Monday, August 31, 2009

Florida Snook Season Open At Midnight

Florida's fall snook season opens at midnight September 1st, 2009. The season will remain open until December 1st in the Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County (The Florida Keys) and Everglades National Park. In these areas during open season you may keep 1 snook, per harvest day, between 28'' and 33". On the Atlantic Coast snook season remains open until December 15th. In this area you may keep 1 snook, per harvest day, between 28" and 32". A snook permit is required when saltwater license required. It is illegal to buy or sell snook and snatch hooks and spearing are prohibited. State regulations apply in federal waters.

Beach Snook/Tarpon Fishing Tips

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

By Captain Tom Van Horn

Special Announcement: On October 10th, Captain Mark Nichols of DOA and Jerry McBride of Florida Sportsman Magazine will be conducting a FREE fishing seminar from 1 -3 PM at Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka Florida.

As hurricane season progresses and the summer squalls try to develop and move north in the Atlantic, our prevailing summer breezes begin to switch from the southeast to the northeast. This shift in wind direction along with shorter periods of daylight signal the beginning of the fall migration of all critters preferring warmer climates. This transition also marks the beginning of the fall fishing season as hordes of baitfish, primarily silver and black mullet, bay anchovies (glass minnows), greenies, and predatory species begin their southerly migration along the beach and through the Indian River Lagoon. Rather than a continuous flow, baitfish typically move south in pulses or waves, so finding the bait is the key to catching fish. One day a particular location will be loaded with bait, and the next day they will be gone. It's hard to predict the magnitude and duration of the run, but it recent trends continue, this year's run will start early, and like last year, progress into October and November. Currently bait pods are forming up in all areas of the lagoon, and small concentration of baitfish have already made themselves known around Ponce De Leon Inlet, Port Canaveral and along the beaches south to the Sebastian Inlet area.

surf snook

Look for snook, tarpon, redfish, bluefish, jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, sharks, and large kingfish crushing and shadowing bait pods all along the beach. The bait pods are easily located by watching for birds diving and fish working the bait on the surface. Once you've located the bait concentration, simply determine its direction of movement, usually south, and set up in front of it and let them come to you. This is also my preferred time of year to target tarpon and snook along the beach.

September 1st marks the beginning of snook season and the beach snook run has already started with a few fish being reported. This action will pick up substantially as the bait run progresses When fishing from the beach, I prefer using live finger mullet as bait, (match the hatch). The technique I like to use starts by treading a ½ ounce barrel sinker onto your line. Next, attach a small swivel to the tag end of your line serving two purposes. The swivel acts as a stop keeping your weight from sliding down on the hook, and it also reduces line twisting as your sinker rolls with the tide and wave action. Next, I attach about 24" of fluorocarbon leader, 40 to 50 pound test, and a large circle hook. You will need to step up your tackle, rig, and bait size if tarpon are targeted. Another tip is to use 20-pound test braided line, because it greatly increases your spool capacity over standard monofilament line. Once you're rigged and acquired bait, you'll want to hook your finger mullet through the lips. Fish the very edge of the beach, just beyond the whitewater, and walk along the beach letting your bait roll along in the direction of tidal flow. This technique will allow bait to cover more ground and help keep it in the strike zone longer. Also, if you are into full contact fishing, Sebastian Inlet features some of the best snook action on Florida's Indian River Lagoon Coast, but its popularity attracts anglers from across the state, so be ready for some shoulder to shoulder fishing.

huge redfish

Near-shore, good numbers of kingfish will continue to work the beaches, Port Canaveral buoy line, and the inshore reefs and wrecks in 70 to 120 feet of water. When targeting kingfish, slow trolling live pogies (Atlantic menhaden) on stainless steel stinger rigs is the preferred method. Also as the water temperatures cool, look for the large manta rays to move into shallower water on their migration south bring cobia with them. In Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet look for flounder, mangrove snapper, redfish and snook around the jetties and other structure, and tripletail, barracuda, and cobia under the Canaveral buoy cans.

I always like to use Mother Nature's signals to help predict changes on our nearshore and inshore waters, and currently my goldenrods in my backyard are in full bloom. This flush of golden blooms signals the begining of the mullet run and the formation of spawning schools of breeder redfish in the IRL and inlet passes . Besides redfish, sea trout are still plentiful on the deeper edges of the grass flats with the best bite occurring at first light and sunset. Also look for ladyfish, tarpon, slot redfish, and jacks to be mixed in. When targeting these fish, work top water plugs for explosive action, or try working ¼ ounce jigs with a white or rootbeer colored DOA Shrimp combined with a Woodies Rattle capsule insert. Near the end of the month, start looking for the pompano and flounder to begin moving out of the lagoon through the inlets into the near shore waters along the beach. Also watch for the larger redfish to begin forming up just outside Sebastian Inlet feeding on small baitfish and small crabs washing out with the tide.

Be sure to check out the new Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando in print and online for free at
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 for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 9-22-09

FISHING 8/22/09

So the weather channel said the seas were to be 5 to 7ft for the week end, not sure where but it was not here. Our inlet cam and surf cam showed some rollers but not the seas the weather channel had forecasted, to be a weather man what a job.

Five to seven feet may have been the call but they were rollers, far apart and most anglers were looking for all the bad conditions that were forecasted. Deep was the location for the Wahoo, 240 feet of depth, deep baits found the fish. Of the fish that were caught, no big monsters but still nice fish. Captain VJ Bell found them on a color change the two other fish that I heard of were also deep and again it was a color line that anglers spent their time on. Anglers looking for rod pullers found most action in that 40 to 60ft zone. Sails were on the out side as deep as 100', Kings from the middle to the shallow side. Finally two Dolphin in the zone but they were the only two all week end and ten there is the boils. This area is east of the power plant and if Tarpon and Permit start your hart you need to be there. Big schools of big fish, most Tarpon were over the one hundred pounds and the Permit all twenty five pound and bigger, one little hitch, trying to figure out what it is they are eating. Snapper bite has been excellent using sardines, well the fish can not read so they didn't know about the five to seven foot seas.

Well with a little east wind most anglers spent their time on the east side of the river and found plenty of fish, so that is where they came back to. Lots of slot size Trout from Bear Point to the Sail Fish flats using top water, soft rubber, shrimp, mullet the bait list was almost as long the catch list. Tarpon, Jacks, Lady's and Snook were the mix and they were there late almost 10:AM before they all disappeared. Lots of bait in the river, big schools of mullet and half beaks were keeping the big Jacks and Snook busy, watch for the bait sprays and get in them, you know what they are eating match the profile and go for it. Tarpon from the north fork to the inlet and then north, it was Tarpon of all sizes. Favored bait this week was big mullet not finger but big, like feed a family of three size. All location reported the same big baits, time varied with location but the big mullet was the bait. If you are going to target these fish bring out the big equipment, big fish. Bridges were all about the Snapper and Drum on shrimp but there were others. At the east ends of the causeways Pompano, Mac's and Lady Fish kept anglers busy, favored tide , incoming. Yes, Tarpon on the north side of the Jensen and on the south side of the Stuart causeways testing equipment warranty's.

The swells took care of the weeds on the surfs edge, plenty of bait and a good catch list. The bite time has narrowed to the morning hours with dawn being the best. Snook and Jacks have kept most anglers attention, Spoons, topwater, soft rubber have all been working. Whiting, Croaker and a few Blues have filled the rest of the day but then the weather man, ummmmmmm.
Have a good week...........................................Henry

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

Panhandle Fishing Report 8-21-09

Report for 08/21/2009 Salt Water

Reports say bottom fishing is steady with live bait. Grouper limits are being picked up in 170-190’ of water in the hard bottom area south of Cape San Blas, lots of red snapper to contend with, but a few more gags and scamps are being caught as well. King mackerel bite remains steady also. Drifting live baits is working the best, but dusters and cigar minnows are also effective. Tarpon are slowly moving east and anglers are enjoying regular hook-ups from outside Cape Shoals to Indian Pass and Bob Sikes Cut. Tripletails continue lurking around structure from Indian pass through Appalache bay.

Several reports of large trout came in this week from St Joseph Bay. Sight fishing for them on the flats between Pigs Island and Eagle Harbor and between Eagle Harbor and Pompano Cove has been very productive during the very early and late hours of the day. Live LY’s or hard/soft jerk baits are working. Redfish reports are coming from anglers fishing the west side of St. Joe Bay. A few flounder caught in the channels off Blacks Island and in the intercostals canal on live bull-minnows fished on a Carolina rig along the drop-offs.

Red Snapper season is now closed. The Grouper bite has slowed inshore, but good reports are coming from 20 plus miles out. Use large live baits. Wahoo are being caught from 20-40 miles out. Hi speed trollers, like the Yo Zuri Bonita, are a sure bet. King Mackerel seem to be everywhere. They are being caught steadily from the beach out to 40 miles. Lots of AJ’s are still being caught around the 100 foot mark over bridge spans and large wrecks. Big hard tails are the best bet for keeper AJ’s.

King mackerel are being caught regularly off the new city pier along with Spanish, Bluefish, Lady Fish, Redfish and a few Flounder. Tarpon are on the beaches in better numbers now. Be stealthy, throw live baits, and keep your fingers crossed for a hook up! Ladyfish, Bluefish, and Spanish mackerel are biting good at the jetties on spoons and Gotcha Plugs. Mangrove Snappers are still being caught off the rocks with live shrimp. Redfish have been found on the flats in East and West Bays; while Bull Reds are still being caught with live shrimp and pinfish around the jetties. Trout are being caught on the flats with topwater lures early and live shrimp under a cork later.

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.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Apalachicola Inshore Remains Strong

This Monday morning was a beautiful late August morning and Downtown Apalachicola was looking pretty busy for a back to school week. When I put the dogs out it was 64 degrees and I know for sure Fall is coming because Tommy packed up his Permit fishing gear and his dive gear and headed south to the Keys at 5:00 am. Chris just got a new truck and a new trailer for his skiff -- anybody fishing with him will be riding in style. Normally about this time of year I end up reporting that the fishing has slowed down quite a bit but possibly due to the rain we have received this month, water temperatures haven't rocketed off the charts and inshore fishing remains strong. Capt. David Heinke says there are fish everywhere right now and he just saw the biggest school of mixed sized redfish he's ever seen in clear water. Sight fishing is totally dependent upon the conditions and clarity of the water but blind casting with bait or shrimp has just not quit all summer. Nikki told me this morning that she has never seen the water in the Gulf at St. George Island so clear in her entire life.

The Juneau Family from Atlanta own a home on St. George Island and are regular customers of ours whenever they get a chance to get away from the big city. Saturday(8/22) they fished with Capt. Jr. Holland and Capt. Dave Armentrout. On Jr's boat they caught 60 to 70 fish including Redfish, Flounder, Speckled Trout, Skipjacks (aka -- Ladyfish -- they jump like little tarpon!) and catfish. Capt. Dave also caught white trout and some Black Sea Bass outside the cut and kept the kids busy with skipjacks. The Gunther party fished a half day with Capt. Tommy Holland -- Tommy says that the trout have already moved up the river and they haven't been there long because they haven't changed color yet, but what they WERE doing is biting every time the bait hit the water, some of which were 3 and 4 pound fish. They must have thrown back at least 50 fish over their limit. Oh, and I'm supposed to tell you that they caught 1 flounder and 2 redfish. I hear tell that there are upwards of 20 to 30 boats out floundering most nights.

September Fishing Forecast: During the first part of September we normally experience summertime conditions (Hot & Muggy) that continue on until the 3rd or 4th week when we finally get that first slightly cooler night, and that first marginally less humid morning. Already this season we have seen some storms bring in rain and with a little more rain in the area it should help the bay shrimp. Many people think the best redfishing is in October but as long as the right tides line up in September the redfishing should light up!

I apologize for the lack of photos this time - couldn't get them to stick! Check our website for updates.

Kathy Robinson
Robinson Brothers Guide Service
118 Commerce St.
Apalachicola, FL 32320
850-653-8896 or 877-6-REDFISH

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mooning Permit Over Miami

August 20, 2009
Miami Flats Fishing Guide makes client happy!

Clark Howell a top sales rep for Cepheid joined me for what would turn out to be a great day. At Clark’s request, we did not hit the water until 8:00am and man did he hit it perfectly! The winds were out of the southeast at 3-5mph and the waters were calm and slicked out. We ran to an area I like to fish and shut down the motor and drifted in to about 3 feet of water.

It was not long after I got on the pole that we saw what we were looking for and I knew the day was going to be a good one. Permit here and Permit there and Permit over there and a school of 80 mooning at port side. They were everywhere! Clark was just amazed at the action and we approached out target: a massive school "mooning" or as I call it "bobbing" Permit.

These fish were happy and they were actually coming out of the water just as Tarpon do when they gulp air. Almost the entire head was coming out of the water and you could see those huge eyes. I am not sure how they did not see us because I was giving them eye contact. I had to get off the platform and go to the bow of the boat with Clark and instruct him to get down as low as possible before they spot us...

He tossed the crab out in front of the school and they exploded towards the crab. I always like when they are schooled up like this because I notice their aggression to beat their buddy to the crab. The fast man eats crab and the slow guys drink water. Clark landed two Permit in an hour and poof... the fish were gone.

Off to another flat where we would chum in 80lb Lemon Sharks in 3 feet of water over a nice white sandy bottom. You can see these guys coming from 100 yards out and believe it or not, they can be more finicky than Bonefish and Permit. It is not as simple as chumming with a Barracuda and tossing your bait in front of the Lemon Shark. Good news is we were able to fool a few 60-90lb Lemon’s on 12-20lb class rods with Power Pro. These sharks go ballistic when hooked and without the ability to go down, their only option is to go straight away. I like to think of them as a Bonefish on Steroids.

The trip concluded and Clark is ready to head out on Saturday. Stay tuned...

Captain Tom Weber
(954) 536-6646

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jacksonville Trout Are Everywhere

Monday, August 24, 2009
8/23 - FISH, caught everywhere.

Had Kirk M. aboard today. Kirk's fished with me many, many times before. BUT, usually in either the fall, winter or spring. So he's used to a bit of a different scenario. I don't think he's ever been on my boat when it's 90 degrees.

But he was in town, from Lima, Peru. Where the U.S. Navy has him spending a few years. And he's just thrilled with that, BTW. So fishing is an activity in which he has been severely lacking.

He wanted to go, but I thought I was going to be in the great state of Louisiana fishing for a week. So when I had to cancel on the La. trip at the last minute, I emailed Kirk and said, "I'm now open to fish Sunday the 23rd."

To my disappointment, I'll be possibly fishing the river here for a few more years, before I can fish the "oh so bountiful" Louisiana inshore waters.

We caught fish at every single spot we went too. There's no lack of bites. We even gave bottom fishing a try again. But was there after the big Redfish bite was about over. 20 boats of all sizes were jam packed into a small area. I initially went in there just to say HI to some friends. Instead we caught small Yellowmouth Trout. As we talked with my friends. And the big Red bite was about done, so when the current went wacky we moved on.

We did try the jetties, earlier. The water temp on the incoming tide was 75 degrees. We were one of 3 boats fishing the rocks. The tide was pouring in, and Kirk hooked a Ass-Hander! Probably a really big Jack. And it ripped him down the jetty and around the corner and then shut the door.

My Ugly Stik "Striper rods"....which are my new charter Float-rigging rods, got a super horseshoe put in the one that Kirk had in his hands, on this fish. Bowed up and drag smoking. It was super cool. But once the big fish hooked around the jetty. It was over, when the light 15# leader popped.

We were looking for some incoming tide Redbass, of course. But the jetties just didn't feel really right for some reason. And that cool water was suspect.

That was about it out there, so back down river we went. Yep, we did some back and forth stuff. But settled in around Blount Island to the Dames Point bridge area.

In the river we caught Speckled Trout about everywhere. But most of them were shorts, 14-12" Trout. Out of maybe 25 total we boxed a whopping six. A 14" Yellowmouth,. and two Mangrove Snappers.

But the really good thing is every spot we fished (Float-rig) we caught fish. Even a quick stop up in a shallow cove in 2 feet of water, we still caught Trout. Small ones, but they were Trout.
(we were looking for a red....even a pup red)

Hey, at least my Speckly friends are all over the place in the river. That's a good thing.

The ratio of keeper sized Trout was a bit of a bummer. I bought no less than 10 dozen live shrimp and at least 3 dozen died.....even after changing the water out with cool clean ocean water.
The incoming tide came very quickly this morning and by the time the tide turned and we had ebbing water again, and were on a decent bite good Specks, we ran out of live shrimp. That's summer for ya.....shrimp just don't want to live, as well as winter time. And I do all I can to keep everyone alive. I call my bait wells in the summer, the I.C.U - "intensive care unit"

We had keeper Trout from 15 inches to 20" being the largest.


thumbs up seatrout

Kirk thinks while he's here that we maybe able to sneak out around 3pm again this week, after he's done Navy business over at Jax NAS. I'm all up to that. Late afternoon falling tide bite? Yeah baby! Hmmm, I think I have a few "top water" spots I'd want to try.


Captain Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler at 8/24/2009

Great Time Of Year For Variety

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 8/13 through 8/23/2009

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released snook, trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and jumped a tarpon on several trips recently. The best action continues to be with trout on deep grass flats. We are also catching ladyfish and the occasional bluefish or Spanish mackerel on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Tarpon are feeding in glass minnow schools in the same areas. Snook and tarpon before dawn around lighted docks and bridge fenders are also a good option when there is a good tide.

Fen Sartorius and Steve Machen, both from NM, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday, 8/14. They caught and released a few trout on flies deep grass flats near Buttonwood Harbor. Mark Desimone and his son Aaron, from Florida’s east coast, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday, 8/15. We worked some tarpon for a couple of hours in the morning, but didn’t get them to bite. We moved to deep grass flats near Buttonwood Harbor where ladyfish schools had glass minnows “balled up”. They caught and released trout and ladyfish on CAL jigs with shad tails. Tarpon also joined the fray as they gorged themselves on glass minnows.

I attended the annual DOA Fishing Lures Writer’s Festival ( in Stuart, FL from Aug. 16-18. The event pairs DOA Pro Staffers with outdoor writers from around the country for a couple of fun days of fishing and socializing. There were many noteworthy catches including snook of 25 and 30-pounds and numerous tarpon. The new 5 ½” BFL (Big Fish Lure) accounted for many of the big fish. We had a good bite on Tuesday morning when Capt. Pat Dineen, from Destin, FL, and outdoor writer, Pete Barrett, from Jupiter, FL fished with me. We caught and released numerous trout to 3-pounds and a couple of snook on CAL jigs with shad tails and jerk worms while wading a flat in the Indian River near River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp. If you’ve never stayed at River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp ( you should check it out. It is “a cool place to stay”!

Justin Mills, from Bradenton, FL and his dad, Mike Mills from Pittsburgh, PA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Weds, Aug. 19. They caught and released trout on CAL jigs with shad tails near Buttonwood Harbor and Bayshore Gardens. I was the guest of my friend, Steve Gibson (, on a beach snook fishing trip near Englewood, FL on Friday, 8/21. Gibby is a master at beach snook fishing and kayak fishing in both fresh and saltwater. He had the hot hand that day catching and releasing 5 snook to 27” on DT Special flies.

Fly angler Dave Barger, from NY, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Saturday, 8/22 and had a good trip. Dave was a student in my April ’09 Orvis Endorsed Fly Casting School at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. We started our day at 4:30 AM and jumped a tarpon on my Grassett’s Snook Minnow fly around a bridge. Although this fly was designed for snook, it will catch whatever is feeding on glass minnows (tarpon, little tunny, trout, Spanish mackerel, etc). I tie the fly on a 1/0 Owner AKI hook when targeting larger fish.

We moved to lighted docks on Siesta Key where Dave hooked up a couple of times and landed a snook on a smaller version of the same fly. After dawn we hit the flats, where we caught a released trout, ladyfish, jacks and mangrove snapper with an Ultra Hair Clouser fly.

This is a great time of the year for variety (tarpon, snook, reds, trout and more). The best action is early in the day so you can have great action and be home for lunch.

Tight Lines,

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

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

Monday, August 24, 2009

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, August 22, 2009

By Captain Tom Van Horn

Classes and Events:
Angling Tactics for Success September 19, 2009 10 am - 12 noon at Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 South Washington Avenue in Apopka, Florida

October 10, 2009 1 PM - 3 PM Captain Mark Nichols from DOA Lures and Jerry McBride editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine at Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 South Washington Avenue in Apopka, Florida

As hurricane season progresses, conditions on the Lagoon Coast of Florida begin to shift which was the case last week. For the past month the summer doldrums have dominated our near-shore waters and the consistent southerly fetch combined with Coriolis Effect pulled the warm surface water off of the ocean and the lagoon out to sea creating an upwelling of cold water near-shore and extremely low water levels inside. Now that Hurricane Bill is progressing north in the open Atlantic, our winds picked up and shifted easterly and the seas have acquired a long period swell. These changing conditions will most likely warm the near-shore waters and allow ocean water to return to the lagoons which has already seen a 10-inch water level increase this week. Combined, these changed will set the stage for the development of the mullet run, just in time for snook season along the beach and in the inlets. It will be interesting to see how these shifting conditions effect fishing this coming week.

My adventures this past week combined involved fishing in the Banana River No-Motor Zone and in the Stuart area as well as the privilege to once again attend the DOA Lures Outdoor Writers Conference.


My first adventure was with Bill Petree from Sanford as we ventured out into the Banana River No-Motor Zone in my new Indian River Canoe rigged out with a new Kay-noe Stabilizer system. My plan was to first target snook along the shoreline, but the extremely low water conditions made the shoreline unfishable even in my canoe. We then shifted our attention to the deeper edge of the bar on the west shoreline, but again I made a bad decision by misjudging the wind direction and speed. The easterly winds had just begun to develop and increase and our position on the windward shoreline made fishing conditions tougher as well as pushed rafts of floating wagon grass in our direction. My primary goal of the trip was to help Bill learn how to spot and fish for redfish, which we accomplished despite the low water levels and changing conditions.

Crab Pot Cleanup

On Saturday I participated in what I hope to be the First Annual Merritt Island Derelict Crab Pot Cleanup. Over 50 volunteers met at the Haulover Canal ramp, and together we remover 79 abandoned crab traps from the Lagoon. After the tally was complete, Lois Reed collected the most traps at eleven, and she was awarded a fully stocked tackle box and a new fishing rod and reel donated to the event by Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka Florida.

Next it was off to Jensen Beach, Florida to attend the DOA Writers Conference. One of the great perks about being a fishing guide and an outdoor writer is getting invited to event such as this and I have to tell you, my good friend Captain Mark Nichols and his dedicated staff of employees and guides know how to host an event. The setting for the three day show was the River Palms Cottages in Jensen Beach, which was just like stepping into a tropical paradise. The low-key resort presents the feel of a far away tropical island and the exotic flora and lagoon beach draws all of the life's tension from your bones as soon as you step foot on the premises. There is no need to travel thousands of miles and spend thousands of dollars to escape to a tropical paradise, simply book a few days at the River Palms instead.

Robert with a Swordspine Snook

Although my escape was quite and enjoyable, strong easterly winds made fishing conditions tough, but with the support of the DOA Pro Staff Guides and some hardcore anglers, we still managed to catch several snook over 30 pounds.

As always, if you need information or have any questions, 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

For all of your outdoor needs, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors at, it's where your adventure begins.

Good Chances At Multiple Species

Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

Capt. Chris Myers

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report August 23, 2009

The past two weeks have offered some very good fishing opportunities except for a few days of windy weather caused by a passing tropical front. Nearly every day brings legitimate chances to catch multiple species such as redfish, black drum, seatrout, tarpon, snook, and jack crevalle.

Last Monday, Jim and his son-in-law Brian drove up from Melbourne to target large redfish in Mosquito Lagoon. Prior to spotting reds, we encountered a large school of black drum and Brian landed what would turn out to be the only fish of the day.

early morning black drum

For the next six hours, we fished multiple schools of large redfish throughout the Lagoon. Unfortunately, they turned out to be easier to find than to catch. The most frustrating part of the day came when Jim made a perfect cast to a school of about 200 giant reds. Just as the fish were approaching his bait, a bird flew over the school. The water erupted as the shadow from the bird spook the entire group.

Wednesday, I went tarpon fishing with my friend, Capt. Drew. We did not see as many as I had found several days earlier but they were more willing to bite. Throwing a black and gold DOA Baitbuster, I got five bites, jumped three, and landed one.

small tarpon

The following day, I went back to Mosquito Lagoon to explore some areas for Friday's trip. I spent a couple hours looking for tarpon and finally found them in 8-10 feet of water. These fish were from 60-100 pounds but they were spread out over a large area making shots few and far between. After the tarpon quit rolling, I used a holographic DOA shrimp to catch redfish, snook, and trout.

Friday's trip was with Rob and Alan from Wales. Once they saw their first 100 pound tarpon rolling, they were intent on hooking one. Again, the fish were spread out and they saw many that were just out of reach. They both had several good shots but did not get a bite. They caught a couple jacks and ladyfish and then we tried for some snook. We saw a few but did not hook up. The flats offered multiple shots at redfish throughout the day and both guys caught trout on CAL jigs along the edge of the flats. At our final stop of the day, we found a hungry school of reds. They landed five all over 30 inches.

man with redfish

man with redfish

Saturday was a crab trap cleanup coordinated by the wildlife refuge. Over 75 abandoned crabs traps were recovered by volunteers. Recovered traps were found to contain snapper, sheephead, pinfish, and a variety of crabs.

Sunday, I traveled to Stuart in advance of the DOA Outdoor Writers Festival. I once again had the honor of being invited to participate as a guide in this annual event. A front had kicked up the winds and I was forced to hide in the backwater bays of the St. Lucie River. I saw none of the hundreds of tarpon that were there a couple weeks ago. I spent the day skipping a holographic DOA shrimp along the mangrove shorelines and caught 16 snook.

Monday brought more wind and limited our fishing opportunities. Stephanie, from Sport Fishing Magazine, and John, from Seaguar Fluorocarbon, were my guests for the day. The company was great but the fishing was tough. We Stayed near the shoreline in the Indian River most of the day. We ended up with only a few trout and a snook caught and released.

Tuesday, I hosted Blair Wiggins, of the TV show Addictive Fishing, and Will, from Frogg Toggs products. Facing another windy day, we decided to fish for snook and tarpon around the bridges of the St. Lucie River. Using the DOA Baitbuster and Terror Eyz, we all landed some large snook and lost several others.

huge snook

big snook

man with snook

This Thursday, Doug and his 11 year old son Chase hired me to show them how to catch more fish in Mosquito Lagoon. We saw hundreds of redfish and black drum roaming the flats. Chase, who fishes as good as many adults, fired off a cast with a silver mullet DOA CAL and hooked into his biggest redfish to date.

boy with redfish

Friday's trip, Neal began by throwing a shallow running Baitbuster to some large redfish. He had several fish blow up on his lure as he worked it along the surface and even had a large red hooked up for a few seconds. Before he could land one, several boats drove by spooking the fish. We tried looking for tarpon but saw only a few. The flats, however, we alive with redfish and black drum. Neal had shots at hundreds of both and landed a red on a four inch CAL.

Mosquito Creek Angler Improvement Class

The next class will be September 19 at 10am. Capt. Tom Van Horn and I will be discussing strategies and tactics for fishing the flats.

Mosquito Creek Outdoors will also be hosting three Intoduction to Fly Fishing classes during September. The 17th and 24th are open to anyone while the 26th is a women's only course. If you are interested in getting started in fly fishing, contact the store at 407-464-2000. Space is limited for fly classes so call soon to reserve your spot.

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

Friday, August 21, 2009

Garmin GPSMAP 525

Garmin GPSMAP 525 Marine Navigator

Physical Charicteristics

  • Slim, 2.9" Design
  • 5" VGA Display
  • Bright, Sharp, Colorful Graphics
  • Resolution-480 X 640 Pixels
  • Internal Antenna
  • Waterproof *IPX7
  • NMEA 0183 Input/Output **

* GPS case can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes

** Defines how data is transmitted between marine electronic devices

Maps & Memory

  • Basemap With Realistic Satellite Imegery
  • SD Card Slot- Add Additional Maps Without Connecting To A Computer
  • Saved Waypoints And Favorite Locations- 1,500
  • Saved Routs- 20
  • Track Log- 10,000 Points, 20 Saved Tracks


  • Garmin Sonar Compatible
  • CANet® Compatible
  • Supports AIS (tracks target ships' position)
  • Supports DSC (displays position data from DSC capable VHF radio)
  • Audible Alarms
  • Tide Tables
  • Sun And Moon Information

Optional Features With BlueChart g2 Vision Card

  • 3-D Map View
  • Auto Guidance

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Keys Summer Fishing Red Hot

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Mama mia, what a catch!!

A couple vacationing from Como, Italy dropped in for a half day fishing excursion aboard the Capt. JR.

dolphin, tuna and tripletail

Luca and Lella Tagliabue scored quickly landing a total of 16 Dolphins (mahi), 4 blackfin tunas and 3 tasty tripletails by midday! Not to shabby, MAMA MIA!!!

The summer time fishing is still red hot at Holiday Isle, so please call Ernie or Nicki at 305 664 2321 x642 to book your own exciting offshore fishing trip today!!

mangrove snapper

Capt. Bruce Anderson with Mr. Mangrovian (from a recent reef trip).

Tasty Yellowtails, from Capt. Easy reef trip.

Nikki Holiday Isle Offshore 800-327-7070 Etc 642

Holiday Isle Resort and Marina
84001 Overseas Highway
Islamorada, FL 33036
305-664-2321 ext. 642
Direct: 305-433-9942

How To Fish Light Tackle

Fishing Report 08/20/2009 – Capt. Terry Frankford

Anglers aboard the Reelin & Chillin have caught several species including mangrove snapper, redfish, trout, and black drum to name a few. We had to travel from spot to spot before finding fish, however we hung in there and enjoyed a tight line, and dinner on the plate.

A Fish Tail aboard the Reelin & Chillin
Dave Mathias and I headed out one morning for a near-shore trip. We had all the bait we needed picking up six dozen handpicks, and a dozen pinfish at Hart's Landing. Then on the way out we netted a hundred or so shiners just off Lido Beach. The plan was fish a few reefs eight to ten miles out, however the weather offshore looked threating - lots of lightning. We decided to try a little inshore fishing before making the decision on going out. We headed to a grass flat in north Sarasota Bay on the east side - five to seven feet deep. I started chumming the white bait, maybe six or eight at a time, and the fish turned on. It took Dave and I about an hour to put eight trout in the live well - our limit, along with three bluefish. The weather offshore was getting worse so we called off going offshore and decided to try for reds - one of Dave's wifes favorite inshore fish. We bounced around from dock to dock, flat to flat, bay to bay, and never did find a red. However, we each caught a black drum, and a bucket full of mangrove snapper. All in all it was a great day with plenty of fish on the line, and in the box. I also found out the next day that Sue, Dave's wife, really enjoyed the black drum. She blackened it just like she does the reds, and loved it.

kid with redfish

Light Tackle - More Hookups
Using light tackle makes for great action when catching inshore species. Hooking a fish in open water you still have to take your time - let it run - tiring it out - then bring it in for the catch or release. When fishing structure like docks it even gets wilder - you need to horse the fish out from the piles before you can wear him out. The exciting part is just when you think you have him close to the boat he ends up running back to the piles.

The thing about light tackle is your bait has more action, and doesn't wear out as fast - using 10lb test on the reel, 20lb test mono leader, and a #4 Owner MUTU circle hook, (a very small thin wire hook) keeps the bait moving. Think about it this way: Take 100' of close line, tie it around your waist and take a swim - most likely you could swim a good distance with no problem. Now replace the close line with 100' of large rope you would use to dock a cruise ship and try swimming - most likely you would go about two feet, and fall to the bottom worn out. Same thing with a live shrimp or live shiner. You may loose a few fish, however you will get way more strikes. The difference would be like: Heavy tackle, 5 strikes 4 fish - light tackle, 10 strikes 7 fish, take you pick...

Tight Lines & Good Times,

Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jacksonville Fishing Report 8-18-09

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
8/18 - A really nice day on the river!

Yeah, it may have been a bit breezy. It has been for a few days now. But that's what kept it cooler. The sun may have bumped in and out because of the clouds. But that's what kept it cooler.
And yeah, we may have gotten really wet because of a short rain shower that snuck up on us.
But again, that really cooled us off.

Had Louise H. and her son Garrett aboard today, visiting from the Lone Star state. And actually quite close to the good ole Gulf of Mexico, one seriously fishy body of water. But as Louise told me in the beginning...."we're not fishing people". But heck they wanted to give it a try.

And I think they were very pleased that they did. Because we had a really great day. And even though they may have been fishin' rookies, they both did exceptionally well. And as usual, when I have the gals aboard, they're the fish magnets!!

After I shagged off my morning "stow-away", we took off just after 8am.

We headed up river. At the first stop, I try to find a nice calm easy to fish spot. So everyone on board gets acclimated to the tackle and gives me a chance to teach them about float-rig fishing.
And we were on our spot 5 minutes with lines in the water about 30 seconds when Garrett hooks the first fish of the morning. "I.G" - instantaneous gratification!!! That's what I like to see. And coming to boat is the first Speckled Trout. Not a keeper, but it doesn't matter at this point.

Then it was mom's turn, and Louise reels one on in.

Right then, we started to get some falling tide current, so we shifted on over to an area that had good steady current, straight behind the boat. But that had the wind straight to our stern, and we wobbled around a lot on anchor. But we got the job done, and started catching Trout right away.

We were fishing now, no more than an hour maybe and already caught 6 and had 3 up to 19-7/8ths of and inch, in the fish box. Again, not bad for my float-rigging newbies. They both got into the rhythm and that means fish!!

After boxing some nice Trout up to 20 inches, we moved on and tried our hand at some bottom fishing for a big red. But it's still summer and the first hook up was a monster Stingray that smoked off line so fast there was no stopping the big "dumpster-lid", and it broke off.

My patience for this is about a foot long. Starring at the rod tips, (I hate stinger fishing...) so we moved on and went back to float-rig fishing and catching good fish. But the next spot was short lived. Here came the clouds and ran us off to a safe haven, but as I ran there, we ran straight into the big rain. We got wet, but during the down pour the boat was safely tied up and we took cover with a handful of other fisherman under a roof that was close by.

After the shower we found a nice calm river and a lesser breeze on the next spot. Caught some more throw back Trout and boxed even more up to 20 inches, again. Along with plenty of Ladyfish and jacks, and the days only Mangrove Snapper at 14 inches, that hit the ice along with a double limit of beautiful Specks. I know, I couldn't believe it either.....only one Mangrove?? We really didn't have many problems with the "shrimp snatchers" much at all, today. Maybe because I fished deeper waters, further away from the hard structures.

Louise was the "hot rod" all day. And it was well deserved. She was on her game.
I believe, she should fish more often. She might get really hooked.

They ended their day by taking a bag of freshly caught trout all filleted, de-boned and skinned by their guide to Singletons Seafood Shack and having them cooked up for them. They just don't get fresher than that. Louise gave me some also, because they had more than enough and when I got home and put everything away I was reminded of what a nice day we had with a big plate of fresh fried Speckled Trout myself for supper. Ahhhh, the fruits of our FUN. sure did taste good.

See ya out there...
Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler at 8/18/2009

Captain Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 8-15-09

FISHING 8/15/09

Weeds in the surf, that is north of county line, south from Jensen to the inlet, no complaints. One of the great things about our area is our access to the water, if it is weeds then just move north or south to the next access until you run out of weeds. Look first from the dune walk, looks good, then time to unload the gear. Surf continues to be the place with fish all day. On the catch list is has been Snook on top water, Whiting and Croaker on pieces of shrimp, Blues and Mac's on cut baits and yes still a few pompano. The cool thing is that it is an all day bite, it may be Snook early then the Whiting move in and next is may be the Jacks and Lady fish, the fish have been in and out all day. Numbers of rod pullers, with the species changing almost hourly. Bring the light equipment, you will be casting north and south, the fish are at your feet, in the trough.

Off shore, plenty of bait, Sand Pile, BullShark, House of Refuge, one does not need to get caught up in that pile of boats just to get bait. Now where to fish, that depends on your target if it is Dolphin go deep, 300' out to the Push Button. That is the one place that you will get the 15 to 20lb fish, not allot but that is the location. Yes they are closer but few and far in-between. Now if it is fish that start your hart forty to sixty feet of water, Cobia, Kings, Sails that is the zone. On the out side edges of the bait schools, that's where dinner is why should they be else where. Have that pitch rod rigged and ready you will use it. Bottom fishing, excellent with plenty of Muttons and mangroves, even the Yellow Tails made the catch list this week.

Boaters, waders the river has been busy with Reds, Trout and Snook (season is closed) but you need to be there before sun up, 9:30 am that bite is over. Early morning anglers have started their day with top water baits and as the sun rises they are going to soft rubber baits. Live shrimp, try a popping cork or a rattling float to get their attention. Now if your time is after sun up go to the channels edge and slow down, the fish want out of that bright sun and they will go to the channel, deep water. Fishing the bridge, Drum. Snapper. Jacks, Pompano and Lady fish all on live shrimp. Pompano from the bridge at the east end of the Jensen causeway on the in coming tide, not sure what they are doing here it is summer, but then Blues and Mac's on the beach.

Talking and reading about fishing will not work you have to get your bait wet.....................................................Henry

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Panhandle Fishing Report 8-15-09

Report for 08/15/2009

Salt Water

Bottom fishing is been steady with live bait working well on grouper and snapper. Reports have the strong Snapper bite at about 80’ however; many respectable snapper are being caught in much shallower water. Grouper continue to be picked up in 170-190’ of water south of Cape San Blas, mainly red snapper, but a few more gags and scamps are being caught as well. King mackerel bite remains steady also. Drifting live baits is working the best, but dusters and cigar minnows are also effective. Tarpon are schooling and feeding in the Indian Pass, area and tripletail have continued to be great sport from Indian pass through Appalache bay.

Trout fishing continues to be great in St Joseph Bay this week. There are many reports of trout on the flats between Pigs Island and Eagle Harbor and between Eagle Harbor and Pompano Cove. The key is to fishing very early in the day or very late. The height of day is proving to be sparse where fishing is concerned due to the large numbers of scallopers visiting St Joe Bay. The reports for redfish are coming from all the west side starting outside the fire tower all the way up to Pompano Point. Hit the flats early morning and late afternoon for your best chances at and redfish.

Red Snapper season is coming to a close. The last day for Snapper is August 14th. They are still biting good over the wrecks and hard bottom areas within 12 miles. Larger snapper are being found further out. Wahoo are being caught from 20-40 miles out. Hi speed trollers, like the Yo Zuri Bonita, are a sure bet. King mackerel seem to be everywhere. They are being caught steadily from the beach out to 40 miles. The Grouper bite has slowed inshore, but good reports are coming from 20 plus miles out. Use large live baits. Lots of Amberjack’s are still being caught around the 100’ mark over bridge spans and large wrecks. Big hard tails are the best bet for keeper Amberjack’s.

Photo's Courtesy of Chris Diehl, fish caught August 8th on the Seminole Wind with Capt. Billy Archer

lots of grouper

lots of grouper and snapper

King mackerel are being caught regularly off the new city pier along with Spanish, Bluefish and Lady Fish. Tarpon are on the beaches in better numbers now. Be stealthy, throw live baits, and keep your fingers crossed for a hook up! Ladyfish, Bluefish, and Spanish mackerel are biting good at the jetties on spoons and Gotcha Plugs. Mangrove Snappers are still being caught off the rocks with live shrimp. Redfish have been found on the flats in East and West Bays; while Bull Reds are still being caught with live shrimp and pinfish around the jetties. Trout are being caught on the flats with topwater lures early and live shrimp under a cork later.

Finally after several weeks of so so offshore fishing it has finally turned back on. From the nipple, across the flats and towards the elbow there has been a good bite of offshore species. The best catch I have heard of was from a private boat that had 2 white marlin and 2 blue marlin and a 40lb dolphin.

Kings are still very good near shore with a few mixed blackfin tuna, dolphin and bonita.

The last week of snapper season has been very good and it is a shame that it closes midnight on Friday the 14th. Grouper have been ok and very good numbers of Amberjack.

On the pier, there have been a few Kings in the afternoon, a few Spanish, some ladyfish and a few hardtails.

In the bay, trout have been very good sized and some very nice reds at the Destin Bridge. Most of the action has been very early on the morning or very late in the day.

Fresh Water
Black bass can be found following schools of shiners right now. You can enjoy some great topwater action under these conditions. Look for schooling shiners on the surface and you can bet the bass will be nearby waiting on lunchtime. Toss you favorite crank baits or topwater lures and hold on the fishing is great.

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, August 14, 2009

Clearwater's Hot Summer Time Fishing

Fishing Report for the Clearwater Area
July 30th:

Tom, from NJ, came aboard the Salt Aire on Thursday looking for some hot summer time action. Not only did he find some hot weather conditions, but the fishing was off the charts. We started out in the morning on the flats as the tide was high and water was a little cooler, an awesome combination to catch fish.

Tom landed a nice 26 inch Redfish and followed with another a few minutes later. We lost several other reds and saw others meandering in the flats. They still looked a little lethargic as their feeding was not very aggressive. We moved on to the outside of the pass as the tide had started out. I set up on some rock jetties where the snook have been spawning. Tossed out several large live green backs up near the rocks. it wasn't long till Tom's reel was screaming. The fish went down one side of the jetty then down the other. Tom was an experienced fisherman and handled this large female snook just right. We measured, weighed and took some pictures, then sent her on her way. Nice spawner size fish at 35 inches and just over 12 lbs. Next I relocated just outside the pass where Spanish Mackerel are always a sure bet. Didn't find any mackerel, but did find some of the largest Ladyfish I have ever seen. These fish were long, skinny and high flying leapers, close to 30 inches and had to be 6 to 8 lbs. Also they knew how to rip line off the reels. I mentioned to Tom that he needs a trout to complete his west coast slam. Snook, Redfish and Trout. So we headed inside to explore a few trout locations. First stop rendered half dozen small fish and completed Tom's slam but we wanted a larger trout. After a few more stops and a few large yellow tail jacks, a mackerel and a shark, we settled down in a cut between two flats. I hooked up two large 4 to 5 inch green backs on the two rods hoping for the theory of larger baits means larger fish. Soon Tom's bait got hit. The fish came to the surface immediately and shook its head just as trout do. You could tell it was a nice size fish and moments later proved to be 19 inches. Nice slam Tom. A total of 80 inches, that's the length of all three fish. We finished the day looking for some Mangrove Snappers. This is the time of year to target mangroves as they are stacked up on most structure inshore or offshore. We lost a few fish in the structure and called it a day.

Our success came from different tide levels at various locations. Whether its cooler water from an incoming tide or moving water in or out, that's where you want to be.

Capt Gary Burch
727 458-6335

Biscayne Bay Bonefish

Miami Bonefish

Mark Strickland from Arizona joined me for a full day of fishing on Friday August 7th. We decided to start at 7:00am and I had hoped the wind would die down before the morning started. I had to re-rig most rods because the previous trip was targeting large Barracuda and Sharks on the flats. When I checked the NOAA weather buoy at midnight after rigging the rods for Permit and Bonefish, I knew the 21knot reading was no good knowing we had 7 hours to go before the first Shrimp was cast off the deck. All you can do is make the best of it…

With this heat, the summer shrimp have not even resembled the normal size. I bought 5 dozen shrimp that looked like the “Sea Monkeys” I used to order out the back of my Aqua Man Magazine. What does a guide do with Sea Monkeys? Buy another 3 dozen from a different bait shop in hopes to find a few that are DOA sized and plan on making Bonefish Boogers with the rest.

We hit our first spot early in the morning and we found a few schools of large bonefish pushing along their normal track for this flat. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a hook-up. On to the next flat we found nothing but sharks cruising in mere inches of water… so low that I knew we would be hard pressed to find any bonefish or Permit and decided to move on. The 12-14mph wind we were experiencing was gradually picking up and I could tell the morning calm was over and we would soon be in 20mph winds. We took off for another area with no shots on the second flat.

We came in the front side of what I call the Bahamas Flat and scooted along the mangrove shoreline. Nothing! I headed out to the middle of the flat with a full moon incoming tide blazing across the flat and staked off. A little shrimp chum goes a long way with fast moving current and soon we had Bonefish all around the boat. 2 hours later and we had boated 7 small Bonefish, several Bonnet Head Sharks, Bar Jack and one humongous Box Fish, which Mark thought was pretty interesting. I was hoping some large bones would get chummed in for Mark but we made up for size in numbers. Not many anglers catch 7 Bonefish in Miami’s Biscayne Bay. Not only did we catch 7 but we lost another 5 so there was some pretty good action and I noticed Mark laughing at a double header and how fast the rods started going off. I was happy and Mark can now add Bonefish to his repertoire of caught fish.

Later in the day, we found a very large school of Aresenicker Bonefish, but trying to get a good distance cast into the 20mph winds with “summer shrimp” was as hard as Hugh Hefner on Viagra.

All in all we made the best of a day that the weather man was calling for 5-10 and Mark Strickland was as nice as they come.

Your Bonefish Guide,

Capt Tom Weber
Florida Native Charters
(954) 536-6646

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sarasota Tarpon Not Bad For August

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 7/31 through 8/12/2009

Anglers fishing with me the past couple of weeks on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught reds and had a few shots at tarpon. Although I was gone on a family vacation for most of this time frame, fly anglers continue to have anywhere from a few to more than a dozen shots at tarpon in the coastal gulf off Sarasota and Manatee counties per trip. Not bad for the middle of August!

In addition, Sarasota Bay is still producing great action on deep flats for trout, Spanish mackerel and bluefish with jigs and flies. Snook fishing before dawn around lighted docks and bridge fenders with flies has also been a good option. Reds, mixed with large blues and jacks, are beginning to school in Sarasota Bay but have been tough for anglers to get on.

Capt. Tom Stephens, Sr. from Bradenton, FL, and his son-in-law, Brian, from Riverview, FL, fished Charlotte Harbor and Gasparilla Sound with me on Tuesday, 8/11. We worked some juvenile tarpon from 10 to 30-pounds for a couple of hours first thing in the morning. Although we had a couple of “bumps” on DOA TerrorEyz and DOA shrimp, we didn’t hook up. We moved to skinny water, where they caught and released a pair of reds on CAL jigs with shad tails. This was a trip that I donated to the Sarasota chapter of Coastal Conservation Association’s fund raising banquet last fall, which raises money for their conservation efforts.

Tarpon numbers are diminishing along the beaches, but anglers are still seeing as many as 20 tarpon per trip and getting shots at many of them, which I feel is still worth the effort. They are also starting to show in areas of Sarasota Bay and Charlotte Harbor, so anglers fishing those areas should be prepared for big fish. A good option this time of the year is to fly fish for snook before dawn, hit shallow or deep flats at first light for reds, trout, blues, pompano and more. Since tarpon are least affected by warm water, you could spend some time tarpon fishing at mid day when the light and visibility are best. This is a time of the year when you might get a “super slam”-tarpon reds, snook and trout on the same trip.

Tight Lines,

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

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

N.E. Florida Fishing Report 8-09

Ahoy there Anglers,

Don't forget, starting back on August 1st, you now need a "shore bound license" if you're fishing in salt water from shore, bridges, private docks, etc. There are a few exceptions so check them out to see if you qualify and if not then be proud you'll be putting a little something back into the resources like the boating anglers have had to do for years now to help improve our fishery.

During this time of the year when it's pretty hot out there in the sun, a lot of people hear you should be taking in a lot of liquids to stay hydrated. That's very true but, the liquids you should be taking in mostly is water or Gatoraide. Cold drinks/sodas and beer help to dehydrate you without you realizing it. You can become dehydrated quickly which could really cause you some problems especially if you're out there all alone on your boat. Plain water helps your body regulate it's own temperature and also helps your muscles work.

Be very careful while watching other boaters as they are running the waterways close to you. The FWC arrests an alarming amount of people driving their boats while intoxicated, (BUI, Boating Under the Influence) throughout the entire state of Florida. As I read the FWC's newsletter each and every week of the violations across the state I am concerned about how many are BUI arrests. We all have to watch out for the people who are under the influence and be ready to take evasive action just in case they don't see you or they think they are far enough away from you and they're not !

The redfish are so off an on here lately and I believe it has everything to do with the water temperature being so high right now. Although some days we can really catch them and when that's happening I'm watching my barometer on board my boat and can see that it's fluctuating up and down and has fired them off then the very next day it's hard to get them to bite. Just like this past week. Wednesday we couldn't get but a few and a couple were really nice sized ones but they just didn't want to feed much then the very next day we caught our 4 keepers and one keeper flounder by 8:15 am and then went on to catch a few more keepers and a few shorts. Being on the water every day I get to see fishing at it's best and at it's worst and you can really never tell what it's going to do during the hotter summertime months of July and August. As this time of the year gets in full swing I just can't wait until the end of September, and all through October, November and December when you can catch loads and loads of fish of several species. It's coming! I can people are getting excited about our fall fishing as my October and November dates are filling up already.

Some real nice spotted trout are being caught now but you really have to target them early and throughout the morning. By noon they slow down and the afternoon bite during this hear is almost non existent. There are more and more flounder being caught finally. It's way past time for these guys to have shown up but I think they're finally here. Jacks and ladyfish are a blast on lures. If you're slow on the reds try these guys to bring up some excitement.
A few tarpon are showing up in the creeks now and they seem to have been a little late. Just not near as late as the flounder were.

Yellow mouth trout, whiting, small croakers, mostly bait-sized, and 4 to 15 pound black drum are in the river while fishing on the bottom. Spotted trout are along the grass edges and rock banks when the tide is in the higher phases and moving. You need moving water to make them feed.
Redfish are along the grass edges also and on the bottom in the same drop offs that the black drum are feeding in. Jacks, some small but some are 12 to 15 pounds are being seen chasing the bait fish out of the water right out in the river. Just look for the birds diving and see where the water splashes before the bides hit the water. Top water lures on these fish is really fun.

Tarpon, jack cravelle, a lot of bull redfish with a few slot-sized mixed in, black drum, whiting, sea bass and some yellow mouth trout are all feeding out at the rocks lately. While you're out there, keep your eyes peeled for some nice cobia coming right up to your boat. We've had them swim right up and under the boat about a foot or two below the surface. We saw one about 40 pounds last week but couldn't get a bait in front of him in time. Kingfish are also just off the jetties. A lot of sharks of various kinds are at the mouth of the river this time of the year. You'll have to put up with them if you fish out there but they sure are fun. Pound for pound they can put up a fight that matches no other. They are absolutely great steaked out on a grill.

Tarpon, jacks, lady fish and spotted trout are the main characters feeding in the Cove. A few nice redfish and a few flounder are making their way to the baits in there also. Whiting and yellow mouth trout off and on, (and I really mean off and on) in the entrance.

Kingfish are the main guys being targeted all along the beaches and especially South down to the Red Tops. You can also catch quite a few at the closer in reefs. Dolphin are the next in line with quite a few per boat being reported. Cobia next and the cobia this year are doing better than the last 10 to 15 years. Watch out though. Since there are so many the SAMFC will probably say they're endangered. But, let's don't forget the red snapper. Red snapper all over the place at many of the reefs offshore. No problem with catching your limit in a short amount of time.

Whiting, a few pompano and black drum are being caught in the surf with an occasional redfish mentioned. Sharks are always in the surf come summertime so be on the lookout for these guys. Don't wade-fish with bait on you. Keep the bait out of the water back in your cooler.

That's about it for this report. Please keep your trash out of the waterways and take a kid fishing. The smile you'll see on their face will stay in your memory for a long time. They are our future. Let's help them gain a healthy respect for the sport we all love. We need more stewards of the water.

Thank you,

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Big Everglades Pompano

This is the first day I have been back on the water since my vacation. It was a very nice day as the fishing and weather was great. Paul, Ray and John have been comeing over for the last five years to fish with me for whatever is biting. These guys went to school together and make a fishing trip like a short reunion. The exception is that this year John's wife Heidi came along. So the four of them showed up at the dock early as to catch the tide right.

Our first stop was the flat cause they love to take there limit of trout home with them. Surprise, surprise we started to catch nice big pompano. (10 of them) These pomps were 3-4 pounders and can put up a great fight. While catching pompano we also caught trout, ladyfish, mackerel and bonnet head sharks. I think today we actually caught the biggest bonnet head shark that I have ever seen. When that spot started to slow, we moved to try some snook fishing. By this time is was time for lunch. We gave snook fishing about 20 min. but nothing happening. We went over to a flat close by to try for more trout and did catch a couple and 1 pompano, but the water was dirty and we started catching quite a few cat fish. The rain started to build up for the afternoon and was getting close to us so we headed back to the north (closer to home) and went to the flat we were catching the pompano to start with.

Wow, what a lot of ladyfish (poor man's tarpon). Ladyfish everywhere. You couldn't get a bait through the ladyfish to catch any thing else. Well, they did have fun trying to land them as they jump a lot and is a challenge to get them to the boat. We call them poor man's tarpon cause they look like a little tarpon and jump like a tarpon. Spending more time in the air then the water. The rain was right on our backs so we decided to call it a day. As we were headed back Paul say he sure was hoping for a redfish. With that in mind I stopped at the next island and said okay guys five minutes. They all jumped up grabbed their rods, baited up and Paul got one on the first cast. Nice keeper size redfish for the grill. Then Ray got one about the same size. We hated to leave but that storm was coming up on use fast and it's not fun being on the water in a thunder storm. We did get several pictures before the rain came in. So until next time "come on down cause the fishing is great and the weather is fine"

Posted by Captain Becky Campbell at 9:00 PM

Captain Becky Campbell

Monday, August 10, 2009

Reds Ultra Spooky? Try A Fly

Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters Capt. Chris Myers Fishing Report and Newsletter August 9, 2009 Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

After a two week break to do some fishing with my wife out of town, I returned to Mosquito Lagoon this week to discover the water level had dropped nearly a foot. This was not a bad thing, though, as the fish have less places to go and were plentiful and easy to find. The vacation was great with daily catches of tarpon and snook with some snapper, flounder, and jacks mixed in. Nearly all of the fish we caught were on the DOA holographic shrimp with a few coming on the Terror Eyz. My Friend Capt. Keith even came down and joined in on the action.

Monday, I went to scout out the area for this week's trips. I spent the beginning of the day looking for tarpon. I did not find any so I turned my attention to snook. I saw plenty of them and convinced one to eat a holographic DOA shrimp. I then turned my attention to redfish, trout, and drum. I found good concentrations of each and landed some on a tan shrimp fly. The DOA crab and a three inch CAL jig also accounted for a few fish.

Wednesday, I was joined by Glen from Maryland. He started the day landing a few black drum. As the other boats began to arrive, we left to search for redfish.

Many of the redfish were crawling through exposed grass with the backs and tails out of the water. They are easy to spot but challenging to catch as they are ultra spooky in such shallow water. In addition to being skittish, the fish often have limited visibility when they are in the heavy grass. Casts must land far enough away from them so they do not spook but the bait needs to get directly in their path for them to see it. Glen had fun trying but did not hook up with any. We moved out to some deeper water where he quickly caught his first redfish. In addition to redfish, Glen landed over a dozen nice trout using a watermelon seed CAL jig.

Thursday, I had the pleasure of fishing for a second time with John, a British fly angler. We had perfect fly fishing weather with no wind and clear skies. John hooked and lost several black drum on a small tan fly before landing his first one using a 6wt rod.

I expected good results when we targeted the redfish crawling in the grass. John had shots at dozens of them but, despite some excellent casts, they either ignored the flies or changed direction as soon as it landed. We tried a different spot where the fish were cruising the outside edge of the flat. John had a several follows and even had one fish eat the fly but turn off before he could get tight. He used a small pilchard imitation fly to land one snook and we saw a few small tarpon but did not get shots at them. The spot that had produced multiple nice trout the day before resulted in only one today. Having no other logical explanation, we decided to blame the slow bite on the full moon.

Friday, Carmello and his son Giancarlo fished me for the second time this summer. This time, he brought his son's friend June. Despite never having fished before, June kept pace with the other anglers and plenty of drum and redfish were seen and landed.

Towards the end of the trip, we encountered some large tarpon, the first I have seen in the Mosquito Lagoon in a while. Unfortunately, we did not have tackle on board large enough to handle these fish and were only able to watch as one of the boats hooked into a 100 pound fish.

After hearing reports of lots of tarpon in the New Smyrna Beach area, I went up there to investigate yesterday morning. The reports were true. Unfortunately, as if often the case when they are in those waters, they were not feeding well and I did not get a bite. Hopefully, more of them we make their way south into the Lagoon where they are often easier to catch.

Mosquito Lagoon Crab Trap Cleanup
On Saturday, August 15, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge will be coordinating a cleanup of abandoned crab traps. There are dozens of abandoned and often unmarked traps scattered throughout the Lagoon. They are not only a hazard to navigation but trap marine life which dies and, in turn, attracts more fish, crabs, and turtles. Volunteers are needed both on the land and water for this important and well needed event. Interested parties should meet at the Bair's Cove (Haulover Canal) boat ramp by 8am. Mosquito Creek Outdoors is donating a prize pack for one of the lucky participants. I definitely will not be missing this!

Tarpon Update
This week was the first sign I have seen of big tarpon in the southern Mosquito Lagoon. Last year, there were plenty of them here by July but they seem to be late this season. Hopefully, the fish I saw this week are a sign of more to come. While on my recent vacation we targeted tarpon nearly every day. The DOA holographic shrimp was our go to bait this year. The most effective method was to throw just in front of rolling fish and allow the bait to drop naturally, Nearly all of the bites come in the first five seconds. A great bait for skipping under docks and mangroves, it produced snook, snapper, and flounder as well.

This past week, I violated one of my own rules by not having at least one heavy rod on board all summer. Of course, the first day I did not carry one was the day the large tarpon showed up. The large fish will eat the shrimp but it is often tough to cast far with heavy tackle. The sinking Baitbuster, Terror Eyz, BFL, and BFL 5.5 are my choice for the larger fish. For anyone wanting a tarpon charter, I will keep you updated should the fish arrive in better numbers.
If you target tarpon on your own, be sure to pick up a DNA sampling kit from the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institue. More information can be found here -FWC DNA Sampling Kit.

Mosquito Creek Angler Improvement Class
The next class will be August 11 at 7pm. Capt. Tom Van Horn and I will be discussing catching and using live baits for flats fishing.

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters