Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Bait Run Commences

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

By Captain Tom Van Horn

For starters, I just wanted to inform everyone that I will limited to desk duty for most of October due to a medical procedure, so I will be compiling next months reports from information generated by my readers and friends. So, if your out on the water, shoot me an email about your results, and I'll include it in my next report.

Shorter days and cooler nights are a sure sign fall is in the air along Florida's east central coast. Another sure sign of fall is the waves of baitfish working their way south through the lagoon and along the beach as the fall bait run commences. Hordes of black and silver mullet, Atlantic menhaden (pogies), thread fin herring (greenies), and bay anchovies (glass minnows) have begun their southerly migration in search of warmer waters. This migration creates a smorgasbord of yummy little baitfish, shadowed by a large array of hungry predators looking to fatten up for the winter.

Weather permitting, near-shore opportunities are the best you will see all year. Along the beaches, target areas of concentrated bait schools for a mixed bag of snook, tarpon, kingfish, cobia, jack crevalle, oversized redfish, and sharks. Additionally, snook fishing in the surf will improve as the baitfish move south along the beach. Also look for schools of glass minnows to begin showing up bringing larger Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and tarpon with them.

In and around the inlets of Ponce, Port Canaveral, and Sebastian look for flounder, snook, jack crevalle, and oversized redfish feeding on migrating baitfish along the jetties and just outside the inlets. Easterly swells, falling tides, and aggressive anglers can make for sporty angling conditions, so please pay attention, be patient, and enjoy the rewards.

In the north Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons, higher water levels will allow anglers to venture into areas normally inaccessible during the spring and summer months. Look for slot redfish in close to the grassy edges along the shoreline shadowing pods of finger mullet, and for the larger redfish staged in deeper water ambush sites where migrating mullet are forced to venture out from the safety of the shallow flats. In deeper water areas, look for ladyfish, spotted sea trout, jacks, and tarpon feeding on schools of glass minnows. These schools of fish are easily located by watching for bird and fish activity. Once located, these schools will produce explosive action on small top water plugs, or popping bug flies. Also, if you locate a school of the larger black mullet, try fishing spoons or soft plastic baits deep under the school. Even though, mullet are vegetarians, redfish and sea trout will often mingle in feeding on shrimp and crabs kicked up from the bottom by feeding mullet.

Remember, in fishing we always try to match the hatch, or in this case the migration, so mullet imitation lures will be you key to success. For larger redfish, tarpon and snook, I suggest the DOA BFL or Bait Buster and if toothy fish are in the mix, switch to hard baits like the Rapala Skitter Walk or Sub Walker.

In closing, I would like to mention several worthy and fun fishing events scheduled in October and November:

On October 10th, there will be a free fishing seminar featuring Captain Mark Nichols of DOA and Jerry McBride from Florida Sportsman Magazine from 1 PM - 3 PM at Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 S. Washington Avenue in Apopka. For more details or directions, contact Mosquito Creek Outdoors at (407) 464- 2000 or visit their website

On November 7th there's another free seminar Introduction to Saltwater Flats Fishing Series, Class 7 of 8, "Paddle Fishing Tactics" 10 am - 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

Last but certainly not lease, on November 28th, Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando presents the CAM Orlando Fishing, Boating and Outdoor Fall Festival to be held at the Barn in Sanford. The event features food, music, retail booths, seminars by leading local fishing experts, games, boat displays and much more, and the is a fund raiser for our Hook Kids On Fishing Program.

Also, 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!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall Redfishing 2009

Fall Season Introduces Great Redfishing

September 23, 2009


Well, today is the first day of Fall. It may not mean much to you but I’m excited about it. Fall is my favorite time of year to catch my favorite type of fish. Redfish. These strong fighters are starting to school up and that means that we’ll have plenty of opportunities to have double digit days of over slot redfish.

This week the reds are already starting to show signs of getting into their fall patterns. They’re grouping up by the hundreds along St. Pete’s shallow grass flats and near river mouths in New Port Richey and Tarpon Springs. If you approach these fish stealthily enough, you’ll see that they are “happy” fish. “Happy” redfish are fish that are rolling and giving off a distinctive bronze flash as their scales reflect the sun. They do this because they are feeding. Redfish are designed to be natural bottom feeders an as such their mouths are close to the bottom of their head. So when they attack fleeing baitfish, crabs or shrimp, they often have to roll on their sides to position themselves to feed.

Such was the case this week when my clients and I were looking for a school of redfish. We looked around for a while and worried that he school had moved off but it wasn’t long before I could see the bronze mirrors flashing as us. The first bait that we tossed into the water was hit immediately and a healthy over slot 10lb redfish was soon posing for a picture.

As this Fall season progresses, the redfishing should just get better and better. Look for clean water on turtle grass flats in 2 feet of water or less and look for them flashing happily as they feed. As always, the wind will be a regular factor this fall so try to use it to your advantage. Approach the fish from up wind and make as little noise as you can. If you can keep the school “happy” by staying quiet and feeding them a steady stream of chummers (wounded live bait that you can throw out to get the fish turned on) you should be able to keep the school in one spot for 2 or more hours of a good bite.

Tight lines and leave some fish out there for me!

Tampa Bay Fishing
Captain Clay Eavenson


Monday, September 28, 2009

Jacksonville Fishing Report 9-27-09

Sunday, September 27, 2009
9/26 - Short Saturday Trip

Had the pleasure of having Dr. Rodney and his daughter Tara aboard for a Saturday morning. They were in town for a wedding, and after fishing is when the wedding was. So we departed at 7am.

I decided to keep everything close. So we went over by the Navy base and did some float-rig fishing. But only caught Jacks and Ladyfish on the last of the falling tide. I'm going to mark it down in my log book this year, the day that good amounts of Specks show up along that bank. I just want to see how late it will be. Good number's of Trout. Not just a fish here and there.

I'll do an "educated guess", and say.....November. Because right now the water temp is still 80 degrees plus. Yeah, "PLUS" according to my calibrated temp gauge. There's been loads of food in that area. Especially on the incoming tide. Lots of glass minnow schools. Always pay attention to what kinds of birds are working the area, and what they're doing. On the falling tide this morning of course there's some smaller mullet jumping right up against the rocks. And "yep", we saw either Jacks or Redbass, popping the surface, 6" off the rocks, water busting, and what looked like tail splashes. But getting super tight to them is tough. Especially with one boat wake after another on a Saturday morning. You'll end up on or in the rocks after being waked. I've been there, done that. Looking to hook up on those reds that patrol the absolute edge of the those small boulders. And of course with a float on the line, because it's mighty snaggy fishing.

But like in the past, it's hard to ignore "TAILING" Redbass in close and tight. And don't forget your top water plugs, or un-weighted soft plastics. Right along that edge!

After some okay action on the float-rigs, you wouldn't have believed Tara. She was pitching and flipping like Bill Dance and Roland Martin. Bait casting tackle didn't scare her! She said, "I don't know the difference, so I have no reason to be afraid of the reels". Smart gal!

Sometimes people ask me, what would be my perfect charter......and I usually reply, "Two smart gals who haven't been fishing before. Because I have a clean slate. And of course I always enjoy having the woman aboard. It's a departure from the norm."

Keeping to our tight time line, I decided to go try some "Bait & Wait", for the bull Reds. Again, keeping our travel time to a minimum (damn, ya gotta love river fishing, just for that fact) I pulled up across from the Coastie station and anchored up. And set out two rods with crab baits. What seemed like a long time to me as a I.G. - instantaneous gratification, angler. One of the rods went off......A burning run, smokin' line off my mini Accurate twin drag reel. I called for Tara who was relaxing on the bow, she sprung up and after looking at the rod, said "Dad you take it." She was just a itty-bitty gal, and I wanted to see her tangle with the junk yard dog on the end of the line. But Rodney took the rod and was now in a heated battle.

And a few minutes later the line went limp. The line broke, the 50 pound super braid line! The fish was pulling so hard, I'm sure a weakness in the braid was found. It gets nicked too. And 50 pound no stretch line turns into 20, easily. Oh well. So I grabbed more crabs and another rod and we sat waiting again. Every few minutes I re-baited, keeping fresh crab (stink bombs) on the bottom. It's all about the smell down in the darkness of the 38 feet of water. Keep baits changed, and rolling out the crab scent. So if you're not staying very busy, re-baiting. You're probably not keeping fresh stink bombs on the hook. That's the difference between using cut bait and crabs.

Cut Croaker, Bluefish, Ladyfish, Mullet, Pogies, have a longer shelf life on the bottom. And when the lil' peckers are chewing on a large chunk of cut bait, I just refer to them as "scent dispersing devices". Because too many times, they'll be nipping at the cut bait and all of a sudden. Brutus T. Redbass will come on the scene.


We got bit again, and this time it was a fish with not as much "spit and vinegar". So it makes me wonder "how big was the one we lost?" (if you catch a big mean Red with a Eagle Claw 7/0 circle hook in it's mouth trailing a leader and a bunch of Berkley 50# super braid. You'll know where that fish has been) Rodney fought and fought. Arms getting tired, feeling the burn in the forearm, when finally the big Red appeared.


A super light colored fish.....In, from the Ocean??

A nice 25 pounder. Tara, reminded dad and I that she didn't sleep well the night before in the hotel, had to take a nap, and get "dolled up" for this evening festivities. So we gave it a few more minutes, didn't get any bites right away. So we called it a morning, and made the short ride back to the dock.
On a short time line, we caught fish. And had some excitement.
I had some live shrimp left in the bait well. So I took off down river, pulled up at a spot and caught, 5 Speckled trout, and only two were keepers at 15-17". Then ended up at the jetties, where it was sloppy as all hell. Big swells, crashing the end of the rocks. I stuck one good drag burning fish and it broke me off on the float-rig. And caught one 13" Mangrove Snapper. Then packed it in, cleaned the fish at the dock. And went home. Cleaned up the boat good, after 3 trips in a row, and went in and made Cheezy Pasta with veggies and fried Trout and Mangrove Snapper for supper. Watched some TV and was sound asleep by 9pm.

Next up;
Pre-booked in advance charters with regulars October 2nd and 6th and 7th.

Captain Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler at 9/27/2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Key West Fishing Report

Sept - October 2009

Flats Fishing
September and October are epic months for flats fishing here in Key West. We chose this month for a reason to hold the annual Key West Southern Light Tackle Anglers Masters Celebrity Invitational Tournament proceeds benefiting Cystic Fibrosis.

The conditions for flats fishing are fabulous here in the Key West area with Tarpons still haunting the channels and edges of the flats with regularity and very willing to eat. Some of our anglers (like today) have been able to compound on this fantastic late season tarpon bite with 3 fish to the boat in a full day trip, all being around 30 - 50 lbs.

Tailing is the activity of the season for the bonefishing getting into the super skinny waters foraging for food on the flats. Your professional flats fishing guide can get you there in a state of the art poling skiff for a sight fishing opportunity you will not soon forget.

Permit fishing is off the hook as well. The fall brings us some fantastic tides to offer our anglers some great shots at these very wary fish. Dont fret if you miss, chances are you will see more permit on the flats this time of the year to make your trip a fun one.

Backcountry Fishing
The weather is perfect for a fun day fishing the backcountry waters of Key West. We have so many opportunities. This month we are into the permit, bonefish and tarpon. The deeper water tarpon are eating crabs and pinfish as well as artificial lures. The deeper bonefish are eating some bright colored jigs with a shrimp tip, making it easy to catch one for the less experienced anglers.

The barracudas are eating very well this month as well. With this we are able to catch our bait for some kick but shark fishing on the flats. Check out our original Shallow Water Monsters shark fishing trip to catch these predators of the shallows sight fishing for them with artificial lures and live bait.

Jacks and lady fish are abound everywhere. Using light jigs and some easy casting anglers can catch these fun fish for hours of enjoyment and skill development for the younger anglers or the anglers who like lots of action.

If you are coming here with your own boat get out in the backcountry and see for yourself how easy it is to catch fun fish all day. Feel free to drop us a line for some local knowledge we are pleased to help.

Wrecks and Reef
As I say in every report its always good fishing the wrecks and reefs here out of Key West but you have to have the spots. GPS numbers are key. However, check back often. We are going to open a section that will offer some great spots to start your search if you bring your own boat down for Yellowtail snappers, and some basic wrecks with a few tips on how to work them. Also places to go here in Key West for those that know and will point you in the right direction.

The reef has been loaded with nice sized yellowtail snappers a few groupers and some catches of kingfish, muttons and some bonito. The deeper reefs we have been getting into some incredible red snapper fishing with limits caught for the whole boat every time out, now that's good eating.

The wrecks are starting to hold cobia.. This is great news as they usually do not show till later in the fall. Cobia fishing is lots of fun, these fish don't give up.

Deep Sea Blue water
The trolling bite deep sea fishing has been very slow for the last few weeks. Moderate to null current inside 1100 ft of water makes a long day of trolling if nothing is spotted. Now, if you do find something the bite is on. There have been reports of larger dolphin mixed with wahoo and some blues deep around the objects floating along in the stream. This report changes daily with the wind and the currents so if you wish to book a trip give us a call for an up to the minute report. 1-888-362-3474.

Deep Dropping
This is a new section here on the Key West Fishing Report. We have been seeing a trend of customers that want to try this fun and exciting way to fish, so we should report on it.

The deep drop has been great all summer. In fact it has been a real show saver as the offshore trolling bite being slow, this has been a great, easy, fun way to fill the box with filets and great tasting fish.

Deep Drop fishing report is that we are catching lots of fish in the 500 - 900 ft range. Low current lately has allowed us to use lighter weight to enhance the experience more. We have caught some Golden Tiles up to 40 lbs this summer. Lots of fun..

Capt. Steven Lamp
Dream Catcher Charters
- The Key West Fishing Team
5555 College Road
Key West, FL 33040

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jacksonville Fishing Report 9-21-09

Monday, September 21, 2009 9/21 - These tides.......
If you are a frequent visitor here, you know I tell it the way I see it. I call a day when there's a really high incoming tide and a N.E. or East wind. A "K.O.D." day. Not very conducive for river float-rig fishing for Speckled Trout, less alone anything else. So what's the best thing to do? Hit the bottom. And this morning we had really no alternative.

But you know me, I never leave the house without my float rods rigged and a bait well full of live shrimp.

Had Mike D. and his wife aboard today. So I had to scramble a bit to get some live fresh crabs, because I just talked to Mike the day before. So with everything in place, we left the dock around 7:30am. First thing, get to where I've been starting days like today, and get some baits out ASAP. The first push of the incoming tide has been the ticket. No sooner we got there and a few other boats that left before us were already hooked up. But our first taker didn't take long, but we sort of lost it. The fish ate the crab off the hook while giving us a sort of false hook-up.

No biggy, I had about a dozen crabs just enough to get some Reds as the incoming tide rumbled under us. Mike is an avid Texas Gulf coast angler, that had us swapping info back and forth like to kids trading baseball cards. Which made for a fun day.

It didn't take long and Mike got his chance on a big Redbass and so did his wife, pretty much a double header. The bite came just minutes after he showed me a big Red on his cellphone camera. I said while he held his fish for the camera, "Damn Mike, is that just like the ones in Texas?" We had them from 19 to 24 pounds. Then the bite just went away. So we moved around, looking for the perfect current, along with everyone else.

Mike's wife had a Red with probably 100 spots. A really beautiful fish, but in all the confusion of taking photos, I failed to take a photo of her with "my " camera!

We only caught a large river Seabass, and I had only a crab or two left. So after a quick pit-stop for a ladies room break. We were on our way to the jetties. I'm a float-rigger, and love teaching and showing people the techniques and in's and out's that make it so fun and interactive.

With all the chit chat about it there was no way Mike was going home with out giving it a try.

We ended up fishing the start of the falling tide out there. It was "sporty" just getting to the jetty tips. East Nor-east wind at around 15 kts. and the start of a falling tide bucking the wind. A Kowa-bunga ride on out, but not all that bad once we were anchored up in my "jetty fishing sled". I had this boat built with the lay out designed for one thing. Fishing the Big Jetties, no matter what the weather brings. Always safe, and no one's going to feel like they're gonna fly out of it. Compared to low sided inshore boats, with limited deck space.

Mike and his wife were set up and floating a live shrimp down the rocks at first. But as the tide fell the floats would come off the rocks and hover where there was no washing current. Not perfect. But, Mike's wife was first up with a jetty sized Mangrove Snapper. We boxed 3 or 4 decent Mangroves, and Mike caught two Jacks.

Eastward, the clouds were dark, and we could see sheets of rain falling from the sky. "Hmmm, time to make a decision??" Mike said, "it's all cool Dave, we can head back in."
So I drug up the anchor as the rain approached and followed us in the jetties....which now were, EXTRA SPORTE!

Peaks of 5 foot tall waves, rolling over at the mouth had me slowly slogging through, doing my best Tug Boat imitation. But no worse for the wear. And when we got back to the dock the rain was just drizzling, and headed south of the boat ramp.

Let's see.... the tides have been well over 5 feet tall at high tide, with an East wind blowing the water in the river now for the last 7-10 days. I haven't seen a "genuine" dead low tide since.

As I said, certainly not all that conducive for perfect Trout fishing. Thank goodness, the big Reds are biting, if not real good, at least enough.

Personally, I like to split the day up. I don't want to bottom fish for the same fish, over and over again. All day long. Been there, done that. Each day, I hope to be able to mix it up a bit. And today even though conditions were far from perfect, I'm really glad I got to share a bit of it with Mike.

Next "pre-booked" day is Friday, with an old client looking at Saturday with friends as of right now.

Plan, Plan, Plan. I know what the weather's doing, I know the tides. Get the best out of you day on the water. Please give me some notice.

Captain Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler at 9/21/2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sarasota Fishing Report 9-23-09

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 9/14 through 9/22/2009

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had action with a variety of species during the past 10 days. Fly anglers caught and released snook, trout, bluefish, little tunny (false albacore), Spanish mackerel, jacks and ladyfish. Spin anglers also got in on the action catching and releasing snook.

Frank Angelona, from Oak Hill, WV, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tues, Sept. 15th. He caught and released trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks and ladyfish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly fished on an intermediate sink tip fly line near Buttonwood Harbor.

Jeff Bell, from Sarasota, FL and his son, Tom Bell, just back from a tour of duty in Iraq, snook fished with me in “snook alley” near Venice before dawn on Saturday morning. We found snook feeding selectively on glass minnows and small shrimp. They caught and released 5 or 6 snook to 23” on DOA Tiny TerrorEyz and CAL jigs with jerk worms. Jim and Angela Labauve, from Tuscaloosa, AL, fished the same area with me on Sunday morning. Snook were even pickier than the day before, but they caught and released 2 or 3 snook on my Grassett’s Snook Minnow fly.

Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, FL, and I fished Tampa Bay on Monday, 9/21. We fished Tampa Bay near Egmont Key and found schools of Spanish mackerel and little tunny (false albacore) marauding bait schools. We caught and released 8 or 10 little tunny and about a dozen Spanish mackerel on Grassett’s Snook Minnow, Ultra Hair Clousers, Crease flies and Bubblehead poppers. Fish fed throughout the entire incoming tide and we left them biting after 3 PM. A great day!

Action should improve on both flats and in the coastal gulf as days continue to get shorter and the water cools. Snook usually feed more aggressively as we head into fall and deep flats should have plenty of action with trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and more.

Tight Lines,

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

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

blue fish

Frank Angelona, from Oak Hill, WV, caught and released this bluefish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Tom Bell, from Sarasota, FL, caught and released this snook on a DOA tiny TerrorEyz while fishing "snook alley" near Venice, FL with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Angela Labauve, from Tuscalossa, AL, cuaght and released this snook on a Grassett's Snook Minnow fly while fishing "snook alley" near Venice with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Tampa Bay little tunny

Capt. Rick Grassett with a Tampa Bay little tunny caught and released on a Grassett's Snook Minnow fly. Rusty Chinnis photo.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Redfish On The Hunt

The Hunt for Reds in September September 13, 2009

I love fishing for redfish. They are tough fighters and quite often willing participants in our fishing adventures. However, summertime can be very frustrating when targeting them here on the Suncoast. They seem to vanish at the drop of a hat and when you do have a good bead on their location they often seem disinterested in our offerings. So, many times during the summer we’ll go “catching” instead of “fishing” on my charters; as long as my clients are so inclined. We’ll go after mackerel, trout, snapper, grouper and the like first and then after we’ve caught tons of those we’ll go try to get some redfish. Many times the redfish thing doesn’t work out because not only are they tough to get in the heat of summer but we’ll have spent the best part of the tide chasing after other fish.


Today was different. I could feel a light nip in the air as if Fall was giving us a preview of the weather to come soon. So I decided we’d go after reds first and only try to go “catching” if the redfish didn’t pan out. So, we left the dock at about 6:45 A.M. to go get bait. I had a couple of my regular clients on the boat, Ben and Phil and they were excited when I told them it was time to start going after reds again. Bait wasn’t as easy as it has been but it wasn’t to hard to get either and by 7:30am we headed off on our hunt for reds in September.

The tide was an hour into ripping out already and you could practically watch the water level dropping as the 15knt NE wind helped it leave. The first spot we tried is pretty shallow at high tide so when I got there and assessed the situation, I opted for leaving after 5 minutes instead of being stuck for 5 hours. So we headed South a few miles and hit a spot that has always produced well for me in the fall. I immediately started feeling good about the spot when I could see hundreds of mullet jumping from 500 yards away. This spot usually rocks when the tide is leaving and the mullet are home.

We slowly trolled towards the mullet schools and it wasn’t long before I started seeing reds mixed in. We anchored up, threw out some chummers and a few minutes later I heard the first sound of a redfish crushing a sardine. Game on! Baits hit the water and shortly after, lines were singing. We didn’t kill the fish today because the leaving tide chased us off the flat but we did get some great redfish and Ben and Phil were ready for them. They’ve had their fill of snapper, mackerel and tout from their last 3 summer charters and they were all smiles with the 6-9lb reds we got on today.

Fall is coming. You can feel it in the air. All those fish that have been turning their noses up at you during the heat of summer are about to go on the hunt and it’s your time to hammer them. Start looking for them in the shallows now. They are there. Look for mullet schools and work them slowly. Topwater plugs like the Top Dog by Mirr-O-Lure will produce early in the morning and then switch to weightless soft plastic stick baits later in the day. If you’re using natural baits, sardines are still king. They aggressively hit the freebies I threw out today so I know they’ll chase them down on your hook. Good luck and leave some out there for me!

Tampa Bay Fishing
Captain Clay Eavenson


Monday, September 21, 2009

Doug Hemmer Benefit Tournament

Written by Capt. Ron Presley | 17 September 2009

Saint Petersburg, FL, August 10, 2009 -- Members of the Dreamfish committee; Captain Chuck MacIntyre, Author Allen Applegarth, St. Pete Times Terry Tomalin, Captain Brad Fuller, Fox13's cameraman Nick Billias, Lynn Zirkle and Captain Steve Papen have coordinated a fishing tournament and benefit for Captain Doug Hemmer of Fox 13's Fish and Chips.

The Dreamfish Tournament & Benefit will be held in Fort Desoto Park on Saturday October 3rd, 2009 to raise funds to help pay medical expenses and future rehabilitation efforts for Captain Hemmer's back surgery.

Dreamfish will feature guest appearances from Mike Alstott , Chip Carter of Fox 13, Terry Tomalin of the St. Petersburg times and many other top names from radio, TV and newspapers media.

FISHING: Though primarily a snook, redfish and trout tournament, we have prizes & trophies for the best trash-can-slam, ugliest species, most spots, etc. There are many divisions to enter, from land based to boating and kids to adults. You are still welcome to attend even if you aren't fishing!

EVENT: We will have raffles going throughout the day and a live auction with plenty of great items to bid on. Come out and enjoy the food sponsored by Hooters, music by Dave Clanton, mini fishing seminars by some of the best captains in the area, fishing book authors and many other interesting people.

Please consider this an invitation to join us in our support to help a true legend in the Tampa Bay area, as well as bring all of us collectively together in what could be considered the toughest time in Florida's economic and angling history.

Anyone interested in donating to the benefit can find more information by visiting our web site. All funds raised are strictly for this benefit. Anyone attending this benefit must sign up, whether fishing or just coming for support.

For more information about the Dreamfish Tournament and Benefit, please visit our Web site at

Marine Villains - Beware

Marine Villains - Beware
My last report dealt with a crab trap cleanup in Mosquito Lagoon. What I did not report at the time was a puncture wound I experienced during the event. As it turns out I have not been on the water for weeks and probably won’t be for a few more. I decided to take this opportunity to warn others of the dangerous bacteria and venom that exists in the water and the need to take any injury very seriously.

As luck would have it I stepped on a piece of an old crab trap and punctured my heel. There was no blood, no pain and I thought no need to be alarmed. I was so wrong. The event was on Saturday and I had a regular checkup appointment with my doctor on Monday. He viewed the wound and put me on antibiotics and asked if I had my tetanus shot lately (which I had). I went through the regiment of antibiotics and everything seemed to be fine. Then, my foot swelled and got more painful. When I called my doctor back he did not hesitate. “You need to see a specialist,” he said.

The real problem comes from the many nasty bacteria that reside in our saltwater rivers, bays and lagoons. Any open cut is sufficient to let the critters in and cause severe pain and suffering.

What started out as nothing tuned into something that was very serious. Minor surgery and intense treating of the wound followed. Before I managed to beat the infection I went through lots of antibiotics and plenty of gauze and bandages. Not to mention weeks without fishing. My experience taught me that these bad guys are plentiful, armed and dangerous. Fisherman and other water related recreationist must be aware and treat these marine villains as the menace they really are.

It could be as simple as being hooked by your own lure, finned by a catfish, barbed by a stingray or stepping on something like I did. What ever the reason - TAKE IT SERIOUSLY AND SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE. If your injury turns out to be nothing that’s great, but if it does need medical attention, the sooner you get help the better.

New Book
Announcement: I want to take this opportunity to announce my upcoming book entitled Secrets From Florida’s Master Anglers. It is a book intended to provide many tips and pro secrets to fishing success. It is based on interviews with 20 of Florida’s top guides on various fishing topics. The book is being published by University Press of Florida. It will be available in bookstore across the state, on or from the publisher directly, sometime this fall. Regardless of your level of fishing skill this book will have something for you.

Here is what some early readers of the book say:

"Ron's highly privileged interviews with many of Florida's top guides expose lots of secrets that are sure to improve fishing success."--Phil Chapman

"A great peek into twenty of the finest fishing minds of Florida! No matter your current skill level, this book will improve your confidence on the water."--Brett Fitzgerald

"Unique in that it includes a variety of approaches to inshore saltwater fishing, provided by a broad selection of some of Florida's finest fishing guides. There is something for almost everyone who fishes the Florida coast."--Richard A. Davidson

If you are interested in the book send me your name and mailing address and I will send you a pre-publication order form that is good until October and you get a 20% discount. Send to Capt. Ron, 516 S. Plumosa St., #19 Merritt Island, FL 32952.

Captain Ron Presley

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jacksonville Fishing Report 9-18-09

Thursday, September 17, 2009
9/17 - Rain, Wind, Current, OH NO!

Had the pleasure of having Doug W. back aboard the Jettywolf again today. His last trip was probably early 2007. So it's been a little while. Doug's a good angler, and I found that out after our first trip. So I was excited about today's well planned trip.

A bit of history first. Last Saturday the bite was slow on the Speckled Trout and float-rig fishing in general. But Nick W. and I pulled it out and put some hard earned fish in the box. Monday, I tried some float rig fishing with John H. and there was NO bite. After trying 5 different areas, we gave way and hit the bottom with heavy lead and pulled on 4 big Reds from 5 blue crabs, in the 20 knot east winds and wacky high and strong tides.

Then there was today with Doug. It was a matter where we went and what we did, there was no bite on the float-rig. We even left out at 10am, so to have a few hours of tide change going before we left the dock. So I thought.

We turned left out of the dock and headed down river a piece. And there wasn't any current. But we tried a spot, anyhow. Have you ever headed out, with a time line to find out that during the whole day, you just knew you were fishing each spot "hours" too early? That was me, today. With the astronomically high tides right now, every where we tried had us there hours early for the "right" time of the tide.

I look at the grass along the bank and know by heart that the best time is when I see the water out of the grass. I look over at a dock, and know by heart, that the best time to fish this dock is when I'm starting to see barnacles on the pilings.

You may say to yourself, then why are you there too early in the tide? Well, if we left the dock today at the right time, we probably would have left at 2pm and that was way to late. And I tried to pick a middle of the road time frame to depart. But it really didn't matter....

As my dad tells me when I take him fishing, "Dave, if you're not catching, how I am supposed too?" Being a very analytical guy. He's usually dead right. I know the spots, I know the fish, I know how to fish better. So yeah, if I'm not catching how is dad supposed to whack them. Since he fishes with me only once a year. That's why I love small group's aboard. I can get the time to at least survey an area every once in awhile myself, so I can see if they're home or not.

So after much struggling, Doug and I gave in and went to PLAN B. Bottom fish for big Reds.

Well.....a bit easier said, than done. The current in the deep water was smoking fast. We sat through a really good down pour, with stiff winds. While soaking wet, but with a squeaky clean boat. I ended up moved around hunting a bit less current, that had a few fish in it, hopefully.

Doug was thinking today just might have been the "Perfect Storm" and the cards just weren't laying right. He was about to say "let's call it a day". But I know better. And maybe it's just being a bit stubborn, but I was not about to succeed to these cards. So with Doug in agreement, we tried one last spot.

The current was perfect, the wind wasn't all that bad. And I've caught them here before, no problem.

So we anchored up and pitched two crabs out on the bottom. A boat near us was into a few "RB's" so they were obviously here. And after just a few minutes, Doug was hooked up!

And since Doug has never caught a really big Red before. I felt as if we were
accomp-lishing something!

It turned out to be a 16 pounder. Not a giant, but hell, we'll take it. A real good fighter. Running against the current and to the side of the boat.

As I was getting ready to take the hook out of this Red, I noticed some fishing line. And it was coming out of the Red's butt!

This fish broke someone off, and was poopin' out some green Berkley solar green line, and the entire leader and swivel. The hook was still in the fish, some where. I've seen this before, but it's still a sight, and a testament of how tough fish really are. I've caught Red Snapper and Grouper that had the same gastric strings.

The current started to slow down after the first Red, and the east winds started taking over. Having the lines and boat laying all kattywhompus. So we adjusted to it. And I started thinking, what else might be living down there on the bottom. Maybe some Yellowmouth
Trout, Croakers??

So I grabbed a light rod, one of my casting rods. A Shakespeare "Tiger Lite", with a small low profile Shimano Citica bait caster. The same reels I use for Float-rig fishing. I had it rigged with a one ounce egg sinker, and a leader with a 1/0 Wide Bend hook. I said to Doug, "let's see what's down there."
As Doug watched the heavier rods baited with crab. I pitched out, and let the light sinker hit the bottom. The current was just enough to hold the line behind the boat. And I hopped the shrimp baited rig back to the boat. I was just behind the boat when the line came taunt and just took off, up current. It was a massive fish, so I quickly handed Doug the rod.

Ain't that something.....a light rod, light reel, light hook, light leader, and now we have a massive fish hooked up, dumping the small reels spool. This was supposed to be just a "test" to see what was down there?

I was thinking a big Jack at first. But all clues pointed to BIG REDBASS?? Thirty eight feet of water, and yards of line were now between Doug and the big fish. It ran toward our anchor, so I pulled the anchor. It ran under the boat, so I lifted the engine. Now we were free drifting along, but still haven't seen the fish.

The Red popped to the surface the first time and now we were in 12 feet of water drifting towards a set of docks.

What a great "L.T." - light tackle battle!

Which almost made all our trials and tribulations earlier in the day fade completely away.

The Redbass weighed in at 24 pounds, and I'm sure Doug's arms were feeling the burn. But in my book, that's a good burn!

Well I now know what my Shakespeare
"Tiger lite" rods can take, along with the
Shimano Citica's.

If we didn't have to use such heavy lead to stay on the bottom around here, I'd like to do more "L.T." fishing for these fall brusiers. But we don't get the chance to do that much.
After landing this fish we packed it in, so Doug could head home back to St. Augustine. Just in time, because soon as Doug stepped on the dock, his wife called wondering where he was.......
"He was out on a day's adventure....with a guy that hates to give up to momma nature."
Thanks again, Doug.

Captain Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler at 9/17/2009

Panhandel Fishing Report 9-18-09

Report for 09/18/2009

Salt Water

Scattered thunderstorms and rain have kept the majority of anglers on shore this week. However, those who did make it offshore reported a grouper bite about 40 miles out. Large dead baits such as butter flied Spanish or Boston Mackerel were used and worked very well according to reports. Mangrove snapper are biting strong around the inshore wrecks. Live pinfish we used and responsible for the majority of catches, but jigs and even cigar minnows brought in nice snapper... King mackerel fishing picked up this week and the majority of the fish are out 15-20 miles and averaging 10-15 pounds. Flat lining while bottom fishing is again the most effective method in bringing kings this week.

Redfish continue to be off the grass flats and sand bars and again, the best time for fishing will be the first thing in the morning. Live LY’s are plentiful and make the best bait for both redfish and trout. Some very nice trout were caught this week outside Pigs Island and around the middle grounds. Live shrimp free lined is working well. Do not be afraid to use a Topwater or other artificial baits in the morning and late afternoon as these are still catching nice trout and redfish as well. Mirrolures and Berkley gulp are working well along with the Cajun Thunder popping corks. A few pompano were caught this week around pompano point on a pink fairwater jig.

King Mackerel are still biting very well from the beach out to 40 miles. Grouper have slowed way down. To find them, fish well offshore 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. 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.

Mangrove Snappers are very plentiful under the bridges and at the jetties. Use live shrimp. King Mackerel are being caught regularly off the new city pier along with Spanish, Bluefish, Lady Fish, Redfish and a few Flounder. Ladyfish, Bluefish, and Spanish Mackerel are biting good at the jetties on spoons and Gotcha Plugs. 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.


The Spanish mackerel and Skipjack are all through the surf. Any bright shiny lure that is travelling very quickly will take their share. As the water starts to cool a little this month, the Pompano bite should be getting better each day. I have had some good reports of small Pompano being caught already. Live or frozen sand fleas will be the ticket. On calmer days Kayak fisherman can reach the King mackerel just at the drop off in 20’ of water. Try live lining or slow trolling live cigar minnows. You can catch a lot of bait by simply jigging some sabiki rigs.

Nothing has changed much here. Anglers can expect to see great Trout and Redfish fishing around the grass flats from Tiger Point to the grass flats just east of the bridge. A lot of the fish will be 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. These fish are still in a summertime pattern, early morning and late afternoon forays will be the best times to fish. Artificial baits will take their fare share of fish to. Flounder have begun to show up around the docks and bridge pilings, but don’t overlook any type of structure. Live minnows are best. As the water cools this fishing will improve as well. Don’t overlook the summertime night fishing around the lighted docks. There are some nice fish right in the light, but don’t overlook the darker edges of the light either. Live shrimp is a great bait to use, try a smaller hook size so the shrimp swims naturally. The Berkley GULP! baits do well fished with a split shot or under a small popping cork.

King Mackerel are still the hot bite near shore and continue to bite strong in and around the passes and inshore reefs in 40 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, Red Snapper (season is closed), 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. The Snappers will nail a live cigar minnow fished on the very bottom.

Amberjack are almost on every wreck from 80’ on out with the largest fish being caught in deeper water of 100’ or more. I have had some nice reports of fish in the 30# to 40# class being landed. Look for Grouper to remain 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. Dolphin and Triple Tail can still be found on just about any floating structure. A jig tipped squid or shrimp will take the Triple Tail. A cut or live Cigar minnow or live Pinfish will get you your Dolphin. 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 bait. The bigger fish are coming off the bridled Bonito or large Blue Runners bump trolled around the rigs. Some reports have the cleaner water holding on the edge, but blue water remains around 100 miles out. There have been some good reports of Blue Marlin and White Marlin caught around the Nipple and the Spur.

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.

Tarpon Keep Them Busy

Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters
Capt. Chris Myers

September 17, 2009

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

With the water level having risen over a foot during the past several weeks, the redfish have plenty of areas to visit that were inaccessible during the summer. Many of the large redfish have moved to the deeper basins for their spawn. When you can find the reds on the flats, however, they have been willing to eat a variety of lures. Much of my time the past couple weeks has been dedicated to chasing tarpon. You can find at least a few every day and some days they are quite plentiful. I have gotten them to eat flies as well as the DOA Baitbuster, holographic shrimp, Terror Eyz, and BFL. There are only a few weeks left to consistently find them in our Lagoons so keep your eyes open and be prepared with the proper tackle.

On September 3rd, I visited one of my favorite tarpon spots in the Indian River and was pleased ton find some large fish rolling. My first bite came on the BFL and the second on a Baitbuster but both fish shook free. Some early morning storms chased me off the water before I was ready to go.

The following day, I returned to the same spot and got the first bite on the BFL just as the sun was rising. A short time later, I jumped two more tarpon over 75 pounds on a sinking Baitbuster. By 9am, they stopped showing so I pulled the boat out and drove to Mosquito Lagoon. I found an area holding some 5-10 pound tarpon in two feet of water. I jumped several on fly, landed 3 on the holographic shrimp and shallow Baitbuster and lost many more.

Last Monday, I had a charter with Curt and Zach. We started off targeting the smaller tarpon in Mosquito Lagoon. As we pulled up to the spot, we encountered a large tarpon swimming on the flat with its tail out of the water. Unfortunately, we could not get close enough to it for a good shot. The smaller tarpon, however, were plentiful and cooperative. Within five minutes, Curt landed one and lost another on the holographic shrimp. The tarpon kept them busy for the next hour or so providing dozens of shots. We also encountered schools and single redfish on the flats as well as some jack crevalle crashing the mullet along the edges.

Tuesday, I told my friend Dave about the excellent tarpon fishing in the Lagoon. When we arrived at the spot, the wind was howling and the tarpon were nowhere in sight. We checked several other places and found two small fish rolling. Both of them ate our holographic shrimp but shook free. The redfish were few and far between but we each caught one on a 4 inch CAL. After a few trout, I decided to try the tarpon spot one more time. As we were moving the shoreline, I spotted a tarpon around 70 pounds swimming towards the boat. I had the smallest rod on board in my hand and did not have time to grab a bigger one. I pitched my CAL in front of the fish and he ate it less than five feet from the boat. In a few seconds, the fish had ripped off nearly 100 yards of my ten pound braid as it raced for deeper water. The hook lodged perfectly in the corner of the tarpon's mouth keeping it from wearing out my 30 pound leader. With the small rod, however, I was unable to put enough pressure on the fish to turn it. Dave snapped some pictures as the fish towed us around and over a half hour later it was over as the hook broke at the bend.

tarpon in water

The following day, I had a trip with Bob and John. They wanted to target big tarpon so I took them to the northern part of Mosquito Lagoon in Edgewater. There had been lots of big fish there recently but, on this day, we saw less than 20. Both guys jumped a large fish, however, using a sinking Baitbuster. John's came off quite quickly but Bob's stayed hooked for ten minutes and provided us with some great jumps before it wore through the 60 pound leader.

jumping tarpon

watching tarpon jump

This Monday, I again encountered a big tarpon swimming near the shore where I was looking for smaller fish. It eagerly ate my holographic shrimp but my small rod was no match for this fish and it quickly came off. The smaller tarpon were crashing minnows and I landed two on fly, two on the tiny Terror Eyz and lost many more. Four redfish ate a gold and glow DOA shrimp and one more took a Baitbuster. I finished up with a few trout for a successful day on the Lagoon.

Tuesday's charter with Parker started off with some tarpon fishing. Unfortunately, he did not hook a tarpon but a redfish grabbed his tiny Terror Eyz. Heavy clouds made sight fishing difficult but Parker did land his biggest redfish ever of 24 and 16 pounds as well as a few trout.


Yesterday, although the weather was perfect, the fishing was a bit slow. I found a single large tarpon swimming south in deep water right on the surface. I followed this fish for a mile before I could get in front of it. As I pulled a gold and green Baitbuster across it's path, the fish charged the bait and several seconds later the 90-100 pound tarpon was ten feet in the air. I got a few more jumps out of it but, within ten minutes, it wore through 80 pound leader. I managed a few more bites out of some smaller tarpon but nothing to compare to the first bite of the day.With the fall mullet run beginning, the game fish are feeding heavily.

Fishing the bait schools can result in a wide variety of fish being caught. When fishing around thick school of mullet, try using a lure that is brightly colored so it stands out from all the other bait in the water.

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. This class is free and no registration is required.

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.

Be sure to mark your calendar for October 10. Mosquito Creek Outdoors will be hosting Capt. Mark Nichols, inventor of DOA Lures, and Jerry McBride, writer and associate editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine. These are two of the best anglers I have fished with and they will be sharing their flats fishing knowledge in a special seminar. Both of them do a lot of wade fishing and will be able to demonstrate their techniques in the indoor Kayak pool. This is one free seminar you do not want to miss!

Handling Tarpon
With so many tarpon around, there is always a chance of landing one. If you are new to tarpon fishing, you may be wondering how to handle them at the boat. Fish 20 pounds and under are relatively easy to handle. You can grab their lower lip to control then while you remove the hook. If you desire, you can support them with you other hand and lift them horizontally for a quick photo. Bigger tarpon can be more challenging. Large tarpon are powerful animals. You must take care they do not jump in the boat and many anglers have been hurt by big fish which jumped as they were trying to grab them. While tarpon do not have teeth, their mouth is very abrasive and can draw blood if you grab then without gloves. Some anglers use a lip gripper tool but I prefer to get a firm grip on their lower jaw with one or both hands. As soon as you do this, be prepared for the fish to thrash violently for a few seconds but they usually calm down quickly. This is one of the reasons I do not use plugs with multiple treble hooks to target tarpon. Having one set of hooks in your hand and the other in the fish can be a very unpleasant experience. Although you may see it done on tv and in magazines, please do not use a lip gaff to control tarpon. Gaffing these fish creates a large hole in their jaw membrane which can affect their ability to feed. Large tarpon cannot be removed from the water without possessing a tarpon tag and is not good for the fish or your equipment, should it shake loose.

Those who like to target tarpon should consider participating in the FWC Tarpon Genetics Program.

New Fishing Book
I had the honor of being included in the new book by Capt. Ron Presley titled Secrets from Florida's Master Anglers. This book covers all aspects of inshore and nearshore fishing in Florida and gives tips and advice from twenty professional guides. Great for beginning saltwater anglers but even those of us who fish a lot will learn new tricks from this book. It is available now at

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sarasota Fishing Report 9-17-09

September 16, 2009

Sarasota Florida Fishing Report
By Capt. Bob Smith

It has been a wile since I put out a fishing report but August was good for
bay fishing and I was busy. September is traditionally the slowest month
for charters but you never know about the fishing. September is when the
Fall-run can start for most species and the fishing can get hot for both
inshore and or offshore, but no guarantees. Mother Nature rules!

On the bay grass-flats, I fish mostly with DOA artificial, 3", #313,
clear-gold glitter shrimp. Live bait is working well but it is hard to keep
the pinfish and other small baitfish or junk fish off your line. We have
been catching Sea trout up to 24" and almost as many keeper size trout as
under size. In the mix of fish, we have been catching bluefish, flounder,
pompano, black sea bass, snapper, Spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, and
some nice but short grouper. The bluefish have been good sized for Florida,
up to four pounds of fun.

This time of year it pays to know where the good spots are and have the
patience to stick it out until the fish turn on. During the summer months, I
find that when one spot gets hot many others will at the same time. With
all the run off, flood tides and unstable weather conditions, we never know
when that will be. Having a VHF radio on board will bring this to bear. In
fact, a VHF radio is a very useful fishing tool and can make your day.

Enjoy & Protect
My Website: http//

Thank you!

Capt. Bob Smith
Phone: (941) 366-2159 Cell: (941) 350-8583.
My Website: http//

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fall Fishing Transition Begins

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, September 15, 2009

By Captain Tom Van Horn

As we begin our transition into fall, the weather will become more of a factor as it has done over the last few days. Stalling cold fronts settling in over Florida can make fishing conditions difficult, but no worries. The weather is clearing up and the moon is reaching its new phase, so make your plans now to fish this weekend. The combination of the new moon, the mullet run and the spawning activity of redfish and snook should set the beached and inlets on fire.

black drum

Our strongest tides are experienced during the new moon, and high tide will be reaching it peak right at sunrise and then again at sunset. What this equates to is you want to be on the water ready to fish as the tide reaches its peak and begins to fall.

red drum

In the inlets, breeder redfish will be forming up for their spawn, so look for large fish busting bait and be prepared for some heavy combat. Remember, these fish are bruisers, so make sure you use tackle with plenty of backbone. I use a 7' medium heavy Evolution rod spooled with 20 to 30 pound test Sufix Braid combined with 30 to 40 pound fluorocarbon leader. Because these fish are spawning, you want to land them and release them quickly. Along with the big redfish, there will be plenty of big jacks, snook, and sharks in the mix. Also, let not forget our toothy friends the bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Remember when fishing the inlets, safety is paramount. Heavy currents, heavy boat traffic, swells combined with hooked-up fish all make for some sporty fishing, so stay on top of your game by keeping your motor running with someone on watch manning the helm ready at all times.

sea trout

Also, try to concentrate your efforts in areas of mullet schools working along the beach and out through the inlets. Although live bait works well, it is often time consuming to catch and harder to keep alive, so hard and soft lures are my preferred bait choice when casting from the beach or boat. For lures, it's prudent to choose lures that imitate the primary forage (mullet). So, for soft lures I like the DOA Bait Buster and BFL, and my hard bait selection is the Rapala Skitterwalk or the Subwaker in natural colors. Additionally, key predators like snook and redfish will be working the edge of the surf within 30 feet on the shoreline, so fish parallel to the beach to keep your lures in the feeding zone longer.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday all look good, so let's have some fun fishing the mullet run.
As always, if you have any questions or need information, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
408-416-1187 Cell

Visit for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Late Summer Fishing Tips

Falling Out of a Hot Summer

Hello Friends. I hope this finds you all well. It has been a long hot summer. School has started back, travelers are back at home and Snook season opened. It all goes hand in hand every year. There will be great fishing action this fall if you know where to find it. Keep reading and I'll clue you in without giving away all of my secret spots, of course.

Let's start with those ever popular Snook. All summer they have been concentrated around the points of all the passes and on the beaches in my area. They are still there and getting smarter every day. We have had to be real sneaky and downsize our tackle to get the bite. Long casts of a sardine on a 1/0 hook and 25lb. leader has been the key. Handfuls of chum baits can also help tremendously to get them going. The early incoming and later part of the outgoing tides have worked best. The slot is 28 - 32 inches with a pinched over tail, and 1 per person for the taking. Please don't ignore the rules set to protect this valuable and fragile resource. We love our Snook and want to see them thrive.

Snapper fishing has been excellent. I am talking about the Mangrove Snapper. The reports of Red Snapper catches are great too but they are currently out of season.I have been downsizing to 15lb leader and a small 1/0 or even a #1 hook. Hiding the hook in your bait is the best way to trick them. Chumming heavily will bring them to a swarm off of the bottom as long as they are in the area. I have been hitting the close reefs like Clearwater, Dunedin and some other numbers I have close by. Be ready to get taken to school by some other predators like Grouper, Sharks and Cobia. Sometimes the lighter tackle can land one of these bigger guests.

Trout over the grass flats are still reliable. The deeper edges along the sand and grass have held the keepers in the 15 - 18 inch range. Moving tide is best, in or out. Be sure to use a dehooker of some kind to handle the smaller Trout. They are fragile and need some TLC.

Redfishing was getting frustrating there for a while. They are now starting to move in again for their spawn season. Large fish have been caught around the jetties and inshore around the spoil islands. These are way oversize 32 - 40 inchers! They are foraging the flats looking for Pinfish and Crustaceans. Cut bait will attract Reds, especially an oily offering like Mullet or Mackerel. The Redfish schools are getting larger too. there have been good numbers stuffing the mangroves on high tides. You have to be persistent, searching for them along long stretches of the bushes. Once you see one or two scoot back in the bushes turn around and set up there with some cut baits. Live Pinfish work great as well, skipped into the shadows.

Well that is my report for this month. Call or e-mail to reserve your special day on the water. It is starting to feel a tad bit cooler out here. Let's go!

Capt. Brian

Capt. Brian Caudill

Monday, September 14, 2009

Glass Minnows Draw Predators

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 9/4 through 9/13/2009

Anglers fishing with me recently on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released trout, snook, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, ladyfish and jacks on jigs and flies. The best action and variety continues to be on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Ladyfish will begin feeding in glass minnow schools and if they stay on the surface long enough other predators will join the fray. Out of these feeding frenzies, we have caught ladyfish, jacks, trout, blues, Spanish mackerel and even had shots at tarpon. Look for diving terns, clustered low to the surface of the water to find the action. Best conditions are after the sun gets bright when there isn’t much wind. Anglers fishing with me have also caught a few snook on the flats and around lighted docks. We have also had shots at tarpon feeding on shadow lines before dawn, but they have been very finicky.

Jack Satterfield, from St. Petersburg, FL, fished the Terra Ceia Bay area with me on Friday, Sept. 4th. He caught and released trout to 18” and a 23” snook on CAL jigs with shad tails. One of the best trips was on Sunday, Sept. 6th with fly angler Gary Mintz, from CO. Gary fished Sarasota Bay with me and caught and released snook before dawn on Siesta Key docks with my Grassett’s Snook Minnow fly. We moved to the flats near Buttonwood Harbor where he caught and released numerous trout to 23”, bluefish to 3-pounds, ladyfish, jacks and mangrove snapper on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly.

Pete Walacko and Richard Ives, both from MI, fished the same area with me the next day. We found the action a little slower than the day before. Windy and overcast conditions kept the bait down and the feeding action never got started.

This is a great time of the year to fish. Even though there aren’t a lot of people around now, fishing can be very good. Generally speaking you need to fish early in the day for the best action. Some of the best action will be before dawn around lighted docks and bridges for snook and tarpon.

Tight Lines,

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

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


Fly angler Gary Mintz, from CO, caught and released this bluefish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Everglades Fishing Report 9-09

Saturday, August 29, 2009
Everglades Fishing Charters Fishing Report Aug. 29, 2009


SNOOK season opens Sept 1 - so pick up the phone and book your trips soon

Today I fished Gary. He wanted to catch SNOOK and TARPON. Imagine that...the most fun and hardest fish to catch. Anyway, we started our day out with snook and the snook were winning the game with 2 (snook) to 0 (boat). Then Gary turned the score around to 2 to 2. These snook are running in the slot and nice size at that. The smaller one of the bunch seemed to put up the best fight...maybe that's the teenager in him. Then Gary got a hold of something really big that turned out to be a shark. The shark cut him off after a couple seconds so I handed him another rod that I had baited up to make another cast while I re-rigged the one he was using. Sometimes when the sharks move in it's time to change locations cause we can't seem to stop getting bit by them. Gary made a couple more cast before he got bit again by the big shark. This time was a little different. Gary had him on long enough for me to pick up anchor and start heading toward the shark so not to get spooled. He had him on for quite a few minutes when the line broke. I actually think Gary didn't mind that the line broke cause it was gonna be a long battle and he knew it. Instead of fishing for sharks, we decided to leave that spot to go find some tarpon. They were not showing well, my guess, it was because of the wind, but they were there. Gary got hit on his first cast right at the boat but we didn't get a hook up on that one, but got a good look at him. We got a laugh at that cause I had just reminded him that they (the tarpon) sometimes hit at the boat. Anyway, he did jump two that afternoon, but we didn't win the game as the score was 2 (tarpon) to 0 (boat). He had a good time and we got back to the dock before the rain started.
Posted by Captain Becky Campbell at 4:50 PM

Captain Becky Campbell

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report 9-09

Summer/Fall Fishing Report 2009

The summer heat has kept the fishing hot. As fall approaches the fishing will continue to produce a good bite. One sure fire fish this summer has been the snook. They have been eating just about anything an angler can throw at them all summer long. Snook of all sizes, small, medium, and big. The top water bite as well as a soft plastic jerk bait in the white color has been the ticket. For he live bait angler that can chum the water with a lot of pilchards, well lets just say you should have no problem. The east side of the harbor along with portions up river and on the west side of the harbor have been fantastic. Strong outgoing and incoming tides have these snook stacked on points and under shady mangroves. You find one and there are usually plenty more swimming with it.

White bait has been abundant on the flats. Both the outside and the inside of the main sand bars have been holding white bait. When they are thick, you can pole or troll and throw the cast net on various schools. If that doesn't seem to be working for you, anchor up or drop down the power pole and chum them to you. Most of the bait is of a very fishable size, not huge, but you will get some good bait mixed in.

livewell full of bait

Redfish redfish redfish. What more is there to say? Though the redfish has been fickle throughout the summer, the bite is turning on. They will start to school in large numbers over the next month or so. Open flats, sand bars, and on high water under the bushes will start to hold pods and schools of redfish ranging from 20-500 fish strong. You can't go wrong with live or cut dead bait. They will readily eat a top water lure or a jerkbait, hard or soft. The tide hasn't mattered lately as far as the bite, only where they are roaming.

two guys with reds



The trout bite is gaining integrity. The bigger fish are starting to show on deeper grass flats with mixed bottom. Where you find the bait and the snapper on the flats, the bigger trout are following. The west wall, Pine Island, and the east wall are all good bets. Shrimp under a popping cork, a top water lure, spoons, soft plastics, they are all working. Of course it is hard to beat a top water strike. Small schoolie trout have been holding mixed in with ladyfish on the outside of sand bars. With the trout are bluefish which can always be fun to just bend a rod.

topwater plug


Tarpon are roaming in most of the deep holes in the harbor. They are also around the main bridges. Smaller tarpon will start to show on the flats near deeper mangrove shorelines on high water. Live threadies will do the trick but the artificial bite is going quite well. Large swim baits and DOAs are the ticket right now. One pod of tarpon in the 80-100 pound class recently would not stop crushing a top water lure. They were on the feed with a hard incoming tide and a light easterly wind.

The temperatures will soon start to drop little by little. Look for these pressure changes in the upcoming months to turn the fish on.

Tight Lines

Posted on 26 Aug 2009 by Charlotte Harbor Outfitters

Charlotte Harbor Outfitters

Captain Tim White

Captain Chuck Jenks

Captain Jason Dill

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Montana Fishing Trip

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Crane Meadow Lodge, Twin Bridges, MT Fishing Report

for 8/27 through 9/2/2009

I traveled to Crane Meadow Lodge in Twin Bridges, MT on Weds, 8/27 to host a group of friends and clients on our annual trip to the lodge. Nick Reding, Jim Ewoldt and Howard Curtis, all from St. Louis, MO, Dennis Kinley, from NJ and Mike Perez, from Richmond, IN and I all met up in Bozeman on Weds afternoon and made the 1 ½ hour drive to the lodge. It is a nice change to have cool, crisp mornings in the 40’s and afternoon high’s in the 70’s and low 80’s with only about 25% humidity as opposed to Florida’s hot and humid climate in late summer.

We fished the Madison, Ruby, Jefferson, Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers as well as a couple of spring creeks. One of the best things about Crane Meadow Lodge is the variety. Although this was my 8th trip to the lodge, I still managed to fish parts of the Big Hole, Jefferson and Madison Rivers that I hadn’t fished before. We had more water this year than on previous trips and heat wasn’t as much of a factor. We had access to all rivers, all day long which gave us numerous options. We found the fishing to be good in all rivers except the Ruby, which was cloudy due to water being released from the dam. However, fishing the Ruby above the dam was good.

Although every day can’t be a banner day, we had numerous great days. The best action and biggest fish for me were on the Beaverhead River. Mike Perez and I started at dawn one day and had great action “skating” Crane flies for big browns. Watching them blow up as the fly wakes across the surface is as exciting as a snook blowing up on a popper!

Dennis Kinley and I fished the Big Hole one day and caught some quality fish on dry flies. We also caught 3 grayling. The Big Hole is one of the few rivers in the lower 48 states that has a population of grayling. Dennis and I also waded the Beaverhead and Stone Creek, a spring creek on private water that Crane Meadow Lodge has access to. We caught browns up to 24” on hoppers in both the river and the spring creek-a great day! Dennis and Mike Perez fished the same area another day and caught big fish (up to 25”) again!

Howard Curtis and I floated the “Jeff” one day and caught some quality fish. Howard is a beginning fly angler and he did great on the trip! Jim Ewoldt and I floated the Madison on the last day and caught some quality fish. Jim had the hot rod that day, catching and releasing several big browns and rainbows on a Zonker/nymph combo.

Although there were good days on all of the rivers, the biggest fish came from the Beaverhead or Stone Creek. These areas consistently produce big browns up to 25”. One of the nicest things about fishing and staying at Crane Meadow Lodge is the variety of water to fish. You can do something different every day and the scenery is breath taking! This is an annual hosted fishing trip for me every August or September. For more info on fishing Crane Meadow Lodge, you can contact me or contact the lodge directly at .

Tight Lines,

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

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

Crane Meadow Lodge guide Dan Allen with Jim Ewoldt, from St. Louis, MO, and a nice brown caught on the Madison River.

Howard Curtis, from St. Louis, MO, with a nice Jefferson River brown.

Crane Meadow lodge guide Tyler Barrus with a nice Jefferson River rainbow.

Dennis Kinley, from NJ, and Crane Meadow Lodge, MT, guide, Garey Avis, with a big brown caught and released on a hopper fly.

Crane Meadow Lodge guide Garey Avis with a fat Stone Creek brown trout caught and released by Capt. Rick Grassett on a hopper fly.