Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Set The Hook!

Mosquito Creek Outdoor's Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, April 2009

By Captain Tom Van Horn

Be sure to check out the new Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando in print and online for free at www.coastalanglermagazine.com .

Reflecting back on my past forecast for April, I can't help but get excited about the many different angling prospects spring delivers to the Indian River Coast of Florida. I'm grateful for the opportunity to live, breath, and fish on these waters, and if March has been a prelude to what we can expect in April, set the hook!

Some of highlights of fishing on Florida's east central coast during the spring are the weather is still cool and enjoyable, and as the waters warm up, the fish begin to shift into their prespawning feeding mood. Some examples of this behavior are the cobia moving north up the coast, and the spotted sea trout moving into their traditional spawning areas on the inshore flats. Like many saltwater species, the cobia and sea trout spawn in aggregations or groups, not on beds. In the case of the cobia, traditional spawning areas are off of the central east coast of the US, and in the northern Gulf of Mexico. As the fish migrate north, they burn energy and feed heavily along the way, hence the cobia run we are currently experiencing. On the flats, the smaller male sea trout move up into the shallow flats first, and then call the females in to spawn by drumming loudly just after dusk when the conditions are right, usually around the beginning on the first new moon or full moon in April, and then again on the new and full moons throughout the summer.

Offshore, April marks the beginning of the fishing season for most blue water anglers. It represents the start of the April/May northern migration of dolphin in deeper water, 120 feet and beyond and usually brings in some of the largest bulls taken all year. April also marks the beginning of the Easter kingfish run on the near-shore reef outside Port Canaveral. It's the time of year when most of the larger kings, 30 to 50 pounds, are taken off 8A Reef, and Pelican Flats.

As we move in near-shore, tripletail should become more dependable, and look for late season cobia as well. The cobia run thus far has been so so; with bait pods (Atlantic menhaden or pogies) arriving late this year. As the bait pod move in, look for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, redfish, giant jack crevalle, sharks, and smoker kings. Concentrate your efforts in areas of bait pods. When you see areas of bait balled up and pushed to the surface, there is a high probability that feeding gamefish are pressuring the bait from underneath.

In the inlets, look for good numbers of flounder, sheepshead and black drum around structure such as jetties and docks, and Spanish mackerel, blues, and large jacks in open water. Also look for the nighttime snook and tarpon action to heat up in the Sebastian Inlet.

On the lagoon flats, fish the early morning and late evening with your favorite top water plugs for extreme trout and redfish action, and soft plastics and jigs in deeper water, 2 to 3 feet after the midday sun settles in. April is one of the months when trout are egg laden for the spawn, so it's very important to handle and release the larger females with great care. If you are looking for snook and tarpon action inside, the Sebastian River will be the place to go.

Last but not least, freshwater largemouth and striped bass action has will heat up on the St Johns River. Look for schooling bass at first light feeding on pilchards from the Osteen Bridge to Lake Harney. My favorite locations are in the river bends near the power lines at Lemmon Bluff and at the south end of Lake Harney were the River dumps in. A good way to locate these schooling fish is to look for white pelicans and other wading birds congregating along the shore. When in the feeding mode, these fish will take most swim plugs, and small live shiners. Also, last year we caught southern flounder in Lake Harney fishing pilchards on the bottom under the schooling bass.

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

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

(407) 416-1187 on the water
(407) 366-8085 landline

Visit www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Jacksonville Fishing Report 4-09

Ahoy there Anglers,

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted to request an interim rule for red snapper that would close the fishery in federal waters for both commercial and recreational fishermen for 180 days with a possible extension of 186 days. The request for the closure, directed to NOAA Fisheries Service, is designed to help address overfishing for red snapper until more long-term management measures are implemented. A 2008 stock assessment for red snapper in the South Atlantic region shows the stock continues to be overfished and is undergoing overfishing at nine times the sustainable level. If approved, it is anticipated the closure would be implemented in late June or early July, 2009.

The controversial decision to request the interim rule was made in a split vote, 7 to 6 after the Council heard public testimony during its meeting last week in Jekyll Island, Georgia. Fishermen questioned the recent stock assessment and the need for a closure of the fishery, many saying they have observed increases in the number of red snapper, especially along the Georgia and northeast Florida coasts. The stock assessment, conducted through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) process, attributes these increases to strong year classes of red snapper in 1998 and 1999 that have now reached legal size. However, the updated assessment shows the stock continues to be overfished and has been experiencing overfishing since the 1970’s.

OK now, IF the fishery has been experiencing overfishing since the 1970's AND we're seeing more snapper the last two years than we've seen the last 30 years, because of "strong year classes" as per the Council's own words, how does the Council NOT see that their figures are completely bogus. How do you experience "overfishing at 9 times the sustainable level AND see an increase in fish?" They say one thing out of one side of their mouth and then another thing out of the other side. Do they not even realize what they're saying? Or are they really THAT stupid? I think it's that they think we're the stupid ones and we won't realize that they're going to take ALL fishing away from us one species at a time and we won't realize it until it's too late. All fishermen and women had better get together on this deal. The commercial fishermen, recreational anglers as well as all charter Captains had better stop fighting each other and combine their numbers or we won't have any fish that'll be legal for us to fish for.

“There is not a tougher decision than closing a fishery,” said Council Chairman Duane Harris. (Yep, unless of course someone somewhere has some monetary interest in the importation of food fish). “We’ve delayed this vote until now, but the law requires that we have measures in place to address overfishing by this July.” The Council received notice on July 8, 2008 from NOAA Fisheries Service that overfishing was occurring for red snapper. The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires the Council to develop regulations to end overfishing within one year of notification. As a result, the Council began preparing Amendment 17 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan that includes measures to end overfishing and establish a rebuilding plan for red snapper. However, the amendment is currently under development and is not expected to be implemented by the July deadline.

Red snapper are found from North Carolina to the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico. The bulk of landings of red snapper in the South Atlantic come from the recreational fishery. In 1983, a 12” size limit was established for red snapper. Because of concerns for red snapper overfishing, the size limit was increased to 20” in 1991 and a recreational bag limit of 2 fish was implemented. These regulations led to many more fish being released by the recreational sector.

The most recent assessment indicates the large number of discards combined with high release mortality rates (released fish that die) is one of the major factors contributing to overfishing of red snapper in the South Atlantic. Release mortality rates are estimated to be 40% for the recreational sector and 90% for the commercial fishery. For example, using landings data from the recreational fishery for 2004 through 2006, an estimated 41,772 red snapper were harvested. However, the estimated number of fish that died when discarded during this period was 73,147, increasing the total mortality to 114,919 red snapper.

For both the commercial and recreational fishery, a reduction of 88% of the total removals (landings and dead discards) is necessary to end overfishing. The additional regulations proposed in Amendment 17, including area closures, will end overfishing. The amendment also includes options for a red snapper monitoring program involving the head boat industry to collect data to be used in future stock assessments. Public hearings for Amendment 17 will be scheduled later this year and it is anticipated the Council will approve Amendment 17 for review by the Secretary of Commerce in late 2009. “The vote on the interim rule tells what a tough decision this is for the Council,” said Chairman Harris. “But because of the law, it’s a decision we had to make.”

It's not a real tough decision for them. They already know what they're going to do before they meet to vote because they know there won't be enough fishermen raising hell about it. Oh yes, they'll be a few of us but what about the millions of anglers, tackle companies, boat manufacturers, outboard motor manufacturers, boat trailer companies. Which species are they going after next? YOUR'S?

The next meeting of the Council is scheduled for June 8-12, 2009 in Stuart, Florida.

Black drum, bull redfish and loads of sheepshead when you can get out there to fish. The winds have been so bad here lately but when we get out to the rocks it's on ! Black drum from 6 to 15 pounds with 8 to 11 pound sheepshead mixed in with them are feeding good on the good hard bottom, rock spots. Don't be surprised if, when you're catching drum, you hook up to a 30 to 80 pounder because they're here for the next 4 weeks or so before they head up to Chesapeake Bay. The sheepshead are fired up along the rocks with fiddlers on my favorite Sure Catch Sheepshead Jigs. I'm sure going to miss the sheepshead again when they stop biting out at the rocks for the summer. Oh well, October will come again and they'll fire back off then. You had better get out there and get them while you can. Won't be long and they'll be gone. Bull redfish which are great fighters are also feeding along the rocks but deeper water next to the bottom. Ring-tail porgies are also being caught but usually these guys only show up on the outgoing tides. A few flounder here and there and if you slip-float fish on the incoming tides just around the corner of the South jetty you can catch spotted trout when your floats drift back towards the end of the rocks. There is still a few black margates and they sure are good eating. We've even picked up a few nice 1 1/2 to 2 pound sea bass and that's nice for not having to be offshore. Spanish are here.

Black drum this size along with the sheepshead shown here are great eating sized fish.

The redfish have been a little off and on in the creeks here lately then I switched to using cut blue crab. Things started picking up again. Seems the redfish just can't resist crab. I know a lot of you have purchased our Just Fishing, Redfish Series DVD's that Captain Mike and I have made and can see how we hook and work the crab baits and the quality redfish we caught in the creeks on the DVD. That's the same way we're doing them now and have picked up the pace on catching the reds again.
Spotted trout are all over the place but there are a lot of small ones. You'll have to catch a lot to get a few slot sized ones. We are also fishing for them with slip-float rigs and live shrimp and it just depends on where we're fishing for them and where they're hanging out. Usually you can pull out the larger trout on fish-looking lures rather than using live shrimp on a jig but the slip-float method works well too.
Flounder are still being caught offshore at this time but we'll start looking for them to show up more in a few weeks. We're catching a few flounder here and there in the creeks when we're using mud minnows but like I mentioned before we're using more crab in the creeks until this wind calms down. They'll be a lot more flounder available in the coming weeks.

Check out Tom's 44 pound drum and Bill's 33 pounder shown here.

Spanish mackerel all up and down the river everywhere on the incoming tides. Last few days you could catch 50 or more right off the shore line or off the Joe Carlucci boat Ramp dock. Thousands of small bluefish all over the river also. In some areas they were so many jumping out of the water that they were hitting the side of the boat.
Black drum, sheepshead and large, oversized redfish are the big bruisers in the river system now. There are still plenty whiting and yellow mouth trout being caught but hey, what's the difference between a whiting or yellow mouth compared to a drum? A huge bend in your rod and hard fight, that's what. So, let me see what I'd like to catch? A 1 pound whiting or a 15 pound drum? No having to flip a coin here. I'll take the bent rod any day. The giant black drum have arrived and man do they bend a rod ! We're catching them on cut crab baits all up and down the river now. Please, revive, vent if need be and release these giants as they'll lay millions of eggs and increase our drum population locally.
Spotted trout up and down the river system along the rock banks and grass edges at the higher tides. I always like the last hour and a half of incoming, high tide and the first hour and a half of outgoing. A couple flounder here and there but seem to be hard to find in the rivers. They'll be back though in about a month or less.

Check out this 50 incher and Clayton's 40", 24 pound redfish.

The whiting have really picked up in the surf. You can catch these good eating fish along with drum, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pompano and flounder in the surf right now.

The water is starting to warm and the fish are responding. The pogies are starting to show up and when that happens we know we have our pelagic's starting to show up like kingfish, amberjack, barracudas, sharks, and a big favorite to many, the cobia. Bottom fishing is hot for red snapper, beeliners, black sea bass, triggerfish, and flounder are biting good.
That's what's hot and happening nowadays so be sure you get your priorities straight and get out there and fish. You can work anytime, LOL. In all reality though, some of these species won't stick around and feed all year so you have to get on them while they're hot.
Please take a trash bag on board with you so you can take the paper and cans, plastic bottles, etc. back to the ramp with you. Please keep your trash out of the water.

You can say what you want about the South but,
you never hear of anyone retiring and moving up North,,,

Captain Vic Tison
Co-Host of WOKV's 'Just Fishing' Radio Show, Saturdays 6:00am to 8:00am
United States Coast Guard Licensed Captain International Game Fish Assoc. Certified Captain Regional Director for the Florida Guides Assoc.
Member of the National Assoc. of Charterboat Operators
Member of the American Professional Captain's Association
Sponsor of The Inshore Saltwater Anglers Club
Vic2Fish & Adventures, Inc.

P O Box 28208
Jax., Fl. 32226
Web Site

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

Monday, March 30, 2009

Solunar Tables A Great Tool

Fishing Report 03/29/2009 – Capt. Terry Frankford

Angler's aboard the Reelin & Chillin cleaned up on Red Drum during several trips the last couple of weeks. Most were over the slot limit of twenty-seven inches, and caught on light tackle. Using the St. Croix Tidemaster medium action rod, an Okuma IA-30 reel spooled with ten pound test line made for fantastic action. Some of the reds reached up to twelve pounds, measuring up to thirty-two inches. Trout also entered the picture on several trips reaching up to twenty-two inches on a couple trips. Finding some green backs off North Lido Key I was able to put one trip on several Snook - no big ones, however a twenty five inch snook on ten pound test is still a great fight.

man with big red drum

A fish tail enjoyed aboard the Reelin & Chillin:
March is a very busy month, I have so many trips that it's impossible to share all, however this one I have to tell. A group of four angler's from the Encore RV park in Bradenton tore up the big reds on a morning trip. Al Gardner, Terry Applebee, Terry Martin, and Bob Reynolds hit several locations with not much luck until I went to an old redfish spot. I hadn't done much on this spot for awhile, however a few days before I did pick up two reds, so I thought I'd give it a try. It was just around ten a.m. and the according to the Solunar times it was a peak activity major feed at 11:10 a.m. To make a long story short we ended up with two reds in the slot, and twelve more that were over the twenty-seven inch limit that we released. This was one fantastic hour and a half of steady action. But here is the story of the day. Terry Martin set his rod down' on the front deck of the boat to take a photo of Terry Applebee holding an over-sized red. No sooner was the photo taken when Bob yelled YOUR POLE as it went bouncing across the deck and into the water. Needless to say Terry felt really bad and was offering to pay for the rod when Al reeled in and hooked the tip of the pole and started to reel it in, but it fell off. Then Bob reeled his line in and also hooked the pole tip, but again it fell off. By this time I had tied a heavy jig to a spare rod and casted out hooking the line. Slowly I reeled in until Terry was able to grab his rod. We untangle my line and as Terry reeled in he noticed the fish was still on. Five minutes later we were taking another photo of an oversize red. Terry and I were both relieved, I would have not charged Terry for the rod & reel, however I don't think he would have let that happen, so it's the end to a great trip and a fish story to embellish on.

Captain's Tip - Solunar Tables
Solunar tables can be a great tool, and should be a part of every serious angler's plan. Do they always work, and produce a feeding frenzy at your favorite fishing hole? The answer is no, reason is there are other factors involved that can also affect the feeding. A few examples: A front moving in can shut down feeding quick. Winding or rainy weather churning up the water or fresh water intrusion could affect feeding. Maybe even a bottle nosed dolphin minutes before you arrived ran through your spot and spooked everything that you weren't aware of. Things like this can affect the tables, however they are still a great tool when conditions are correct. Pick them up at your local tackle shop, or order a year supply off the Internet, it's cheap, and can improve your odds. Of course it goes without saying any experienced angler would rather have luck than skill any day.

Tight Lines & Good Times,

Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.


Big Trout And Macks On Sarasota Flats

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 3/16 through 3/29/2009

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with trout on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. In addition, we also caught Spanish mackerel and pompano on deep grass flats, a few reds is skinny water and snook at night. The most consistent action continues to be on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.

Longtime friend and customer, Rick Peregord from Southgate, MI, fished 3 days with me during the week of March 15th. We fished a couple of days in Sarasota Bay and a day in Terra Ceia Bay. We found plenty of reds, but they weren’t very aggressive. Rick caught and released a couple of reds, trout and a pompano on CAL jigs with shad tails. Stephen Lewis and his son, Danny, from New York City and brother-in-law, Murray, from Austin, TX, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Weds, 3/18. They had fast action with trout, Spanish mackerel and pompano on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails. The best action was at Stephens Point and near Bayshore Gardens. On Friday, 3/20, Greg Baumeyer, from the Chicago area and Jeff Farris, from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me in the morning and Al Kraska, from Venice, FL, and his son, Tim Kraska, from CT, fished with me in the afternoon. They caught and released trout, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails fishing deep grass flats.

Sarasota winter resident Frank Watson and his grandson, Eric Watson, from St. Petersburg, FL, fished with me on Sunday morning, 3/22. They had fast action in Big Pass with large Spanish mackerel on CAL jigs with shad tails. Dick Egan, from Chicago, fished with me that afternoon. He had steady action with trout to more than 20” on Ultra Hair Clouser flies at Stephens Point, Bayshore Gardens and near Long Bar. Bob Harness and Nick Reding, both from St. Louis, MO, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, 3/23. It was an overcast, windy day and we almost quit at noon when it started sprinkling rain. Then the sun popped out and we had some good shots at reds with flies in the afternoon, but none of them wanted to eat. We caught and released a few trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies at Stephens Point and near Long Bar.

Sarasota winter residents, Norm and Francie Boardman, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday. The action wasn’t fast, but they caught Spanish mackerel and a few trout on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails. The last trout of the day was a 4-pound, 23” trout caught and released on a CAL jig with a shad tail near Long Bar. Dave Macomber and his guest, Dave, both from MN, fished Blackburn Bay with me on Wednesday afternoon and evening. The action was slow to start, but they caught a few ladyfish on flies before dark. After dark, they caught and released about 6 snook to 24” on my Grassett’s Snook Minnow and Enrico Puglisi’s Micro Minnows. The biggest fish of the night couldn’t be turned as it made a long run and pulled the hook as it got up against a bridge fender.

Dave Laubisch, from NY, and his son Scott Laubisch, from Oldsmar, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. They had steady action with trout to more than 20” and Spanish mackerel on DOA Deadly Combos and CAL jigs with shad tails. Wind was an issue as an approaching front caused the wind to blow hard from the south. It was more of an issue on Saturday morning when fly angler Bill Hettrick, from CT, fished the same area with me. By 11:00 AM the wind was above 20 mph, so we invoked the “fun rule”, if it’s not any fun, don’t do it!

Action should get even better as we head into April. Look for reds and snook feeding on shallow flats and trout, pompano Spanish mackerel and more on deep grass flats. Keep your eyes open and be prepared for early season tarpon, which will start to gather on deep grass flats and around bridges close to passes.

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

Dick Egan, from IL, with a slot-size Sarasota Bay trout that he caught on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly fished on a sink-tip fly line while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Eric Watson (right), from St. Petersburg, FL, with his grandfather, Sarasota winter resident Frank Watson, and a nice Spanish mackerel caught and released in Big Pass on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Panhandle Fishing Report 3-26-09

Report for 03/26/2009

Salt Water

The Spanish are here in good numbers and can be caught along the buoy line and over at crooked island. The bluefish are with them so you can have some serious fun right now trolling mackerel trees and throwing speck rigs and gotcha plugs. Some good grouper reports coming in from the 150’ mark. Live bait is still a little tough to catch, but well worth the effort as they are definitely bringing in the bigger fish. The cold fronts pushed the cobia out for a few days, but they were spotted again outside Crooked Island. Use 30 lb tackle with 60 lb fluorocarbon leader for the cobia and if using live bait.

The Spanish mackerel are moving into the St Joseph Bay in force. Big catches are being reported from Crooked island to St Joe marina, and then to Blacks Island. With the Spanish mackerel are also bluefish. Trolling Christmas rigs and Clark spoons around four or five knots will work perfectly. For sight fishing, use Gotcha plugs or any weighted spoon with an attached wire leader. The flounder bite is good in and around the deeper holes near the head of the bay and around Black’s island. The trout are moving out to the flats slowly and some big ones were caught first thing in the morning on topwater lures such as the Mirrolure top pup and the Heddon Zara spooks. Still some redfish schools working along the edges of the flats and are hitting live bait.

Cobia are being caught steadily along the beaches now. Only a few fish have been caught but this season looks promising. Good schools of Bonita and Spanish mackerel are just offshore. The Black and Gag Grouper season is closed now until Mar. 31st. Red Grouper opened Feb. 15th. Lots of big AJ’s are still being caught around the 100 foot mark over bridge spans and large wrecks.

Sheepshead are in great numbers at the jetties now. Live Shrimp or Fiddler Crabs are the ticket. Tons of Spanish mackerel are in the bay and can be caught trolling or casting. Some small schools of Redfish have been found on the flats in West Bay; while Bull Reds are still being caught with live shrimp and pin fish around the jetties. Trout have started to move onto the flats with the higher temperatures.


The action at the beach has remained steady all week. There have been good catches of Pompano, Whiting, Redfish, Black Drum and the occasional Sheepshead. Best baits remain live or frozen sand fleas and live or frozen shrimp. Try a two hook rig with a two or three ounce pyramid weight to keep your bait planted on the bottom. Some fish have come from the other side of the sand bar, but I would still fish the deeper holes and breaks. Some of the Redfish will be slot size fish but for the most part they will be over the slot. Cut mullet is a very effective baits for the Reds. Don’t forget about the Whiting. The bulls can get up to two pounds and make great table fare. Try peeling your shrimp when fishing for them. It has been more than a little rough this week, but when it clears up I would expect to see schools of Spanish mackerel. Bubble rigs are a great way to locate these fish as well as 1/2oz silver spoons ripped through the surf. Spanish are being caught from the Okaloosa pier, so I don’t see why they can’t be caught from our beaches.

The Redfish and Trout bite is incredible right now throughout the sound from Parish Point near Mary Ester to Tiger Point in Gulf Breeze. Live shrimp fished near the deeper docks with just a split shot to help give a little casting distance and get to the bottom is producing good numbers of Reds. Gold spoons in ¼ to ½ oz is still the lure of choice when blind casting in the choppy waters we have been experiencing lately, but some really nice Reds have been caught on the GULP shrimp baits. When the weather conditions are as they have been the last couple of days, most of us would normally stay on the south side of the sound. This is especially wise if you’re fishing from a small boat. But the high winds that make getting around a little tricky has also ramped up the Red and Trout bite on the flats on the north side of the sound. This is due to the small baitfish being blown toward the windward shore line. To fish these areas you will need a good anchor that will dig into the sandy bottom and cast to the grass line with a weightless DOA, GULP shrimp or gold spoon. Work it slow enough to entice a strike, but fast enough to keep it off the bottom and free of grass. The Trout in these areas are also responding well to a live shrimp under a popping cork, especially late in the afternoon just before sundown. Good numbers of Sheepshead, Redfish, and Black Drum are being caught at the bridges on live shrimp. Most are caught on slip sinker rigs (Carolina rigs, Fish Finder rigs) with just enough weight on them to keep the shrimp on the bottom.

The big Redfish are still 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. The Cobia action has not slowed down much this week with both the Okaloosa and Pensacola Piers reporting catches almost daily. The anglers waiting for the Cobia to show up has been kept busy with small schools of Spanish mackerel. Got-Cha jigs and Bubble rigs have been the go to bait, but 1/2oz silver spoons have also been catching their fair share. The Sheepshead have invaded the pass this week. Live shrimp and Fiddler crabs will get the job done. The Flounder are slowly starting to migrate back inshore. They are starting to show up in greater numbers along area wrecks within a couple of miles of the shoreline. Live Finger Mullet, Bull minnows and Tiger minnows have been the key baits.

Cobia has received the most attention this week considering the rough water we have been experiencing. Those brave enough to venture out are landing some nice fish up to and over the 60 pound mark. Those that went out, before it got to rough, were reporting a slow down on the near shore reefs and wrecks with the exceptions of small Amberjacks. They seem to be almost everywhere. Venturing a little farther out in 100’ plus will garner you with Red and Scamp Grouper, Triggers and Mingos. Gag Grouper have also been in the mix, but the season is closed until March 31st. That leaves AJ’s with most of the big ones being caught well off shore in 140” plus depth over wrecks. No one has caught any King mackerel trolling but a few bottom fishermen have caught a couple while drifting 20 plus miles or so out. It won’t be long before we see them being caught near the beach.

Fresh Water
Spring is here and Black bass are starting their spawning pattern and moving into the shallows to bed. Sight fishing for them will be your best bet. Keep in mind that while on bed, they are not actively 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
2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, FL 32408

Fishing Report prepared by Half Hitch Tackle Staff.

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

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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Reds Scooling And Tailing Aggressively

Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters Capt. Chris Myers Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report March 27,2009

While the fishing has remained very good, the winds of March arrived the past two weeks. Unfortunately, there have been plenty of clouds around as well making sight fishing difficult. Water levels have risen over a foot opening up new feeding grounds for the fish. The redfish, in particular, have been taking advantage of the new food source and are still schooling and tailing aggressively.

On a cloudy and windy day last week, my wife and I fished the Mosquito Lagoon. We started the day targeting some tailing redfish. I managed to get one on a tan and crystal flash shrimp fly before we got tired of poling against the wind. We spent the rest of the day fishing the deeper edges of the flats with the Minn Kota instead of the push pole. The trout kept us busy and we caught nearly 50 of them to 25 inches. The DOA Deadly Combo accounted for most of the larger fish.

Friday, Ben and Jamie met me at the ramp early with high hopes of finding tailing fish. The water had risen significantly over the previous two days and the fish had moved to new areas. After much searching, we found a few schools of tailing reds. They only gave us one shot and disappeared. The trout that had been so plentiful earlier in the week had vanished as well. We kept on searching and finally found a school of large redfish. Ben and Jamie each caught a redfish in the 25 pound range and had one more break off.

bronz redfish
silver redfish
While the quantity was low, we made up for it in quality.

This Monday, I was part of a multi-boat trip on a windy and rainy day. The first flat we visited held multiple schools of redfish as well as some tailing singles. High winds made casting tough and my clients never quite got their lures to the fish. Trout fishing was slow but they did manage to land a few before we called it a day.

Wednesday was cloudy and windy but the fish were happy and plentiful. Fishing with Marty and Todd, we encountered school after school of tailing redfish and black drum throughout the morning. Nearly every time they managed to get their four inch DOA CAL in front of the fish, they got a bite.

slot red on slug bait
slot red
black drumTodd ended the day catching a beautiful trout. After releasing this big female, we headed in after a successful day.

big troutHopefully, we have seen the last of the cold fronts and the weather will begin to stabilize. More and more baits are returning to the flats every day and the fish are taking advantage of the increase in food. April should bring some good catches of large trout along with plenty of redfish and drum.

Edje Hooks

Edje HooksWe have been using the new Edje Hooks by Capt. Joe Fishing with great success. These weighted worm hooks feature a teardrop shaped weight that allow for longer casts of light soft plastics and give you an effective weedless retrieve. They are available in a variety of sizes and weights to meet your needs.

Book Your Charter Now
April should bring some great fishing to Mosquito Lagoon. Call now to book your trip before dates fill up. 321-229-2848

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 3-21-09

FISHING 3/21/09

Wind and more wind, it is written that March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb, so where is the lamb?
Off shore
the first three days of the week were less the comfortable but the next four were out of control. These strong (nice way of saying GALE FORCE) winds will move the gulf stream in and with it the weed lines and temp breaks that all hold fish. When it lays down I would start looking in the 30' zone for the Cobia and KIng fish, a sardine will catch both along with some excellent Snapper, look north of the inlet, in front of the House of Refuge. This is what happens when the wind blows and you have nothing to report you start to give away your favored locations. Catch zones will move in, have your baits in the water at 60'.

anglers that were able to cast four to six ounces put Blue fish, Spanish Mac's and Whiting on the beach. Pompano were north of the Power Plant or just south of the House of Refuge, good catches reported but no pattern to the time of the bite, anglers just had to put in the time, sand fleas and clam strips were the favored baits in these locations.

anglers an always find a place to hide from the wind and the best part was that the fish were there. Reports of Trout, Reds, Pompano and more from the Indian River all the way up into the North Fork have been excellent. Now is there is one group of anglers that like these conditions, bridge anglers with big Snook in their sights. With strong currents moving every thing around there is one fish that is strong enough to take advantage of these conditions, big Snook. Big currents, big baits, big fish please do not bring a knife to the gun fight. These fish will all be above the slot, twenty pound tackle, fifty pound leaders and you are ready, now you pick the bridge and hold on you are about to be tested. Please release these fish as quickly as you can, these are tomorrows fish stocks.
Where's the camera???? Henry

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Key West Fishing Report 3-09

Key West Fishing Report and Forecast
March April 2009

General Fishing Report
March and April fishing in Key West is fantastic. We have so many things happening for both the inshore and offshore anglers all will be delighted to get out there and have some fun. Book your Key West Fishing Charters by Calling 1-888-362-3474. 9-6 Mon - Sat. Or email us at flakeys2@bellsouth.net.

Deep Sea Fishing Report
Coming Alive is the best way I can describe our deep sea fishing off of Key West in The sping. Kingfish are on the reef close by and so are the Sailfish. The Dolphin are comming l around on those warmer days, nice thing is they are all good size. Our deep sea fishing guides are awesome in knowing exactly where to go day in and day out to get the bite for their people. Trolling and live baiting are the best methods to make it happen for anglers on the big boats that head out there.

Deep sea fishing Key West on board one of Key West's finest charter boats is easy to get reservations. We offer private charters and split charters to get you out there having fun. Call our reservations office at 1-888-362-3474 to reserve your Key West deep sea fishing charter.

Flats And Backcountry Fishing Report
Flats fishing in Key West and backcountry fishing can be held in high regard during the early spring. With fluctuating Water temps and the occasional cold front moving through things will be red hot in he Key West Backcountry.

Sight Fishing for Permit is always one of my favorites in the spring as the fish come right up and tail for you, even if it is a bit breezy these fish can be a great hunt on the flats on light tackle and fly fishing gear. Along with the Permit I always keep an eye out for the Cobia and large Jack Crevales that will be cruising with the Sting Rays and Sharks. Another great opportunity in the spring is the Barracuda fishing on the flats, these guys come right up in the shallows and make themselves a very sporting target on fly fishing or light tackle fishing gear. I can pole all day long without even breaking a sweat in the spring as the temps are the best of the year.

Key West Backcountry fishing lends itself to everyone's fun and enjoyment in the spring. With an explosion in our Trout populations, and the numbers of Pompano that have shown up this winter we have great fishing for the customer who likes to bend rods catching quality fish all day long. Our backcountry fishing charters have become our most popular trip with people coming back year after year to spend quality time catching fish one right after another.

Tarpon Season is in full swing.. Get out there soon to enjoy some killer tarpon fishing. Book your fishing guide now.

Flats and Backcountry Report by Capt. Steven Lamp of Dream Catcher Charters. You can read more about Capt. Steven at www.fishingkeywest.com. captstevenlamp@bellsouth.net

Wreck and Reef Fishing
The wrecks and reefs are ALIVE!!! Come to Key West this month for some killer wreck and reef fishing. Live baiting, Kite fishing, slow trolling live baits, or bottom fishing.It's all good from November right on through the rest of winter and into the spring.

The bottom fishing in March April offers our anglers fantastic Yellowtail Snapper fishing, along with black and red groupers on the shallow reefs. The surprise of the occasional African Pompano can be a fun treat too. In the deeper reefs the American Red Snapper Bite has been crazy with a small shark problem, fortunately the American reds have been to large for the sharks to get a bite on. These fish make incredible table fare .A bit farther out We have been landing some very nice sized Black Grouper and Yellow Eyed Snappers making a variety for species.

On the surface the palagics are going ballistic. Sailfish continue to keep showing slowing a bit with the lack of consistent cold fronts. The Tunas have slowed a bit and spread out.

On the Gulf Wrecks be ready for some Cobia Action. Drop baits back and fight fish that weigh in excess of 60 lbs and have a ball. Also on the Gulf wrecks the grouper fishing can be great if the anglers are on their game, Goliath groupers prevail on most wrecks and try to make a snack out of your grouper dinner.

Report by Capt. Steven Lamp of Dream Catcher Charters. You can read more about Capt. Steven at www.fishingkeywest.com.

Tarpon Fishing Report and Forecast Key West
With the occasional warming tend the Key West Tarpon Fishing starts to come back on line a bit. March has been a good month for us here at Dream Catcher Charters traditionally for Big spring time tarpon during the warming trends.

Outlook - April - July is Tarpon Time... Book your fishing guides early to get the very best. Fish the Key West harbor, the backcountry and the flats for these mighty fish. Call 1-888-362-3474 today to reserve or visit www.keywestfishingteam.com web site to see about Key West tarpon fishing.

Book a Key West Fishing Charter

Call our office and see what's available when you will be here in Key West. Speak to Gennifer at 1-888-362-3474

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

5555 College Road
Key West, FL 33040

Redfish On Top Water Plugs

Another Solid Week!
The past week was a lot of fun. We boated many fish including black drum, redfish and trout. THe weather has been great and the fishing was just as great. So far 2009 looks to be better than 2008 which was not bad. As we move to the warmer months and the spring mullet run continues the fish we be more aggressive. Top water plugs will be the main bait to start each day and nothing is more exciting than seeing a fish bust a surface lure. MirrOlure Top Dog Jr, She Dog and MirrOmullet are fun to work. There are schools of fish all over in the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon. So if you would like to get in on the action call 407-405-0819 and book your trip today! Please check out the photo gallery and see the fish we have been catching. It is updated every few days.

Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
14 Mar 2009 by Captain David Rogers

Fishing is Good!Fun!Relaxing!
What more can you say. The fishing is good the weather has been great except for Saturday-Monday. Early last week we landed some nice fish. The fish are roaming the flats in some nice sized schools. We have seen redfish coming out of the water chasing bait and crashing mullet. Top water plugs get the day started with a bang. Call now and book for April. There are still a few open days this month. Call 407-405-0819!

Tight Lines and Good Fishing!
24 Mar 2009 by Captain David Rogers

Captain David Rogers
AAA Hawgwild Saltwater Charters LLC

Host The 'Hawgwild Fishing Show'
WAMT 1190 Saturdays 8-10 am (407-273-1190) Live call-in
ESPN WHOO 1080 Sunday 7-9 am/ replay - www.hawgwildradio.com
407-405-0819 Book Charters

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Free Angler Improvement Clinics

Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando and Mosquito Creek Outdoors presents:

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Angler Improvement Clinics

Mosquito Creek Outdoors
Free of Charge Mosquito Creek Outdoors Angler's Improvement Clinic,

To be successful, learn from the best.
Veteran lagoon fishing guides Captains Chris Myers and Tom Van Horn will provide instruction on the skills andtechniques necessary to become a more successful angler through a series of 8 FREE clinics, provided as a service to you by Mosquito Creek Outdoors andCoastal Angler Magazine Orlando. Would you like to learn what it takes to be a successful Angler? Here is your chance and all it will cost you is your time.

Captain Tom Van Horn: Captain Tom is a lifelong Central Florida native with over 45 years experience fishing Florida's waters and over 10 years experience guiding anglers to the catch of their lives on the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. His fishing experience covers all aspects of angling, including freshwater lakes and rivers, saltwater flats, and near-shore Atlantic coastal fishing. Captain Tom is also owner and publisher of Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando and an accomplished outdoor writer with over 100 articles published. Captain Tom currently serves on the pro staffs of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Evolution Rods, Daiwa, DOA Lures, ARC De-Hooker, TTI Blakemore and Daiichi Hooks, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Woodies Rattles, Frog Toggs, and Kaynoe Paddle Products.

Captain Chris Myers: Captain Chris Myers operates Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters. He specializes in sight fishing the flats of the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River with light tackle and fly. Capt. Chris has twenty years of experience fishing Mosquito Lagoon. He is a pro staff member for DOA Lures, Woodies Rattles, Daiwa, and Temple Fork Flyrods.

Angler's Improvement Clinic Schedule:

Class #1 Introduction to Saltwater Flats Fishing, April 11, 2009

Class #2 Lines, Leaders and Practical Knots: May 16, 2009

Class #3 Saltwater Lure (Hard Baits) Applications (2 Hours TBD)

Class #4 Soft Plastic Application (2 Hours TBD)

Class #5 Catching and Using Natural Baits on the Flats (2 Hours TBD)

Class #6 Angling Tactics for Success (2 Hours TBD)

Class #7 Paddle Fishing Tactics and Strategies (2 Hours TBD)

Class #8 Certified Conservation Angler Program (4 Hours ClassroomTBD)

For more information on the above scheduled classes, contact Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando at 407-416-1187 or online, mosquitocoast@cfl.rr.com.

Spring Mullet Run Brings In Preditors

van horn logo
Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report

By Captain Tom Van Horn

Spring has arrived here on Florida's Space Coast and as always, fishing opportunities are heating up. As water temperatures increase, tropical fish species are beginning to return to the Lagoon coast of Florida.

Inshore, the silver mullet are beginning to show up in good number along the outside deeper edges of the float and their arrival marks the transition of feeding predators from shrimp and crabs to fin fish. This transition set the stage for the early morning and late evening top water plug action. Although not as pronounced as the fall mullet run, the spring run is followed by the return of ladyfish, jacks, snook and tarpon. The water levels in the Lagoon are still very low, so please be careful.

man and girl with speckled sea trout
Near-shore, the cobia fishing has been picking up for those lucky enough to locate the larger manta rays, but the winds and cloudy skies have kept most anglers at the dock. The late winter we've experienced has kept the cobia out deeper where the water is warmer, around the 70 degree mark, and I'm afraid they just might swim under us this year on their migration north. If the sun and calm seas return later this week, I would suggest playing hooky from work or honey-dos, and take a shot at them if you get the chance.

the girls with there catch
As always, spring's arrival means spring break for the kids, as all of my charters this past week have involved kids and their parents. Although these charters require additional work they are my favorite. I truly enjoy spending time on the water with young anglers who are just as excited about catching a jack and they are a redfish. With these expectations, the pleasure of catching quality fish is removed and the fun begins.

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

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 land line

Visit www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Catching Drum And Sheepshead On Fly

Black Drum, Sheepshead, Bluefish and Jacks all Available in Winter

A Day of Prospecting
This report covers the past several weeks where I had only a few days on the water. Each day, however, had something to offer in the way of winter fish. On one trip my good friend Capt. Chris Myers joined me for a little prospecting the day before a multi-boat event that included a trout, snook, and redfish tournament. We scouted various areas of the Banana River for fish. In the end we had found redfish, although they were not willing to cooperate with us on this particular day. We found black drum which were more cooperative and we found sheepshead willing to bite on fly.

Captain Chris is an excellent fly caster and was first to hookup. He cast a small black fly to a school of black drum we found around some docks. He commented that for the black drum he has had good success with this small fly worked slowly along the bottom.

black drum from dock

We also found sheepshead mixed in with the black drum. Having never caught a sheepshead on fly Capt. Chris decided to give it a go. Once again a small black fly was presented successfully to the sheepies and it wasn’t long until he was hooked up. Now he has added yet another species to the many that he has caught on fly. Just a note in passing; sheepshead are know to be very tough to catch on fly so this was more than an average accomplishment.

sheepshead on fly

Tournament Time
The next day we fished the above mentioned tournament. We both caught redfish and sheepshead and Chris added black drum. Unfortunately none of our fish were in the money at the tournament but it was a fun day on the water. The organizers raised $75,000 for a foundation called “Give Kids the World.”

Jacks and bluefish are still active and available to catch. On one day I ran out of jig heads because the bigger jacks were chaffing my 15 pound leader and breaking off. I changed to 30 pound and caught a few more but the bites were greatly decreased with the heavier leader. With no more jig heads I had to improvise. I simple attached a 3/0 circle hook to my leader and pinned a Rip Tide 3” mullet thru the nose, bottom to top. (See picture). I add a split shot to the shank of the circle hook for weight and went on fishing. This rig worked well and lip hooked the fish were their rough mouths were unable to chaff the leader and cause it to weaken.

jack cravel with de-hooker and jig

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

Captain Ron Presley

Apalachicola Spring Break Fishing '09

Robinson Brothers logo
Capt. Tommy Holland with his first Pompano of 2009
Capt. Tommy Holland with his first Pompano of 2009

Its Official!! The Pompano just began showing up in the last week or so. We heard rumors that a fish or two were caught off the beach but for our purposes, yesterday was the day! Both Capt. Tommy Holland and Capt. Dave Armentrout caught their first pompano on March 19th. Still waiting to hear if Capt. Nathan Donahoe has boated his yet or not, but the mild sunny days we've had the past few days have definitely made the difference.

Spring Break is in full swing on the Forgotten Coast - maybe not quite as crazy-busy as in years past but that just means there's less traffic and quicker service in area restaurants. The inshore fishing has been over the top and we are looking forward to a banner month in April.

Prime fishing dates are available with Capt's. Tommy & Chris in May. All of our inshore gamefish will be biting, from Reds to Tarpon. May 8-9-10 (both brothers) and May 15-16-17-18 Chris had a cancellation. May is normally a banner month for anything & everything that swims here.

SIGHT-SEEING TRIPS are now booking through Robinson Brothers Guide Service including shelling trips, bird watching, sunset and river cruises and more. Call and let us tailor make a trip specfically for you with our experienced local captains.

Have a great weekend!
Kathy Robinson Robinson Brothers Guide Service 118 Commerce St. Apalachicola, FL 32320 850-653-8896

Remember to go to our Real Estate Website to check local listings on area properties.
Kathy Robinson, Realtor Robinson Real Estate Company 850-653-1653

Friday, March 20, 2009

Saltwater Fly Tying

Saltwater Fly Tying Bench

Saltwater flies for fishing the Key West flats for tarpon, bonefish, permit, sharks, barracuda and cobia. Please peruse the fly tying bench for new ideas in saltwater flies. All these flies are tied by Captain Justin Rea.

Rea Fly Tying Bench Triple Threat

Capt. Justin Rea

Sugarloaf Key, FL 33042

Cobia Push Through Titusville

Native Sons Tournament Success
Capt. Roland and his daughter Jessica kicked-off the 2009 torunament season for Native Sons in grand fashion two weekends ago. Fishing the first Florida Flats Association event out of Sebastian the Jones duo captured a fist place in the Lady Angler Division along with a second and fifth in the trout category.

The next tournaments will be on the weekend of March 20-21 out of Titusville (Extreme Redfish - Capt. Peter and Capt. Rocky) and Vero Beach - Capt. Roland and Jessica). By the way, we will gladly reconfigure our teams to allow charter clients to participate with us. If you are interested, please give us a shout.

Cobia are Here!
The cobia have just begun their migratory push through our area. We can accomodate up to three separate cobia charters per day. If you are interested, give us a shout.
Native Sons Fishing Guides
Captain Rocky Van Hoose

Captain Brad Jones

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Huge Schools Of Crystal River Reds

Red Hot Fishing Charters!!!
Report Date: March 14, 2009

kid with redfish

Cree Nettleton is proudly showing off his first Red Hot Fishing Charters Redfish. At 34" this was definetly a great catch for the ll year old.

WOW!!! Hopefully the up and down weather of the winter is finally over. This has definitely been one of the coolest winters in recent memories, but interestingly enough the fishing must have not known that we were being battered with near freezing temps on a regular basis. Some of the biggest schools and largest fish I have seen in recent years were caught during the last few weeks off of the crystal clear flats of the Crystal River. Huge schools of Reds ranging from 10-50 fish have been cruising their normal spring grounds in search of the plentiful amounts of mullet, pinfish, shrimp, and crabs which help to keep our fish so healthy. Most of these fish have been well over the 27” slot and during a 4 day stretch of charters my clients were spoiled with catches of over 20-30 reds with only 6 keepers over the 4 day stretch. Needless to say this has been a great problem to have!!!

Because of the size of the fish I have been carry tons of extra large shrimp, mullet, ladyfish, and blue crabs just to have an assortment to throw to these slob reds. Not to mention you find too many Black Drum that will pass up a Blue Crab or a Trout that will pass up a piece of cut mullet. My clients and I have also been throwing tons of lures for these reds and have been extremely successful throwing a Berkley Gulp Shrimp rig to most tailing reds.

nice red

Nice Redfish!!!!

As good as the Redfishing has been in recent weeks the Speckled Trout and Spanish Mackerel fishing has been equally awesome and consistent. My client Todd Dobrinsky and I fished the 12th annual Trout Masters Tournament out of the “World Famous” Pete’s Pier Marina on Saturday 7th and he and I were spoiled with some of the most beautiful weather 2009 had to offer. Clear water and slick calm seas made sight casting ideal for the Speckled trout we were seeking. Early Saturday morning I was poling Todd around a point when a nice 24” Gator Trout exploded Berkley Gulp Jerkbait. Once this fish was landed we knew we were well on our way to a great day. 2 hours later we came upon the “Mother Load” of Trout in a shallow back creek that I had been saving for this tournament. In 1-2 ft of water huge schools of 50-70 trout were staging on the edge of a 9 ft hole. As the tide was coming in these trout would start moving across a flat and eating anything that crossed their paths. After catching over 20+ between 16-22” we knew we had a great day. Long story short we weighted in a 10 fish limit that weighted over 25lbs. Nice day and a Nice Pay Day!!

Folks most of the best fishing is occurring in less than 2 feet of water or less but if you want to get in on some heart pounding, drag screaming action the Spanish Mackerel fishing has just started to heat up. 50-70 fish in a few hours is not uncommon and catching them on fly can be just as fast and furious. Not to mention while we are chumming for these fish there are plenty of Speckled Trout, Silver Trout, Cobia, Sharks, and Tripletail swimming by as well. This style of fishing is great for the kids and last all the way into May making for consistent action day in and day out.

6 big sea trout

Todd Dobrinsky and I made a day out of catching Big Trout in during the 10th annual Trout Masters Fishing Tournament. Todd and I had a top 5 finish and plenty of bragging rights for next year.

So if long drag screaming runs and unforgettable fights is what you crave give Red Hot Fishing Charters a call today we are in the Fishing Memories Business.

Capt. Kyle Messier
(352) 634-4002

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 3-15-09

FISHING 3/15/09

Lets go to the beach and catch a fish, you can pick your time for the species. If you rise early that is the Blue fish time, they like the cooler temps and they have made a strong showing all season. Cut bait is preferred but spoons and big chuggers have been taking good numbers. Now if you are a late riser, say 10:AM you can target the Whiting and Croakers and do not for get the ice because you will need it. A strong bite for the late morning angler, the edge has now warmed and the fish are at your toes. Little pieces of shrimp on a number four long shank hook and a pitch of the rod will put you in the zone. Pompano are on the move in and out, you may find them with a long cast or a short pitch, no time selection for these fish. This species has no pattern, so if you spend some time on the beach I am more than sure you will take home more than one maybe even a limit catch (6 is the bag). Now at any given time the Blue fish may come back and bite every thing off, why, because they did not read this column.
Yes there is Pompano just about every where for the river anglers, another species that did not read this column. From the flats north of Little Mud, south to Herman's Bay, on to the causeways and across the Sail Fish flats. Need more, well just go in the St. Lucie, start at the cross roads through Hells Gate, under the dime bridge and go north up to Club Med and that is a lot of Pompano. In the north fork the favored bait is yellow jig, Hells Gate a yellow jig, in the Sail Fish flats a yellow jig, from the bridges, you guess it a yellow jig, some with a teaser hook and some with a piece of shrimp but the jig is the answer. I wish I had an answer to the time but it seems the bite has been all day into evening hours. So lets go catch a Pompano. Trout and Reds find a grass edge early, using live shrimp or a three inch jerk bait worked slowly and be ready. Bridge anglers, yes Pompano but there are other fish, like Snook for the evening angler, Drum,Sheephead, Sand Perch, Snapper and a few I left out there all day to keep you busy.
Off shore it was a little sporty but the sun was shining and it was time to go. Deep is where the fish were hiding, from 200' out, good bite of Wahoo for those that target the species. A few Black Fin, they were thick in 800', the Dolphin bite was normal, here there then no where and the Spanish Mac's also thinned out. perhaps the ground swell earlier thinned the crowd, but they will be back. Small kings in thirty feet north of our inlet feeding on the bait schools and a good Mutton bite continues for the bottom anglers.
All and all it was a good week fishing both inside and out, if you missed it there is still a few Pompano.................................................HENRY

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

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Boca Grande Pass Report 3-09


Tarpon are showing in Boca Grande Pass. The big push of fish is expected hopefully in Early April but we will wait and see. There are Tarpon in the backwaters that have started to transition out of the winter habitats. Sight fishing for redfish has been very good if you can find a leeward mangrove shoreline. Poling the mangroves and casting shrimp surface sliders has been productive for fly fishing. Snook have been showing on the flats and in the mangroves as they flood. Trout fishing has been excellent on the deeper grass flats. A popping cork and a DOA shrimp have done well. Mangrove snapper fishing has been very good with live shrimp in the deeper mangrove cuts. Spanish mackerel in the harbor has been spotty but heavy chumming will get them going and keep them acting long enough to cast artificials and hook up on almost every cast. Fly fishing SHARKS is always good with the biggest being a 5 foot spinner last week. The gulf has been tough due to heavy surf and northeast winds at 25 mph. Backwater and transition flats can be excellent for fly and artificials.

Tight lines,
Capt. Al

Boca On The Fly
Captain Al White
(941) 697-0320 Cell (941) 830-1375
e-mail: BocaOnTheFly@yahoo.com

Live Bait May Be Best

Fishing Report


The final stretch of Winter is here and fishing patterns are holding true to the season. Snook are on dock lights at night and deeper during the day. Ladyfish and Pompano on the sandy mid depths and Trout on the grassy flats. Bluefish have been strong this year and seem to show up anywhere they might get a meal.

If you fly fish and are looking for Snook, then a couple hours before daylight or evening fishing is your best bet. Although this is true generally and for most of the year, it is especially true in the latter part of winter. With less bait in the water and colder temperatures to deal with the Snook will expend only the energy necessary to get a quick meal. Dock lights concentrate bait that will, in turn, concentrate Snook.

Sunny days and cool water is a good combination to attract fish to the flats. One to two feet of water, especially if its clear water, is likely to hold Snook, Trout and (further north) Reds. Much depends on the quality of the water and condition of the bottom, but a bright sunny day should move bait, fish and fishermen to the shallows. Slow and natural is the best presentation.

Swimming live bait is good near structure like bridges. It's important to get it down and in front of their faces as it's cool down there and the fish will not expend a lot of energy roaming around looking for food.

As this winter has been very dry and both runoff and dumping from the Big "O" have been virtually non-existent, we have considerable water clarity and high salinity levels. This is great news for all involved but it also effects presentation with flies and and other artificial lures. Technique and accuracy become far more important in this water. If you're lack in both, live bait is generally the best solution.

Capt. Duber Winters
Green Water Charters