Friday, May 29, 2009

Panhandle Fishing Report 5-29-09


Report for 05/29/2009 Salt Water MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE

The bottom fishing is good as we approach June 1 when red snapper season reopens. Several large grouper were brought in from out on the ledges due south of Cape San Blas this week. Mind your position when fishing this area and be careful not to fish in the Swanson and Madison closed areas. Jigs are working great along with live bait and cut baits for grouper right now. More king mackerel caught this week in the 15-30 lb range using a duster rigged with a frozen cigar minnow and slowly trolled. Small dolphins caught this week in the 15-mile range along with some Wahoo at 30-mile range, trolling panhandlers and islander lures with ballyhoo.

tripletail

tripletail

tripletail

ST JOSEPH BAY

Not much change in St. Joseph bay except the trout bite has improved with many larger fish this week. Live LY’s and shrimp are the best baits right now followed by Berkley Gulp and DOA shrimp imitations. Redfish schools are working the flats between Eagle harbor and the tip, but be prepared to catch some ladyfish and bluefish as they are thick throughout the bay. Gold spoons are the top artificial and live shrimp is definitely your best live bait option. Pompano are still with us and the hot spots are still the stump hole at Cape San Blas and along the Beach of St Joseph Park and a few at east beach and Mexico Beach. Tripletail activity is on the rise in St Joe bay. These are great sport fish and delicious table fare. You owe it to yourself to inspect every buoy and nearly any other fixed floating object in the bay. Tripletail love to hold up under crab balls buoy cans and such.



PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS

RED SNAPPER OPENS MONDAY JUNE 1ST! Get geared up for the start of the season. Wahoo are being caught from 20-40 miles out. Hi speed trollers, like the Yo-Zuri Bonita, are a sure bet. King mackerel are being caught in great numbers. They are being caught steadily around the Whistle and Weather bouys trolling and free-lining cigar minnows. Several reports of Mahi Mahi being caught from 6-8 miles out are coming in. Spanish mackerel are biting sporadically out on the beaches. Grouper are still biting well from 7-10 miles out. Use large live baits to get past the Snapper! Lots of Amberjacks are still being caught around the 100 foot mark over bridge spans and large wrecks.

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Flounder are being caught on the beach close to the state park using live bull minnows. Ladyfish, Bluefish, and Spanish mackerel are biting good at the jetties on spoons and Gotcha Plugs. Mangrove Snappers and Sheepshead are still being caught off the rocks with live shrimp. Redfish have been found on the flats in East Bay; while Bull Reds are still being caught with live shrimp and pin fish around the jetties. Trout are being caught on the flats with topwater lures early and live shrimp under a cork later.

NAVARRE SURF
We are now into the third week of May and the wind is still blowing and it doesn’t look like it is going to end anytime soon. Windy weather aside, area fisherman have been experiencing some of the best fishing in recent memory. We should see good numbers of Jack Crevalle in the 20# range as well as small schools of bull Redfish. The Jacks are hitting best on top water poppers and Rapala Skitterwalks. The Black Tip Shark bite is also heating up. Live Hardtails or cut mullet have been the go to bait. The Pompano bite has remained steady with most fish being landed on fresh dead shrimp and live sand fleas when you can find them. If the wind would ever stop blowing there is plenty of King Mackerel just at the drop off in 20’ of water. Look for the schools of threadfins and cigar minnows and troll with deep diving hard baits. Try trolling live baits around these baitfish schools as well.

SOUND AND BAYS
Area anglers can expect to see great Trout fishing around the grass flats from Tiger Point to the grass flats just east of the bridge. Redfish and Flounder are also in the same waters with most of the fish caught on live shrimp under a popping cork. Also try using a 1/4oz jig tipped with a GULP! shrimp or jerk shad under the same popping cork. There have also been plenty of Trout and Redfish landed in East Bay from the Garcon Point bridge up to the power lines crossing the entrance to the East River.

NEAR SHORE – GULF
King Mackerel are still the hot bite near shore and continue to bite strong in and around the passes and inshore reefs in 60 to 80 feet of water. Trolling or fly lining live cigar minnows when anchored up has been the top producer. Dolphin continue to show up in increasing numbers especially around anglers fishing for bottom species. Just remember to have a rod ready and rigged with a pitch bait when they do show up. The near shore reefs and wrecks are also producing good numbers of Amberjack, Grouper, Black Snapper, Lane Snapper and Triggerfish. The Grouper are being caught on large pinfish, threadfins or hardtails with their tail clipped to make it easier for the grouper to catch them.

OFFSHORE – GULF
Red Snapper has been the top predator on most reefs and wrecks this week and we should continue to see more of the same this upcoming week. They are hitting jigs, live bait and deep running hard baits trolled over shallow reefs and wrecks. Amberjack are almost on every wreck from 60’ on out with the largest fish being caught in deeper water of 100’ or more. With all the bad weather lately the Grouper have almost been left alone. Look for them on the near shore reefs and wrecks. Fish in the 10# to 15# range will hit pinfish, threadfins and hardtails. You will have to remove the tails from the Hardtails; otherwise they are next to impossible to get to the bottom on a light weight. The amount of debris in the water has also increased this last week. So has the amount of Dolphin and Triple Tail on it. King mackerel are being caught daily around the mouth of the passes and buoy lines on cigar minnows slow trolled or free lined. If you can get out the blue water bite is still smoking hot. Yellow Fin, Black Fin and Wahoo are being caught around most of the deep water oil rigs. Poppers, jigs and slow trolled ballyhoo continue to be the go to baits. The bigger fish are coming off the bridled Bonito or large Blue Runners bump trolled around the rigs.

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.

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 5-24-09



FISHING 5/24/09


Let's go catch a fish, I know its raining but the fish are already wet so they don't care. They are hungry and it is your job to feed them. Yes, the wind is blowing but I would think by now we all have spots where we can hide, it has been two months! South east wind, not the favorite but as we all know this wind just blows every thing to us,I feel like a Snook waiting on that incoming tide. Wind is not blowing this morning, river is flat, off shore it is looking real good, lets' go catch fish.
They are all up close, the bait is in the cross roads, at the sand pile, on the barge, bait is everywhere and up close at that. King fish action starts in forty feet, Dolphin in eighty feet and Cobia are every where, how sweet is that. When you are on a bait school chances are, so are the fish, first bait in gets rigged and put over the other side, pitch rod is rigged and ready. You are on the bait school, why would the fish not be there? Cobia are 33" tot he fork, if this fish even looks small just take the hook out and watch the next one will far exceed that 33", using that pitch rod I keeping talking about. Lots of Kings, so you can pick and chose the one you want to take home, keep the small Kings, excellent on the grill. Dolphin a plenty, all these fish are twenty pound class fish and eighty feet and less is the location, take only what you can eat, a fish is to important resource to be caught only one time. Live baits or trolled ballyhoo found lots of fish.
Surf anglers, one cast one Blue fish???? Every time I think that is the end of these fish they make another strong show. On the catch list this week Whiting, Pompano, Permit and Pompano. It is that time, not sure about the Pompano but the Snook and Permit will be there, work the trough, these fish will be close not deep. Small crabs for the Permit, these fish do not mind the bright sun but high tide is the favored time.
Snook, try that D.O.A bait buster or that Crystal Minnow, slow retrieve, just keep it bumping the bottom and hang on. The tarpon have been rolling but still out of range for casting, small boat, well now we have the answer.
River anglers over the week end the Pompano bite off the relief bridges on the causeways. limits again. Blues on the surf and pompano from the bridge? Not sure why they are still here but it sure makes for an excellent summer catch, Jigging Spoons are the favored bait. Trout from the North Fork to the power plant, to many location to list, look for the grass edges and that high falling tide is the time. Snook early in the flats then off to the deeper shaded water, low light is the key. Tarpon are every where, north and south forks, crossroads and your guess is as good as mine. One day it is live the next it changes, I would have it all from small to big. Start with the bigger baits then go smaller, look in area to see what is there and try to match the hatch. Still plenty of Drum and Sand Perch at the bridges with a few Flounder mixed in to keep your attention. Snook season closes on the thirty first, did you find your slot yet?????????????
Till next week, where is the rain gear???????...........................HENRY

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

Forgotten Coast Update 5-29-09



Capt. Jr's New Boat!


This photo was taken during the filming of our new commercial, currently airing on our local channel Forgotten Coast TV. Please take a look at the video by going to our website www.FloridaRedfish.com look in the middle of the home page for the link and then click play! There are 3 generations of the Holland Family on Capt. Jr's boat and that's Capt. Grayson's boat in the background with the videographer.

Just a quick note to remind Offshore fishing fans that RED SNAPPER SEASON opens Monday June 1st. As if I needed to say that. Have you made your reservations yet? Everything's biting inshore - Big & Small. Don't let the weather reports fool you into NOT heading to the coast. You can't catch a fish if you don't go fishing!

That's all Folks! Have a great weekend!

Kathy Robinson
Robinson Brothers Guide Service
www.FloridaRedfish.com
877-6-REDFISH (toll free) 850-653-8896

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Creek Fishing Exclusive


May 18, 2009 - Creek Fishing Exclusive

Occasionally we have one of those golden days of guiding which will eventually pass into charter captain lore. This past week Capt. Peter had such a day and I thought the description and pictures from the trip merit an exclusive report. The following was written and directed by Capt. Peter. Read, imagine and enjoy.

A highlight of Capt. Peter’s week was a trip with a great fishing couple, Kurt and Lorie. Their mission is to fish in all 50 states, and enjoy all of the many species of fish America has to offer. While in Florida, they fished with Capt. Peter for two days. The objective of the first day was to fish in the ocean along the beaches for kingfish and cobia, and then return to the River for trout and redfish. However, due to windy conditions, we decided to stay inshore and take advantage of the great river fishing. Kurt and Lorie got the best of four redfish and two nice trout - including both Lorie and Kurt’s best to date. They fished the clear waters near islands and on the flats with live mullet in the Banana River.

The second day was one of those very special fishing experiences which will be unforgettable for Kurt and Lorie. Capt. Peter took the duo on a late spring, creek fishing adventure - a very special type of fishing which is unique to our area. The goal for this half day of fishing was to land a shark, a giant jack crevalle, and a tarpon. By sight-fishing in the narrow, picturesque, mangrove lined creeks that feed freshwater into to the Indian River Lagoon system, both Kurt and Lorie tamed many of the different gamesters that inhabit this diverse area. The two highlights for Capt. Peter was watching Kurt’s 33 inch snook inhale a live pogie off of the surface only feet from the boat, and assisting Lorie muscle in a 50 inch tarpon that inhaled her baitfish before its dozen other tarpon friends could. Lorie’s tarpon battle was especially interesting in that it took place within creeks only as wide as the boat, jumping up into the trees, and dragging the anglers up and over sandbars, stumps, and trees. Lorie deserves credit for the skill she showed in order to land that particular tarpon. The fishin’ couple’s final tally for the day included bull sharks, tarpon, snook, giant jack crevalle, massive gar….and the usual “less desirables”.

tarpon

snook

shark

gar

jacks


(Editor’s addendum: I can not imagine a finer representation of authentic backwater fishing for the State of Florida for Kurt and Lorie’s quest to fish all fifty states in the USA. Perhaps Alaska could top this day but it would be hard. Great job of guiding Captain Peter!)

Posted by Rocky Van Hoose on May 18, 2009 at 08:23:49 AM

Native Sons Fishing Guides
Captain Rocky Van Hoose

321-986-9588
rvanhoose@cfl.rr.com
Captain Brad Jones
321-626-5072
jonesmelb7@bellsouth.net

Key West Fishing 5-09


Key West Fishing Report

Updated fishing reports for the flats and offshore

May 7, 2009

The weather is just getting better every day here in the Lower Keys. Sunshine and lighter winds are starting to prevail which means the tarpon should start moving on the flats a little better in the coming days. Last week was tough with high winds and some cloud cover but we managed to get a few fish to the boat and jump a couple others.

Bonefishing is phenominal right now. The bonefish range from 5- to 8- pounds in our back yard on Sugarloaf Key. They are a great fighting fish and are a lot of fun if you just want to take a break from the mighty tarpon.

There are still some permit on the flats but they are smaller right now because the majority of permit are still offshore on the wrecks and rock piles spawning. There are some bigger permit around but few and far between.

I still have some available dates around July 4 weekend for tarpon, bonefish and permit. July is a perfect time to target the slam. August and September are also great months for relaxed fishing as the boating pressure diminishes greatly by then.

You can reach Captain Justin Rea at 305-744-0903 or email
justin@flyfishingthekeys.com

Capt. Justin Rea
Sugarloaf Key, FL 33042
www.flyfishingthekeys.com
justin@flyfishingthekeys.com
305-744-0903

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Variety Of Fish Around Tampa

May 25, 2009

Sarasota Florida Fishing Report
By Capt. Bob Smith

The tarpon run is on and the fishermen were out in droves. Before all the
rain, most of the action had been north of us near Tampa. Now the water is
very cloudy on the bay from all the runoff. This should pass soon and we
will be back to normal and our good spring fishing.

Drifting the grass flats around the bay on Sunday, we found some nice trout
but it was hard and the pinfish had no trouble finding us. The big ten
pound jacks accompanied by some Spanish mackerel have taken up residence
under the New Pass Bridge. Drifting along the center pilings with weighted
live bait will get you in to some great light tackle action. A ¼ oz. split
shot should do the job. There was too much boat traffic Sunday for me to
take advantage of that.

This is our best time for catching a large variety of fish both offshore and
inshore. Little tunny and Spanish mackerel have been caught just off the
beach. It is also the time you could hook-up with a Sailfish in fifty feet
of water off shore or find a school of small dolphin in the same area. I
won’t go down the list of possible fish you could catch, but it is a good
time to go fishing.

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

Thank you!

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

Monday, May 25, 2009

Georgia Sea Trout Fishing

Road Trip, Disaster and Rainout

I took a short road trip to Georgia last week. On the way I stopped at Amelia Island, Florida and took in a days fishing. That evening while in the hotel room, that overlook a marina and boat dock, I heard a loud noise. I looked out the window and black smoke filled the air and drifted out towards the sea. As I searched for the source of the smoke I spotted a 40 foot boat in flames at the far end of the dock.



Later investigation determined that the owner had earlier loaded and gassed the boat for an early morning departure for the Bahamas. It took some time for the firemen to stretch fire house out the T shaped dock and East along the decking. It was too late. The boat was a total loss. I later overheard a lady on a cell phone to relatives say, “Everything we have is on that boat, including a $1,000 in cash.” What a devastating reminder to always take full precautions when dealing with gasoline. Accidents happen, but always following recommended practices for fueling and starting a boat. Don’t let this happen to you.



Georgia Sea Trout
Once I got to Georgia my wife and I checked in to a downtown riverfront hotel. We did the thing on the waterfront and drove by Paul Dean’s Restaurant (If you guys don’t know who that is, just ask your wife, she probably does.) The next day was a drive out to Tybee Island for more sightseeing. What a great little beach town. We headed directly back to Savanna and checked out early - went back to Tybee Island and found a room. Lots of good food (I especially recommend the Breakfast Club for breakfast) and a beautiful beach. We found the public library which was perfect for checking emails and catching up on a little work. I know, should have left it at home but that’s just the world I live in. Some things can’t wait.

The next morning I got up early and headed for Hogan’s Marina where I would meet up with Capt. Charlie Warren. Capt. Charlie is a tug boat captain where he docks and undocks ships in the Savanna Harbor. He was born and raised in Savannah and knows the area like the back of his hand. We fished oyster bars for speckled trout and did very well. I commented to Charlie that the fish seemed particularly fat and healthy. So much so they almost looked like a different species than we catch at home. They are also plentiful. The legal limit in Georgia is 15 fish with a minimum length of 12 inches.



We fished live shrimp under popping corks to keep the bait above the oyster bars. An occasional pop of the cork served to draw the feeding fish to the shrimp. After catching several I replaced the live shrimp with a RipTide 3 inch mullet (no surprise to you who read my reports regularly) and quickly hooked up on the silver shad color. After a few hours of catching trout we headed back to the dock to pick up my wife. She wanted a closer look at Paul Dean’s house that wasn’t far away. Capt. Charlie was very accommodating and took her nearly to Paul’s back door. If you every want to do try some Georgia Sea Trout fishing just give Charlie a call at 912-313-6718. You can visit his website at www.savannahfishingguide.com. If you get there the right time of year he is also a cobia fanatic and will be happy to take you in search of the brown bomber.

Rainout
After returning home it has been nothing but rain. Some portions of Central Florida have had up to 30 inches. All trips had to be canceled and rescheduled. I am really anxious to get back on the water. The weather is a little better today with no rain yet although afternoon thunder storms will become a part of our normal weather pattern.



Who knows were the fish will be with a water level more than a foot above where it was only a week ago. The first trip out will be a prospecting trip for sure. Don’t be afraid to check out new areas you have not been able to get to because of water depth. The fish are sure to move on up into the newly flooded areas. I will continue to cast my favorite RipTide 3 inch mullet because as a prospecting bait you can cover a lot of territory with it. If the winds are not too great top water baits also make a good search bait. We will all just have to adapt to the new water level. The fish are still there, but probably not where they were before.

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

Capt. Ron Presley

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

First Snookfin-Addict Tarpon Of 2009

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 5/10 through 5/24/2009

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, the past couple of weeks had plenty of shots at tarpon, numerous bites, a couple jumped and one landed. As is often the case early in the season, action was inconsistent.

Anglers fishing with me during the week of May 10th didn’t have many shots early in the week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we only worked one school of tarpon each day off Lido and Longboat Key. I worked further north towards the end of the week and it paid off. Thursday’s fly trip had more than a dozen shots at tarpon, a couple of follows but no takers. That all changed on Friday and Saturday when Hal Lutz, from Parrish, FL, and his mom, Andrea Lutz from Atlanta, GA, fished with me. We worked a huge school of more than a hundred tarpon of Longboat Key both days, as well as several other smaller schools. When tarpon wouldn’t eat our live crabs or Tarpon Toad flies, we tossed in a live pinfish and Andrea immediately jumped a nice tarpon. We switched Hal to an Enrico Puglisi pinfish pattern and he hooked up right away and landed the first tarpon of the season on my boat!

Last week Keith McClintock and Barry Slee, from Lake Forest, IL, Barry’s nephew Paul, from England, Dave Kinnamon from Milwaukee, WI and John Freeman, Jr., from Venice, FL, fished with Capt. Kelly Stilwell, Capt. Jack Hartman and me. A front moved through and stalled for most of the week with rain, clouds and windy conditions. Fortunately the wind was out of the east, so we were able to tarpon fish in the gulf all but one day. We found fish moving fast and not showing very well most of the time, although we did have shots at several “happy” schools. The group had numerous bites on live crabs and pinfish, several jumped fish and 2 fish, a 90 and a 120-pounder, landed by Paul while fishing with Capt. Jack.

Conditions were much rougher in the gulf on Thursday, so we opted to fish Sarasota Bay. We caught and released trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and surface walking top water plugs at Stephens Point and near Bayshore Gardens. An extreme high tide made targeting reds and snook tough. Fly angler, Toby Newkirk from Atlanta, GA, fished with me on Saturday. We had shots at 3 or 4 schools and had one bite on a fly off Siesta Key and the action slowed. With a 4’-6’ swell due to thunderstorms churning in the gulf all week, tarpon just weren’t showing well.

I expect tarpon fishing to improve when sea conditions settle and we head towards the first quarter phase of the moon later in the week. Be ready at first light in the morning as there is usually a push of fish for the first hour or so and then it will slow down. Sunlight later in the morning or early afternoon may allow you to see tarpon schools below the surface. So far, they’ve been eating baitfish better than crabs so make sure you have a variety of baits, lures and fly patterns.

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

fighting tarpon

Hal Lutz, from Parrish, FL, battles a tarpon off Longboat Key that was caught and released with an Enrico Puglisi pinfish fly pattern while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

tarpon boat side

Capt. Rick Grassett leaders Hal Lutz's tarpon caught and released with an Enrico Puglisi pinfish fly pattern while fishing off Longboat Key.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Panhandle Fishing Report 5-22-09


Report for 05/21/2009

Salt Water


MEXICO BEACH/PORT ST JOE OFFSHORE
Grouper fishing picked up this week with respectable fish brought to the docks. The bite is over natural bottom starting at about 180’. Large live baits accounted for most of the larger fish. The king mackerel catches are increasing on the buoy line. Dusters and cigar minnows Yozuri Hydro-Mags and stretch 30’s are accounting for these catches. Closer inshore, the Spanish mackerel are still being caught along the buoy line and over at crooked island. Trolling a plain Clark spoon seems to be the best option for the bigger Spanish.


ST JOSEPH BAY
Some nice big trout caught this week on live LY’s and many over the slot redfish too. The head of the bay is the place to be especially with the winds we have been dealing with. In the head of the bay, the best area seems to be right between Black’s Island and the shoreline. Using a Cajun thunder float or free lining bait while drifting will pay off in fish. Pay attention to the deeper holes as most fish are hanging out at the bottom of the holes. Some Spanish mackerel are still moving around inside St Joseph Bay from the buoy line to Blacks island and huge schools of ladyfish and bluefish being reported outside Eagle harbor. The flounder bite is still happening around the deeper holes near the head of the bay and around Black’s Island but has slowed significantly under the Tapper Bridge.

PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
King mackerel are being caught in great numbers. They are being caught in close and out further trolling and free-lining. Several reports of Mahi Mahi being caught from 6-8 miles out are coming in. Spanish mackerel are biting sporadically out on the beaches. Grouper are still biting well from 7-10 miles out. Use large live baits to get past the Snapper! Lots of AJ’s are still being caught around the 100 foot mark over bridge spans and large wrecks.

90lb cobia

Capt. Phillip Money, Sure Catch Charters with a 90# Cobia caught this week

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Flounder are being caught on the beach close to the state park using live bull minnows. Ladyfish, Bluefish, and Spanish mackerel are biting well at the jetties on spoons and Gotcha Plugs. Mangrove snappers and Sheepshead are still being caught off the rocks with live shrimp. Redfish have been found on the flats in East Bay; while Bull Reds are still being caught with live shrimp and pin fish around the jetties. Trout are being caught on the flats with topwater lures early and live shrimp under a cork later.

NAVARRE

SURF
The Cobia have just about gone for the season, but there are plenty of King and Spanish mackerel to keep us busy. The Tarpon have showed up early too. Pompano, Redfish, Bluefish and Skipjack (ladyfish) are showing up in increasing numbers as the water continues to clear. This week should see an increase in landing if the wind stays mild. The Pompano and Redfish are hitting best on live sand fleas and fresh shrimp just outside of the first sand bar. Silver spoons and Bubble rigs are working best for the fast moving Spanish, Bluefish and Skipjack.

SOUND AND BAYS
Navarre area anglers can expect to see Redfish and Trout on the flats early and late in the day. They should also see an increase in Flounder landed as they continue to migrate into the shallows to chase bait fish. The Trout are responding best to a popping cork rig with a live or D.O.A. shrimp. Spanish, Blue and Skipjack are also making a good showing with small schools popping up along the area flats. These fish are feeding on the schools of menhaden and threadfins that have begun to show up in increasing numbers. Speaking of increasing number, Flounder are being caught around docks in the sound with Tiger minnows. Gold spoons are taking their share, but it may be time to break out the 1/4oz jig head with GULP! Shrimp or jerk bait combinations and specifically target the Flounder. These same baits will also take the Redfish, so it’s a win win situation for you.

NEAR SHORE – GULF
King are biting strong in and around the passes and inshore reefs in 60 to 80 feet of water. Trolling or fly lining live cigar minnows when anchoring up had been the top producer. Dolphin have also started to show up on the few weed lines that have begun to make their way toward shore. 1/2oz to 1oz buck tail jigs or live cigar minnows free lined near the weed line or any floating structure will get the job done. Just remember to leave one hooked fish in the water to keep the school around when you encounter a large school. The near shore reefs and wrecks are also producing good numbers of Grouper, Black Snapper and Trigger fish. Just remember to have a spinning rod rigged up with a pitch bait in case a Cobia shows up.

OFFSHORE – GULF
Wahoo and Dolphin have been showing up in greater numbers this week. Most of the hoos are being caught while fast trolling between bottom spots. The Dolphin are being caught while trolling the edges of increasing weed lines or by free lining live baits near the weed lines. Tripletail are on the same weed lines as well, so keep an eye out for them. Keep a rod rigged and ready so you can cast a live shrimp or small baitfish to them when the opportunity presents itself. Without a doubt the hottest bite this week has definitely been Red Snapper. Most fish caught have been in the double digits. Just remember that Red Snapper opens June 1, so release them until then. The Grouper bite has remained strong with the larger fish coming in 150 plus feet of water. Fish the largest bait you can find. The blue water bite has exploded this week with the influx of clean water. The Yellowfin bite has been exceptional with most fish being caught during daylight hours. Poppers, jigs and slow trolled ballyhoo will all work. But for the really big fish, a bridled bonito or large blue runner bump trolled around the rigs is the way to go.

Fresh Water
Great shell cracker/bluegill action happening in the rivers. Live crickets or wigglers fished outside of structure are working great and fly-fishing action is really turning on in the river. The bass action is a little slow. Try the new zoom super hog in green pumpkin purple, pumpkin, and June bug. There have been some reports that the bass are biting buzz baits in the Dead lakes. However, generally this time of year the best baits are soft plastics.

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.

Excelent Days For Tampa Redfish


Tampa Fishing Report for Tampa FL May 22, 2009

Redfish action in April was consistently excellent on days with good tidal movement. A half dozen to twenty slot fish were the norm, but one exceptional Tampa Fishing Charter yielded in excess of fifty fish. Pinfish were the bait of choice although, once the fish started to actively feed, whitebait, cutbait and almost any offering was rapidly consumed. Rigging a bait with a heavy split shot up the line a few inches seemed to be the most effective approach. However, on windy days, a bobbered bait drifted across a flat was also useful in locating fish. There is no reason this strong redfish bite shouldn't carry right on through May so fish any day you can that has a big tide. The best fishing almost always occurs on the higher phases of the tide.

man and boy with redfish

Tampa fishing for trout seemed to slow down a bit in terms of number of overall fish caught but, true to form for April, large fish showed up like they do every year. Most of these bigger fish were caught on large whitebaits intended for snook. Another interesting characteristic of these big trout is that they are not found in large groups as in the winter months. These lunkers are usually loners and are caught in less predictable places. May marks the end of "big" trout season. Some quality fish will remain along our beaches but will depart before the month is over... not returning until the first cold fronts of November roll back in.

young man big trout

Snook fishing in April was very inconsistent, in part due to the fluctuating weather. All of this is about to change, however. Once May arrives, the bulk of our local population takes to the beaches and the best snook fishing of the year is upon us. Fish in April were found near canal mouths, around residential docks, and out on the beaches. Almost all fish were hooked on free lined whitebaits. A large portion of the fish landed were also undersized... partly because many of the larger fish hooked around structure were lost. As snook begin to congregate over the sand, catch numbers will go up and large fish will be much easier to land. Large whitebaits, grass grunts and small ladyfish will be the baits of choice for the largest specimens. Target strong, outgoing tides for the best opportunity at a trophy fish. Although the season closed May 1st, fishing for snook will be the primary focus of many anglers who just can't get enough of the great fight a snook provides.

man with snook

Redfish-On days with weak tides, a trip to near shore hard bottom will be well worth it in the month of May. Rather than struggling to find a few redfish, pursue what nature gives you and go outside to battle with kingfish, bonita, spanish mackerel and possibly even a stray legal grouper. An early morning trip down the beach may even yield a tarpon. Tampa fishing in May is as good as it gets, so make sure to get out there and take advantage of it.

man with redfish

Good luck and good fishing.
Captain Stewart Ames
US Coast Guard Licensed Captain
Member Florida Guides Association

Captain Stewart Ames
Gone Fishing Charters
US Coast Guard Licensed Captain
Member Florida Guides Association

www.tampa-fishing-charter.com/
727-421-5291

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

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Great Fishing...Before The Rain

Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters
Capt. Chris Myers
May 20, 2009

Fishing Report

It has now been raining for three straight days here in central Florida. While we had been experiencing a drought, it was quite nice not to have any mosquitoes at the boat ramp. With some areas having received over 12 inches of rain this week, the mosquitoes will be out in full force. Fortunately, they do not bother us on the water.

We certainly needed the rain but after being off the water for 6 days now, I am ready to get back to some fishing. My trips for this week were cancelled and the weather may not improve until Friday. The first tropical system of the season is upon us and is moving through slowly.

Last week, I had the chance to fish some places significantly south of my home waters. Monday's trip resulted in one tarpon jumped and 6 snook brought to the boat. Tuesday, I fished in Stuart with my friend Capt. Wayne Magdalena. We cast to some tarpon for a couple hours with only a few bites and no fish jumped. The flats were full of mullet but the trout and snook were few and far between. I caught a few trout on a 5" CAL tail and landed a decent flounder on the holographic DOA shrimp.

Thursday, I travelled to Fort Pierce to fish with Capt. Mark Nichols. The morning bite was slow but when the tide started moving, the fish turned on. Using the holographic DOA shrimp, we caught at least 20 snook between us, several trout, and even a small grouper. An excellent day of catching.

snook
snook

Back in Mosquito Lagoon, the water has risen nearly a foot this week. Should it remain at that level, it will open up areas that have been too shallow to fish this year. With few, if any, boats on the water this week, the fish should have a chance to relax and get happy in their new found feeding grounds.

Upcoming Seminars
This weekend, I will be speaking at the annual Fishstock event in New Smyrna Beach. I will be on at 1pm both Saturday and Sunday talking about catching tarpon in an around central Florida. The seminars will run from 11-4pm. A complete list of the speakers can be found here - http://fishstock.com/index.jsp?articleID=51865
In addition to the seminars, there will be boats on display, vendors, kids events, fly fishing demos, and food. Directions to the event can be found here - http://origin.ih.constantcontact.com/fs070/1102056358485/img/8.jpg?a=1102586201738

On June 13, Capt. Tom Van Horn and I will present the third in our series of inshore fishing seminars at Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka. This class will cover fishing the flats with soft plastic baits. If you want to learn to catch fish on soft plastic artificials, this is the class for you. We will demonstrate how to use these baits in the indoor pool so participants can see the exact techniques to use for catching more fish. The free class starts at 10am and no registration is required.

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Port Canaveral Cobia, Dolphin, Kingfish


Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, May 20, 2009

By Captain Tom Van Horn

Events and Seminar Schedule:
June 13, 2009 "Free Fishing Classes" Introduction to Saltwater Flats Fishing Series, Class 4 of 8, "Soft Plastic Bait Applications" 10am-12 noon at Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 S Washington Avenue in Apopka. Instructors are Captains Chris Myers and Tom Van Horn. For more details or directions, contact Mosquito Creek Outdoors at (407) 464-2000 or visit their website www.mosquitocreek.com.

It's 4am and the sound of thunder rattles the windows waking me from an exceptional nights sleep. Driving rain has fallen all night adding to the 6 inches already gauged in my back yard over the past three days. Our prolonged drought is over at least for know as flood warnings are echoing from the weather radio this morning. I'm not complaining, because we need the rain so badly and I can always use the rest.

Fishing this past week was showing significant improvement despite the windy conditions. Inshore, we have been experiencing good catches of sea trout in two to three feet of water fishing with DOA CAL Tail jigs and Rapala Twitching Raps. The majority of the fish are small, but their great fun on ultra light tackle, with the best bite coming in the afternoon on the deeper sides of spoil islands.

Nearshore, both the bait (pogies) and kingfish have returned to the beach as water temperatures begin to warm up after the cold water upwelling experienced over the last two weeks dissipates. Captain Keith (www.captain-keth.com) reported a good numbers of kingfish and large jacks off of the beaches out of Port Canaveral, and cobia and dolphin on the inshore reefs as well.

Further north out of Ponce Inlet, Captain Fred Roberts is excited about the arrival of bait pods and tarpon. Captain Fred reported jumping several large tarpon on a recent trip out of Ponce last week, landing one in the 80-pound range. He is also reporting large redfish and jack crevalle (yellow jacks) in the inlet pass.

As the rain begins to fall harder now outside my window, it's time to finish up this report and return to bed. No fishing or lawn work today, and hopefully when the wind and rain stops the bite will still be on and my rested soul will be ready for some catchen.

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

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

www.irl-fishing.com
407-416-1187 0n the water
407-366-8085 Landline
www.irl-fishing.com

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

Trophy Everglades Permit And Cobia

Fishing Report May 16th-17th, 2009 By Capt. Jim Stoner


This past weekend Captain Doug and I had the opportunity to guide Don and Ron Rankin, a father and son from Toronto, Canada.

The Rankins had been fishing with another guide on Friday. They had caught some nice Snook and were anxious to try something new. Upon boarding my boat they asked me what we had planned for them and I told them Snook fishing. They immediately said they wanted to try out some wreck fishing for Permit and Cobia. I told them I had been offshore the day before and it had been very rough. They insisted that they could handle the bumpy seas and wanted to go wreck fishing.

Doug and I switched our plan at a moment’s notice and went looking for crabs for bait. Half an hour later we had eight perfect small crabs in the live well.

I set out for a local wreck in about 12 feet of water that we had fished the day before and had seen Permit on. Upon arrival we anchored up and rigged up our anchor ball just in case we hooked up to a big Permit.

Within a few minutes schools of 20-30 pound Permit were circling behind the boat. Don and Ron were excited to see these fish and even more excited at the prospect of catching one.

We set out two crabs and waited. The Permit just didn’t seem to be interested in our crabs. Doug was determined to get one to bite and he kept presenting a crab to the cruising fish. After several attempts and much to my surprise one fish sucked up the crab. Doug immediately handed off the rod to Ron who began fighting the fish. We got off the anchor in an attempt to get away from the wreck and the big Goliath Groupers that inhabit it.

About five minutes into the fight the fish headed back to the wreck and wrapped the line around something; it was over, fish 1 angler 0.

Back on the anchor again and trying for the Permit it became apparent that the remaining fish just were not going to eat for us so the decision was made to head to another shallow wreck.

Upon arrival we anchored on a nice piece of structure and set out two more crabs. Soon we had some Permit circling the boat and looking at our crab offerings.

Bam! Ron hooked up to a very nice Permit which we chased around for about half an hour. This time we got off the wreck and the Goliaths showed us mercy.
A few more minutes passed and we netted the big Permit. After many high fives we weighed the fish in at 28 pounds. A nice trophy Permit by anyone’s standards.

permit

We headed back to the anchor ball and tied up. I began jigging and soon was hooked up to a nice Cobia which I landed. Soon Ron was hooked up to a rather large fish that was burning line off fast. In the distance I watched as a huge Snook jumped. After a few minutes the large fish made a run for the wreck and was entangled in something. I took over the rod and was able to free the line and returned it to Ron but it was too late. The Goliaths had eaten the big Snook and the show was over. The rest of the day was occupied by Mackerel and Trout.

On Sunday morning our clients stated they wanted a Tarpon. I told them I have not been having luck with Tarpon but would give it my best shot. After netting some large Mullet we headed for a place where we had caught Tarpon. This time they just were not home. After catching a few Trout and Sharks I made the decision to head to another shallow wreck.

This wreck is very small and has been holding good numbers of Mackerel and Blue Fish, a lot of fun to catch but not the Tarpon that the clients wanted.

Cobia

As soon as we set the anchor two big Cobia cruised by the boat. We baited up with one of the big Mullet that we had been using for the Tarpon and within five minutes it got eaten by something big. We released from the anchor ball and head after the large fish. After a solid 30 minute battle we gaffed the big fish. A sweet 44 pound Cobia. Ron had caught another trophy fish.

This was shaping up to be another great day of fishing. Returning to the wreck we set out another Mullet and waited. The remaining fish had lock jaw so we moved on.

We headed down to the Rogers River for some Snook fishing. After an hour of slow fishing all we had to show for our efforts was a nice 10 pound Snook and some little guys.

One more stop at another shallow wreck produced several nice Spanish Mackerel but no Cobia or Permit. With the weather closing in we headed for home.

Capt. Jim Stoner
Everglades Pro

www.evergladespro.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Florida's Best Saltwater Bait Fish

Fishing Report 05/18/2009 – Capt. Terry Frankford

Angler's aboard the Reelin & Chillin have enjoyed great light tackle action with trout, and gray snapper (mangrove snapper) being the most productive. Also, several redfish have tightened lines along with a few small but scrappy snook.

Trout have been on the open water grass flats in three to six feet of water. Snapper, and redfish have been hanging around structure, with the snook in holes close to grass and mangrove shorelines.

Baits:

Scaled Sardine - trout, and a couple redfish

Live hand picked shrimp - redfish, and snapper

Billy Bay Halo shrimp (artificial) - trout

A little info about those baits you catch in your cast net:

If your new the the area, or just started cast netting for bait, it can be confusing knowing just what your catching. So many names for the same two baits, whitebait, greenback, pilchard, horse minnow, shiners, thread-thins. I guess it just depends on the neighborhood your from. Here is the scoop on these local baits:

The two most common baits are the Scaled Sardine, and the Thread Herring.

Scaled sardine: Silver body with darker back gray, blue, or green. Body is thicker/heaver than the thread thin, making for better casting distance. The eye is twice the size as the thread thins. Scales do not easily fall off, and with a good running live well they will last all day. Easy to keep on the hook, and stays alive for quite awhile.


Thread Thin: At first glance it looks like the scaled sardine, however when compared it's easy to tell the difference. They have the silver body, however it's much thinner. It's belly is deeply curved compared to the scaled sardine. Part of the dorsal fin has what looks like a long piece of thread towards the rear, hence the name. The scales shed easily, and despite a good running live well they don't last long especially in the warmer months. Easy to throw off the hook, and dies fairly quick.

man with mangrove snapper

A fish tail aboard the Reelin & Chillin
On a six hour trip with Erich Ritzhoupt, wife Sara, and father in law David we started out with trout. Using scaled sardines Sara put four nice trout in the live well with the largest being twenty inches. Erich, and David also put a couple in the live to help out with dinner. Erich on the fly caught two trout using a white clouser fly. The trout bite slowed, so off to a dock for some mangrove snapper. I believe we picked up around five keepers before heading out to the next spot. We headed to a hole near some mangroves looking for snook. After chumming sardines for awhile and seeing a couple snook hit the surface Erich caught a twenty inch redfish, however no snook. The sky was turning black and lightning was in the air so we headed to the cleaning board just in time to end the day - a great trip with three great angler's.

Tight Lines & Good Times,

Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.

941-228-7802
terry.frankford@verizon.net
www.charterfishingsarasota.com

Monday, May 18, 2009

Apalachicola Fishing Where It Should Be

As I write this report in the middle of May, after a wet & windy April, it's amazing to me that the fishing conditions have straightened around to be right where they should be for this time of year. The water temperature has stabilized to perfect May low 80's, the trout & reds are acting right, tripletail have begun to show up and we've even seen a tarpon or 3. Mother Nature takes care of things on her own schedule.

redfish

Paxton Juneau & his Dad Les fished with Capt. Nate

May 3rd was one for the record books. The anglers that were lucky enough to be on Capt. Tommy Holland's bayfishing boat caught and released upwards of 150 Redfish, One of them had 26 spots on one side. Les Juneau of Atlanta fished from Capt. Nathan Donahoe's flats boat and experienced much the same thing. And, as most things happen and fish can swim, they were nowhere near the same place the next day. That's why we call it fishing!

pompano

Capt. Chris Robinson holds a pompano caught recently.

Before I report on what to expect fishing-wise for the next month or so, I just have to tell you how thrilled I am to tell anyone who will listen that I'm no longer going it alone here in my little office in downtown Apalachicola -- we've hired an assistant! Nikki Cash started working with Robinson Brothers Guide Service the middle of April and we couldn't be more thrilled. Her pleasant voice will be the one answering the phone when you call and answering many of your emails as well. Nikki is also Capt. Chris Robinson's sister-in-law, as she is his wife Jennifer's sister. Besides that her dad Walter Armistead married Tommy & me. Yes, Apalachicola IS a very small town, and if you're in town, stop by and say hi!

tripletail

Megan Lamb caught this tripletail fishing with Capt. Dave Armentrout

So, back to June fishing. Let me put it this way -- as long as you know which end of the fishing rod to hold, you are probably going to catch fish. Literally everything that swims in the northern Gulf of Mexico will be fair game, including (finally) Red Snapper. Snapper season will be short this year running June 1-Aug 14 so book your trips now! Inshore fishermen, whether you sight fish with a fly rod, or blind cast with bait, it's all good, all month long. If you're planning your summer vacation on St. George Island or Cape San Blas or anywhere from Alligator Point to Mexico Beach, think about taking a guided fishing trip while you're here -- it's an adventure!

sea trout

Scott McEwan's 6 lb "Gator" trout caught with Capt. Chris

Just a little bit of housekeeping - we had to buy a new computer and not all of our email addresses got transferred to our Outlook address book, although they are stored in our GoDaddy database. We'd love to have you reply to this email if you feel like it just to update our records. And if you would rather not receive our fishing reports, well that's ok too, just let us know.

Capt. Jr. Holland has lowered the price on his 1 acre Pond front lot in Eastpoint and the Abbey Home in Apalachicola's Historic South Side is still available and priced right. Just click on the website below to check them out.

Hope you're having a fantastic weekend and your week ahead is a sunny one!

Kathy Robinson
Robinson Brothers Guide Service
www.FloridaRedfish.com
877-6-Redfish

Robinson Real Estate Company
118 Commerce St.
Apalachicola, FL 32320
www.RobinsonRealEstateCompany.com

Friday, May 15, 2009

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 5-9-09



Fishing 5/9/09


It must be summer, Snook on the beach and a few Tarpon are rolling. Big bright sun, wind has finally slowed it is time to go for a walk on the surfs edge. Still plenty of Blues for the early morning angler and that is where the Snook are hanging. Still limits of Pompano are reported using Clams for bait, these fish are up close, anglers are finding them with a seven foot rod, that is real close. Big Whiting with a mix of Croakers, the surf has numbers, if you are looking for rod pullers the surf is the place.
Plenty of slot size Trout and you do not need a boat to get them. Look for the grass edges, the fishing pier at Indian River Side Park is a location that holds Trout, you can see the edges. Put Shrimp on a float, the float will keep that Shrimp from hiding in the grass, cast to an edge and let the float present you bait. Red fish are there for the early angler, after sun up look to the shaded water. Tarpon at Big Mud Creek, start at the power lines and work your way in and the Triple Tail are at the markers. Snook, pick a bridge or a channel that is where they will be in numbers, yes, they are in the flats but that will be a single fish.
Off shore deep was last week this is a new week. Yes, some anglers were in deep and did find the fish but most found them on the way back in, 100'. Bait was a hard find, get your cast net and take some Mullet, plenty of these in the river and they work, why spend all that time looking for bait when you just passed over the best. Kings in thirty feet both north and south, the depth was the key. Big schools of thirty pound Jacks to drag your boat around and yes the Cobia are there you just have to ready when they are.
Do not forget, the hat, the lotion and the sun glasses, you are going to need them.........Henry

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

Panhandle Fishing Report 5-15-09



Report for 05/14/2009

Salt Water



PANAMA CITY OFFSHORE AND BAYS
King mackerel are being caught in great numbers. They are being caught in close and out further trolling and free-lining. Several reports of Mahi Mahi being caught from 6-8 miles out are coming in. Spanish mackerel are biting sporadically out on the beaches. Grouper are still biting well from 7-10 miles out. Use large live baits to get past the Snapper! Lots of AJ’s are still being caught around the 100 foot mark over bridge spans and large wrecks.



ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Ladyfish, Bluefish, and Spanish mackerel are biting good at the jetties on spoons and Gotcha Plugs. Mangrove Snappers and Sheepshead are still being caught off the rocks with live shrimp. Redfish have been found on the flats in East Bay; while Bull Reds are still being caught with live shrimp and pin fish around the jetties. Trout are being caught on the flats with topwater lures early and live shrimp under a cork later.

NAVARRE

SURF
The Cobia have just about gone for the season, but there are plenty of King and Spanish mackerel to keep us busy. The Tarpon have showed up early to. Pompano, Redfish, Bluefish and Skipjack (ladyfish) are showing up in increasing numbers as the water continues to clear. This week should see an increase in landing if the wind stays mild. The Pompano and Redfish are hitting best on live sand fleas and fresh shrimp just outside of the first sand bar. Silver spoons and Bubble rigs are working best for the fast moving Spanish, Bluefish and Skipjack.

SOUND AND BAYS
Navarre area anglers can expect to see Redfish and Trout on the flats early and late in the day. They should also see an increase in Flounder landed as they continue to migrate into the shallows to chase bait fish. The Trout are responding best to a popping cork rig with a live or D.O.A. shrimp. Spanish, Blue and Skipjack are also making a good showing with small schools popping up along the area flats. These fish are feeding on the schools of menhaden and threadfins that have begun to show up in increasing numbers. Speaking of increasing number, Flounder are being caught around docks in the sound with Tiger minnows. Gold spoons are taking their share, but it may be time to break out the 1/4oz jig head with GULP! Shrimp or jerk bait combinations and specifically target the Flounder. These same baits will also take the Redfish, so it’s a win win situation for you.

NEAR SHORE – GULF
King are biting strong in and around the passes and inshore reefs in 60 to 80 feet of water. Trolling or fly lining live cigar minnows when anchoring up had been the top producer. Dolphin have also started to show up on the few weed lines that have begun to make their way toward shore. 1/2oz to 1oz buck tail jigs or live cigar minnows free lined near the weed line or any floating structure will get the job done. Just remember to leave one hooked fish in the water to keep the school around when you encounter a large school. The near shore reefs and wrecks are also producing good numbers of Grouper, Black Snapper and Trigger fish. Just remember to have a spinning rod rigged up with a pitch bait in case a Cobia shows up.

OFFSHORE – GULF
Wahoo and Dolphin have been showing up in greater numbers this week. Most of the hoos are being caught while fast trolling between bottom spots. The Dolphin are being caught while trolling the edges of increasing weed lines or by free lining live baits near the weed lines. Tripletail are on the same weed lines as well, so keep an eye out for them. Keep a rod rigged and ready so you can cast a live shrimp or small baitfish to them when the opportunity presents itself. Without a doubt the hottest bite this week has definitely been Red Snapper. Most fish caught have been in the double digits. Just remember that Red Snapper opens June 1, so release them until then. The Grouper bite has remained strong with the larger fish coming in 150 plus feet of water. Fish the largest bait you can find. The blue water bite has exploded this week with the influx of clean water. The Yellowfin bite has been exceptional with most fish being caught during daylight hours. Poppers, jigs and slow trolled ballyhoo will all work. But for the really big fish, a bridled bonito or large blue runner bump trolled around the rigs is the way to go.

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




Fishing Report prepared by Half Hitch Tackle Staff.

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

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

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Snook In Transition...Hungry



Things have gotten hot in May and Captain Jay Schroeder of CJ Flats Saltwater Charter isn’t just talking about the weather!

Inshore Captain Jay reports the Snook bite has been on fire with Inshore trips producing as many as 50 Snook an outing. Snook are on the flats and transitioning to the beaches in preparation for heading offshore to spawn. These fish have been cooped up all winter long, so as the water temperatures rose the last few weeks, the Snook have emerged and they are hungry. White bait has been the key in effectively targeting Snook in along the Suncoast. Captain Jays states you can use artificial lures, but nothing beats a free-lined white bait on a 1/0 circle hook. Focus on choke points during the moving tide and along the mangroves on the high end of the tide. It may take a few chummers to coerce the Snook from out of the mangrove roots, so take time in finding bait and loading up the live well. Just remember Snook are catch and release only until this time of year, so handle them gently and get them back in the water unharmed.

snook

While targeting Snook along the docks, Captain Jay reported running into a mix of Sea Trout, Redfish, Jack Crevalle, Mangrove Snapper, and Grouper all taking the white bait intended for Snook. This mix has provided several beginner anglers over the past few weeks the opportunity to capitalize on an Inshore Slam. And for those who might want to bring home a little something for dinner, Captain Jay stated the Mangrove Snapper have been well sized and provide wonderful table fare for those fishing aboard the Ms. Guided.

jack crevalle

Nearshore, in the passes and around the bridges, Tarpon have been the main focus. Captain Jay reported spending a few days in Boca Grande in conjunction with the full moon targeting Tarpon in the Pass and along the beaches. The early morning incoming tide provided the best opportunities for jumping a Silver King. The lull in the middle of the day was met with some phenomenal sight fishing in the bay, and the big outgoing tides in the afternoon never disappointed. Captain Jay stated things were a bit slow to start and the Tarpon were definitely on the move. Conditions will only get better over the next few weeks.

For more information or to book your next saltwater adventure along the Suncoast, contact Capt Jay Schroeder with CJ Flats Saltwater Charters at 1-877-463-4520 or email reservations@cjflats.com.


Capt Jay Schroeder
CJ Flats Saltwater Charters

www.cjflats.com
1-877-463-5420

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Catching South Andros Bonefish

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Andros South Report for 5/2 through 5/9/2009


I spent the last week from Saturday, May 2nd through Saturday, May 9th, hosting a group of friends and customers at Andros South bonefish lodge on south Andros in the Bahamas. Nick Reding, Bob Harness and Bob Reynolds, all from St. Louis, MO, Frank Rhodes, from Auburndale, FL, Hal Lutz, from Parrish, FL and Jon Yenari and I, from Sarasota, met in Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday afternoon, May 2nd. We had a smooth, one hour flight over on a Lynx Air twin engine Cessna 402 and were greeted by managers Rick Sisler and Kateri Clay.

The weather and fishing were near perfect! I had an opportunity to fish with each member of the group and fish a variety of areas. Some days were better than others and some days were fantastic! Anglers fishing the vast sand flats to the south fished near Jackfish Channel, the Water Cays, Curly Cut Cays, Fish Key and the “airport flat”. Some of these flats are so big they go all the way to the horizon. Frank and Jon had a great day at the “airport flat” one day catching and releasing more than 50 bones. Hal and I fished the south end one day and had a great morning wading along a mangrove shoreline on a flood tide. We caught 15 or 20 fish before noon. Frank, Jon, Hal and Kateri went offshore one day and landed more than 30 mahi mahi (dolphin) to 12-pounds on flies and conventional tackle. Their first mahi’s on fly! Jimmy Buffet was also on south Andros last week in his 130’ yacht, Continental Drifter. He and his guests fished with Andros South guides the day we arrived and Hal, Jon, Frank and Kateri ran into them on their offshore trip.

Several creeks; Deep Creek, Little Creek and Grassy Creek all cut through to the west side, crossing the ”Devil’s Backbone” ridge and open up into large flats and salt ponds with smaller creeks feeding into them. We caught lots and lots of bonefish to 6-pounds with most of them in the 2 to 3-pound class. Some were smaller and a few were even bigger. Another angler at the lodge, John from British Columbia, landed an 8-pounder one day. Bob Reynolds and I had a great day on a huge school over on the west side one day with guide, Fredlon. We waded and doubled and tripled for more than an hour. I also landed a 30-pound ‘cuda that day! Nick and I fished with Torrie one day and learned a lot about targeting big bonefish.

Even though catching lots of fish out of a big school is a lot of fun, the most rewarding to me is stalking singles, doubles and smaller schools. A couple of the most rewarding fish I caught were tailing on a slick, calm morning when we had to wade like a ”heron” and make a perfect cast to catch them! Top flies were Gotchas, Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp and variations of them. We also encountered lots of sharks and ‘cudas. Several ‘cudas, up to 30-pounds, were landed on flies and conventional tackle.

I hated to come back to the real world, but the good thing is that tarpon fishing is getting ready to take off back at home in Sarasota. I have already received several reports of tarpon being jumped and landed from Tampa Bay to Sarasota. I’ll be on the water this week hunting tarpon, which should get even better as we get further away from last week’s full moon.

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

baracuda

Andros South guide, Fredlon, with a big 'cuda caught by Capt. Rick Grassett.

bonefish

Bob Reynolds, from St. Louis, MO, with a nice south Andros bonefish caught out of Andros South lodge.

bonefish

Jon Yenari, from Sarasota, FL, with an Andros South bonefish.

A Wonderful Time To Be On The Water


Fishing Report
Fort Pierce - Port St Lucie - Vero Beach - Jensen Beach
May 7, 2009

INSHORE:
This week has a significant meaning for me, since it happens that my birthday is this coming Saturday and it's one of those we refer to as the Big One.......60th. I can still remember digging up a can of worms to go on that first fishing trip with my dad, so many years ago. It has been lots of fun years fishing and I still get excited at each trip on the water. It's been great!

It's the time of the year to be out fishing. Dolphin, trout, redfish and a host of other species are out there feeding. The weather has been fantastic this week and looks like those windy months of spring have finally surrendered to summer patterns. Sure, it's gonna be hot out there, but the fishing continues to improve each day. Look for many anglers to be on the river and ocean and be patient and aware of your surroundings.

Redfish have finally got hungry and you can find them on the flats and around the docks. Charlie Hollis and his wife celebrated their 25th Anniversary with me this week. We caught a variety of fish, including an oversize redfish on the flats. Try a DOA TerrorEyz or CAL jerk bait around the docks. Trout, redfish and snook will all take their hits at them. Live bait will also work as well. There are some big fish cruising the flats now, so be quiet and slow moving across the flats to give yourself a chance at hooking up. It's a great time of year to use top water lures in the early mornings. Queen's Cove, Harbor Branch and the thousands of docks around the area can give you some good starting points on the river.

Trout fishing has been the best of the year lately. Snook fishing has been getting better. With the full moon, you can bet a lot of anglers will be out in search of that slot size fish. Snook season closes at the end of May, so get out soon if you want to keep a slot fish. You can find lots of bait schools around the river. Fish around the edges of the bait and you can never tell what might be lurking in the shadows. It's a wonderful time of year to be on the water fishing......

Tip of the Week:
Ok, so this week I am nostalgic and reminiscent.... Looking back on the many years of fishing, I cherish each moment on the water. Spend some time teaching the youngsters the art and experience of fishing. It's not just learning how to cast a rod, bait a hook or tie a knot, it about spending time together, passing down fish tales and creating memories that last a lifetime. I am working with my three year old granddaughter and soon her little one year old brother to share those kinds of moments on the water. There are great organizations out there if you are looking to get involved, like Teen Anglers. Make fishing something special for someone soon!

As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!

Good Fishing and Be Safe,

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

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 4/27 through 5/1/2009
Anglers fishing with me during the week of 4/27 on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with snook and trout. Reds continued to be challenging but we caught and released a couple.

Bill Beauchamp and his brother-in-law, Chuck, both from Bradenton, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday, April 27th. They had good action with trout along the east side of the bay, including several in the slot, on CAL jigs with shad tails. We spent a lot of time targeting reds that wouldn’t eat and finally caught one on a CAL jig with a shad tail.

Renno Peterson and Jay Crouse, both from Sarasota, FL, fished the same area with me on Wednesday with similar results. Renno fly fished while Jay threw CAL jigs and they caught and released trout on deep grass flats along the east side of the bay. We were on a “pile” of reds in north Sarasota Bay, had several follows on my Grassett’s Flats Minnow fly and Jay finally caught one on a CAL jig with a shad tail.

One of the best trips of the week was when Pat Campbell, from Toronto, OH, fished Blackburn Bay with me on a night snook trip on Thursday evening. We fished my Grassett’s Snook Minnow and epoxy shrimp fly patterns on intermediate sink tip fly lines with 6-weight rods. The light fly rods and small flies allowed us to make delicate presentations around docks. We caught and released more than a dozen snook to 26”, including a couple that weighed 6-pounds.

Even though tarpon are beginning to show up and many anglers will start to target them, fishing on deep and shallow grass flats will continue to be good for quite a while until afternoon heat starts to become an issue.

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


Jay Crouse, from Sarasota, FL, caught this nice red on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Pat Campbell, from Toronto, OH, caught and released this nice snook on a Grassett's Snook Minnow fly while fishing Blackburn Bay at night with Capt. Rick Grassett.