Saturday, November 29, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report 11-21-08


Report for 11/21/2008

Salt Water

MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE
Not many reports from offshore and the last reports we received had the grouper and amberjack at 150’. Big cuts of Bonita and butter flied whole, northern mackerel were working well on 80lb fluorocarbon with 10/0 size circle hooks on a Carolina rig. Jigging will also bring in the fish using either, the Fairwaters, the Braid or Shimano butterfly jig. The amberjack were still around the deeper wrecks hitting jigs such as the AJ glow jig or cigar minnows.

ST JOSEPH BAY
The intercostals canal from the George Tapper Bridge to the “T” remains a good stretch to fish this week as reports of numerous trout and black drum in the 4-5lb range reported daily with a few redfish and flounder thrown in. The trout are near the edges and caught on live shrimp Carolina rigged with 1 or ¾ oz egg weights and mutu light circle hooks or trolling the heavier 1 oz jig heads with a Berkley Gulp or Gotcha grub. The black drum are caught in the middle of the canal with the same set up, but live shrimp is working much better for this species. In St. Joe, bay some trout caught at the Port St Joe Marina using Gulp or Bass Assassin grubs and live shrimp. The bite at the marina is mainly early morning or late afternoon. With the water temperature dropping, more reports of fish moving into the bayous are coming in.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
Grouper are still being caught on wrecks and reefs within 9 miles. Also, check the hard bottom areas in the 100-120 feet range further offshore. Take some big live baits and get ready for action! Red Snapper season is closed in Federal and State waters. Plenty of Amberjacks are being caught on the bridge spans.

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Bull Reds are being caught with live shrimp around the jetties. Flounder are biting well now. Try any of the deep points leading out of the bay and the inshore wrecks with live minnows on a Carolina rig. Trout are starting to move into the creeks and bayous with the cooler temperatures. The Steam Plant is producing a lot of fish. Live shrimp will produce the most fish.

NAVARRE

SURF
The Pompano are still in the surf. 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. The Bonito are in the surf as well. Any bright colored lure worked fast will catch them. As the water continues to cool the Spanish Mackerel and Skipjack will start to move south. There are still a fair amount of Bluefish to be caught. Bright spoons, Gotcha plugs, Straw Rigs, Top Water and regular plugs will catch them. Live and frozen Shrimp is always a good bait choice. Redfish have showed up on the beach. 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 some nice fish over five pounds. Best baits are Tiger, Bull minnows and live finger Mullet. Don’t forget about the Whiting. The bull Whiting can get up to two pounds and make great table fare. Try peeling your shrimp when fishing for the Whiting.

SOUND AND BAYS
Trout have started to migrate up the rivers and into the bayous. You can still catch your biggest Trout early and late in the day on top water baits and on live baits in the bayous and bayou channels. Live Shrimp and Mullet are the best baits to use this time of year to catch these Trout. Try fishing the deeper holes and bends in the rivers as the water gets colder. Redfish will remain in the sound and bays a little longer. Redfish can be caught on the same live baits and artificial lures will take their share of fish. Work all visible and underwater structure to increase your chances at hooking up with a red. Flounder and Sheepshead can all be caught in the bay this time of year. Finger Mullet, Bull Minnows and Tiger Minnows are hard to beat for the Flounder and Sheepshead can’t resist a small fiddler crab or live shrimp. Tie on a 12” piece of 12# to 20# fluorocarbon leader, a #1 hook, ¼ to ½oz sinker and a live shrimp or live Fiddler crab. This rig is a Sheepshead killer. 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. You can also anchor and chum for them with Menhaden Oil or cut up Menhaden.

NEAR SHORE – GULF
There have been some reports of the Flounder starting to show up over the near shore wrecks within one or two miles of the beach. Live finger Mullet, Tiger Minnows and Bull Minnows are great baits to use. The big Redfish are 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 in the pass, just outside the pass and within one or two miles of the beach. 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 will catch them to.

OFFSHORE – GULF
The bottom fishing for Amberjack and Grouper remains very good. Live bait and frozen bait will work on the Grouper. Jigging with a Butterfly jig or fishing with live Hardtails remains a good tactic to catch the Amberjack. I have had some good reports of Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna being caught around the offshore oil platforms. Jigging, chumming and trolling are all effective in taking these 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.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Great Fishing In The Cooler Months

Great Fishing in the Cooler Months 11/3/2008

Well we made it through our first cold front. 44 degrees one morning. That was chilly for us at the end of October. It certainly pushed the fish around a little bit. There are no more Snook in the areas along the beaches I had been seeing them. The larger Trout started to push up onto the flats again. The Reds were responding in the early morning sun as expected. Prior to the cooler weather, the Mackerel were just starting to show well. They should now really move through as they migrate towards the south to follow warmer water. The trips I have had in the last few weeks have all been productive. The most success has been with the Redfish. On a recent trip with my friend Shawn Walker and his son Rykr, we fished a lowtide area that holds fish in a deep hole with dry ground all around. As the tide crept in, the Redfish were hugging the grass right at the sandy edge of the hole waiting to move in with the rising water. We caught 23 Redfish in an hour and a half. The largest was 25 inches but they were all keepers. There were very few Trout in the mix which was unusual for this area. It's as though the Reds took over. Snook have moved into some backwaters for a touch of warmer water. The docks are holding them as well as any oyster bars that may be between the docks. Any stretch of warm days will bring them out to the mouths of the inlets and canals along the mainshore. Sardines work well, but so do Yozuri or Mirrolure hard plugs. Trout season is closed for the next two months, but the large Trout bite will be heating up soon. Even though the mornings are cooler, we still have good action going into the winter months. Remember, this is Florida. Highs in the 70's are the norm.
I am now accepting major credits cards to reserve your custom fishing trip.
Call anytime to book with me at 727-365-7560.
Let's get out there and catch some fish!!!

Capt. Brian Caudill
727-365-7560
braincandle2@yahoo.com
http://www.captbrian.com/

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Key West Fishing Forecast 12-08


Fishing Report For Key West Florida
By: Capt Steven Lamp

Click to visit:
http://www.fishingkeywest.com
captstevenlamp@bellsouth.net

Capt.Steven P. Lamp Dream Catcher Charters Veteran Fishing Guide Specializing Inshore, Flats, Backcountry, Fly Fishing, Offshore, Wrecks and Reef. Florida Keys and Key West

Inshore Fishing Report and Forecast For December 2008

November was the windiest I can remember for quite some time. The cold fronts came through and made November truly the month of transition. By transition I mean the time of year that summer is over and winter begins. The water temps drop like a rock and the bonefish leave the backcountry shallows like a bomb went off. Many would read that last paragraph and say, well that means fishing in Key West must not be all that great. Quite the contrary.

Sure summer and fall are great times to fish the flats and inshore waters of Key West and the Florida Keys but the winter can be a real hoot as well. In December when we have a chilly November to set up the cooler water temps the winter fishery gets a swift kick in the pants. The cooler waters usher in our winter line up of fish that are here to entertain you in Sooo many ways.

The fish of the month for December can be found on the flats and it may surprise you. Come to Key West to enjoy some awesome permit fishing. Getting right up on top with them tailing away just like in the summer looking for crabs or whatever they eat. The cooler water temps make the day very nice and the light breezes out of the North allow you to get super close to these trophy flats species not even knowing you are there. My anglers and I have landed some very nice permit in the 25 lb and up range all through the month right on into March.

The method of the month for the Key West inshore waters is top water artificial plug fishing. Using a top water plug, work the channels and sides of the flats blind casting making the plug do it's thing. Here you will encourage the predators waiting for an easy meal to pounce on it crashing your bait like a freight train. Keep in mind any number of species of fish may bite so make sure you lead your favorite plug with some good fluorocarbon or light wire leader. Safety Tip; always have everyone on the boat wearing eye protection when casting plugs, we only have two.

The other cast of Characters are sure to please as well. We still have Tarpon in December with the warmer days and the occasional South East winds willing to eat live bait as they hang out in the channels and harbor. Spanish Mackerel, Blue fish, Pompano, Trout, Jacks and Lady fish are here found in the droves ready to strike a jig or plug near the flats and following the mullet mud's. Surely the winter is the "catch all" time for fishing the inshore waters of Key West no matter what your skill level.

Be sure and book your fishing adventures early for Christmas week. Believe it or not Key West is a popular destination for folks to getaway for that winter break. Make sure you have reserved your favorite guide.

Here at Dream Catcher Charters and The Key West Fishing Team we wish everyone a happy holiday season and a Merry Christmas!

Capt. Steven Lamp
Dream Catcher Charters
- The Key West Fishing Team

www.fishingkeywest.com
www.chartersofkeywest.com
5555 College Road
Key West, FL 33040
http://www.fishingkeywest.com
888-362-3474

Patience Hooks Banana River Fish

Fishing With Kids

Cold weather and wind have kept fishing trips to a minimum lately. Finally, however, we had a day with overnight lows only in the 50’s instead of the 40’s. I was fortunate to have a family from my hometown, Wichita, Kansas, visiting Disney and they took a day off to come over for some inshore fishing. The Stewart family included Scott and Becky and their two sons Luke, age 6 and Landon, age 12. All were avid freshwater anglers in their home waters back in Kansas.

Armed with live shrimp and popping corks we started our saltwater adventure. Departing the dock about 8:00 we encountered water temps in the high 50’s, cooler than we wanted, but you take what you get. The early fishing produced only a few pinfish so we decided to move on and try another spot. When we arrived on the west bank of the Banana River the water temps had risen to just above 60 as the warm Florida sun did its job. It wasn’t long until six year old Luke hooked up his first redfish, a nice slot sized red. He diligently fought the feisty red to the boat and then posed for a quick photo.

Luke with redfish

Luke soon caught another red, Landon caught a trout, and Becky caught another red. Landon was still looking for his first red, but his accurate casting soon paid dividends as he pulled a nice 21 inch red from under some mangroves. He showed fishing skills beyond his 12 year age, as he pulled the redfish from under the mangrove limbs and into open water. I found out later he had pulled some hefty bass from heavy cover and he new exactly what to do.

Landens redfish

The reds were all caught on live shrimp suspended from popping corks. Success seemed to come when the shrimp were fished patiently giving the smell time to permeate the surrounding water and allow the reds time to find the tasty crustaceans. Everything you do in cold water fishing needs to be slower than normal, so patience is a virtue that will put more fish in the boat during the winter months.

We lost track of exactly how many reds we caught, because Luke was counting by twos, because he said they were bigger and deserved a better count. By the end of the day, Scott, Becky, Luke and Landon had listed redfish, trout, jacks, pinfish and a couple of really nice sheepshead to their catch-and-release list. We wouldn’t let Scott count his puffer. A couple of dolphin, manatees, osprey, and the annual migration of the white pelicans added to the day’s enjoyment.

dad and family with sheepshead

Other families could certainly take note of the way the Stewart family includes enjoyment of our great outdoors as a normal part of growing up for their two sons. When back in Kansas they include duck hunting, deer hunting as well as fishing in their family activities. We can never start too early in teaching our youth the importance of conservation and wise use of our great outdoor resources.

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

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tons Of Angeling Opportunities


Tons of Angling Opportunities
Report Date: November 19, 2008

Trenton's 28 inch redfish

Trenton's 28" Redfish.

The up and down temperatures and the unpredictable weather of November can be very challenging for anglers, but for those anglers who show patience and pay attention to detail this time of year can result in some of the best and biggest catches of the year. As rapid temperature changes occur throughout the state of Florida many fish seek refuge around areas where warmer water is present. Springs, Rivers, Warm Water runoffs, and Discharge canals are just a few places that can hold fish when no other places can. Because these areas normally have a steady water temperature, the fish which congregate in these areas are normally unaffected by the rapid drops in temperature most cold fronts bring to our state this time of year. Redfish, Speckled Trout, Snook, and Shark all of which can be extremely temperature sensitive seek out these warmer water habitats and will spend the entire winter congregated around these areas.

On a few of my recent charters I have been spending more time around the river mouths and creeks and canals around some of our local warm water spillways. Normally when rapid temperature changes occur you have to mix up your bait and retrieves due to the colder water conditions. But because the water temps remain fairly consistent around these warmer water habitats it is still possible to use quick retrieve lures and extremely spunky live baits.

23 inch speckled trout

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

In fact I like to castnet live mullet and pinfish and pitch these bigger baits along rocky shorelines and oysters bars targeting Snook and Giant Redfish. And the same goes for Speckled Trout, the bigger and friskier the bait the better the trout bite will be.

On a recent charter we have been targeting some larger Reds, Trout and Sheephead all of which have been congregating on deep sides of oysterbars at the mouths of the Crystal River. With the extreme low tides sight casting to the Reds, Trout and Sheephead along these bars has been a sure bet for most of my anglers. Sheephead up to 7 lbs have been taken using blue crab and shrimp. But for the big Reds and Trout my clients and I have been throwing Berkley Gulp Shrimp and Jerkbaits to these shallow water feeders. The jerkbaits definitely have proven to be a big fish catcher but for covering the most ground I love throwing the Gulp! Shrimp with a ¼ ounce jighead. I recently put a father and son duo to work throwing these larger lures and baits and they were rewarded with a nice limit of Reds to 26” and to cap the day off both of them landed Reds around 10lbs. Of course these fish were oversized and released to fight another day but a client experiences sight cast fishing for the first time, they are sold for the rest of their lives.

5lb  sheepshead

Checkout this 5lb Sheephead. This fish was sight casted while feeding on a local oyster bar.

So if long drag screaming runs and unforgettable fights is what your craving please call or email Red Hot Fishing Charters today, “We are in the Fishing Memories Business.”

Capt. Kyle Messier
(352) 634-4002
kylemessier@yahoo.com
WWW.REDHOTFISHINGCHARTERS.COM

Red Hot Fishing Charters
Crystal River and Homosassa, Florida
352-634-4002
kylemessier@yahoo.com

Bull Redfish On Near Shore Reefs

October offered up some spectacular fishing for true, bull redfish. These large fish return to our near shore waters this time of year in anticipation of their annual spawn. They can be found on rock ledges that typically hold our shallow water grouper. Some work is definitely required to find these fish, but the reward may well be the fish of a lifetime. Hand sized pinfish or large chunks of cut pinfish are the baits of choice. These can be fished on medium-heavy spinning rods typically used for kingfish. If you want a real light tackle test, use your standard inshore rod. As these Redfish do not dive for the rocks like grouper, a little patience and a smooth drag will subdue these fish. Once landed, handle these bruisers with care and release them as quickly as possible as they represent the future of our fishery.

bull redfish

If you're more inclined to pursue redfish "on the inside", October was still a fantastic month. Fishing potholes on extreme low tides or oyster bars and mangrove shorelines on big high tides are both techniques that paid dividends. On most decent tide days, six to twelve quality slot fish were landed. Whitebait or three inch pinfish were equally good for enticing these fish to bite. With the occasional snook that now appears in these redfish haunts, it makes sense to fish both of these baits on a bobber. Looking forward into November, our fishing will be temperature dependent. Strong cold fronts will hasten the departure of many of our slot sized, inshore redfish, as they move out to the open sea to join their larger counterparts. Tampa Fishing Report The bulls mentioned above could stay in residence on near shore ledges well into November, again, as long as temperatures don't drop too drastically.

Using the fishing strategy of targeting what nature gives you, little time was spent pursuing snook in the last month. Smaller fish are still available on the beaches, but most of the quality fish are back inside and scattered. Attempts to catch these larger specimens were rewarded infrequently at best. Fish remain on spoil islands, in potholes back in the no motor zones, along mangrove shorelines and off points with close access to deeper water. On the bright side, the cold front that pushed through the last week in October may trigger a better fall snook bite once waters warm back into the seventies.

With our large winter seatrout fishery still a month away, an excellent plan for fast action is to head out to our near shore reefs and wrecks. Many of these exist within five miles of shore and can provide non stop action. On numerous trips in the last month, visits to these locations resulted in catches of the following: large spanish mackerel, kingfish, grouper, large mangrove snapper, big flounder, juvenile amberjack, bonita, shark, and barracuda. On a recent trip, an average sized jewfish (150 lbs) repeatedly came to within 5 feet of the surface to inhale large baits. Although hooked on standard grouper tackle, this fish made it back to the comfort of his rocky layer every time...with little effort. For any inshore angler that hasn't experienced this fishing, these trips can be quite an adventure. Once the real cold gets here though, the party will be over.

With a little luck, the warming trend that we are seeing in the first week of November will hold up for a few weeks and keep our local waters in the low seventies, insuring a continuation of the fishing action mentioned above. So don't wait. Get out on the water and take advantage of the variety of species now available. Good luck and good fishing.

Good luck and good fishing.

Captain Stewart Ames
US Coast Guard Licensed Captain

Member Florida Guides Association

www.tampa-fishing-charter.com

© 2007 Captain Stewart Ames, Gone Fishing Charters, Tampa, FL
727-421-5291

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fish Leeward Side Of Islands In Wind

Fishing Report 11/24/2008 – Capt. Terry Frankford


With the November weather being windy and cold at times it made for a tough month of fishing. Fortunately in the Sarasota area if you can make it across open bay areas without getting wet shelter can be found on the leeward side of islands and keys. This is what I did with several trips this month making for snook, redfish, and trout action along with several additional species. I have to say though at times my anglers chuckle because they are coming from seven degree weather wearing shorts and a wind breaker on the boat when I have layered clothing on - I suppose it's all relative.

A couple fish tails enjoyed aboard the Reelin & Chillin:
The McDonald's, Jake, Sheri, Gray, and Luke caught plenty of species. The boys did great with Gray breaking the ice - a nice flounder, then Luke a big trout. Mom and Dad didn't do to bad either with redfish and trout. We didn't manage to pick up dinner, the red Sheri caught was just under the slot, and the trout are out of season, if not they would have had three slot size trout. Still a great family day on the water catching plenty of fish.

It was a great day on the bay for Julian Mojica, son Julian, Grandpa Eddie Reyes, and Gus Monsango who managed to pick up enough fish for a nice dinner. All caught fish, however for some reason Grandpa Eddie seemed to be the only one putting dinner on the table. He caught all four fish that made the slot. Starting with two reds twenty-four and twenty-six inches. A little later a gray snapper hit the live well, then a last minute flounder at fourteen inches ate his shrimp. Both Julian (Dad) and Grandpa picked up snook to twenty-six inches, not in the slot, but a blast to catch on light tackle. Gus had a good light tackle battle with a big ladyfish. The big catch of the day was seven year old Julian who was fishing with only eight pound test line. Julian caught and released a twenty-eight inch redfish. Dad did help a little, however Julian claimed rights to "Big Fish of the Day". Way to go Julian.

Julian's redfishJulian Mojica caught & released a 28" redfish aboard the Reelin & Chillin with Capt. Terry Frankford.

Captain's Tip
Time to pray for calm waters, and a mild winter - the near shore artificial reefs can produce some great action if conditions are right. Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, lesser amberjack, little tunny, and barracuda all are possibilities. Inshore big reds may school, snook are coming to the warmer waters around islands, mangroves and under docks. Trout are also looking for warmer water so look for areas where the water isn't moving to much or has deeper/darker bottom that creates warmth. Be sure to check for closed seasons for the snook and trout in your area, I don't want to quote a season because it does vary in the State of Florida.

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

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report 11-21-08


Report for 11/21/2008

Salt Water

MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE
Not many reports from offshore and the last reports we received had the grouper and amberjack at 150’. Big cuts of Bonita and butter flied whole, northern mackerel were working well on 80lb fluorocarbon with 10/0 size circle hooks on a Carolina rig. Jigging will also bring in the fish using either, the Fairwaters, the Braid or Shimano butterfly jig. The amberjack were still around the deeper wrecks hitting jigs such as the AJ glow jig or cigar minnows.

ST JOSEPH BAY

The intercostals canal from the George Tapper Bridge to the “T” remains a good stretch to fish this week as reports of numerous trout and black drum in the 4-5lb range reported daily with a few redfish and flounder thrown in. The trout are near the edges and caught on live shrimp Carolina rigged with 1 or ¾ oz egg weights and mutu light circle hooks or trolling the heavier 1 oz jig heads with a Berkley Gulp or Gotcha grub. The black drum are caught in the middle of the canal with the same set up, but live shrimp is working much better for this species. In St. Joe, bay some trout caught at the Port St Joe Marina using Gulp or Bass Assassin grubs and live shrimp. The bite at the marina is mainly early morning or late afternoon. With the water temperature dropping, more reports of fish moving into the bayous are coming in.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
Grouper are still being caught on wrecks and reefs within 9 miles. Also, check the hard bottom areas in the 100-120 feet range further offshore. Take some big live baits and get ready for action! Red Snapper season is closed in Federal and State waters. Plenty of Amberjacks are being caught on the bridge spans.

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Bull Reds are being caught with live shrimp around the jetties. Flounder are biting well now. Try any of the deep points leading out of the bay and the inshore wrecks with live minnows on a Carolina rig. Trout are starting to move into the creeks and bayous with the cooler temperatures. The Steam Plant is producing a lot of fish. Live shrimp will produce the most fish.

NAVARRE

SURF
The Pompano are still in the surf. 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. The Bonito are in the surf as well. Any bright colored lure worked fast will catch them. As the water continues to cool the Spanish Mackerel and Skipjack will start to move south. There are still a fair amount of Bluefish to be caught. Bright spoons, Gotcha plugs, Straw Rigs, Top Water and regular plugs will catch them. Live and frozen Shrimp is always a good bait choice. Redfish have showed up on the beach. 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 some nice fish over five pounds. Best baits are Tiger, Bull minnows and live finger Mullet. Don’t forget about the Whiting. The bull Whiting can get up to two pounds and make great table fare. Try peeling your shrimp when fishing for the Whiting.

SOUND AND BAYS
Trout have started to migrate up the rivers and into the bayous. You can still catch your biggest Trout early and late in the day on top water baits and on live baits in the bayous and bayou channels. Live Shrimp and Mullet are the best baits to use this time of year to catch these Trout. Try fishing the deeper holes and bends in the rivers as the water gets colder. Redfish will remain in the sound and bays a little longer. Redfish can be caught on the same live baits and artificial lures will take their share of fish. Work all visible and underwater structure to increase your chances at hooking up with a red. Flounder and Sheepshead can all be caught in the bay this time of year. Finger Mullet, Bull Minnows and Tiger Minnows are hard to beat for the Flounder and Sheepshead can’t resist a small fiddler crab or live shrimp. Tie on a 12” piece of 12# to 20# fluorocarbon leader, a #1 hook, ¼ to ½oz sinker and a live shrimp or live Fiddler crab. This rig is a Sheepshead killer. 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. You can also anchor and chum for them with Menhaden Oil or cut up Menhaden.

NEAR SHORE – GULF
There have been some reports of the Flounder starting to show up over the near shore wrecks within one or two miles of the beach. Live finger Mullet, Tiger Minnows and Bull Minnows are great baits to use. The big Redfish are 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 in the pass, just outside the pass and within one or two miles of the beach. 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 will catch them to.

OFFSHORE – GULF
The bottom fishing for Amberjack and Grouper remains very good. Live bait and frozen bait will work on the Grouper. Jigging with a Butterfly jig or fishing with live Hardtails remains a good tactic to catch the Amberjack. I have had some good reports of Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna being caught around the offshore oil platforms. Jigging, chumming and trolling are all effective in taking these 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.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crabs And Shrimp Luers Work Best

Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters Capt. Chris Myers Fishing Report and Newsletter November 21, 2008
Last weekend, a strong cold front made its way through central Florida. Behind the front, the temperatures have struggled to make it in the 60's and lows have been as cold as 38. As a result, the temperatures on the flats have dropped nearly 20 degrees. Some of the fish are sluggish and seeking refuge in deep water. Others are shallow and feeding normally. The fish will soon acclimate to the cooler temperatures and return to their usual behavior.

Prior to the cold front arriving,I fished Michigan residents Joe and Jim. The fishing that day was excellent like it had been the past few weeks. These guys wanted to sight fish and the fish gave them plenty of shots throughout the day. The Arkansas Shiner 4" CAL was very effective. Both redfish and black drum were caught and released during a great day on the Lagoon.

nice black drum
two young men with redfish
This Monday, I went to Mosquito Lagoon to try out the new color DOA shrimp I had picked up at the fishing show over the weekend. The cold front had dropped the temperature but the water was still in the 60's. I found plenty of active fish and they were more than willing to eat the new shrimp color called FiGi Chix.

redfish with D.O.A. shrimp
After five reds on the shrimp, I switched to a crab landing another red and several black drum.

Yesterday, I got to fish with my wife Julie. When we left the house the temperature was 38 degrees. We hit the water around 9 and had a chilly ride to our first spot. The water was now in the low 50's and many of the fish I had seen Monday were gone. In addition, the water level had dropped nearly a foot. Within five minutes, I cast a DOA crab to the first redfish we spotted and a 27" fish came aboard for a quick photo.

puting red back in waterJulie hooked a redfish and a drum on the crab and followed with another redfish on a CAL tail. A large trout and a couple more drum ate the crab before we moved on.

black drum with fly head shotLater on, Julie hooked up with a big drum which threw the hook after several minutes. She took over poling duties and I tied on the new DOA FiGi Chix shrimp which fooled two more redfish before we called it a day.

showing off redfishThe forecast for next week is for slightly warmer temperatures. Each day, you can expect more fish to return to the flats. Crabs and shrimp will be their primary source of food. Lures and flies that imitate crustaceans will provide the best results. With water levels much lower than they have been in months, watch out for sand bars that have been under water throughout the fall.

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Fishing Sale

November 25-29, Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka will have 20% off everything in their fishing department. If you are looking for a quality rod or reel, a flyrod, or just need to restock your tackle box, this is a great chance to take advantage of low prices. On Saturday the 29th, I will be at the store to help customers with tackle and lure selection, offer some fly casting advice, and answer any fishing related questions. In addition, Capt. John Kumiski will be there to sign copies of his book and give some fly tying demos.

If you have not been to the store recently, they have made some changes adding a new section across the street complete with a pool where you can try out their large selection of kayaks.
Fishing the DOA Shrimp.

One of the most common question I am asked is about fishing the DOA shrimp. Many people tell me they have tried them but are not catching fish. When used properly, this lure will catch anything you can catch on a live shrimp. During winter, redfish, trout, and black drum all focus their attention on shrimp. While live shrimp certain will catch fish, they are expensive, require special handling, and are prone to fly off the hook at the worst possible moment. The most common mistake I see when people fish a DOA shrimp is moving it much too quickly. In almost all instances, slower is better. I fish in non-tidal water for both cruising and tailing redfish. For best results, I cast the shrimp several feet away from moving fish, drag it into its path and let it fall naturally to the bottom. If the fish is tailing, drag the shrimp and let it fall right in front of the red's nose. A very slight twitch is more than enough to entice a strike.

If you fish in tidal water, cast the DOA shrimp up tide and let the current push the bait towards the fish which will be facing into the tide. Giving the shrimp too much action or working it faster than the tide will normally spook more fish than it will catch.

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters
http://www.floridafishinglessons.com/
321-229-2848

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pompano Around Stuart Bridges


FISHING 11/15/08

Cooler water temps have brought the Pompano, Blues and Mac's to all locations. For me it is not cool it is cold to cold for me but not for the Pompano anglers jigging from the bridge. Three pound fish form the bridge, the bite times differed but the temps stayed the same, cold. Pompano catches reported from all bridge locations in our area, even the Roosevelt. Doc's Goofy jigs, Nylures and Clams plus Sand Fleas all caught fish. Then came the Blues and Mac's biting every thing off and it was the small spoons and Got-Cha lures to even the score, yes it is winter. I believe the highest the thermometer will go this week is in the 70's, good for the fish but its early for me to break out my winter shorts.The Snook and Trout have move to the deeper water, the warm water. If this is your target, you have to get to the bottom and hold, so bump up the weight and slow your presentation, be ready to set the hook, the fish will pick up your bait, not strike it. If all these fish were at the bridge they had to pass your favored flat, if you see them skip loop around and drift back, you spooked them know you must wait for them to settle down, what is the limit on Pompano?
The surf has been less than favorable, weeds one day and wind the next but you have to go look. Had good catches reported at different times from differing locations. The bigger Pomp's were for the long caster, but plenty of Blues and Mac's up close casting small Spoons.
Off-shore those pesky Sail Fish were at it again. Anglers trolling baits around the weed and color lines reported double headers taking any thing they had in the water, pesky Sail Fish. All this started in ninety feet of depth and went out from there, Bally hoo top the bait list. The Dolphin catches were all nice fish, 15 to 25 pound class and there were plenty of them, Kings in the 12pound class, excellent for the grill. Plenty of Spanish Mac's south of the inlet, yes back to the King fish hole or maybe we should call that location just the Mackerel hole, that Gulf Stream "glass minnow" jig is the bait, two cast one fish. Bottom fishing in 60feet using Sardines for the Snapper and big Pin fish for the Grouper made for some great dinners and you didn't get invited either. May be next Time.
Till next week slow down............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
www.snooknook.net

Sailfish Time In South Florida


November/December 2008

Pompano are a prize in December and are at the top of the wish list for many anglers here in the Stuart and Jensen Beach region. These tasty game fish can be caught while fishing from the beach of Hutchinson Island or various locations throughout the IRL. In the Stuart area hot spots include the deeper channels of the sailfish flats, areas adjacent to the mouth of the manatee pocket and 4-8’ deep sandy flats between the Stuart and Jensen causeway. When in doubt, one way to locate pomps is to move the boat around a targeted area at idle speed and have your fishing partner scan the water around the boat until the fish begin to surface. Often when you are near to a school of fish, they will begin to briefly start “skipping” out of the water around the boat. That would be a great place to drop the Power Pole or anchor and start fishing. Sand fleas, small shrimp or brightly colored jigs tipped fished naked or tipped with pieces of shrimp are go to offerings for pompano. A DOA Cal jig rigged with a DOA grub with the ½ of the body of the plastic trimmed is another deadly pompano lure. Various flies will also work including small bright chenille wrapped head patterns as well as clousers in tan and white will fool these fish but more importantly the key is to keep your offering down, bouncing on the bottom.

Trout fishing on the grass flats should be on fire in December and as you work into deeper water as the day progresses don’t be surprised if you start hooking into bluefish, snapper, sheepshead, ladyfish or jacks. Trout fishing remains a catch and release game for the month of December so handle the fish with care if at all. The use of an ARC dehooker will insure the quickest and safest release for trout and most other released fish.

The greatest population of Spanish mackerel will be south of the St. Lucie inlet at pecks lake but if you want to avoid the crowds look for diving birds up and down beaches of Hutchinson and Jupiter islands and you’re likely to find your own little pod of macs or bluefish.

Its sailfish time in south Florida waters so now is as good of a time as any to hook a high flying billfish and there’s always a good chance for dolphin hook ups too. Start at the 6 mile reef and work east keying on weed lines, color changes, rips or anything floating on the water’s surface with both live bait or trolled ballyhoo and lures.

Captain Duber Winters
Green Water Charters
772-631-1023

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sight Fishing Everglades Tarpon

November 13, 2008
tarpon
Filed under: Ship's Log — Captain Ned Small @ 7:09 pm

When tarpon fishing by sight, especially with a fly rod for sleepers, everything counts. First, we just want to see if we can see one, seeing one before he sees you, counts.

Next, if we’re lucky, we might get a chance to throw. A “Chance to Throw,” counts.

If you chance a throw and don’t spook it, you’re into the realm of presentation, and every presentation counts. If the tarpon deigns to swim over and take a look, we got a ‘follow,’ and every follow counts too.

Then, if it bites, ‘we stuck one,’ and every strike counts.

This brings us to the “HooWah,” stage, the chance to stick ‘em good, to jump ‘em, the hook can still pop out but you have stung one good, got her into the air and ran her through three or four jumps, this is also known as ‘Look at the Freakin’ Mud!’ not to mention the whitewater foam and silver scales and the rattling gills.

The next step is to hang the hook, get it buried, hook the fish. When that happens all hell breaks loose. Mud blooms across the cove and, if she is big enough, there will be mud and whitewater everywhere, there will be a silver meteor from heaven, seven feet long and careening across the bay, tail walking and furious. She will be airborne in a Giant Panic, in all likelyhood there will be a few mangrove branches scattered in her wake and two men trying to tie her down with a slender thread from a small boat. The chromium shine of her scales in the air will equal the brilliance of mercury and somehow, in all that chaos, you will remember seeing her eye at the same eye level as your own, standing upright, her body upside down in the sky with her tail pointing at the remnants of the moon and the sound, like barrels of rattlesnakes colliding in anger, gills rattling.

At that point you will have jumped one, and jumping one counts. Big Time.


November 11, 2008

Bill and I….
Filed under: Ship's Log — Captain Ned Small @ 4:58 pm

Went scouting a couple of days ago. Here’s Bill with the snook of the day.

Everglades snook

Captain Ned Small
239-695-4993
www.sightfish.com/
sightfish@embarqmail.com
All photos are the exclusive property of Capt. Ned Small

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hot Grouper Spots!

November 16, 2008

Sarasota Florida Fishing Report
By Capt. Bob Smith


Fishing is still good but the coming cold front may slow it down. A large
variety of fish is showing up on the Bay and Gulf. Large bait-fish are hard
to find offshore, but trolling spoons and plugs is doing the job for King
mackerel and Spanish mackerel. Smaller white bait has been plentiful along
the beaches and will work if you can net them.

Some nice grouper and snapper are starting to show at the fifty foot depth
offshore. Live bait is best including shrimp for the snapper.

We have been finding redfish, large trout, pompano, mackerel, bluefish and
flounder on the bay. The redfish have mainly been in the deeper water, like
Zwicks canal and most of the other fish have been on the grass-flats.

Hot Grouper spots!

Like any place else, most of our area anglers are eager to share when, where
and how they caught fish, but grouper is the exception! When fishing in
saltwater, it is possible to catch a nice grouper any place in the Bay or
Gulf.

Don't expect anglers to give you their hot spots! Hot spots are what we
call grouper stacked-up on the bottom. They also could be in, under or
around a structure. In other words, it is a lot of keeper size grouper in
a very small area.

An experienced grouper digger will take a few nice fish, put the spot, if
new, in his GPS and move on to/or find another hot spot. This takes a lot
of discipline because it can take a lot of time, work, and luck to find
these spots. This way, the spot may be good for a month or much more. If
he hammered the fish, it could be over in a day or so. The fish would just
move to avoid all the outside activity. Due to the popularity of grouper,
if he went public or shared the GPS location, he could expect to find the
spot covered with dive boats and/or inexperienced grouper fishermen the next
day. That could be the end of that hot spot. Some Grouper diggers will
stop fishing or move out of the area if they see another boat coming towards
them. Don't stop and ask:-).

Enjoy & Protect
My Website: http//www.sarasota-fla-fishing.com

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, November 17, 2008

Apalachicola Fishing Report 11-08


So it's November 14th and it was at least 80 degrees this afternoon in Sunny Apalachicola. If you want to know what to bring with you for your vacation here or most especially on your upcoming fishing trip, my advice is just to bring everything and dress in layers. Better make that outer layer waterproof!

Drew Kelso Gets His 27 lb Redfish on a Flyrod! Drew Kelso Gets His 27 lb Redfish on a Flyrod!


Speaking of fishing trips, Drew Kelso from Little Rock, Arkansas seems to time his trips with Capt. Chris Robinson just perfectly every year. This year Chris put him on a school of about 500 Bull Reds that he cast into and caught from until he couldn't cast any more. I'm adding photos of his trip to the website photo gallery - Check 'em out!

On Wednesday, Capt. Tommy Holland stopped by to report that he had an angler hook up on something immovable on the bottom - thinking he was hung up he gave the line over to the Captain when it started tugging back. After reeling for quite a while, a 6' Alligator surfaced, unfortunately snagged in the leg. He was released unharmed.

Capt. Tommy Robinson returned from South Florida on Tuesday. He had a successful fall fishing for permit & bones out of Key West, learned some new back country spots, and enjoyed a 4 day snook & tarpon trip in the Everglades on the way home. As of this writing he has already been to his local hunting lease 3 times and leaves for GA on Sunday.

Now that the price of gas has come down to more reasonable levels, we hope to be seeing a few more fishermen take advantage of the fall/winter fishing opportunities here on the Forgotten Coast. Your favorite guides are standing by. Flats guides will be offering half day trips until the spring season takes off. Booking spring Keys trips and Summer Tarpon trips now. The Oysters are excellent right now!!

End of November & December Forecast: Fishing is good on mild days, even with some wind. Trout & Redfish will be the staples, adding Striped & Hybrid Bass as the temperatures fall.

Local Real Estate News - We have a few new listings that you may not have seen yet. Take a peek at The Abbey House - Historical South Side Apalachicola and VERY reasonably priced. Also check out a totally top to bottom re-furbished home by the airport, possibly the best value in Apalachicola. This link will take you to our featured listings or you may access the entire MLS through the website.
http://www.robinsonrealestatecompany.com/featuredproperties.cfm


Be sure to head to Apalachicola for the day after Thanksgiving - the night we light up the town!. Shops will stay open late and there will be entertainment in the streets.

Happy Holiday Season!
Kathy Robinson

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

Full Moon/Fall Weather Affect Fishing


Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, November 14, 2008
By Captain Tom van Horn

Just when I think my natural balance has recovered from the time warp brought on by daylight savings time, it's once again disrupted by influence the full moon. For reasons unknown to me, the influence of the full moon makes my mind wonder like the elevated tides flushing in and out of the lagoon, and an uneasy mind makes for a restless night. In these days of urban sprawl and diminishing natural resources, the value of nature's influences are often lost, forgotten, or misunderstood. The next time you on the water take a moment to reflect on what attracted you to this serene place, and how nature's influences enhance our daily lives.

This past week I fished in two completely different locations with mixed results, and the cosmological effects of the full moon, and the fall weather patterns again affected fishing. For several weeks now, stalled cold fronts have wavered back and forth across Florida kicking up the seas making near and offshore fishing unthinkable. Also, the weather has remained warmer than normal, which has slowed the progression of the bait migration, and disrupted usual fish patterns a little.

Around the middle of the week, weather conditions and lunar stage, four days before the full moon, were perfect for an early morning bite. Over a cup of coffee, I reviewed our strategies and options with a friend, and together we commented about how good the area around Edgewater was in the fall. The next day Randy calls, and he tells me about the phenomenal fishing experience he had catching thirteen trout, three reds, one snook, and a twenty inch flounder all on a DOA Shrimp during the first two hours of daylight. The next day, I ventured into the same area around Brown's Bay, and I experienced similar results using top water plugs and D.O.A Carbonated Shrimp. One important note to mention was the finger mullet and other bait were still there, which means the mullet run is still on.

My next trip took me to Port Canaveral in search of predators working bait in and around the inlet. With good weather conditions, I hit the water around 8am, and found the inlet loaded with finger mullet, glass minnows, and greenies, but the only thigh eating were the pelicans. The only thing I can attribute the lack of feeding fish to was the full moon, and the only fish I managed were two nice flounder caught off of the buoys using finger mullet on the bottom.

Again, the marine forecast is calling for strong winds and heavy seas through the weekend as a stalled front finally pusses through, but as the full moon wanes, the inlets and backwaters should still be fishable.

Today, the Shuttle sits on Pad A poised to launch on its mission to the ISS, so many areas around the Space Center are closed, plus the weather for tomorrow, Saturday, dose not look promising, so your next best option is the Florida Sportsman Fishing show in Orlando which is on my agenda. Additionally, next week is my annual pilgrimage to Sebastian where my focus will be on the annual migration of flat fish (flounder) from the lagoon to the sea, so I hoping this front pusses through quickly and conditions improve for my week on the water.

In closing, it's the time of year to think about purchasing a gift certificate from Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters, which are now available for the 2009 fishing season at a reduced rate. These certificates make the perfect holiday gift for the enjoyment of both family and friends.

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 Office 407-416-1187 on the water

Book a charter, and let's go fishing.

Visit http://www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com for all of your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report11-14-08


Report for 11/14/2008

Salt Water

MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE

Our first few reports came in this week from anglers who have begun trolling for grouper with some success. With fuel costs and shorter days, you might consider this method of grouper fishing. Typically, you will be fishing in fifty feet or less of water, which means you mostly avoid the long run out to deep water and back. Pull a Mann’s stretch series, which are available for a variety of depths. Most any deep running plug will work however. Downriggers, planers, and trolling weights all will help you tune your lure to the appropriate depth. From there you simply troll over live bottom, on and around shallow water wrecks and reefs, and catch grouper!

ST JOSEPH BAY

The bay is quite productive this week and anglers willing to enjoy the cool fall temperatures and do a little scouting will get their reward. Redfish are scattered throughout the bay as well as trout. Live shrimp is the top bait followed by topwater lures fished early morning and late afternoon before sunset. A falling tide will assuredly mean the redfish will station themselves along channels and the mouths of creeks and bayous as the current begins to flow out. Sheepshead as well as trout and redfish are congregating from the mouth of the ICW beneath the Tapper Bridge all the way up to the T.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS

Grouper are still being caught on wrecks and reefs within 9 miles. Also, check the hard bottom areas in the 100-120 feet range further offshore. Take some big live baits and get ready for action! Red Snapper season is closed in Federal and State waters. Plenty of Amberjacks are being caught on the bridge spans.

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

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. Bull Reds are being caught with live shrimp around the jetties. Flounder are biting well now. Try any of the deep points leading out of the bay and the inshore wrecks with live minnows on a Carolina rig. Trout are starting to move into the creeks and bayous with the cooler temperatures. Live shrimp will produce the most fish.

NAVARRE

SURF
The Pompano have showed up 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. The Bonito are in the surf too. Any bright colored lure worked fast will catch them. 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 some nice fish over five pounds. Best baits are Tiger, Bull minnows and live finger Mullet.

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. 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 structure 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# to 12# 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.

NEAR SHORE – GULF
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 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. 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.

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 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

Depot creek is a hotspot this week for Crappie. We have had several reports of full stringers. The bass bite is improving, not a lot of larger fish caught but reports say the bite is consistent. Here are a few lure recommendations, Brush hogs, and ribbon tail worms, Booyah jigs in black/blue, green pumpkin, and crawfish. Fish these lures in the thick cover you can find right now.

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

Fishing Report prepared by Half Hitch Tackle Staff.

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

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

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sailfish, Dolphin,Wahoo Offshore Stuart



FISHING 11/08/08

Finally a week end of perfect weather, moderate temp, no wind, and fish, could it be any better?
Off shore the action started at 100', straight out of the inlet, weed lines, pretty water, bait and fish, the most important. Trolling was the method and Dolphin were the targets.Really nice fish, 15 to 25 pounds with some bigger but perfect fish. Those pesky Sail Fish were there chewing, most anglers reported from 2 to 5 releases and more Dolphin. There were Wahoo and Kings for the anglers that pulled down baits and more Dolphin and those Pesky Sail fish. Big Spanish Mac's were there for the pitch rods with quite a few Cobia to keep you busy and yes more pesky Sail fish. Down to the King Fish hole the Spanish have made a strong show for anglers using Glass Minnow chum, It just could not get better. That strong show of Sails should make for big tournament numbers, yes it is about that time.

Surf anglers the water has settled and weeds have broken up, Blues, Mac's and Pompano were waiting for you. Spoons top the bait list for the early angler, big top water lures took their share. Late morning anglers caught the Whiting , Croakers and Snook, just had to wait for the water to warm. Pompano were in and out all day, most were small but enough numbers that you were sure to take a few home and yes there were fleas on the edge.

The river water was absent the turbidity and the fish were every where, east side or west, happy fish. It was those pesky Trout, they know the season is closed and anglers reported slot size fish in shallow and deep water. East side and west it was hard to get a bait to the Red fish because the Trout were on it. Good catches of Red Fish in the Power Plant area, lots of slot fish on both live and artificial baits, cool part is they have been in all day. Good numbers of small Snook, plenty of Jacks, Lady fish, two pound Flounder ,a few Blues and Mac's just enough to keep that rod bent. The bridges, lots of Black Drum and yes they do have limits. Not less than 14"or more than 24", five is the bag with one over 24". Still looking for the slot Snook, the bridges is their location taking deep baits. Bring your camera most fish are over the slot and the older the picture the heavier the fish. Finally the Pompano at the east end of the causeways, this is where the bigger fish have been taken. The fish have been there all day, not always chewing but there, you will just have to put in your time, even if that guy that just walked out catches the first one. Doc's and Nylure jigs top the list, green was the color this week end. Plenty of Mac's also reported from those locations, and yes the big Jacks would come through to test your equipment.
Till next week, patience at the boat ramps please...........................................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
www.snooknook.net

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Change Tactics For The Cooler Months


Fishing Report
Fort Pierce - Port St Lucie - Vero Beach - Jensen Beach
November 6, 2008

INSHORE:
Now that fall is in full swing around the Treasure Coast, you can find water temperatures dropping and windy conditions much of the time out on the water. We ended up canceling twice this week and I managed to get out one day that was not so blustery as the others. We can expect similar conditions as the cold fronts work their way through the area on an almost weekly basis now. It's a great time to fish, but can be challenging on some days.

Let's take this week to talk about changing conditions on the river and changing tactics as well. Water temps have begun to drop and that will drive most fish to deeper water, especially in the mornings. Deeper cuts around mangroves, docks and islands will be good places to start in the mornings as the water continues to cool off. As the sun rises and the water warms again, you can find the fish heading back up on the flats to feed and get warm again. Redfish, especially, can be found cruising the flats at high noon during the cooler months of the year. Pompano will be in the deeper areas from three feet and better. Small jigs or live shrimp will work well for them.

Slowing up your retrieve is essential to success this time of year. I like to take DOA shrimp or jerk baits and slowly work them across the flats or around the mangroves. The slower the better as the fishes metabolism slows down and they become lethargic as the water gets cooler. I like three to five feet of water this time of year. They will stay off the edges of the flats and move up onto them as the day wears on. Live or artificial shrimp on popping corks are wintertime fishing staples. I like to put one out the back of the boat while I fish artificials out the front. Gold spoons, suspending lures and jigs are all good lures when the water is cooler.

Fishing docks can be exciting where snook, reds and other species will be hanging to catch an easy meal drifting by. I especially like DOA shrimp for dock fishing. Fish it slow and let it settle on the bottom. When the water is cold, fish the drop offs, channels and docks. It's a great time of year. Changing tactics for the cooler months will help you be more successful. Have fun out there!

This week on the river: Sand perch (mojarra) have invaded the inlet and the catwalks have been full of anglers fishing for them. They are a popular staple this time of year in this area. Live or dead shrimp will get you a feast right now. On the flats, snook, jacks and trout have been in the deeper cuts of the mangroves and flats. There are lots of jacks out there to keep you busy! A few pompano have been caught, but still waiting on them to arrive in numbers.

Tip of the Week: As the cold fronts signal that winter isn't far off, it's important to dress in layers on those cool mornings. Florida is famous for cold nights and hot days and layering can keep you comfortable throughout your day on the water. It can get challenging with the wind and cold, so prepare prior to getting on the water. It's always cooler out there than at home.

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, November 12, 2008

Reds And Snook Rule Charlotte Harbor

Fall Fishing Report 2008
Hello again to all of the CHO readers. We were again experiencing some technical difficulties this past summer with the reports section of the website. This is why you will not see a summer fishing report. Although the summer was red hot for tarpon, inshore species, and offshore species, the fall has proven to be fantastic as well. This time of year fish are on the move as part of their transition in the fall, gearing up for the winter. Charlotte Harbor starts to experience higher winds, and lower tides. The water will start to clear up, the temperature will drop, and for the duration of the fall season, this will turn the fish on as they follow the many schools of baitfish.

Redfish and snook will be found in the same areas. High tide they will be tight to the mangroves, low tide they will be roaming the flats or very near to the shorelines. Live and cut bait will work, but the artificial bite really turns on this time of year.

angler with redfish

happy angler with snook

nice snook

Redfish will also be schooling in large numbers on sand bars and grass flats. Pods of redfish can be found near the mangroves between 15-40 fish. With a good moving tide, these fish will be very aggressive.

two guys with two reds

guide showing off redfish

slot red pulled from water

Just about anything will work for bait. Snook and redfish will be on the feed for top water lures such as the Super Spook Jr. Early in the morning will be your best bite on top water. On days that the temperature is lower, or overcast skies, a top water bite can last the entire trip on the water.

Places like Englewood, Placida, and Pine Island are all areas fish will be on the feed. The inner parts of Charlotte Harbor will start to hold numbers of fish as well and they will be roaming around near pot holes. Right now is the best time to catch a big snook. These big girls tend to feed better at this time of year, the water is cooler, and they are very active before the strong cold fronts arrive. They don't want to work too much for a meal, but will readily gulp a piece of cut mullet.

monster snook

Look for deeper water near mangrove points with a lot of good current, and clean water to boot!

Trout are on the rise and showing in better numbers on the east and west walls of the harbor. Also in the mix are cobia on the same flats as well as markers in the deeper parts of the harbor. Big black drum can be found at structure type areas such as bridges, docks, and rocky walls. Some tarpon are around, ranging from 10 pounds to 100 pounds. Look for the large bait schools in the open harbor where the birds are diving.

That wraps it up for now. Winter is almost here, an awesome time for tailing redfish. But get out and get in on this great action going on in the harbor this fall.

Tight Lines from the CHO guides!!!

Posted on 13 Oct 2008 by admin

Charlotte Harbor Outfitters
Captain Tim White
941-916-4009
tqwhite@hotmail.com
Captain Chuck Jenks
239-825-8791
chuckjenks@hotmail.com
Captain Jason Dill
941-628-2847
jdill30@hotmail.com

Twitch Baits Slowly Along The Bottom


Early November '08 Fishing Report

Although the winds have been stronger than we like several days this past week proved to be better than weather conditions would have suggested. Fishing in the north Indian River was a bit hit or miss, but the hitting was grand Wednesday and Thursday!

Monday Pete and Linda of London, England (thanks Capt Tom) joined me for a bit of bait soaking. We fished a little south of Parish Park where I did well a couple of weeks back. Pete quickly caught a lower slot red before the light winds turned up their volume to full blast. It became necessary to move to a more sheltered locale where only catfish seemed to live. More moving brought similar results and we decided to cut our full day to a half and lick our wounds.

Wednesday, Mike (CustomRod) was onboard for an attempt at sight-fishing. While conditions were not conducive for this we had no trouble finding plenty of action. We spotted several schools of fish appearing to be upper-slot reds on the west shore of the north IRL. In fact they turned out to be black drum and ounce my slow acting mind figured this out and Mike tied on a DOA shrimp is only took 1 well placed cast to hear the drag scream! Mike also caught 4 reds while blind casting to nervous bait pods and I managed 1 red over 10 pounds doing the same from the platform. The reds all ate soft plastic twitch baits worked SLOWLY along the bottom…

Thursday my Londoner’s were back for more and they went home with great big smiles. It will always amaze me how different a day or two can make in the world of fishing even though conditions are virtually the same. Still fishing the north IRL as we did the day before I could not find the blackies, but we had plenty of action on redfish. Like our first trip, soaking cut mullet was the order of the day and spending 15 minutes at a spot and moving if no results were had was the game plan. I’m happy to report this plan was picture perfect and of the 6 reds Pete and Linda caught only 2 were in the slot the other 4 were 8+ to 13+ pounds. We only had 1 spot were we caught 2 reds before the catfish forced us to move. I’m sure we caught at least 3 dozen catfish and it didn’t seem to bother these folks in the least! As a note, the reds were NOT hammering the mullet. Once a bite was detected, opening the bail and letting them mouth the bait for a few (15-20) seconds resulted in more hook-ups Making a final stop near the ramp Pete hauls in a near 7 pound trout and Linda does battle with a sting ray with a 30 inch wing span at a place we call “Last Chance”!

Friday I was joined by Dr. Bill and at his request we fish from Oak Hill. Finding fish around 3 Islands, Bill quickly boated an undersized red on an Exude Dart. Switching to a Skitterwalk he then hooks a MONSTER trout that tangles the plug into the grass and comes un- buttoned. So ends our bite for the day. We find more fish around Middle Island, but they wanted nothing to do with us, our plastics, our mullet or our live shrimp!

Posted on 12 Nov 2008 by Capt. Mark

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