Friday, October 30, 2009

Dinner Bell Ringing For Larger Fish

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

By Captain Tom Van Horn

First and foremost, 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 event is a fund raiser for our Hook Kids On Fishing Program. So far, over 40 venders have signed up, including Pure Fishing, Pen Reels, Dealers Choice Boats, and BMC Boats.

As water temperatures drop into the seventies along the beach and offshore, falling water temperatures will increase the feeding activity of larger species. Shorter days, northeast swells, cooler waters, all serve as a dinner bell for larger fish preparing for the onset of winter.

As water temperatures cool, look for cobia and tripletail to begin showing up on the Port Canaveral Buoy line and on flotsam, both near-shore and offshore. When you find weeds and other debris, look for tripletail to be hanging just below the floating structure. DOA shrimp and small jigs tipped with shrimp work well when targeting these brim on steroids. It is also important to keep the sun to your back to improve your range of sight, and to keep a medium heavy rod rigged with a one-ounce chartreuse or white buck tail jig ready to throw to any cruising cobia. Also, look for the fall kingfish run to commence as well and an occasional sailfish or black fin tuna on the near-shore reefs and wrecks like 8A and Pelican Flats.


Tom Biffar's Cobia

November is one of the best months to target snook at Sebastian Inlet. In addition, large southern flounder and oversized redfish have begun to show up on the Port Canaveral buoy line and in the inlets of Ponce De Leon and Sebastian, and their numbers will increase as the flounder begin their seaward migration out of the lagoon. Also, let's not forget the influx of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and black tip sharks shadowing schools of finger mullet and glass minnows along the beach.

On the inside, look for pompano to begin to form up and move off of the lagoon flats thought the inlets, and invade the beach in search of mole crabs (sand fleas) their favorite winter food. Currently, reports of pompano skipping have been coming from anglers working the flats in various locations within the Lagoon. Also look for large schools of ladyfish, jacks, Spanish mackerel, and sea trout to be feeding on the migrating schools of glass minnows as they move south through the Lagoon.


Captain Tom's Redfish

Sight fishing this past month for redfish has was tough due to higher water levels and tons of finger mullet, but water levels have begun to drop and the arrival of cold air and cooling water will redfish schooling up again, and the large sea trout showing up on the skinny flats. Additionally, a good numbers of quality black drum and some gag grouper will begin to occupy the deeper channels of the ICW and areas around bridges and power structures throughout the lagoon.

Trigger X Black Drum

Trigger X Black Drum

Last but not least, the tailing black drum and redfish have shown up early on the flats of the Banana River No-Motor Zone. If you have never experienced black drum tailing in a foot of water, it is worth the long paddle. When targeting black drum in the zone, concentrate your efforts on the deeper side on the sandbars that parallel the west shore and the submerged sand bars in the center of the Zone. When you locate tailing black drum and redfish, try throwing crab or shrimp imitation artificial baits like the DOA Shrimp or a black Clouser fly, and chunks of blue crab or live shrimp work well for natural baits.

Be sure to check out the new Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando on line at

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

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 an

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!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nature Coast Fishing Report 10-10-09

Great Fishing Inshore and Offshore!
Report Date: October 10, 2009

Well fall is supposedly here but don’t tell Mother Nature that. This time of year is always interesting both weather wise and fish wise. So much of our fishing this time of year is based on the circumstances of our weather. During our first few cold snaps the Speckled Trout and Grouper will start to move in closer to shore in search of an abundance of food. Two weeks ago we had a few days where the temps dipped into the 50’s only to warm right back up to the high 80’s later in the day. It’s cooler weather like this that has the biggest impact on water temperatures which in turn rings the dinner bell for a variety of species up and down the Nature Coast. The key however is a sustained cool weather impact. When air and water temps fluctuate for only a couple of days the impact on the fishery is minimal. However, when a cool shot of weather is sustained for a longer period of time this will allow most fish to switch into their fall and winter patterns.

26 inch redfish

Capt. Kyle Messier had his hands full with this 26" Redfish on his kayak.

As of right now most Redfish, Grouper, Snapper, Speckled Trout and Sharks are still in their summer patterns. But there are plenty of days were you can see instances of change up and down the Crystal River and Homosassa coast lines. The major instances occur during the extreme low tides of the New Moon. A few weeks back I had the opportunity to work a kayak fishing trip in Ozello for Van and Jane Sayler of Tampa. We started the morning targeting Speckled Trout in and around 4-5 feet of clear water. We tried everything to get a bite during the higher stage of the tide with no success. It was only during the bottom stages of the tide that we really had any opportunities to sight cast fish. This is definitely a fall pattern because during the dog days of summer most fish will seek out areas of moving water or deep water in search of a more consistent water temperature. The Trout and Reds we were able to land during this trip came in extremely shallow water and during a slack tide. 9 out of 10 times throughout the year this is not what you’re looking for but today was a different day.


Jay's 8lb Bonita on light tackle was a BLAST!!!!!!!!!!!

More signs of a seasonal change are also occurring in our deep water areas. Depths ranging from 25-40ft have been the most productive for the Mangrove Snapper, Red and Gag Grouper, Bonita, and Sharks. During a recent charter with Todd Dobrinsky, and Jay and Nancy Allen we had the opportunity to fish a variety of structures in water from 20-60 ft. The most fish we found was in water from 20-30 ft however most of the Grouper and Snapper that were caught were well under the slot. The further out we got from 40-60 feet the bigger the Grouper were. Not to mention that the waters 40ft out were loaded with tons of Spanish Macks and Bonita all of which area BLAST! on light tackle. Long story short my clients and I managed to land over 80 fish on the trip with a limit of Red Grouper, 2 nice gags and a few Mangrove Snapper that would make anyone proud. The kicker to all of these fish is that they opted for the Sardines over the Pinfish 4:1. Those are the typical odds you will see in the late fall and early winter.

grouper and snapper

Todd, Nancy and Jay had a great day Offshore. With Grouper and Snapper like these dinner is going to be GREAT!

All in all there are tons of excellent angling opportunities here along the Nature Coast of Florida. The Crystal River and Homosassa areas are famous for their BIG Trout and Shallow Water Grouper fishing this time of year. So if crystal clear water, long drag screaming runs and unforgettable fights is what you’ve been craving, give Red Hot Fishing Charters a call today.

Capt. Kyle Messier
(352) 634-4002

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tarpon Springs Fishing Report 10-24-09

Finally, a Break from the Heat!

Hey Friends. Happy fall! We finally have some cooler temperatures in Florida and it feels great! It will have an affect on the fish but only for a short time while they adjust to the water temp dropping a few degrees. I even ran some trips with last weeks cold front coming through and we were still successful. I filmed an episode for 'Hooked on Fishing' with Capt. Bill Miller this week which will air first on Tuesday the 27th. So for those of you with Brighthouse Networks cable in the Tampa area, please tune in and watch yours truly talk fishing. Here is my report...

Snook fishing has begun to slow some. Certainly the drop in water temps have forced them to move toward the back country. On the warmer days approaching, I still expect to hook some great fish in the warmer bays around the oyster bars and darker bottoms. The beach fish have mostly moved around the corner, through the passes, and inhabited the mangroves, waiting to push all the way to the eastern shoreline for winter. The very cold nights are still a long way away so Snook should still respond for a while. Sardines remain in the area and are my preferred bait for the linesiders, but a variety of artificials will work well too. Red and white bucktail jigs are my favorite artificial around the bridges and deeper cuts.

man with redfish

Redfishing was decent through the last big moon phase. The east winds and cooler water made them harder to find the past few days, but I am sure they haven't moved far away. The higher tides have been the best, but the middle tides have been good too if you know where to look. The larger schools have been mudding up the flats, making them easy to spot on bright days. Cut baits will get a hit pretty quick if you are near the mudding fish. The Reds have also been traveling with Jack Crevalle, so don't pass up a school of Jacks because you never know if the Reds will be right behind.

Trout have been consistent on and around all of the grass flats. The deeper drop offs have held plenty of them. Smaller baits get hit quickly but a larger Sardine will eventually get eaten by the larger Trout. Again, a variety of artificials get taken as well. I like the Old Bayside Shadlyn for the Trout. I use a 1/8 jig head worked slowly around the edges.

As the water cools, the Snapper, Grouper and of course Mackerel bite will heat up. These are all great options when the inshore tides aren't as strong. I hope you can find the time to get out on the water and a have a great time with me. Let's go fishing!!!

Capt. Brian

Capt. Brian Caudill

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fishing The Solunar Times

Fishing Report 10/27/2009 – Capt. Terry Frankford

A Fish Tail aboard the Reelin & Chillin

It was a windy morning when Michael Green, Alie Thompson, Alex Green, and Katrina Lathrop of Anna Maria Island jumped on the boat. I really thought we may not go, however this was a tough crew that hung in there for a great four hours of fishing. We hit several locations catching an unbelievable number of different species - crazy thing is, it was only one of each with the exception of thirteen mangrove snapper. Here is what we caught one each of that were in the slot: Permit, Trout, Redfish, Black Drum, Sheepshead, and Flounder. What a crazy fish fry this crew is going to have. Michael's permit was a rare surprise to catch inshore, and Alex's redfish was a great battle on 10lb test line at twenty-seven inches.


Captain's Tip - Fishing the Solunar times

It's pretty simple really, just take a look at when the minor or major feeding period is and start fishing one hour before, and fish until one hour after. My understanding is that minor means the fish feed for one hour and major they feed for two hours. Minor is when the sun and moon line up on the horizon, and major the sun and moon are above and below. Anyhow, why get all scientific about it, keep it simple. I order twelve months worth of tables each year. This way I can plan trips for clients who have the flexibility time wise. You can also find them by the month on some websites for free, or at local tackle shops like Hart's Landing here in Sarasota that gives them away. Or, you can do what I do ordering a twelve month supply. If you can fish them - they do work - most of the time, nothing is for certain. They can be affected by cold fronts, high winds, freshwater intrusion caused by rain, or even a dolphin swimming through your favorite fishing hole an hour before you arrive. The thing is most anglers go to lots of expense getting ready for a trip with the right rod, line, leader, hooks, and bait, why not go at the best possible time. I know what many anglers say - hey I just go when I can, and I understand that, however you want to be "at the right place - at the right time" so why not be on your favorite fishing hole at the right time.

Tight Lines & Good Times,

Capt. Terry Frankford
Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Jacksonville Fishing Report 10-24-09

Saturday, October 24, 2009
10/23 - NO JETTIES, for the Wolfie

Had a group charter with 6 guys on two boats. Myself and Capt Jeff the "magic Wansor". Picked them up at Sisters Creek Boat Ramp, and headed straight for the jetties wishing it would be calm and I could anchor on a certain spot and do EZ damage to maybe some of them sweet Black Margates, Big Mangroves, Black Drum and of course Redbass.

But as soon as I rounded the corner I could just tell that my best laid plans will probably need adjustment. The wind was stiff out of the S.E. and when I went over to where I had planned to fish, the "rollers" would have been way too uncomfortable for even me. Let alone, the crew.

Capt Jeff headed south on the I.C.W. and was going "creekin". So we came back on inside and tried the slow, first of the incoming tide with the float-rigs. What do I always say...?

Incoming tide and N.E. breeze is what? K.O.D, right? Kiss of Death. Well, it might not have been a N.E. stiff breeze blowin', but the velocity of the wind and the current wasn't doing me any favors where we were at, so I pulled up stakes and made a run for it. A run to where I know it'll be more fishable...."if the tides right, when I get there".

A good 8 miles, and we were there. And the current was sweet! Just right. The S.E. wind wasn't all that perfect. But we were so better off......But this was supposed to be a Jetty Trip! Not just in my mind, but that's the way it was booked, too.

Oh well, So I anchored up and the guys began working the spot on the float rigs. The same tide, same area, that Nick and myself wore out the nice fat Specks, two Monday's ago. But the bite was so slow.

Then, after awhile it picked up a bit, but just a bit. A few small Specks, and Yellowmouth's with mucho Mangrove Snapper bites, that the guys weren't connecting on. They were doing okay between the tangles. But three people who have never float-rigged before, along with the wind pushing all the lines together, it was bound to happen. I told them when we left the last spot, that I was going to "step it up a notch" on them. And degree of difficulty is usually what "I" mean, when I say that.

Then, we put a few specks and yellowmouths in the box, finally. With one real decent Speck at 18 inches. They were out for MEAT. And so was I. They had many mouths to feed, and wanted a fish fry. And then I got a call from Capt. Jeff. He had a whole bunch of pup reds released, a Trout and two keeper Black Drum. So that was good news for the frying pan.

I should have taken a photo or two of the Trout, but failed too. I was think too hard about, why they weren't catching more decent sized Trout, I guess. Then, we packed in the float rig rods, for a bit of bottom fishing. To liven up this party a bit.

The skies darkened, and we even got showered on for just a minute or two. Our over cast morning gave way to a dark afternoon.

I moved about 150 feet, broke out two out of three of my brand new Ugly Stik bottom rods, and found that the third ones reel was all hung up somehow. Oh, how I hate tackle failure. Especially, after all the TLC I give my tackle. Always using reel covers, and constant breaking down my reels for a good cleaning. So while we fished two of the bottom rigs, I tried to fix the third reel, which went against one of my cardinal rules. Never take a reel apart on board the boat! But, I half way did, and couldn't easily fix the lock-up. So we just fished the two Ugly Stik Tiger Lite Customs, with two Shimano Curado low profile reels. And it wasn't long before Brian got a chance to catch the first fish on the new rods.

14 pound Redbass, that acted like it was 44 pounds!

Then, on went a new bait, I cast out to the same spot and BAM...Another fish on...... Just that quick!

A 30 incher at 8-9 pounds. But what a pretty Red, with its total of 35 spots.

We fished a bit more, ready for the next go round, and the anchor pulled loose. I quickly re-anchored, and we got more baits out. We had about 15 minutes before we needed to be back to the dock. So we gave it a few, and didn't get another Redbass right away so we packed it in and headed back to clean fish.

Capt Jeff was pulling up to the dock at the same time, and had the two Black Drum, a Yellowmouth, and a nice Flounder in the box. With our 4 or 5 Trout. The guys may all have a sandwich for the 7 of them staying at their rental house on the river. So I gave them the bit of jumbo dead shrimp I had left, so they could fish off the dock behind the house and maybe add something more to the fish fry.


I had a couple dozen live shrimp left, so afterwards I went back out and fished two spots real quick, on the now falling tide. I caught 5 Mangrove Snappers (all keepers to 12+ inches) and three Specks at 15-16 inches. And was out of bait.

I was happy, because I now had dinner myself. I went back to Mayport, cleaned the fish, fed the birds and went home and had myself a fresh fried fish sandwich (or two). Which rounded out a decent day for me even.

The wind never stopped, and the river was quit chopped up as I headed home. I guess the wind is gonna keep on blowing? So maybe I won't make it to the jetties on that perfect incoming tide with no wind, next week? We'll have to see. Either way, they're biting in the river.

Captain Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

Next up: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler at 10/24/2009

Sarasota Fishing Report 10-26-09

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 10/10 through 10/25/2009

Hey! Hey! Hey! Fat Albert! Anglers fishing with me recently on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released snook, trout, reds, Spanish mackerel and little tunny. The best action was with Spanish mackerel and little tunny in the coastal gulf off Sarasota and Boca Grande.

Bob Cole and a friend, from Venice, FL, and Bob’s son, Neal, from Boston, MA, fished Little Sarasota Bay and Blackburn Bay with me on Saturday, Oct. 10th. They caught and released trout and a couple of snook on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos. Chad Allen, from the Detroit area, and his brother Brett and daughter, Lauren, from Bradenton fished with me on Sunday, Oct. 11. We fished the coastal gulf off Siesta Key where they caught and released several Spanish mackerel to 4-pounds on top water plugs. Numerous sharks, mixed with the mackerel, attacked our hooked fish making for some exciting action!

Mike Sprague, from NJ, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. He caught and released several trout to 21” on CAL jigs with shad tails and a nice red on a gold spoon near Bishops Point. Peter Varga, from Sarasota, FL and a guest, Joshua Miller, fished Sarasota Bay with me the next day. We found very little surface activity in the coastal gulf with Spanish mackerel, so we fished Sarasota Bay. The action was slow, but they caught a few trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and flies. Fly angler Alex Ericsen, from CT, fished Blackburn Bay with me before dawn on Friday morning. He caught and released 8 or 10 snook to 23” and a redfish on Grassett’s Snook Minnow and Skitterbug flies. The Skitterbug is similar to a Gartside Gurgler, but tied to resemble a shrimp. A front blew through late Friday causing windy conditions for a few days, forcing me to cancel a couple of fly fishing trips.

Fly angler Nick Reding, from Sarasota, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday. We mainly waded and targeted reds, but the action was slow. However, Nick caught and released a slam near Long Bar consisting of a red, a snook and several trout on my Grassett’s Flats Minnow and Clouser flies.

The best trips of the week were with little tunny (a.k.a. bonito, false albacore or fat Albert). One trip was in the Boca Grande area with Jon Yenari and Kyle Ruffing, both from Sarasota, FL. We fished the coastal gulf outside of Gasparilla Pass on Wednesday and found lots of little tunny. They were moving fast and were hard to get on, but once we got dialed into them we had fast action. They caught and released numerous little tunny to more than 10-pounds on Enrico Puglisi style and Crease flies. We headed into Gasparilla Sound for the last couple of hours of the day and waded a sand bar where Jon caught and released a nice red on a black crab fly pattern that was swimming on the back of a large ray. Sweet!

Ed Chiles and Skip Raddick, from Anna Maria Island, got in on the action with me on Friday. This was a trip that I donated to a silent auction for the “Slaw Dog” fishing tournament to benefit Mote Marine Laboratory and Ed was the successful bidder. We fished the coastal gulf off Anna Maria Island and had fast action with little tunny and Spanish mackerel on Clouser flies. Friends Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, and Jim Knowles, from Bradenton, FL, fished along with us in Rusty’s boat and also had fast action. We are in one of my favorite times of the year for fishing the coastal gulf, flats and snook at night. Water temperatures have cooled into the mid 70’s and many species of fish are on the move.

There are a few upcoming events that you may be interested in. I will be hosting a group of fly anglers at Andros South bonefish lodge from May 1-8, 2010. Please contact me if you are interested in joining the group or for more info. I will also be the instructor at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Nov. 7th. Cost for the school, which includes the use of premium Orvis fly tackle, a text book, instructional DVD and lunch is $150 per angler. Contact me for more info or CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 to sign up.

If you are looking for something fun to do, the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers/Coastal Conservation Association’s “Fall Fly Fishing Challenge” is Saturday, Oct. 31st. Anglers will fish for snook, reds, trout and more in a digital photo-release format. Cost for the event is $50 per angler and includes an awards BBQ. Contact me for more info.

Tight Lines,

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

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


Alex Eriksen, from Redding, CT, caught and released this snook on a Skitterbug fly while fishing the ICW at night near Venice, FL with Capt. Rick Grassett.

little tunny on a fly

Jon Yenari, from Sarasota, FL, caught and released this big little tunny on a fly while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett off Gasparilla Island.

little tunny on a Clouser fly

Ed Chiles, from Anna Maria Island, FL, caught and released this little tunny on a Clouser fly while fishing off Anna Maria Island with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Get Off The Beach... In Good Weather

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report 10-23-09

By Captain Tom Van Horn

It's 21 days into my recovery from abdominal surgery and I'm feeling stronger and better each day. I've finally recovered to the point where I can start fishing again, but I still need another week or two before I start doing charters again.

With that said, most of the information this week comes to you from my good friends on the water.

alligator on bank
Big Econ Gator

On Monday, several of my good fishing buddies came by the house and together we hooked up the Three Quarter Time (my trusty Maverick skiff) and headed to the St Johns River. Our mission was basically to run the boat and fish a little, so I rig up some crappie jigs and brought along a bag of frozen shrimp.


Don's Econ Catfish

Although we have received very little rain, we found the water levels on the St. Johns and the Econ Creek high and a stiff north wind made crappie fishing on Lake Harney a no-go. So we decided to try for some catfish instead, and we entered the Econ Creek and fished in a deep bend with dead shrimp on the bottom. Although the bite wasn't on fire we still managed 5 respectable channel catfish up to 8 pounds.


Mark Blyth's Econ Catfish

On the Mosquito Lagoon, Captain Chris Myers reports that the water levels are still high, but the water has cleaned up considerable. Again the bite has been tough with windy and cloudy conditions, but he did mention the larger sea trout are returning to the flats. Additionally, the Aries Rocket is poised for its maiden voyage on Pad 39B, so the south end of the Mosquito Lagoon will close this morning at 9am with launch scheduled for Tuesday the 27th at 0800 hours.

Out of Port Canaveral, the mullet are still running down the beach, but strong winds and rough seas have shut down fishing outside the Port. In spite of the tough conditions, anglers are still catching some nice snook, flounder, Spanish mackerel, jacks and bluefish around the north jetty, and with the weather improving and seas settling down this weekend, there is still time to enjoy the last few weeks of the mullet run. With that said, I would suggest running the beach south if the lunch security zones are in place, and look for schools of Atlantic menhaden (pogies) and target tarpon. Also, good numbers of cobia and tripletail were caught before last week's cold front, so when the seas settle down, I would suggest running out to about 40 feet of water and give sight fishing a shot

All in all, the weather is improving for the weekend, so make your plans tonight and be safe on the water. Lastly, sea trout season closes November 1st, so if you plan on targeting a few sea trout for supper, you have this week to accomplish that task.

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 land line

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

Episode 3

Happy Creek Chronicles
By Tom Van Horn

As we motored towards the headwaters of the creek, you could hear distant thunder rumbling above the sound of our idling outboard engine. The air was thickened with steam and heavily charged with positive ions making breathing a chore. This summertime ritual of afternoon heating, clashing of sea breezes, intense fast moving lighting storms and our evening bath in the springs were all events signifying the end to a summer's day on Happy Creek.

The headwaters of the creek consisted of a number of fresh water boils in the bottom of a small pond covering no more than an acre or two. Cool sweet water boiled through the white sandy bottom in rolling waves of crystal clear currents which not only cleansed your body, but also your soul. Serving as a source of lifeblood for the River Rat community, the spring provided water for drinking and bathing, and a consistent 72-degree spring 'run' flowing about a mile or so before empting into a lagoon. On many occasions the evening storms would arrive late, forcing us to make our pilgrimage in the dark. We would guide our boats using the celestial reflections of the moon and stars on the water against the dark silhouette of the shoreline. When we arrived at the boil, we would lose our clothes and jump in. The first thing I'd do when my head went under was to gulp down several mouthfuls of sweet spring water, and the hot summertime stickiness on our skin was washed away in a matter of seconds. When you opened your eyes under water you could see the glimmering reflection of the night's light on the white sandy bottom and if you lay quietly just under the surface, you could hear the thundering surf on the beach less than a mile away. It was important to use ivory soap for bathing, not because of its cleaning ability, but because of floating ability. When you're bathing in a lake or stream, especially at night, floating soap is essential. After bathing and filling our water jugs, we would make our way back to the camp. The combination of the evening swim, fresh air, and a cool clean body, made for a night of trouble free dreams. The next thing you'd know, you'd wake up to the cries of the limpkins and herons and the sun's rays stretching into the new day.

My experiences of growing up on Happy Creek covered only a momentary span in time compared to the rich and significant history of Florida and Happy Creek. Happy Creek and its environs have one of the most extensive periods of historic development in North America. From the present day events of contemporary Florida, to the Native Americans who occupied the Windover Farms area around 6,000 BC, the lagoon has been forced to change. It is said; the fresh water springs once served a spiritual gathering place for the Ais Indians, who occupied Florida's coastline before the first documented contacts with European Explorers occurred. The springs were the site of Spanish exploration when Juan Ponce de Leon paid visit to them in his quest for the fountain of youth in 1513. From that day on, Happy Creek served as regular supply stop for mariners on their return trip up the American coast to Europe. They would anchor out and go ashore filling their water kegs in the springs before making their crossing on their return trip home.

Referred to by the locals as Happy Springs, the boils were guarded by a rather large cottonmouth water moccasin known by most as 'Mr. No-Shoulders'. Mr. No-Shoulders would spend his summer afternoons stretched out on top of a large hollow cypress log half submerged at the entrance to the spring pool. A remnant of logging days past, the log measured a good 30 feet in length, six feet across, and was hollow through and through. Every afternoon when we entered the boils, we would pay homage to Mr. No-Shoulders, thanking him for guarding our watering hole and allowing us safe passage.

On one particular summer afternoon while swimming in the spring, a small wooden skiff occupied by several strangers approached. As we watched in amazement, one of the boats occupants, a tall skinny big eared man, jumped up on the log to challenge Mr. No-Shoulders with a boat oar. In response to the assault, Mr. No-Shoulders quickly coiled in defensive posture displaying his white cotton mouth and his concave fangs. As the big eared stranger moved into position for his attack, he unexpectedly dropped the oar and frantically grasped his crotch releasing blood curdling screams. At first we thought Mr. No-Shoulder scored the first punch, but we soon realized the hollow log also served as home to a large yellow jackets nest, and 'Mr. Big Ears' pant leg was directly over a knothole, dispatching an angry swarm of wasps up the inside of his pants. Within seconds, the two strangers were engulfed and driven into the water by the swarm of angry insects, and from that day on, Mr. No-Shoulders afternoon perch was referred by the locals as the magic log.

In this episode our two strangers learned important lessons. When you encounter dangerous wildlife in its own realm, it is best to leave it alone and go your own way. Mother Nature always has a way of taking care of herself, and it is best to leave things as they are. The Magic Log, and Mr. No-Shoulders became entrenched in the lore of Happy Creek from that day on.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Homosassa Fishing Report 10-09

Capt. Mike Locklear
October 13, 2009
Homosassa - Saltwater Fishing Report

For five generations my family has called Homosassa home. Our fishing guides here mostly are from the same kind of raising, that there Daddy and Grandfathers made their living here guiding and commercial fishing. I have watched it grow and have made new friends from New York to Washington State.

You can not go wrong with coming here for your vacations to relax and enjoy some fishing or golfing. Our golf courses here are many and some the best in the country.

Most guides have written about how hot the weather has been here the past few weeks. This is true and such a scenario troubles the fish into staying further offshore than we like to travel in a day charter.

Nonetheless redfish and trout along with a few seabass provide the action. Although slow this past week just yesterday we landed over 20 fish that were a variety of non desirables to redfish to 22-inches. These are the best eating down to 18-inches.

With tides incoming at the start of the day, redfish should react to piece of bait or a lure such as a top dog MirrOlure. As the water warms to its maximum for the day, not much will bite unless you fish for Spanish mackerel. These speedsters are located in 10-feet of water outside of Homosassa Bay or along the humps of the Crystal River bay.

Anchoring is the best method. Drop over a store bought chum bag or make your own. Use 30-pound fluorocarbon and long shank 1/0 hooks. Cast in the direction of the chum slick and one important tip is to bring along a 100 shrimp and break them into thirds. Dole these out sparingly but over a period of time until the mackerel begin to strike the surface. Use a full shrimp on your hook and free-line it out towards the small pieces of shrimp you tossed out. Sometimes it is better to use a Cajun Thunder cork in-between your standing line and the leader and hook. A small split shot #4 in size a foot above the hook helps to get the bait down and off the surface where it will collect grass. A leader of about 3-feet long is good.

Now when you cast it out there, let the cork drift in free-line mode until your cork goes under. Then set the hook and reel fast if your line goes slack as the fish could be coming towards you at mach 1 speed.

Also you can employ a jig with a piece of shrimp and retrieve it in quickly as the mackerel like the speed. Silver spoons in half-ounce are a killer and for more fun try a tip dog MirroLure.

I offer half-day, two-thirds day and full-day trips up to four persons. This action should last until December. For more information please join the site here and write me a note.

Captain Mike Locklear

Everglades Fishing 10-19-09

Everglades Fishing Charters Fishing Reports Oct 17-18, 09

We just had our first cold front come through and it was a pretty good one. Lowered the temp. down to the 50's and the wind blew 15-25. Ed and Patti fished with me on the 17 and 18. With the temp. in the mid 80's over cast, misting rain, wind out of the west on Sat and down in the low 60's on Sunday with the wind blowing 20 out of the North, but the fishing was still okay. The two days combined we landed 13 SNOOK (one being a beautiful 36")losing 6, landing 1 TARPON jumping 5 and some REDFISH (in the slot) and SNAPPER. They took a REDFISH to Camila's a local restaurant to have for dinner. They said it was really great. Ed is Patti's father and he wasn't very happy that she got the biggest fish, with that MONSTER SNOOK she caught, he said he was going to hear about it for a long time.

It is a tradition that they get together each year and go fishing for their birthdays. Wow, is that ever a great tradition. While we were fishing we saw dolphins, turtles, and lots of wading birds. Here are a couple pictures for you to enjoy and like always, what are you waiting for....pick up that phone (239-695-2029)and make your reservations for your fishing experience of a lifetime, cause the fishing is good and the weather is just fine.

Captain Becky Campbell

Posted by Captain Becky Campbell at 10:48 AM

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nautical Flea Market 2010

The 2010 Tampa Nautical Flea Market and Seafood will be held at the Tampa Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 29-31, 2010.

In today's economy, the Nautical Flea Market will provide an outlet for the marine industry and private individuals to sell overstocked, new and used marine equipment at a fraction of the original retail cost. Many boaters, fishermen and divers will find valuable items for their maritime lifestyle at bargain prices and the best value for their dollar. The 2010 Tampa Nautical Flea Market and Seafood will be the answer for buyers and sellers alike. Vendors will offer a wide variety of items including fishing rods, reels, lures and lines, antique collectibles and maps, teak furniture, tournament gear, nautical art, crafts and jewelry, marine artifacts, boating apparel, taxidermy and fish reproductions, diving equipment, marine accessories and parts and floating docks. Several boat dealers will also be displaying and selling new and used boats.

The event also features healthy delicious seafood. Savor all the traditional side dishes, beverages, desserts and comfort foods as well. To work off that stuffed feeling, you can browse and shop the expanded nautical and maritime vendor booths.

Local Florida bands will provide three days of live, continuous music as visitors search for bargains and enjoy healthy delicious seafood.

Admission is $10.00 at the gate. Discount tickets and applications can be found at .

Tampa Fairgrounds is located at 4800 N US Highway 301 , Tampa, FL and is easy to access from the Interstate I 75 and Interstate I 4. There is plenty of free parking. The gates will open at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and close at 9:00 p.m. Saturday hours are 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Visit the Tampa Nautical Flea Market website for more information and directions. .


Larry Burdgick


SOURCE 2010 Tampa Nautical Flea Market and Seafood

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 10-10-09

FISHING 10/10/09

Lets go catch a fish, plenty of fish just not a lot of anglers. Seas were perfect, sun a little hot but a nice week to fish.
Off shore it was the Black Fin Tuna, Dolphin and small Kings, the perfect one for the grill. So where is the bait???? Up close, so why would the fish be any where else. Dolphin 12/20 lbs in fifty feet not two hundred but fifty feet, that's where dinner is. Good mix of small Kings there with them all on the bait school. At the two hundred mark it is Black Fin Tuna, lots of them. Troll some small feathers till you locate them then have your pitch rods rigged and ready. These fish are small 3/5lbs and some bigger but plenty of them. Set your boat limit, when you reach that take the barbs off the hooks and release the rest. Catching lots of fish is lots of fun but when you get back some one has to clean them. Sails made a show but where are the Wahoo. These fish love small Bonita's and Black Fins and everyone forgets about them, you find that school and run a bait deep around it and see if you don't find one or two, let me know how it works out.
Surf action is all bout timing, still plenty of Snook and Jacks or the early angler casting a Spoon or that D.O.A. Bait Buster. If looks like a Mullet cast it. If the morning is not possible just catch a high tide, they come back. Plenty of Whiting and Croakers thought the day so do not forget the ice. We had good reports all week from the beach, Blues, Mac's, Pompano (small) and Tarpon were on the catch list. Watch for the bait schools and if your target is Tarpon, please bring the big tackle.
There is plenty of slot Trout for the river anglers, from north to south, three feet of water using soft rubber baits and you will get all the Trout you want and yes shrimp they will eat. Did not here much on big Trout all Slot fish. Reds early from Bear Point south to Nettles island on west side, not sure what it is about that west side but it is their favored. From the flats it has been slot Snook, from the bridges all big. Anglers have reported plenty of Snook, problem, all to big using live baits or if it looks like a mullet use it. Gray and dark hours are the busy times. For the day time angler it all about the shrimp. Plenty of Black Drum, small Jacks and plenty of Snapper will keep the rods bent. Not to many anglers but plenty of fish.
Till next week, release a few for me.............................HENRY

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Methods For Fishing Grass Flats

October 18, 2009
Sarasota Florida Fishing Report
By Capt. Bob Smith

Finally some cooler weather is coming our way! As we see the Gulf water
temperature drop, we should see the fishing improve. When the water
temperature is in the low seventies, I think that is the best for all around
fishing. For now, we have some seatrout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, Jacks,
ladyfish, and an occasional flounder in the shallow water on the Middle
Ground grass flats. Live pilchards, shrimp and the DOA artificial 3" shrimp
are some of the baits that have been working well.

The best methods of fishing the grass have been free-line or popping cork
and drifting or anchoring or a little of both. I like the Eagle Claw 202,
Size 4/0, Gold Aberdeen hook for fishing with live bait on the flats. About
3 or 4 feet of 30 pound test clear mono leader on 10 to 12 pound test line
and you have a very good grass-flats rig. Of course ultra-light and fly
also will work well, but you may need to upgrade your skill level.

We have had some slow days fishing lately, but on the whole, the summer was
good inshore and offshore. More than I can say for the economy.

We should see the King mackerel start offshore this month and the pompano
and blue action should pickup on the bay. Things start to happen when the
weather starts to change.

Enjoy & Protect
My Website: http//

Thank you!

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

Indian River Lagoon Report 10-16-09

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report,
October 16, 2009

By Captain Tom Van Horn

By the time you read this report, our first significant cold front of the year will be upon us, and changing weather conditions will have an impact on fishing next week.

You my recall from my last report, I'm currently off of the water recovering from abdominal surgery, so the information within this report has been provided by several close fishing friends and will serve as a general overview of last week.

In the lagoon, Captain Chris Myers reports slow fishing conditions last week. Water levels are still high combined with cloudy skies made sight fishing tough, but once fish were located they were willing to eat a well presented offering. Chris also reports that the tarpon are still around. The changing weather conditions should improve fishing in the lagoon by lowering water levels and clearing up the water making sight fishing better.

Jay Groom's Mullet Run Tarpon

Jay Groom Releases a nice Tarpon

Along the beach, the mullet run is in full swing. Heavy waves of baitfish were sighted from Ponce De Leon to Sebastian Inlet. Last week, my good friends Larry Carter and Jay Groom got into the best tarpon bite Larry has ever experience in his life just off of Cocoa Beach, and he's an old fellow. The tarpon were feeding heavily on a pogy pods and in a short afternoon trip, they jumped 3 over 100 pounds and landed a smaller 80 pound fish to the boat. The trick was freelining live pogies in the area of rolling tarpon.

Tom Biffar's Cobia

Tom Biffar's 45 inch Cobia

A little further out, Tom Biffar and his father Nelson, managed to locate and catch a 19 pound tripletail and a 45 inch cobia. They were fishing north of the Port Canaveral buoy line about three miles offshore. Both fish were caught on live finger mullet. Our changing weather conditions will most likely kick up the seas for a few days, and if the front passes quickly, the water temperatures will stay warm and the tarpon will hang out a little longer. If the front hangs around, the cooler conditions may push the tarpon south, we will just have to wait and see.

Tom Biffar's Respectable Tripletail

Tom Biffar's 19 Pound Tripletail

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

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 land line

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

Panhandle Fishing Report 10-16-09

Report for 10/16/2009

Salt Water


The King mackerel bite is hot this week. Anglers were able to catch limits of King on the buoy line trolling dusters and large spoons. Trolling at slower speeds was most productive. The rest were flat lining both live and dead baits and having tremendous success over the air force tower and many of the other inshore sights. Spanish mackerel and bluefish schools are at the buoy line and around the Air Force tower. A few of schools of Spanish remain along the beaches and in St. Joe Bay. Offshore if you are into some great sport fishing, the red snapper are readily biting and they are big! Use your regular bottom fishing methods or try chumming them to the surface and go for them on light tackle. Remember Red snapper season is closed but that does not prevent you from enjoying the fishing

Big Redfish are moving into the area and it is apparent to those anglers fishing beneath the Tapper Bridge here in St Joe. In addition, this week some large schools of these great sport fish were sighted hanging around the Pompano Point area. Fishing a live shrimp under a Cajun thunder is working the best. The water temperature is dropping and Flounder have begun migrating back out to sea. The Flounder will be feeding readily over the next several days. A few good areas can be found in the surf or your favorite flats area where it transitions from grass to sand.

Sailfish caught by Jessie Parker Sunday, October 11th trolling a naked ballyhoo only 2 miles from the Panama City pass using a Penn 550 with 10lb test line. It was a catch and release after an hour fight!



jumping sailfish


The Pompano have showed up along the beaches. There have been some reports of a few good fish being caught. Best baits remain live or frozen sand fleas and live and frozen shrimp. Pompano jigs will catch them too. As the water continues to cool, the Pompano bite will increase. There are a lot of Ladyfish (skipjack), Spanish mackerel and Bluefish to be caught as well. Bright spoons, Gotcha plugs, Straw Rigs, Top Water and regular plugs will catch them. Live and frozen Shrimp will take them too. Some Redfish have showed up. Some will be slot size fish but for the most part they will be over the slot. Live, frozen and cut baits, especially cut mullet will catch them.

Trout remain on the grass flats in three to five feet of water. If you have no luck there try to go deeper, say five to nine feet. You can catch your biggest Trout early and late in the day on top water baits and on live baits. Live Shrimp, Tiger Minnows, Pinfish, Menhaden and Mullet all catch Trout. Now is a good time of year to throw the top water baits early in the morning for the bigger Trout. Redfish can be caught on the same live baits and artificial lures. Work all visible and underwater structure to increase your chances at landing a red. Skipjack, Jack Crevalle, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel and Flounder can all be caught in the bay until the water cools way down. The Flounder fishing should start to pick up with the gradually cooling water. Finger Mullet, Bull Minnows and Tiger Minnows are hard to beat. Mangrove Snapper on are the bridge pilings, tie on a 12” piece of 10# to 12# fluorocarbon leader, a #1 hook, ½ oz. sinker and a live shrimp. This rig will take Sheepshead to. King Mackerel will be in the bays from now until the water gets to cold. Try slow trolling live baits in the pass, along the three mile bridge and in front of the Palafox Pier should prove productive. These can be some large fish. Don’t overlook trolling a big Rapala bait for these. You can also anchor and chum for them with Menhaden Oil or cut up Menhaden. Put your live bait under a balloon and wait for Mr. King to come along.

There have been some good reports of King Mackerel and Spanish mackerel caught right off the beach in the last few weeks. Live Cigar Minnows and Blue Runners (hard tails) are the bait of choice. If there are large schools of bait around the King and Spanish Mackerel are not far away. There have been a few Sailfish caught in the last week or two by some Kayak anglers. They have been incidental catches while fishing for Kings. This isn’t the norm, but on occasion it does happen. Jack Crevalle have also been caught while fishing for Kings and Spanish. Hold onto your rod! The big Redfish have begun to show up in the pass. Jigs, cut bait and live bait all take these fish. You may encounter a slot Red while fishing, but be sure to put the big ones back. This is a good time of year to look for the big schools to be on top. Try looking for birds working the schools. Throw top water baits for some great action or a large spoon or jig. For the fly rod enthusiasts this is prime time. Live baits or jigs will catch them to.

The bottom fishing for Snapper and Grouper remains very good. Live bait and frozen bait will work on both. Don’t be surprised if an Amberjack shows up, especially if you are jigging with Butterfly jigs or fishing with live Hardtails. Fish your live baits right on the bottom for the AJ’s. Black Snapper have been on all the reefs this year. Use live shrimp and live Tiger Minnows. However, they will eat the same baits as Red Snapper. I have had some reports of Cobia being caught over some live bottom here lately. I have had some good reports of Blackfin Tuna being caught while trolling for Wahoo and Dolphin. Look for weed lines and floating debris if you are interested in catching some Mahi Mahi, Wahoo and other species.

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.

Mosquito Lagoon Redfish Willing To Eat

Capt. Chris Myers Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report
October 16, 2009

The fishing in Mosquito Lagoon so far this month has been challenging. The water is high and, in many places, cloudy, making sight fishing difficult. On the positive side, the weather has remained unseasonably warm. This has kept the tarpon around as well as the large schools of baitfish. When you can find the redfish, they are willing to eat and I saw many tailing fish during the past couple weeks.

Recent trips have resulted in varying levels of success. Last week, I fished with Duncan and his two sons, Ian and Nathan. They each caught some trout and had shots at some jacks but the highlight of the day came when 13 year old Nathan cast a DOA CAL to several tailing redfish. It landed perfectly and as he twitched the bait near the fish his rod bent over and he was hooked up.

Two days later, brothers Dan and Gary joined me on their first trip to Mosquito Lagoon. Gary cast an EP pinfish style fly to a group of tailing redfish early in the day. He was hooked up for several seconds before the fish broke off. Later on, we encountered a school of larger redfish. Gary made several attempts with the fly but the fish did not seem interested. Dan made a few casts with a Baitbuster and had several follows but no solid bites. He handed the rod to Gary. As he worked the lure on the surface across the school, we saw a fish come up and engulf the mullet imitation.

On Monday, John and his son David were with me for their second fly fishing excursion on Mosquito Lagoon. We began the day surrounded by dozens of juvenile tarpon and 1-3 feet of water. David started out with the fly while I had John throwing a holographic DOA shrimp. David caught a couple ladyfish and a trout on the fly and John jumped a tarpon and caught a few trout. We came across a fair amount of redfish throughout the day, most of which were feeding. John landed his first redfish on fly using a #4 brown crab pattern.

On Tuesday's trip, there were only half as many tarpon rolling when we began the day. Throwing the holographic shrimp, Tim had a couple bites and landed a few trout but the tarpon eluded him. Again, we found scattered redfish roaming the flats but spotting them before the saw us proved to be challenging. Tim did catch a few more trout and a small gag grouper on CAL jigs before we called it a day.

Wednesday, I was with fly anglers Bryan and Bill. They were both very good casters and I had high hopes of some tarpon on fly. Unfortunately, most of the tarpon had vacated the flat where they had been. They did get a couple bites and Bryan jumped one. Our next stop produced shots at some large black drum. Both guys made some good casts with crab patterns that went totally ignored. By the time we turned our attention to redfish, the clouds began rolling in making the sight fishing nearly impossible. After spending an hour running over fish, they elected to go in and try another time.

Yesterday, I went to New Smyrna with the intention of going out of Ponce Inlet for a shot and some big tarpon, cobia, and sharks with my friend Capt. Drew. We stopped at a spot inshore and found some rolling tarpon at first light. I hooked one on the DOA BFL but pulled the hook after a minute or so. When they stopped rolling, we headed for the inlet. Unfortunately, we discovered the seas were much too rough and we were forced to stay inside. The action was a bit slow but we did have shots at a few redfish and caught trout, flounder and a Goliath grouper on the DOA shrimp.

A cold front will be moving through the area today dropping the temperatures twenty degrees. We will be back in the 80's early next week, however, so hopefully the water stays warm enough to keep the tarpon around a couple more weeks. Soon, the water levels will be dropping and the clarity will improve which will bring on some excellent sight fishing for tailing redfish. As the baitfish head south, the reds will turn their attention to crabs and shrimp. Fly anglers using small crab patterns will have plenty of tails to cast at.

Upcoming Seminars
Saturday, October 24, 10-12pm - Basic Fly Catsing
Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka

Thursday, November 12, 6-8pm - Introduction to Fly Fishing
Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka

Saturday and Sunday, November 14 and 15 - Sight Fishing the Flats
Florida Sportman Fishing Expo, Central Florida Farigrounds Orlando

Saturday, November 21, 10-12pm - Basic Fly Catsing
Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka

Saturday, November 28 - Sight Fishing the Flats
Coastal Angler Magazine Fishing Boating and Outdoors Fall Festival
The Barn - Sanford

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sebastian Inlet Fishing Report 10-09

Whiteys Fishing Report, October, 2009

Snook season is open and the bite is hot too!

With lots of bait in the surf, the action along the beaches and at Sebastian Inlet has been red hot. Huge schools of mullet are migrating through the surf and are being followed by every predator on the beach. At the tide changes they round the jetties and make their way into the inlet. Sometimes the schools get trapped inside the inlet by the tide and just get worked over for hours by the snook and redfish. Many of the redfish are oversize and must be released, but after several big boys look for a slot size fish to come along. A few mojarras have been caught along the bridges, but pinfish, mullet and croakers are still the choice baits to fish right now. After the action cools down on the surface, drop a few smaller baits to the bottom for mangrove snapper and flounder.

New Florida State regulations require every angler to have a fishing license, resident or non-resident. Residents must have a saltwater fishing license or the new shoreline angler endorsement. So get to the computer and purchase your license online at the or leave a few minutes early and stop by Whitey’s to get your fishing license next time you get out.

Getting offshore this time of year is very challenging with the changing weather. If the wind is blowing and the seas are rough, look to hang close to shore for Bonito, Kingfish, Tarpon, Spanish mackerel and Bluefish. Schools of mullet and other baitfish are scattered along the beaches and several miles offshore. Look for the birds diving on the bait or watch your bottom machine to get into the action. Sabiki live bait or cast silver spoons, top water or diving plugs along the edges of the bait or right into the middle of the schools. Make sure your drag is not too tight to start with. You can always tighten it up as needed, but backing it off usually costs you a lure or a broken line before you get the tension right.

If you are looking to grab a few kingfish for the smoker, start working 2-3 miles off Sebastian Inlet. Trolling live baits on the downrigger or dragging a few spoons around will raise the fish. The grass has been very scattered on the surface and will require a constant watch to keep the baits and lures clean. Try trolling ballyhoo further offshore towards the Gulf Stream for some mahi and sailfish action.

Bottom fishing on the offshore bar has been slow, producing a few good fish here and there, but most of the action has been sea bass, triggers and a few smaller snapper. The larger prized grouper and red snapper catches have been further offshore along the deeper 170 ft. and 220 ft. rock ledges. Live baits are the way to glory right now, look for some live sardines along the inshore bars and Bethel buoy. The hardest part about offshore in October is getting a good weather window when you have the time off. As October comes and goes, lets hope we are still lucky enough to get some calm seas and light winds!!!! If you get a nice fish this month and want to share it with us, send an email with the details to Whitey’s. You might even see it in next months The Resident……

Whitey's Bait & Tackle
9030 S Highway A1a
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report 10-09


Tarpon still in the harbor and moving into the rivers and back country still good sight fishing for laid up fish. Snook on the beach chasing lots of bait from Venice to Sanibel. Redfish are starting to school up on the grass flats. Last week we found a school of about 300. Fly fished them tailing and had a productive week. Pompano and trout in the potholes produced good action on 1/16th ounce jigs. Chartreuse was a good choice in the overcast skies. Some early am top water produced several snook to 27 inches. Summers is hot and the fishing is not far behind/

Tight Lines.

Capt. Al White

Boca On The Fly
Captain Al White
(941) 697-0320 Cell (941) 830-1375

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

East Coast Mullet Migration 2009

October 7, 2009 – Fantastic Fall Mullet Run Action

The fall mullet migration continues along our coast and the game fish are absolutely gorging themselves as a result. The fantastic fishing action is spread pretty much everywhere now, especially around Sebastian Inlet and Port Canaveral. Read on for reports of individual charters from last week.

Our first report features Chris DeMasi and Ashley from Virginia Beach, Virginia. This cute couple came to Florida on a job assignment and decided to take advantage of the fall mullet run near Sebastian Inlet. Both Chris and Ashley caught their first feisty snook and hard charging jack Cravelles. They also caught some of the largest spotted trout landed this year in the Indian River Lagoon system including a pair of 30 plus inch, 10 pound monsters along with six other trophies over 20 inches. Redfish, bluefish and lunch waterside at Captain Hiram’s rounded out their fintastic adventure.

man with 30

woman with snook



Our old friend Mike Rimkus from Colorado returned to the area with a crew intent of some serious fishing and alligator hunting. Their first day on the water was spent stalking giant snook riverside near the mouth of Sebastian Inlet. Both of Mike’s sons caught great fish with Jacob nailing the snook and Michael the monster 32 inch trout. Also fishing with the Rimkuses on day one was their next door neighbor, Jonathon, who caught the giant snook pictured below. The crew managed other species on their charter with Capt. Rolland including flounder, bluefish, jacks and grouper.

boy with snook

big snook

boy with monster sea trout

The Rimkus crew left the saltwater and headed for sweat-water to spend an evening stalking alligators in the swamps of the nearby St. John’s River with Capt. Peter. They bagged three big gators on the evening before exhausting Peter’s inventory of tags. The gators went seven, eight and nine feet in length.


The following morning the crew returned to Capt. Roland’s boat to venture forth in search of beachside tarpon. Leaving the Inlet mid-morning, Roland located an incredible school of huge tarpon terrorizing the migrating mullet. Stealthily approaching the tarpon pod, they got within ten feet of the 100 plus pound giants. The tarpon were so close they knocked scattering mullet into the side of the boat several times. Two of the tarpon were jumped before quickly spitting the hook. After the trip, Mike said "It was the best trip (I’ve) ever had even though we didn't land a single one.” Such are things of which life-long memories are made.

We move north to Port Canaveral for our next report. It was my privilege to spend an evening with Capt. Nate Fowler of Laguna Charters and our mutual friend Dr. Bobby Clayton chasing snook under the lights of the cruise ship piers. Once darkness settled in, the mullet schools began swirling thick around the spotlights and became an irresistible temptation for the giant line-siders. We were pitching an assortment of Yozuri and Rapala lures into the terrified mullet schools when Capt. Nate nailed the pictured 31 ½ inch brute shown below.

night snook

Our final report comes from the third annual Fishing Chicks tournament held in Sebastian over the weekend. Capt. Roland, his daughter Jessica, and I had a blast fishing a ten mile shallow-water stretch of the Indian River in the tournament. Team Native Sons won the trout division with a 29 5/8 inch monster which weighed 8.10 pounds. Jessica finished the AT&T Florida Flatsfishing Association season as Lady Angler of the Year and second place overall trout. All three of us will be competing in the championships for FLFA circuit in two weeks.


Native Sons Fishing Guides
Captain Rocky Van Hoose

Captain Brad Jones

Posted by Rocky Van Hoose on October 04, 2009 at 05:53:56 PM