. Fall is my favorite time of the year to be outdoors and to fish in Central Florida. The mullet are still thick in most areas of the lagoon, so concentrate your efforts focusing on nervous and pressures bait pods.

While the weather is showing signs of improvement, high water levels remain in the lagoons, lakes, and rivers. Accompanying the high water are dirty and weedy conditions, which makes for some tough sight fishing conditions. Another complication is always the wind; witch will remain consistent from the east between fronts. Most of the fishing reports I've received this week have been mixed, with the reports of significant action coming from anglers fishing in and around the Inlets.

A spider rig.

Although I did not fish saltwater this week, my schedule was filled with fishing adventure as I was invited to cover the Crappie Masters National Championship on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Tavares Florida. As a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, I was honored to work the event.

Never in my life did I think catching a pan fish would be so exciting, but after attending this event, I'm tempted to sell the flats boat and retire to the professional crappie trail. The four day event started with a boat parade through the streets of Tavares after registration followed by a media fishing tournament the next day.

The two day tournament consisted of over 150 two person teams fishing eight rods at a time with a total weigh in of the seven heaviest fish. The system they fish is called spider rig, and the teams are allowed to fish with both live and artificial baits. In January, the Crappie Masters will return to Central Florida with two tournaments. The first is on the 23rd and 24th on the Harris Chain, and the second is on the 30th and 31st is on Lake Monroe in Seminole County. For more details, visit the Crappie Masters website at

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
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 Office

Mackerel Tearing Up Jigs Off Sarasota

October 18, 2008

Sarasota Florida Fishing Report
By Capt. Bob Smith

It has been a good week for fishing along the coast in twenty to thirty feet
of water. The high winds and full moon did not deter the fishing. Fishing
just off Lido beach and out of New Pass, we caught plenty of Spanish
mackerel up to six pounds or more. They were coming in all sizes, from
twelve inches and up, and most were good size.

King mackerel also made a good showing and were mixed in with the Spanish.
The kings were running ten to twenty pounds. One boat did land a forty pound
king on a half of a Spanish mackerel while fishing for sharks.

Other fish mixed in with the mackerel were barracuda, bluefish, black-tip
sharks and some cobia were spotted. Baitfish of all kinds was easy to catch
with gold hook rigs, sometimes on the bottom and sometimes on top. Live
baitfish, a 5/0 hook, six inches of #5 coffee wire and four feet of forty to
sixty pound test mono leader connected to the line with a blood knot, not
swivel worked well for us.

When the mackerel were on top and boiling the water, we had a lot of fun
casting or pulling small Diamond jigs. This was very fast action when the
opportunity presented itself. I do not use wire or swivels, just a forty
pound test mono leader connected with a blood knot. A trailing swivel is
something other fish will snap at and cut your line. Keep the jigs moving
fast and don't stop. This should save you some jigs. I lose some but most
end-up looking like a Brillo pad before I lose or retire them.

Enjoy & Protect
My Website:

Thank you!
Capt. Bob Smith
Phone: (941) 366-2159 Cell: (941) 350-8583.
My Website:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 10-17-08

FISHING 10/12/08

Tuna, Tuna the bite is on, small feathers tied in a chain rig, Squid, Bally-hoo, the bait list is long. Trolled baits or casting baits these fish are hungry.
The bite starts at your first weed patch some where between 90' and 500' north, south or east it is tuna time. Dolphin and more Dolphin, the cool thing about this is they are all together. Real nice Dolphin in the 15 to 30lb class. Pesky Sails also so bring some extra bait, you will use it. Ninety to five hundred is quite a spread but that is as the reports came in,did I forget to mention the forty six pound Wahoo in sixty feet, a trolled bally on a down line.
Pompano on the beach, long cast, short cast it just depended on the day. One angler I told to long cast caught them when he was bringing in his line to check his bait, he then started using that 14 rod like a cane pole, well he found them and he caught them. One hour they were up close and the next out far, but they were catching not just fishing. Lots of fleas on the beach, I guess that should be our first clue. Plenty of Blues and Jacks for the early anglers, not much on the Snook and Tarpon. This week it seemed as the day move on so did the wind, cloudy water just chased the anglers away, not the fish.
It was from Nettles island south for the Trout, east side of the river for most of the week. Just enough wind to chop up the west side and keep it in it's turbid state. Most fish were slot size I will say it again, if you are going to take one home slot fish are the best for table fare. Live shrimp, small jerk baits kept their attention and the Jacks and Blue fish love them also. No Flounder reported this week but the Reds made a very strong show on the Sail Fish flats. Red fish of slot size so dinner was covered. The bridges continue with the Black Drum action, short Snook in the day hours, big Snook after sun down and it was that way at all bridges. For me the surprise was the Snook at the Roosevelt Bridge even with an assault by the Army Corp did not stop them.
Till next week a little more courtesy at the Jensen Causeway would make fishing a lot better for everyone.


Snook Nook Bait & Tackle
3595 NE Indian River Drive
Jensen Beach, FL
(Just South of the Jensen Causeway)
(Since 1949)