Monday, March 31, 2008

Warming Water Creates Great Fishing

Monday March 3rd, 2008
Jump on in.. the water is getting warm!
We had a cold front early in the week and the water temps dropped drastically. Thankfully, the air temps are back up and so are the water temps. As of today the temps are flirting with 70 degrees in New Port Richey and Tarpon Springs. That has the bait showing up as well as everything that eats it. Redfish, trout, mackerel, and cobia were all caught on charters this week and I'm looking for more of the same this next week. With water temperatures switching from 70 degrees to 52 degrees then back to 70 degrees, we've really had to stay on our game. The fish were on the move and we rarely fished the same spots twice throughout the course of the week. Shortly after the cold front we had two slow days but now were back to normal and the redfish were chewing nicely. Fish to 7lbs were caught on scaled sardines. Though the schools of fish haven't quite bunched up together like the week before we still found schools of fish today in groups of 30 to 60 fish. Another thing that is working in our favor is that the wind has laid down in the last couple of days. It is also forecasted to be pretty calm this week. That makes finding fish easier and it also makes casting to the fish easier. This past week was good but this next week should be great. Keep tabs on the site and look for a great fishing report next week.




Tampa Bay Fishing
Captain Clay Eavenson
813-300-2147

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I.R.L. April Forecast

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, April 2008
Compliments of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka Florida

Reflecting back on past fishing adventures, April stand out as one of the finest months to experience the true diversity of the fishery existing along the Indian River Lagoon coast of Florida. April serves as a transitional period where the winds of March give way to the heat and humidity of summer. As spring progresses and water temperatures rise, fishing opportunities abound with the influx of bait moving north within the lagoon and closer to the shoreline along the beaches.
April marks the beginning of the fishing season for many blue water anglers, representing the start of the northern migration of dolphin in deeper water, 120' and beyond. This first wave of dolphin is usually credited with some of the largest bulls taken all year. It also marks the beginning of the spring kingfish run on the near-shore reefs and wrecks off of Port Canaveral.Traditionally, April is the time of year when the larger kingfish, 30 to 50 pounds, are caught off of 8A Reef, and Pelican Flats.
As we move into the near-shore waters, we can only hope the cobia are still around.The cobia run was going on last month with some great catches reported in between passing fronts. On flotsam and along the Canaveral buoy line, tripletail should become more dependable throughout the month. Along the beaches, pods of Atlantic menhaden (pogies) have been showing up south of the Cocoa Beach Pier, and the arrival of these bait pods is a sure sign of predators lurking in their shadows. Look for tarpon, jumbo redfish and jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, blacktip sharks, cobia, and smoker kingfish to begin showing up in the vicinity of these bait pods.


Inside Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet, look for a good number of sheepshead and black drum to be holding around structure such as jetties and docks and look for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and jack crevalle in deeper water areas. Also look for nighttime snook and tarpon action to begin heating up in both the Port and in Sebastian Inlet as we move deeper into the month. On the Lagoon flats, it's time to start fishing the early morning and late evening bite with your favorite top water plugs for extreme sea trout and redfish action. During midday periods, work the deeper areas, 2 to 3 feet, with your favorite soft plastics, jerk baits, or jigs. Remember, April is one of the months where the larger sea trout (all females) become egg laden for the spawn, so it's very important to handle and release these larger fish with extreme care. Sea trout have one of the highest mortality rates of catch and release game fish on the Lagoon.


Last but not least, look for the large mouth bass action to heat up on the St. Johns River.Look for schooling bass at first light feeding on menhaden from the Osteen Bridge to the Econ Creek. Some of my favorite places to look are the river bends between Lemmon Bluff and Lake Harney, and the south end of Lake Harney where the river dumps in.To locate the areas of schooling fish, I simply look for congregations of white pelicans and other wading birds lined up along the riverbanks waiting for an easy meal when the hungry bass push the bait to the surface along the shore.When in the feeding mood, these fish will eat just about anything, but the heavy bite usually only last from first light to the point where the sun crosses the eastern horizon, so an early start is essential.


Seminars and Events
April 18, 19, 20, Coastal Angler Magazine Boating and Fishing Expo, Melbourne, Florida, Angler's Improvement Clinics Sponsored by Mosquito Creek Outdoors, RipTide Soft Plastics, Woodie's Rattles, TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group, and D.O.A. Lures.
Future Hook Kids on Fishing! Program DatesApril 19 - Melbourne: To register contact the Melbourne Leisure Services 321-255-4608.
As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

http://www.irl-fishing.com
407-366-8085 landline
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free
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! If you would like to be added to my mailing list, contact me at captain@irl-fishing.com.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Panhandle Fishing Report 3-28-08



Report for 03/28/08

Salt Water
MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE
We have had the first reports of Spanish Mackerel caught trolling Christmas tree rigs and Clarkspoons or sight cast using Gotcha plugs and double speck rigs.

Reports say Grouper are around the 25-mile mark with the bigger fish biting in about one hundred fifty feet of water.

Anglers are landing Cobia’ to the west of us and we should start seeing them in our area soon. A good place to look for that first Cobia is around the gulf side of Crooked Island, have a live eel or ling jig ready. Use 30 lb tackle with 60 lb fluorocarbon leader for the cobia and if you are using live bait, we recommend a 6/0 Owner SSW live bait hook.

ST JOSEPH BAY
Trout, Redfish, and Flounder, catches were steady before this last cold front lowered the water temperature back to the sixties. Look for the temperature to rise again with the fish moving back to the flats.

For the flounder, the deep holes near the head of the bay and around Black’s island was the hot spot.

Anglers fishing beneath the George Tapper Bridge (hwy 98) have seen a rise in the number of fish also. Live bull minnows Carolina rigged on a mutu light circle hook is a simple and effective rig. If you use artificial lures, try tipping them with Berkley “Gulp” bait strips. Live shrimp on a jig head slowly dragged along the bottom will work also.

Trout are moving out to the flats and you can target larger ones first thing in the morning on topwater lures such as the Mirrolure top pup and the new Rapala X-Rap. During the afternoon, use a live shrimp directly on your jig head or use the new Mirrolure 19M’s.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
The Grouper bite is on fire! Excellent reports coming out of the 15-20 mile mark. Several Black and Red Grouper and Scamp are being caught within state waters over hard bottom areas also. Live bait is the best bet. Amberjack remain plentiful over several of the bridge spans with larger fish being caught farther offshore. Spanish Mackerel are moving around quite a bit. Several are being caught off the jetties and inside St. Andrews Bay. Cobia are starting to make an appearance. A few fish have been spotted but no catches so far.

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Sheepshead are very plentiful around the jetties. They will take live shrimp readily, but the bigger fish are hammering Fiddler Crabs. Several fish between 9 and 12 pounds have been caught within this past week. Use a Carolina rig with a #4 hook, 15-20# fluorocarbon leader and light lead for best results.

Trout have just started to move back onto the flats. Many will remain in the creeks for the next month or so. Use live Shrimp on the bottom in the creeks and under a popping cork on the flats. Redfish are still working the pass in good numbers. Live shrimp and pinfish are the baits of choice. There are several schools of Reds swimming along the shorelines of East and West bays. The water color is still quite stained from the storms a few weeks ago, but fish can be seen by working down the banks slowly. These schooling fish can be very spooky, so a quiet approach with long casts will work the best. Throw a live shrimp on a light lead head or weightless for best results. A few Pompano are being caught along the beaches. Throw a jig tipped with shrimp, sand fleas, or gulp. They are also being caught using frozen sand fleas and shrimp, rigged on a 2 hook leader and pyramid sinker.

DESTIN
Grouper are definitely the catch of the week fishing from about 15 to 30 miles the Grouper are very plentiful using frozen baits or butterfly jigs. We have also had good reports of Black Fin Tuna near the south and south west edge. Other reports on bottom fishing are a few Mingos and Triggers.

Closer to shore the Spanish are picking up on the east beaches and should reach the pass and harbor by this weekend or early this next week. Lots of Bonito action is also going on while trolling.

On the Cobia circuit there were 2 fish caught near Portofino on Pensacola beach Thursday. Very few have been seen this week due to the cool nights and north winds but the rest of the weekend is forecast to have warm nights and even warmer days and some south wind. A few Spanish and Pompano are being caught on the Pier. No Cobia have been spotted this week. At night, reports of catching fresh squid are very good. On the surf, the Pompano bite has been fair at best with the weather but should also improve this week with the nice weather coming. There have also been some very large Redfish in the surf lately on spoons and cigar minnows. I should have you a nice picture of the large Reds but me being clumsy deleted them from my email where a customer was grateful enough to send them to me. Maybe he will resend and I can post the pictures next week.

NAVARRE
Fishermen are still catching some Trout and Redfish in the rivers using jigs with curly tails, Gulp and live shrimp. Most of the action has been at the river mouths, especially for Redfish.

There have been reports of Sheepshead being caught on the bridge pilings, deep water docks and rock piles using small live shrimp and fiddler crabs. Redfish can be caught in the same places using live shrimp, fresh dead and cut bait. Trout and Redfish have moved up on the grass flats. Trout can be caught using live shrimp, finger mullet, pinfish and a host of artificial baits. Redfish can be caught with the same live baits, but don't be afraid to throw the tried and true gold spoon. Shallow water should hold some Redfish. The passes are holding Flounder right now. Bull minnows and Pinfish on a fish finder rig will catch them. The Pompano bite has steadily increased over the last two weeks in the surf. Fresh dead shrimp, frozen shrimp, frozen sand fleas and live sand fleas will catch them. Pompano jigs fished by themselves or tipped with shrimp will take their share as well. Cobia season is upon us. A few fish have been caught already by boat and pier anglers. As the water temperature increases the number of fish spotted will increase. Live Eels, Pinfish and Catfish are all worth trying. Jigs tipped with squid or naked jigs work too. Spanish Mackerel should be in our area very soon. Small spoons, mackerel trees, Spanish dusters and Gotcha plugs are all good choices. The Grouper and Amberjack bite should be good in deep water over live bottom or structure. The Shimano Butterfly jigs have been used successfully for sometime on both species. Taylor your jigs weight to the depth you are fishing at. Don't overlook live baits this time of year as well.

Fresh Water

We are sorry, no fresh water 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.

Treasure Coast Fishing Report 3-27-08


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

The Treasure Coast was alive this week....with wind, cold and yep.....the fish were out there most days, too! We had some great fun out there on the water and caught a variety of fish. I met some wonderful anglers this week and also had a few friends back to fish again. Other than the cold front, it was a super week to be on the water. The winds were a bit milder and each day was fishable if you used it to your advantage.
Trout
fishing was good earlier in the week, but slowed down as the water cooled off from the latest weather. I even had to dig out the long johns one day! The catch of the week went to Tom Lukat, who ended up the day with a fat 26" trout. We had a good day with Josh and Barbara adding fish to the catch. Live bait, jerk baits and suspending lures worked best for trout this week. We have lost a number of fish using live pinfish on the flats this week.Keith Mullins and sons, Turner and Frank, were out with me again and this time we beat the weather and the kids caught ladyfish, jacks and a big bluefish before the rains set in for the day. Greg was back down to Florida and we had a good day in spite of the weather. Fishing was slower that day, but we did catch fish. Frank bought his two sons out on the coldest day of the week....and in a while, too! The water had cooled off quite a bit. The guys caught fish in spite of the conditions. Young Frank caught a nice flounder to end the day. Jim Senker, Matthew and Andrew was out today and we caught a variety of fish. Flounder, pompano, ladyfish, jacks and a bonnet head shark.
Snook fishing has still been best at night this week. Live bait or jigs around the inlet, jetties and docks have been the best choices. If the docks are fishable, there have been some large snook hanging around some of the deeper docks. Barbara caught her first snook on the flats this week.
Redfish have been on the flats. We hooked two on Saturday, but lost them before they came to the boat. Look for action to improve as the water warms up. The bridges have been slow this week, but sheephead and black drum can still be caught off the catwalks. The jetties have been busy at night with snook and jacks feeding off the full moon. Spanish mackerel, bluefish and jacks have been around the inlet. The channels have held mackerel, ladyfish, jacks and snapper.
The surf has been hard to fish most days with an easterly wind. Whiting action will continue once you can get back on the beach. A few pompano are still out there as well.
Tip of the Week:
If you are fishing lately, make sure you keep a good sunscreen on in this weather. Not only will the sun give you a good burn, but the winds can also to some damage to you. Together, they can make the end of a good day a little brighter....red that is. Remember to use your sunscreen when on the water and keep your self protected from the harmful rays of the sun and those strong winds as well.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.}

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Homosassa Catching Is On

March 27, 2008
Homosassa - Saltwater Fishing Report


Up until today, I felt all reports were not worth mentioning unless you like to hear about the northeast winds, no water and lock jaw. After a miserable week of not catching much of anything to brag about, now catching is on. Mind you we did enjoy the fishing and the bright sunny conditions.Today, a feeding frenzy mud with spotted sea trout, mackerel and bluefish are all a mix in waters between 8-12 feet west of Homosassa Marker #2. And this weekend looks great, maybe a little wind here and there such as a sea breeze afternoon, but nice and sunny conditions throughout the end of this month.I will leave you with some trout, macks and blues photographic action.


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

Crystal River Conditions Perfect

Mack Attack !!!!!!
Report Date: March 24, 2008


Rod, Larry, and Russ Fair braved breezy conditions and were rewarded with over 20 Spanish Mackerel and Spotted SeaTrout.

WOW! What a month. Warm weather, little rain, and light winds have all created perfect conditions for tons of baitfish to start swarming many of the local flats, back bays, wrecks and reefs the Crystal River and Homosassa area has to offer. It is during this time of year when the inshore action around the Nature Coast can be the most fun and exciting. Every year when the annual migration of Threadfin Herring, Ballyhoo, and Pinfish return to the area you can almost count on the Spanish Mackerel, Speckled Trout, Cobia, and Shark all not to be too far behind.

Earlier in the month small pods of bait were spotted with few Spanish Mackerel and Speckled Trout hanging around them. Now with increasing water temperatures these small pods of bait have increase into swimming pool sized schools of bait and you cannot run by these schools of bait without seeing a Spanish Mackerel or Speckled Trout cutting right through them.


Gene Bachman is holding another nice Spanish Mackerel that smoked only about 50 yards of line of his little Shimano reel.

When these big pods of bait group up this can be any spin, plug, or flyfishermens dream. Any bait or fly that can be placed next to or in these pods of baits is immediately gobbled up or cut off. Now normally you can attach a piece of wire leader to keep the cutoffs from happening, but I have found that you will normally see twice as many strikes if you stick with a mono leader instead of switching to a wire leader. The trick to limiting the cutoffs is to upgrade your leader or even use a longer shank hook.

On recent Crystal River charters out of the world famous Pete’s Pier Marina I have been spoiling myself and my clients with record amounts of Spanish Mackerel and Speckled Trout. The mackerel fishing has been so good that on a few trips I have had to bring an extra 72 quart cooler just to have an extra area to store my bait and any other fish we decide to bring home for dinner. Right now on an average day it is not uncommon to catch and release any where from 50-70 Mackerel and 20-30 Speckled Trout in a day. It doesn’t get much better than this. One minute your latched onto a fish that wants to pull every yard of line right off your reel and the next minute you have huge yellow mouth comeing out of the water shaking and jumping. Life is Good!


Alex Gruber whipped this fiesty Spanish Mackerel into shape after a few drag screaming runs.

Women, children and adults of all ages please feel free to join me on a fishing adventure that I can assure you will leave lasting memories for a lifetime. With the fishing this good and the weather even better nobody will blame you for playing hooky from work or school. So if long drag screaming runs and hard charging fights is whats gets your blood boiling, give Red Hot Fishing Charters a call today we specialize in creating “Fishing Memories!”

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hide From Wind In Homosassa's Mangroves

Capt. Mike Locklear
March 19, 2008
Homosassa - Saltwater Fishing Report

From everything I read on fishing reporting begins with spring arriving and how windy it has been. March is typical for windy conditions. Back in the 80's when I ran charters off shore I would cancel trips because I did not want my clients uncomfortable.

The wind did blow yesterday and we referred to it briefly. Charter boat captains who make their living offshore in Federal waters have to play it safe. About 60% of the time the forecast is not as bad as they say it is.

Today, my services do not include offshore charters further than nine miles westward. The charter boat moratorium galled me so much; I did not apply for the permit. I did not feel it was fair to single out a group and shut the rest of the world off to making a living in the gulf.

With the proposed bag limit of 1 gag and 2 red groupers per person a lot of folks will be selling their boats. With the price of gas soaring to all time highs even a rich man wants some reward or bounty for his efforts. One gag is not going to cut it.

Politics are always sticky business and a compromise of 3 gags may be acceptable. I could go on all day about this crap. Back to reporting.

A group out of Arkansas went out with me for a half day and the children on that trip caught their first redfish ever. They kept enough for dinner and the reds ran from 22-23 inches.

We saw some larger fish but they did not bite that looked like these, all oversized to about 34".

Today we will try again under a wind advisory as a front is bearing down on us for Thursday. We moved this trip ahead from Thursday to today because wind the wind is from the northwest the bite slows as the front passes.

Homosassa's maze of creeks and mangrove islands along with shallow water flats always has many hidden places out of the wind to enjoy the crispness of spring.

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

Best Action, Snook On The Flats

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 3/16 through 3/26/2008
Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action during the past 10 days. Anglers using spinning tackle scored with snook, reds, pompano, Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Fly anglers caught and released trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pompano and reds. The best action was with snook on the flats of Terra Ceia and Sarasota Bays.
Fly angler, Stephen Lewis, and his son, Danny, from Brooklyn, NY and brother-in-law, Murray, from Austin, TX, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Sunday morning, March 16th. They caught and released ladyfish, trout, Spanish mackerel and pompano, including a 4 ½ pounder that Murray caught on a CAL jig with a shad tail at the Radio Tower flat. That afternoon fly anglers, Dick Stevens, from Enfield, CT and his son, Sean Stevens, from WY, fished Sarasota Bay with me. They had fast action with Spanish mackerel, trout and ladyfish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies at Stephens Point. We then headed to the west side of the bay near Buttonwood Harbor where they caught and released a 4-pound pompano and a 30” red, both on Ultra hair Clouser flies. We encountered a large school of oversized reds, much like you would find in late summer. It’s good to be in the right place at the right time!
Long time customer and friend, Rick Peregord from Southgate, MI, fished with me on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (March 17, 18 and 20). Rick fishes 3 days with me every year in the middle of March. He is a bass angler and can cast well around docks, etc, which means he is usually successful targeting snook and reds. We fished the Terra Ceia area on Monday where he caught and released 7 snook to 23” on CAL jigs with shad tails. The following day we fished Sarasota Bay where he caught and released 4 reds and 3 or 4 snook to 27”. On Thursday conditions were perfect with a good tide and a front just passing through. Rick had a personal best day in Sarasota’s Roberts Bay with about 15 snook to 25” and 3 reds to 24”, all on CAL jigs with shad tails. Best colors were Arkansas Glow Shiner and Stark Naked. The tally for the 3 days was about 25 snook and 7 reds.
Fly angler Kirk Norris, from Des Moines, IA, fished Charlotte Harbor with me on Wednesday. We had a south wind of 15 to 25-mph, which made things very challenging. Kirk caught a few ladyfish and trout, but reds and snook were too tough that day due to conditions.
Mike Sprague, from NJ, and his brother-in-law Rick, from GA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. The best action was with bluefish and ladyfish at Stephens Point. They caught and released about a dozen blues to 3-pounds on CAL jigs with shad tails.
Fly angler, John Wolfstaetter and his dad, Paul Wolfstaetter, both from NY, fished the Terra Ceia area with me on Saturday, March 22nd. It rained most of the day and poured for the last 4 hours of the trip. Despite miserable conditions, they hung in there all day. It paid off for John with a red and a nice trout on a chartreuse/white Clouser fly.
Fly angler, Dave Macomber from St. Paul, MN, fished Blackburn Bay and “snook alley” with me on Monday afternoon and evening. Despite 20 to 25-mph winds, fishing was good. Dave caught and released about a dozen ladyfish and a couple of trout before dark with an Estaz Marabou fly. We shifted to fishing docks after dark where he caught and released more than 10 snook to 24” on my Grass (Snook) Minnow fly.
The next morning, fly angler Marc Chiapperino, and his son, Marc, from NJ, fished Sarasota Bay with me. It was cold, 49 degrees, when we started at 9 AM but fishing was steady. They caught and released ladyfish, about a dozen trout to 18” and a bluefish on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails at Stephens Point.
The weather should be more stable as we head into April, which will make fishing more dependable. With fronts still pushing through, water temperature fluctuating up and down and lots of wind, fishing has been challenging especially after the passing of a front. Both skinny water and coastal gulf fishing should improve with more stable weather in April.

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

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


Rick Peregord, from Southgate, MI, caught and released this 27" snook on a CAL jig with an Arkansas Glow Shiner shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Sean Stevens, from WY, caught and released this 30" red on a Clouser fly while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Murray, from Austin, TX, caught this 4 1/2-pound pompano on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Trout, Snook Biting On Treasure Coast

INSHORE:
Well, another windy week along the Treasure Coast to test your skills at fishing. Offshore has been difficult for most boaters to venture out. The river has been fishable on most days if you could find areas to stay out of the worst of the wind. I was fortunate to meet some really great people this week and we had some fun in spite of the blustery conditions! Friday had Ralph and Cynthia Stinnler looking for snook. Cynthia lost one big fish under the boat and later caught a big jack around the jetties. We drifted into a number of big snook on the flats later in the morning. Harry Beaber took John and Peter out that afternoon and we found trout, jacks and a nice black drum on the flats. Joni and Paul Warner were out Sunday and found trout up to 21". Joni caught her first snook on the flats along with ladyfish and jacks. Jeff Olson and Elise were out on a windy monday. We found trout, ladyfish and jacks again. Elise caught two nice trout in the 18 - 20" size. Bob Alteri was back with friends, Tony and Mark. With a day that was too windy to stay on the water, Mark Roth managed to battle a fat 33" snook (on a DOA CAL Morning Glory shad tail) to the boat for photo and safe release. It has been a good week, in spite of challenging conditions!Trout have continued to bite well as long as you can fish the grass flats. Queen's Cove and Harbor Branch have been the best producing areas on DOA CAL jerk baits in both light and dark colors. Work your soft baits slowly along the bottom for your best chance at a trout. We tried several days for redfish and found them on the flats, but just not willing to bite those days. Most we have seen are in less than two feet of water. Snook fishing around the jetties has been good with live pinfish for those brave enough to tackle the conditions. It will be nice to have a break in the wind until the next front arrives!Bridges were quiet most of the week. Still sheephead and black drum around them, but hard to fish in this weather. Spanish mackerel and bluefish are still around the inlet area and chasing bait. The surf has also been quiet for now. Look for whiting and some pompano around when you can fish the beach. March has proven to live up to it's reputation of being a lion of months. Let's wait and see what surprises April will bring!
Tip of the Week:
We were drifting along the flats this week and witnessed yet another boater run aground in six inches of water on the flats at a high rate of speed. Standing in ankle deep water, they tried to figure out how they were going to get off. It's bad enough to take a chance at damaging your boat or harming yourself or a passenger out there. You are also damaging a very fragile eco-system that is having enough trouble surviving without us harming it more. Once you leave a channel, know the area that you are entering. Tides vary greatly with many conditions that affect it. On this particular day, the tides were lower than normal. I have certain tide marks on flats that I frequent to let me know what the tides are doing on any day I might be out there. It might be an oyster bar, mangrove tree or shallow sandbar. Protect yourself, your property and our environment and be aware of your surroundings.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.}

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cobia Make Showing In Tarpon Springs


March 21st, 2008
The Brown Bombers are Back!
John told me that he hadn't been fishing in 30 years, that Ralph was an avid angler, and that Joe and Jordan hadn't really done much fishing before. I knew they were in for some fun but even I didn't know how much. My recent fishing charters in Tarpon Springs have been doing real well on large trout and spanish mackerel with a few redfish thrown in for good measure. But today, the "Brown Bombers" crashed the party. I picked up my party in Tarpon Springs at the Anclote boat ramps at 9am with 2 live wells full of greenbacks. After introductions we headed off to a flat in about 5 feet of water that had been producing some trout and tons of spanish mackerel. The mackerel have been really big and they've been putting up great fight, zinging drag and all. It wasn't long before the first fish was boated. I think it took all of 20 seconds after the first bait hit the water for one of the guys to pull in a small trout. After that it was mackerel bite after mackerel bite. The only problem is the mackerel were hook shy. they kept slashing at the bait just behind the hook. So I think we landed only one fish for every 6 or 7 that we hooked but the action was pretty steady none the less.


Then all of a sudden John hooks a fishing that is just screaming drag off of the reel. I'm thinking this is an absolute monster mackerel but to my surprise, when the fish first showed itself, it didn't have that tell tale silver flash of a mackerel. Instead, it was brown. It was COBIA brown! Sweet! The first cobia of the year!



At first I thought it was a fluke but about 30 minutes later John was wrestling with his second cobia. The one of the other guys had one on but it got away. What a great day. Cobia are a great sign that the flats are coming alive. I saw bait flickering everywhere. As you travel from spot to spot, keep a keen eye out for those "brown bombers" on sorte missions accross the flats. Have either a live bait, pinfish or green back, at the ready when using live bait and it wouldn't hurt to always have a Berkley Powerbait Eel rigged on a jig head at all times. Especially when catching bait early in the mornings. Some of my most frequent visits from cobia are while I'm catching bait. Every time you catch bait you are chumming the waters around you with the bait that gets loose from your net so be on the ready for a cobia to show up.

Captain Clay Eavenson
813-300-2147

I.R.L.Redfish Of A Lifetime

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, March 21, 2008

Compliments of Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka Florida

First, let me start this report by wishing everyone a happy Easter.
March in Central Florida is known for blustery breezes and this week was no exception to the rule. As cold fronts swing through our area they are preceded by strong southerly winds and followed with a robust easterly fetch, and this week high winds made for some tough fishing conditions inshore and dangerous conditions offshore.

My adventures this past week on the water were again limited by blustery and stormy conditions as well as a weeklong family vacation to the Washington DC area. I only managed one day of fishing for large mouth bass on the Saint Johns River. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of fishing with my good friend Larry Carter and his grandson Taylor from Saint Louis and we opted to bass fish due to windy coastal conditions.


The bass have started schooling up in the river bends between Lake Monroe and the Econ Creek, and they are feeding on schools of menhaden, pushing them to the surface at dusk and first light, These fish are easy to catch on small top-water plugs like Chug Bugs and Pop-Rs.


Although I did not get out on the Lagoon last week, below is a report from one of my loyal readers who did manage a redfish of a lifetime.Captain Tom,

I have been traveling from Grand Rapids, MI to stay in Merritt Island, FL at my in-laws for the last 12 years, all the while spending as much time as possible trying to learn how to catch the elusive Redfish and Sea trout, my two favorite species. Along the way, I have followed your reports for advice, and I always appreciate your thoughtful information.

My brother and I made it to the NMZ on Saturday and Sunday. I was fishing top-water and landed this beautiful redfish, certainly a redfish of a lifetime. I measured the length at 45". It had a tremendous girth, but I only had a Lawstick, and could not measure his circumference. After getting home, my brother did some research on the state record, 52lb 5oz. From lifting the fish, I couldn't tell how heavy, but could you venture a professional guess?

I am not necessarily worried about ever recording a state record. I think for it to be registered, it would at least require the time to paddle over to another boat for verification, and getting my name on a list is just not worth injuring a trophy fish. Even as it was, it took a while to revive him. I was using 12lb. test, so it took about 30 minutes to tire him out, so I spent a good 3-5 minutes reviving him before release. But I guess my other question is, is there a quick way to record a state record that will allow the fish to be quickly released?


We saw a lot of redfish, but were puzzled that we only landed this one (although we missed a couple of other redfish strikes on top water). I really need a pro to teach me some consistency!
Gear used: Shimano Calcutta 150, Bass Pro Shops Graphite Series 2-pc. baitcasting rod, MH action (undersized, but I have little choice due to my travel requirements). Berkley Big Game 12lb. test. Heddon Superspook Jr. bright silver with black back (Interesting note that is my favorite smallmouth lure in Michigan. For saltwater, I had been using a Zara Spook for years with good results on trout and some reds, but I felt that the Superspook Jr., which is only slightly smaller, offered superior hooks and overall holding strength due to the split ring attachment, so I just switched to this lure. Yes, it is a subtle difference between the two lures, but I believe it ending up making a substantial difference).
If the winds calm down, we hope to be back out there Friday.

Best regards and great fishing!

Future Hook Kids on Fishing events:
March 29 - Palm Bay: To register contact the Palm Bay Recreational Department 321-952-3441.
April 19 - Melbourne: To register contact the Melbourne Leisure Services 321-255-4608.
If you or your organization would like to support these events by volunteering, please contact me and I will point you in the right direction, or you can call Coastal Angler Magazine at 321-777-2773.

Events and Seminars
April 18, 19, 20 Melbourne: Mosquito Creek Outdoors Angler's Improvement Clinics held in conjunction with the Coastal Angler Magazine Boating and Fishing Expo at the Melbourne Auditorium.Both Captain Chris Myers and myself will be conducting clinics throughout the event, so if you have any questions about tackle selection, rigging, or anything else just stop by our booth and ask.It is the perfect opportunity to learn from the pros.
Additional sponsors for the clinics are: RipTide Lures, D.O.A. Lures, Woodies Rattles, Tti-Blakemore Fishing Group, and Daichi Bleeding bait Hooks.
As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

http://www.irl-fishing.com
407-366-8085 landline
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790-8081 toll free

President, Angler for Conservation AFC
Board Member of the Florida Guides Association FGA
Board Member of Indian River Guides Association IRGA
Board Member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association FOWA
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!

Friday, March 21, 2008

North Skyway Fishing Pier 3-21-08

I was looking on the message board of the North Skyway Fishing Pier today. Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, silver trout, grouper, and sharks are all being caught. Spanish mackerel are providing the majority of the action. The best time to fish for them will be in the morning, late afternoon, and around tide changes. Small silver spoons, Got-Cha plugs, and live bait will get them to bite. The bay side of the pier, on an incoming tide, will be the best place and time to get a kingfish. Greenbacks and small blue runners are the best bait. Silver trout should be in large schools. Find the school and you will have non-stop action using live shrimp and Luvs-Lures. Grouper are in the rock piles. A stout rod and reel, combined with a live pinfish or greenback, will catch grouper.

North Skyway Pier Kingfish Tournament!
Our 4th annual kingfish tournament will start on March 22 from 8am until 3pm and will run every weekend for the next few months.This is a free tournament and open to all anglers.First prize will be a okuma FS65 rod & reel combo which will be for the biggest kingfish of the day.

Rules are as follows.

1.You must sign in at the north pier bait house to enter.

2.All kings must have been landed on the north fishing pier

3.You must weigh in your catch and have it logged in at the north bait house along with a picture taken.

4.At 3:30 pm the prize will be awarded to the angler with the winning catch of the day.

I want to wish everybody good luck and lets all have a great time on the pier. Tightlines everybody.

North Skyway Fishing Pier
727-865-0668
10501 Sunshine Skyway Bridge
St Petersburg, FL 33711
http://www.skywaypiers.com/

Panhandle Fishing Report 3-20-08


Report for 03/20/2008
Salt Water
MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE- With water, temperature rising (65 o at the time of this report) is will not be very much longer until we begin to see the Spanish Mackerel arriving. Typically, 68 o water is the temperature that kicks off the Spanish Mackerel run followed by most other sport fishing species. Bottom fishing is reportedly; slow however, there were some nice catches this week at the 150' depth jigging over the hard bottoms. Also those anglers who are trolling for Grouper as in past weeks too have had nice fish boated.

ST JOSEPH BAY- The Flounder are arriving and catches are steadily increasing in the St Joseph Bay. Fish the deepest holes you can find near the head of the bay and around Black's island. They should start heading for the entrances to the bayous and canals soon. The bait of choice right now is bull minnows; however, Calcutta has introduced the 'Flash foil' split-tail soft plastic. I believe it is a super Flounder lure for those anglers who prefer artificial baits. Sheepshead continue to feed near the channel buoys and in the Intracoastal canal and are caught primarily with live shrimp or fiddler crabs.
APALACHICOLA /WHITE CITY-SALTWATER-Check out pilings, seawalls, and riprap for Sheepshead. Use small shrimp or fiddler crabs. Also fish the Apalachicola River for Black and Red drum along with good numbers of Trout.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS- Grouper season opened with a bang! Excellent reports coming out of the 15-20 mile mark. Several Black and Red Grouper and Scamp are being caught within state waters over hard bottom areas also. Live bait is the best bet. Amberjack remain plentiful over several of the Bridge Spans with larger fish being caught farther offshore. Some spotty reports of Spanish Mackerel are coming in. These fish should show up in numbers within the next week.



Redfish caught on Perfect Cast Charters with Capt. Dan Van Treese. 850-227-5149/ Heidi Nate

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM-Sheepsheads are all over the jetties right now. They will take live shrimp readily, but the bigger fish are hammering Fiddler Crabs. Several fish between 9 and 12 pounds have been caught within this past week. Use a Carolina rig with a #4 hook, 15-20# fluorocarbon leader and light lead for best results. Trout have just started to move back onto the flats. Many will remain in the creeks for the next month or so. Use live Shrimp on the bottom in the creeks and under a popping cork on the flats. Redfish are still working the pass in good numbers. Live Shrimp and Pinfish are the baits of choice. There are several schools of Reds swimming along the shorelines of East and West bays. The water color is still quite stained from the storms a few weeks ago, but fish can be seen by working down the banks slowly. These schooling fish can be very spooky, so a quiet approach with long casts will work the best. Throw a live Shrimp on a light lead head or weightless for best results. A few Pompano are being caught along the beaches. Throw a jig tipped with shrimp, sand fleas, or gulp. They are also being caught using frozen sand fleas and shrimp, rigged on a 2 hook leader and pyramid sinker.

DESTIN-Cobia Season is finally here!!! Team Outcast caught the first one of the season Sunday around 11:30 am, it weighed in at 27.2lbs at Harbor Docks in Destin. On Monday the Full Pull caught the second fish of the year weighing in at 35lbs. Then on Tuesday George caught the first one from the Pensacola Pier. They have seen one from the Okaloosa pier but have not caught one as of this report. Also at the Okaloosa Pier they are getting a few Pompano each day mostly bottom fishing and a few on jigs. There have been a few Spanish caught over the weekend and a few Reds and Sheepsheads. On the jetties the Sheepsheads are still steady, also a few Pompano and some Reds are being caught. If you fish the harbor, you will find plenty of White Trout and Sheepsheads. Boats have started trolling and are getting a few Spanish. The Grouper bite is off the hook in the gulf and the Amberjack are also very good. Weather is the only problem here as rough seas have kept most people from being able to get in the game. Hopefully the weather will be better for the weekend.

NAVARRE-Fisherman are still catching some Trout and Redfish in the rivers using jigs with curly tails, Gulp and live shrimp. Most of the action has been at the river mouths, especially for Redfish. There have been reports of Sheepshead being caught on the bridge pilings using small live shrimp and fiddler crabs. Redfish can be caught in the same places using live shrimp, fresh dead and cut bait. Trout and Redfish have moved up on the grass flats. Trout can be caught using live shrimp, finger mullet, pinfish and a host of artificial baits. Redfish can be caught with the same live baits, but don't be afraid to throw the tried and true gold spoon. The Pompano bite has steadily increased over the last two weeks in the surf. Fresh dead shrimp, frozen shrimp, frozen sand fleas and live sand fleas will catch them. Pompano jigs fished by themselves or tipped with shrimp will take their share as well. Cobia season is coming right around the corner. We have had reports of a few fish being caught already. As the water temperature increases the number of fish spotted will too. Live Eels, Pinfish and Catfish are all worth trying. Jigs tipped with squid or naked jigs work to Spanish Mackerel should be in our area very soon. Small spoons, mackerel trees, Spanish dusters and Gotcha plugs are all good choices. Flounder are being caught over structures from one to five miles off the beach. It won't be long before these fish will move into the passes. Live Pinfish and Bull Minnows are the bait of choice. I haven't heard any reports lately due to the weather, but the Grouper and Amberjack bite should be good in deep water over live bottom or structure. The Shimano Butterfly jigs have been used successfully for sometime on both species. Taylor your jigs weight to your fishing depth.

Fresh Water -Spring is here and Bass are starting their spawning pattern and moving into the shallows to bed. Sight fishing for them will be your best bet. However, with all of the recent rain what was shallow is now deep. Keep in mind that while on bed, they are not generally feeding but rather protecting their bedding area. Pitching your soft plastics in and around the bed will attract a strike. The male of the species will patrol and area outside the bed and usually not very far away it. Take your time and fish the perimeter of a bed before going for the sow.

Half Hitch Tackle
850-234-2621
2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, Fl 32408

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

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

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tarpon Springs Trout, Mack Bite Is On


It's officially Spring!Get ready because the fishing is really heating up! With the wind blowing so much this week, the redfish bite has been a little off. But, the good news is that sea trout, spanish mackerel, and bluefish have really been making a great showing. Not just in number but in size as well. Tarpon Springs is starting to see bait flood the flats and that has turned the trout bite on and brought the mackerel back to the flats. As I've mentioned in recent previous reports, the wind can make things difficult when fishing for redfish. We've had front after front come through and it seems to have pushed the redfish off of their usual shallow flats. If we get a few calm days in a row they should return and the bite should be on again. Water temperatures hit 70 degrees this week on the flats and the snook have taken notice. I've seen snook near creek mouths and river mouths and even a few out by the islands. That bite is set to go off big time. We had a few 40+ trout days this past week with some fish reaching 6.5 lbs. We caught the most fish on 1/8th oz. jigheads with either Gulp Shrimp or Exude Darts in light colors. The smaller fish were schooled up in deep troughs but the big fish all came from less than 2 feet of water. One day this week I loaded the live well with huge greenbacks. I wasn't quite sure what to do with them since they were too big to use for redfish and trout and the snook weren't cooperating but then I decided to try a flats where bait had been pretty thick. I threw out a bunch of baits to chum the water and see if anybody was home. It wasn't long before the chummers were getting crushed by monster mackerel. We hooked way more than we landed because the toothy critters could cut through my 70lb leader with ease but when we got good hook sets we were treated to some very large mackerel. One of which was over 30 inches long (pictures coming soon). So if you are fishing on a windy day and you can't find snook or redfish, try fishing some flats in 4-6 feet of water and see if you can get into some of that fast paced, line zinging, mackerel action.

.
Captain Clay Eavenson
813-300-2147

Hook Kids On Fishing Palm Bay, Melbourn

Volunteers needed for Palm Bay and Melbourne Hook Kids on Fishing program


We're currently looking for volunteers to help us with the upcoming Palm Bay and Melbourne Hook Kids on Fishing programs.

The Palm Bay Hook Kids on Fishing program will be held at the Marine Resources Council’s Lagoon House, Saturday, March 29, 2008 from 8:45-11am. The MRC Lagoon House is located about 1.5 miles south of US 192 off Highway U.S. 1. Go to University Ave. take a left and first right on Riverview, 3275 Dixie Hwy. NE / Highway U.S. 1.

The Melbourne Hook Kids on Fishing program will be held at the Melbourne Auditorium Saturday, April 19 , 2008 from 8:45-11am. The Melbourne Auditorium is located at 625 Hibiscus Blvd. You can find Hibiscus Blvd. by going a 1/2 mile north of Hwy. 192 on Highway U.S. 1. Go west 1/2 mile to reach the auditorium.

We’re expecting 100 kids and their parents to attend each event. Each of the children will get a rod, and reel plus a small tackle box. Bring your smiles, positive attitudes and patience along with you!

Volunteers will be meeting at 7 am. each morning.

If you are joining us, please RSVP Pete Alvarez
321-255-0894

palvey83@cfl.rr.com

Florida's Free Coast to Coast Outdoor Magazine
Coastal Angler Magazine Use, Don't Abuse It!
http://www.coastalanglermagazine.com/
Toll Free: 888-800-9794
Locally: 321-777-2773
Fax: 321-777-4622
P.O. Box 373257
Satellite Beach, FL 32937

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Solid Week of Fishing!



The fishing has been very good this past week. We have caught some big redfish and many slot size redfish. The trout bite has also been very good. Josh Wilcox landed a nice 5 pound trout on Wednesday. He and his wife Stacy were able to boat several nice redfish and quite a few trout. It was a fun day. Thursday was another solid day as several nice redfish came to the boat. Jim and Dan scored some solid fish in a 4 hour trip. Looks like Friday and Saturday will be a blowout. March and April are solid months for fishing. The weather is great and the top water bite is always fun.
I have 6 open days for March and April is filling fast. Call 407-405-0819 and book your trip today.
Tune in for the 'Hawgwild Fishing Show' every Saturday from 6-8 am on ESPN WIXC 1060 and WAMT 1190. The replay is every Sunday form 6-8 am on ESPN WHOO 1080. WE WILL BE DISCUSSING THE NASA ISSUE and have reports from around the state.
Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
06 Mar 2008 by
Captain David Rogers

Captain David Rogers
AAA Hawgwild Saltwater Charters LLC
Host The 'Hawgwild Fishing Show'ESPN WIXC 1060 /WAMT 1180 Satudays 6-8am
(407-273-1190) Live call-inESPN WHOO 1080 Sunday 6-8am/ replay -
http://www.hawgwildradio.com/
407-405-0819 Book Charters
http://www.blogger.com/

Springtime Fishing Will Keep Getting Better

Fishing Report
Fort Pierce - Port St Lucie - Vero Beach - Jensen Beach
INSHORE:March is living up to its reputation as a wind month. The river has remained fishable most days in spite of the blustery weather. Plenty of places along the channel to get out of the worst of it and enjoy a day fishing. It's almost springtime and the fishing will just keep getting better along the Treasure Coast!
Trout
fishing turned back on this week. Tom Kemp and his friend Anton were fishing this week and boated around 20 trout up to 22". We also found plenty of ladyfish and jacks to bend some rods. Capt. Pat Wells and his son, Dalton, were down and we fished on Sunday. Dalton stole the show with more trout than we could keep track of and a pompano for his dinner that night. Windy or not, it has been a fun week out there.Look for trout on most flats both north and south of Fort Pierce. Up towards Vero Beach, try Round Island or the Moorings and try Bear Point or the Power Plant to the south. We have had our best luck on DOA CAL jerk baits in glow colors. Live shrimp on popping corks will also get you some great action. Two to four feet has been a good depth to target the trout.
Redfish action should start picking up this week. I've seen lots of them on the flats and will be targeting them this week. Water temps have begun rising and the fish will be getting hungry now. The east shore to the south of Fort Pierce should start providing redfish action and Queen's Cove up north is also a well known redfish hangout. I like using DOA shrimp or CAL jerk baits in new penny colors this time of year. Good luck and let me know how you do out there.
Snook fishing has continued to be mostly a nighttime adventure. The bridges, seawalls and jetties have been the most active with live bait or feather jigs being the choice ways to fish. Try the first part of the outgoing tides.
Mackerel have been along the channel edges and around the inlets. The jetties have had their share along with bluefish, jacks and tarpon. The Surf has the usual whiting, pompano and bluefish cruising along the beaches. Bridges have held sand perch, sheephead and black drum on live or dead shrimp.
Tip of the Week:It's time to gear up for some great spring fishing action. Check out rod tips and guides, replace that old fishing line and stock up on those favorite lures. Reels should be cleaned, oiled and greased. Make sure that your equipment is ready. It's all you have between you and that fish on the other end. If you keep you gear in good working order, you will have better success landing that finned creature pulling your line. Good luck and good fishing!As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!
Good Fishing and Be Safe,

Captain Charlie Conner
www.fishtalescharter.com
email: captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
772-284-3852

(Captain Charlie Conner has been fishing the Indian River Lagoon for over twenty-five years. Specializing in light tackle fishing in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Jensen Beach, Stuart and Port St Lucie, Florida. His weekly South Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report gives you the latest inshore fishing information for the Treasure Coast area on the Indian River Lagoon.}

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Giant Snook,Trout,Redfish In IRL

March 8, 2008 - In Like a Lion
Some wise wag once wrote that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Obviously, after just one week, it is too early to give absolute credence to that ancient soothsayer, however, over the past week, we had roar through the greater Orlando area tornados, gale force winds, driving rain and even hail. As a result, we were graced with only two fishable days – Wednesday and Thursday – and these days were as different as different could be.

Now Wednesday, the fine weather not withstanding, was as funky a day on the Indian River Lagoon as we’ve had in sometime. Capt. Roland, guiding a party from Texas out of Melbourne Beach, had his clients all over fish, and good fish too. This hard-luck charter threw everything but the bilge pump at big numbers of giant snook, gator trout and, what had been, heretofore, gregarious redfish. Nothing worked. These fish had gone into a strict fast and simply refused every temptation. What frustration!

Also fishing on Wednesday, Capt. Rocky, guiding out of Titusville, had the pleasure of hosting Jack and Ilene Kling from Delaware. Again, fish, fish, everywhere, but bites were few and far between. Fishing on this day was proving to be tougher than a two dollar steak from IHOP!

Finally, after frustratingly flinging live finger mullet at a vast school of tailing redfish for what seemed like forever, one lone brute broke with the fast and saved the day from utter futility. (Pictured below are the Klings with the lone Wednesday triumph.) Thank goodness for second chances because Thursday would be so, so different.




Fishing essentially the same three spots as the day before, Capt. Rocky, Jack Kling and Ed, a fellow Delawarean, found the fish in a much different frame of mind. The first location, where redfish tails where wagging so impressively the day before, appeared deserted on Thursday. The party quickly moved to their second spot. This time, opting to anchor at a distance, the trio waded back to the fish in the calm, clear water and lobbed baits from afar. Bingo! Huge gator trout gleefully greeted them in a most hospitable fashion. Some of these monster trout were in the 32-35 inch range. (None of the trout were handled to avoid over-stressing these actively spanning fish – no pictures were taken). This was fun but it would be the third and final spot where the real fireworks would occur on this day.

The third location was also a repeat from the prior day but, again, the outcome was so different this time around. Instead of giving a blow by blow account, we simply offer the following photos are prima fascia evidence of the truth of another old adage, “Oh, what a difference a day can make.”









Native Sons Fishing Guides
Captain Rocky Van Hoose
321-986-9588
rvanhoose@cfl.rr.com
Captain Brad Jones
321-626-5072

jonesmelb7@bellsouth.net

Posted by Rocky Van Hoose on March 08, 2008 at 07:23:46 PM

Everglades Tarpon Just Getting Started

March 12, 2008
Tarpon
It’s getting hard to keep track, we’ve jumped, fought, lost and battled to the boat, probably nineteen tarpon, in the last half dozen go-outs. They’ve ranged in size from ten inches, to five pounds, to thirty, fourty, sixty and eighty. And we haven’t even really gotten started. Kevin Becker got one, and Bob Milgram has been tuffeling with them too. I like fishing with Bob because he’s always rooting for the fish, even while he’s doing his best to land them.

Captain Ned Small 239-695-4993
www.sightfish.com/
sightfish@embarqmail.com

Monday, March 17, 2008

Stealth And Finesse Capture Trophy Reds

It’s BIG redfish time boys and girls; well at least it’s the traditional season for them. In truth we’ve been catching a few of the trophy sized reds since January.

While I’m pecking away at the keyboard we have a bitter cold front moving through the area. This type of weather is the only combination of factors which will quickly put a damper on my plans to fish for trophy reds. Only strong winds or only cloudy skies or only water temps a bit cooler than we like and we can still usually find a group or two of big fish to entertain ourselves with. Put all of these factors together and an angler quite literally strikes out at the chance for a trophy in the sight-fishing arena.

Luckily by this time of year the cold fronts begin to spread out and the water temperatures slowly climb to the redfish’s optimum range. Within this optimum temperature range the redfish often manifest a certain amount of aggression which helps the angler actually catch these awesome fish.

While live and cut bait will account for most of these trophies we’ve caught countless MONSTER (20 to 40+ pounds) redfish on Exude soft plastic baits. So can you, in fact if you are lucky enough to be the first angler to approach a school of trophy class redfish a well placed soft plastic lure will often be accepted by these heavily fished bruisers. Stealth and finesse are key factors in capturing that trophy of a life time, especially if you want to fool them rather than feed them!

As spring continues to warm the waters it not uncommon for some of the fish to break free of the school or the entire school itself may work their way onto the shallow flats in search of crabs and shrimp buried in the grass. This is another prime time to offer these brutes an artificial bait. I usually start with an Exude Cajun Crab and let the waters clarity dictate the color.

I’ll instruct my clients to inch the crab slowly up to the tailing redfish, moving the plastic bait ONLY when the fish’s tail is breaking the surface. My theory is if the tail is underwater the fish is already spooked or looking for the plastic,,,,

This is Captain Mark signing off: May your rods bend, your drags scream & your knots hold!

Capt. Mark Wright
cell: 321-302-3474
home: 321-264-3474
email:captmarkwright@earthlink.net
www.captmarkwright.com

Fly Fish Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 2/25 through 3/15/2008

Anglers fishing with me the past several weeks had good action in Sarasota Bay with trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and pompano on flies and jigs. Anglers fishing Charlotte Harbor scored with trout and reds. Despite water temperatures being up and down with the passing of several fronts, fishing has remained fairly consistent.
Dick Reece, from Dayton, OH, and Brian Green, from Ontario, Canada fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, Feb. 25. They had steady action with bluefish in Big Pass and trout, Spanish mackerel and blues at the Middleground Flat and at Stephens Point on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad and grub tails.
Mike Perez, from Richmond, IN, and Jeff Hanna, from MI, fished Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor with me on Tuesday, Feb. 26th that week. They caught and released trout, ladyfish and a red with CAL jigs and flies on deep grass flats and around sand bars. Mike also fished Sarasota Bay with me later that week. We found the action a little slower, but the best action was on deep grass flats with Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
I attended the Florida Guides Association’s annual meeting and did a Saltwater Fly Fishing seminar at the Frank Sargeant Show on Sunday, March 2nd.
Sarasota winter residents, Harry Beaty and Tom Schalk, fished Sarasota Bay with me and had fast action with blues in Big Pass and bluefish, Spanish mackerel and trout at the Middleground flat and Stephens Point on CAL jigs on Monday, March 3rd.
Dick Reece fished the next day with me in Sarasota Bay before heading back north. The action was a little slower but included trout, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel on CAL jigs.
Fly anglers Nick Reding and Jim Ewoldt, both from St. Louis, MO, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday and Thursday that week. The best action was on deep grass flats near Buttonwood Harbor, Stephens Point and the Middleground flat where they caught pompano, Spanish mackerel and trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies.
Friday’s trip got blown out after only 2-hours when 25-30-mph winds swept in ahead of a front. That meant good weather for a fishing show that weekend as I spoke at the Sarasota Florida Sportsman Show and helped DOA Fishing Lures out at their booth on Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9.
I was back on the water on Monday morning with fly anglers Jeff Wagner, from UT, and his uncle, Chub Bortz from PA. They caught and released trout, ladyfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel on a variety of flies in Sarasota Bay.
Firman Schlabaugh and Junior Miller, both from Sarasota, fished Charlotte Harbor with me on Tuesday. They had a banner day catching about a dozen trout to over 20”, with most fish in the upper end of the slot, around sand bars in Gasparilla Sound. We spent the afternoon targeting reds and they caught 7 reds to 30” along mangrove shorelines and sand bars in Turtle Bay. All fish were caught on CAL jigs with shad or grub tails.
Joe Scotti and Bill Crowley, from Nokomis, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me the next day. The best action was with trout on deep grass flats from the Radio Tower flat to Buttonwood Harbor. They caught and released 25 or 30 trout, including several over 20”, bluefish and Spanish mackerel with CAL jigs and shad or grub tails.
Trout action came on strong in both Sarasota Bay and Charlotte Harbor last week. I have been asking clients to release all trout in Sarasota Bay to help their recovery. Following the red tides of 2005 and 2006, trout were just about wiped out in Sarasota Bay. It was only last fall that they began to recover and are now on their way to a healthy level.
Mike Stehlik, from MN, and his brother Dennis Stehlik, from Chicago, fished Charlotte Harbor with me on Friday. They caught and released about a dozen trout to 18” in Gasparilla Sound and 4 reds to 24” in Turtle Bay on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails.
Tides will improve next week as we head toward a full moon on Friday. Fishing deep grass flats for trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and pompano in Sarasota Bay and reds and trout in Gasparilla Sound should continue to be good options.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service,
Inc.FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
(941) 923-7799
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
www.flyfishingflorida.net and
www.snookfin-addict.com

Chub Bortz, from Swiftwater, PA, caught this pompano with an Ultra Hair Clouser fly on an Orvis T-3 8-weight rod with an intermediate line while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Firman Schlabaugh, from Sarasota, FL, caught this nice red on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Turtle Bay in Charlotte Harbor with Capt. Rick Grassett.