Friday, January 29, 2010

N.E. Florida Fishing Report 1-29-10

Thursday, January 28, 2010
1/28 - only two days left.

January 28th.....and only two days left to catch all the big fattie Speckled Trout you can, before February's closure on them. Yeah right!

I've been hunting them big fatties, that's for sure. And my hunts have been quite futile in this ice cube water. Boy, I remember years when it was all ya' wanted. Even in through February. So much that me and my ole buddy Pelican would go to the jetties and pitch D.O.A. Shrimp lures and MirrOlures, just so we could save on bait. And whacked 'em so good it was legendary for this part of Florida, these days.

All I have to do to remind myself is look at the old photos. But being nostalgic does nothing but depress me.
Because I l;ove Trout catching, so damn much.

But that wasn't after a bout with record breaking cold for two weeks. Simply put, I wouldn't have minded if that weather hit us in February. Because it's the month that's kinda book marked to be "the pits", of the whole year, anyhow. I always say to myself "make it through another February and you'll have it made....."

Today, I had John B. aboard the Jettywolf. John was from visiting jacksonville from Wisconsin. And it was amazing how he ended up getting a gorgeous day for his trip. Ninety nine percent of the time, my luck is that I have someone who booked well ahead of time as did John. And the day turns out to be very weather problematic, with the day before or the day after being near perfect. But we had none of that today.
The problem is just finding enough bites. I'm sure we're all finding fish. They haven't all gone to south Florida for warmer water's.

Being a Trout-man, and being that there's only 2 days left to box 'em. What do you think we'd diffinately fish for during at least half of our day? It's getting personal, at this point. And one of my big time rules is not to second guess myself. Always go with what you know. But right now, going with what you know can also, be thrown out the window.

We started out at the jetties. John and I pitched jig-n-shrimp combo meals. Three eighths ounce jigs, with LIVE fresh shrimp pinned on them up to the rocks. Yeah, last time I was out I had to use dead shrimp two days in a row. It was so cold there was no live shrimp to be had. So, I was thinking maybe the fresh stuff would work better and it least the head of the shrimp stayed on the hook this time. We fished the same tides I fish those last two days I was there. But that was 12 days ago, and the water was no warmer today. And we caught even less. Time isn't healing this wound very fast. And we boxed a decent sized Sheepshead. The only true bite to be had.

The fish was a "sandbagger" and never even fought at first. To only come alive on the hook after it was yanked out of the jetty rocks.

I thought things may turn on a bit after this fish. But as we moved around a little, sticking to the same general area. I was wrong. We were wearin' out our jigging arms. And still had much more to do, today. Because no matter what the day or month or year. Especially, when I have a single passenger charter that's a fisherman. We're going to school. My customers are going to do alot and learn alot. I believe that's as important as actually reeling in fish, because first you have to learn "why", you caught that fish.

The Ring-tailed Porgies, a winter cold water jetty rock hugger. Were biting on the opposite side of the jetty from where we were, where the river current was pouring through. But it's a fatal place to anchor. And with the damn Navy ship sea tractor tug boats going in and out. Has me no longer risking dropping my anchor over there with a customer. Can you just imagine how nice the jetties would be with no; Navy ships, Tugs, Freightors, or Pilot boat wakes? We can all dream, can't we?

Saving our casts for new ground, John and I moved on up river. The full moon tide had the banks exposed so much that a place I fish up in a creek almost looked foreign. And the low tide was only a (negative) -.06'. I bet in all reality it was much more than that, being a blue bird high pressure looking day.

But be prepared this weekend....if the weather doesn't keep you off the water. The low tides going to be a (negative) -1.2 to -1.5 feet. Isn't that the kind of low tide that has the Mayport boat ramp docks are sitting on the bottom? I guess we'll see.

Needless to say, we were in there for a bit but there was zero current, and we pitched a jig or two, without a single sniff. Time to go Float-rig fishing. And I had a spot right around the corner. The tide was perfect for this spot, and we caught one keeper Speck there. Before the tide got to low and the drift of the floats changed.

It was just a 15 incher. But a keeper Speck. So I was happy. John wanted to hit Singleton's Seafood Shack in Mayport before going back to his hotel. So we at least had him some "vittles" for supper now, along with his Sheepshead. (Eating "your fish" just hours after catching them and relaxing with a cold sweet tea or cold beer, while someone else does the cooking. Is a perfect ending to a big day of adventure, I always say.)

We worked the spot hard. But it was time to move on. The next spot was almost perfection, too. If the water temp was 67 and we had a day like today I could have seen G-A-T-O-R Trout coming for our position, easily. Our drift was perfection. Only I wondered where the hell is that NW breeze that was predicted?
It was East Noreast all day, everywhere I was. Instead of gator size Trout, all that ate our shrimp was one lil' yellowmouth and one lil' Speck. And then, of course a giant barge came by with two tugs and ruined this spot, making me have to pull off in preparation for big wakes. Yes, the spot's a bit precarious, even in a 1/4" thick plate alloy hull. I have enough bangs and scratches in the Jettywolf, already. So we moved off once again......

I was heading for the docks, when I passed by an area that looked promising. As a float-rigging Trout fisherman. A spot doesn't look good to me because of; mass amounts of boats, I remember catching a fish there back in 1994, I was told last week there was fish there, none of the that. More like, it's all about tide/current. I'm always hunting in the St. Johns River for what I call "Trout tide". Water moving, not to fast, not too slow.....ALONG structure, mostly. Be it structure above and below the water. Below meaning drops, ledges, edges, and HARD BOTTOM. IE: scattered shell, old oysterbeds, submerged rock.

So I told John, "hey let's give it 5 minutes, here". So I anchored up and it was perfect. And BAM, float down and John brings in a nice fish. The drag was pulling and the rod tip was throbbing. And I'm not even sure we were there five minutes yet... probably 3 minutes! Turns out to be a 19-1/2 inch Trout. The kind of fish I've been looking for, for the last two weeks, """in the river""".

And guess what? After catcdhing this nice fattie. A tug came by towing another monster barge! Go figure, huh. Tugs and barges in the St. Johns, where did these come from? And right then, the tide died out and the floats started drifting the wrong way. Then the tide turned.

I swear, that every time a big ship or tug and barge comes by that it has such an effect on the water movement, that it actually helps the tide change. Call me nuts, call me sick and tired of ships and tugs. But I maybe on to something. If the tide/current (same thing, many more times than not) is working on it's own, it usually hints to ya and takes awhile to completely turn the other way. But if the area you are fishing is on the "verge" of changing over. And a ship/barge/tug passes that point in the river. It does something that has the water turn, faster. The displacement of said ship/barge/tug helps the tide/current change over much quickly. "Did ya get all that?" If you didn't you don't fish the St. Johns River enough.

While we were trying for a Trout here, there also was a Black Drum bit going on behind us. Two guys in a small boat were casting "up" current with egg sinkers and dead shrimp. First off, I never cast up current on an anchored boat. It's un-natural. But it didn't matter what I thought. And of course do ya think the Drum cared?
But I guess today they wanted to chase a dead shrimp along the bottom as the incoming tide dragged there sinkers across the bottom(?) So as John worked his float-rig, I dropped a few light bottom rigs BEHIND THE BOAT on 4 oz leads. And could barely hold bottom at this point. SOOO, that's why these guys were casting against the tide/current? Cause there was no way in hell they were using 4 oz. egg sinkers.

When we swung with the tide and tug wakes, we ended up right in front of them. I knew because of the bottom my anchor wasn't going to hold here forever, and it didn't. We ended up sliding back toward them.
So we bagged it all, and headed for the hill, so I could be attacked by the Pelicans as I cleaned our catch. On my customized mobile fish cleaning station, located on the Jettywolf. I keep hoping that "OUR" tax dollars could find there way to a sperate fish cleaning dock someday with a fillet table, lights and running water. But you may only find that luxury, in some other distant county.....not Duval!

John went over to Singleton's to have his fish cooked. I hope he enjoyed it. Even though it wasn't a fish fest, we both enjoyed eachothers company, and enjoyed the beautiful day.

-ONLY TWO MORE DAYS. For me it might as well be, 31.
Because next up on Friday is my gig with the Sisters Creek bridge repair crew. This time I'm the boat that'll drop off divers to swim down to inspect the piling of the 55 year old bridge, that's getting a face lift starting somewhere around March, through the summer.

Captain Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler at 1/28/2010

East Central Florida Fishing Forecast 2-10

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, January 28, 2010

By Captain Tom Van Horn

Up Coming Free Seminars and Events

Orlando Kayak Fishing Club Meeting
February 2, 2010, 7 pm to 8:30 pm at Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 S. Washington Ave., Apopka Florida. Seminar topic is American shad fishing and Shad Derby rules. For more details and directions to the event, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors website at

Introduction to Fly Fishing

February 11, 2010, 7 pm to 8:30 pm at mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 S. Washington Ave. in Apopka Florida. Free fly fishing class instructed by FFF Instructor Captain Chris Myers. Class will cover the basics on fly fishing in Florida. For more details and directions to the event, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors website at

Free Shad Fishing Seminar
February 20, 2010, 10 am Captains Chris Myers, Tom Van Horn will be teaching anglers how to target and catch American shad. This class will be conducted as part of the mid season shad rally at C.S. Lee Park on the banks of the St Johns River in Geneva, Florida. For more details and directions to the event, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors website at, or contact me at 407-416-1187.

February Fishing Outlook
As winters go here in Central Florida, the 10 day freeze we experienced last month was the coldest weather we've seen since 1977. The prolonged period of cold dropped lagoon water temperatures into the 40's. These extreme cold conditions killed a large number of fish both in saltwater and freshwater, but all is not lost. As the water temperatures warmed up surviving species began to return to the flats, and it appears redfish and black drum were not lost to the arctic chill. Additionally, despite notable loses, a good number of sea trout and some snook managed to find warm enough water to survive. On the freshwater side, only exotic species like tilapia and armored catfish subsided to the freeze, which doesn't hurt my feelings too much.

Inshore on the saltwater flats of the Mosquito Lagoon, good numbers of redfish and black drum have been easy to locate when conditions are calm and sunny, but getting them to eat has been challenging. On the sunny mornings, it is not uncommon to find redfish and trout holding in the sandy potholes within the shallow flats where water temperatures raise faster. Additionally, warming water temperatures combined with sunny spring days and crystal clear water make February one of the best months to site fish for redfish, sea trout, and black drum on the lagoon flats. february is also the time to target tailing black drum in the Banana River Lagoon "No Motor Zone". As we move further away from the extreme cold event, the redfish and drum should begin to feed more readily.

Offshore, kingfish are still available along the inshore reefs and wrecks, and they will remain there as long as the water temperatures are favorable. When targeting kingfish this month focus your efforts on the areas of 8A Reef, Pelican Flats and Bethel Shoals to the south for best results. Also, look for cobia and amberjack on the inshore wrecks like the Carol Lee, Dutch, and Sub Wreck out of Port Canaveral. Additionally, live bait is tough to find this time of year, so always carry a box of frozen Spanish sardines with you as backup.

Near-shore, tripletail concentrations should improve along the Port Canaveral buoy line and under floating weeds and structures, and cobia will move in shadowing manta rays if the surface water temperatures reach the upper sixties. Now is also the time for beach anglers to target pompano, bluefish, weakfish, small black drum, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel and whiting in the surf.

On those windy days, February it is a great month to check out those freshwater fishing holes on the St Johns River. Currently, the American shad run has yet to materialize with only sporadic catches being reported. The shad run has yet to kick off this year, but my best fishing last year was on the 15th of February, so it's too soon to judge the magnitude of the run this year. This past week, the best reports of shad came from the Marina Isles to Mullet Lake section of the St. Johns River, as well as a good number shad being taken north of Lake Harney. As the run progresses the shad should be moving into the shallows flats south of Hwy 46, so if you haven't signed up for the Shad Derby yet, there is still plenty of time left.

The Revival of the Saint Johns River Shad Derby
A Free Online Fun Fishing Event

Derby Rules
Derby starts at sunrise on Sunday January 24th, and ends at sunset February 28th.

There is no entry fee; anglers must register at one of the official Derby sponsor locations and pick-up the official Derby Token from Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka, Florida.

Anglers must meet all of the fishing regulations requirements of the State of Florida and possess both fresh and saltwater license if it applies.

This is a catch, photograph and release (CPR) tournament only.

Anglers are permitted to fish anywhere on the Saint Johns River system.

Angles must take fish with hook and line only.

Anglers are permitted to fish in any manner desired, paddle fishing, boat, shoreline or wade.

Anglers can fish as many times as they want within the Derby time frame and contestant can submit as many photos as they want. One prize per contestant per category.

Three categories will be presented, fly division, conventional division, and junior division 15-years old and under.

Fish must be measured using the official measuring device. Official measurement will be total length from the nose to the tip of the tail, no pinched tail, longest fish wins. Two photos must be submitted, one showing size and token card from Mosquito Creek, and one photo with contestant holding fish. If caught on fly please submit photo with fly visible. Photos must be uploaded to the 321Fish website.

Angler is responsible for uploading photos to the official derby judging Internet site. Photos must include the official derby token, no exceptions.
In the event of a tie, the angler who uploads his photo first wins.

Derby judges final decision stands.

For more information on how to sign up and post your photos, visit

Fishing Florida Radio's website.
As always, if you need information or have any questions, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing and happy holidays,

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!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Indian River Fishing Report 1-24-10

Central Florida Fishing Report posted January 24, 2010

It has been an unusual winter so far here in central Florida. The year began with
a record breaking cold snap that lasted nearly a week. Water temperatures in
the Mosquito Lagoon plunged to the 40 degree mark and stayed there for
much longer than normal. As a result, some fish did not survive and thousands
of green sea turtles had to be rescued. The hardest hit species seem to have
been the snook and large seatrout. The snook population throughout the state
took quite a beating and the Florida Wildlife Commission imposed an
emergency closure to protect the remaining stocks. Many hundreds of trophy
sized seatrout were also killed in our area but, unfortunately, it does not look as
if they are going to impose any additional closures to help them.

On a more positive note, the weather returned to a more normal pattern during
the last week. As a result, the increasing water temperature has sent the
redfish flooding onto the shallow flats in search of a meal. It appears as if the
adult redfish and black drum survived the cold with very little damage. They key
to locating them recently has been to find the areas that are holding mullet. A
general rule of thumb during the last few trips is if there were no mullet around,
there were no redfish either. During several trips this weeks, we saw hundreds
of redfish each day and they became more aggressive and active as the week
progressed. The last several days, they have been tailing and feeding and will
strike a variety of lures and flies. The DOA shrimp, as well as both the 3 and 5
inch DOA CAL caught numerous redfish this week. Productive colors included
Arkansas Glow, Silver Mullet, Green Back, Watermelon Holographic, and
Red/Gold Glitter. For the fly anglers, a #4 crab or shrimp imitation in black,
brown has worked well recently along with a gold bendback.


sea trout

There are some trophy trout still around and they will eat the same lures and
flies as the redfish. I would encourage all anglers to release any trout over 20
inches in an effort to help sustain a healthy population for the future.

Despite a rocky start to the new year, it looks like we are settling into the typical
winter pattern here in Mosquito Lagoon, lots of shallow water tailing redfish and
black drum. When the fish were cold, you could practically touch them with the
tip of your rod before they would move. Now that they have warmed up, they are
on high alert when feeding in the shallow water. The best approach is to pole or
wade up to them paying close attention to the shadow from both you and your
rod. The calmer the wind, the farther away your bait must land from the fish to
avoid spooking them.

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 1-28-10

Fishing 1/23/10

Weather is back to normal, sun shining and the fishing has been hot. Why are all the boats across the Sail Fish Flats, all those anglers standing on the bridges and a line at the cleaning tables, Pompano is the answer. Finally they have showed, a little late but here in force. From the bridges it was an all day bite? In the flats it was moving water as the tide slowed so did the bite but it picked up again as the water picked up speed. Anglers from the bridges were getting limit catches using jigging spoons some with teaser hooks and some with out. let the spoon fall to the bottom and lift and let fall and you had a Pompano. Boaters were using small jigs with a piece of shrimp on it, casting and bumping the bottom found a few more species then they took off the shrimp and it was all Pompano. Now if these fish were at the bridges and the flats north of the St. Lucie Inlet they had to be every where in between, Pompano in force. Excellent Trout bite north of county line road on any thing that even looked a little like a shrimp and it was all day, slot Trout and over the slot were keeping anglers busy. Plenty of small Reds, slots and just under it almost make me nervous the way these fish are feeding. Do they know something about the weather I don't? Plenty of Drum and Sheephead from the piers if the Pompano did not take your bait. The best part of the day was I had anglers in telling me about the Snook they saw feeding, that is a good sign.
Surf anglers we are getting back to normal, if Blue fish is your target, fish early, the coolest water of the day. There is still plenty just not all day. Be there at sun up casting spoons or a piece of cut bait and you will find plenty after the sun comes up fish deeper they will follow the cooler water. As the surf edge warms the Whiting, Croakers and Pompano will move in and there has been plenty.
Off shore the fishing has been very good and some day out of control. Live baits have moved back in and a lot of anglers are taking advantage of them. From eighty feet out Sails, Dolphin, Kings, Wahoo and Bonita to let you know you are to far out,even Cobia made a showing. Trolling down baits from sixty feet was the location of the big Kings and to a few anglers the location of some really nice Cobia, these fish were not seen and casted to, but there to keep you on your toes. Dolphin and Sails were mixed, nice Sails and real nice Dolphin in the twenty pound class. From 100' to 180' was the action zone, trolled and live baits caught equal fish, no preference. Wahoo were not big fish and as with the Cobia they were just there, no special conditions, just there.
Till next week, what is the size and bag limit for all those Pompano?

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Report 1-2010

2010 Winter Report
It was a great 2009 on the water, and we hope that 2010 will be even better. Despite the most recent fish kill due to the cold temperatures, there are still some fish around roaming the harbor. Even with the colder days, there have been a few days in between with temps. pushing 79 degrees. Redfish and trout can still be caught as well as some inshore gag grouper. The bait situation is fickle, but this is a great tme of year to throw some artificial lures. Some smaller snook have shown themselves and made it through the cold snap.

2 women with big redfish

snook on lure

If anything, it is a good time of year to get out on the boat and scout around. Take advantage of the extreme low tides to learn the bottom of the flats. Places to possibly fish in the summer, or areas that may be deeper if you need to get on plane or have a channel to run through. This time of year exposes these types of things and can be very beneficial.

bronze redfish

On the freshwater side of things, CHO guides Capt. Tim White and Captain Jason Dill teamed up to fish the PRBS, also known as the Peace River Bass Series. Seventeen teams qualified for the championship that will be held in late February. Capt. Jason and Capt. Tim secured a 4th place finish in the first tournament back in November of 2009 bringing in a limit of five bass from the upper Peace River. They fished the rest of the series up to this point and had a strong enough showing to give Team of the Year a run for the series but ended up in 3rd overall.

bass in a basket

third place team

Capt. Jason and Capt. Tim would like to think their sponsor for this series, Millennium Physician Group.

For those of you that love bass fishing with a passion as both of these CHO guides do, check out the PRBS.

That is it for now. More updates and reports should be coming in soon. Get out on the water and wet a line, despite the fish kill, there are fish to be caught. Practice catch and release. The CHO guides would like to thank you for visiting.

Tight Lines

Posted on 18 Jan 2010 by Charlotte Harbor Outfitters

Charlotte Harbor Outfitters

Captain Tim White

Captain Chuck Jenks

Captain Jason Dill

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Key West Fishing Report 1-2010

January February 2K10


Holy smokes was it cold.. I won't go into to many details about it but it was the coldest I have seen in my life here in Key West. Temps officially came down to 42 degrees bringing our water temps inshore to a fish stopping 44 degrees and colder in some places.

The fish are not all dead. Concerning reports has the Florida Keys under a fish kill with generations to recover, not so. The fish kill for as cold as it was was MINIMAL and affected mostly ornamental species here near Key West so don't fret, come on down and lets get out there and give these fish a reason to thaw out.

Flats Fishing

The flats have definitely cooled off this month. This brings us a great winter fishery to the Key West Flats Fishing with some King Sized Barracudas that will eat an artificial or fly. Look for these guys in the warm water trends of water coming on and off the flats.

A great sport fish on the flats to target for January and February are Permit. On top and tailing in the higher winds we have make for an easy target to toss a crab to. South and South East winds will bring warming trends and tailing fish to the top of the flats.

Tarpon Fishing Season is right around the corner. March is our target date for the beginning of the big fish coming in out of the Gulf to eat. Book your fishing guides soon for the migration. Here at Dream Catcher Charters we are offering all the tarpon trips that are possible in the coming months. Fish the Key West harbor, Channels, flats and backcountry for your shot. Morning, day and evening trips are available.

Backcountry Fishing

This is the game to go on. January is full swing for winter fishing activity. Offering a TON of opportunities in the Key West Backcountry. The cooler waters start to set in for the winter species. Species such as Trout, Pompano, Ladyfish, Big Barracudas, sharks, and many more hard pulling high volume fish. It is not uncommon in December, January, February and March to catch over 25 different species of fish counting only the ones that are 18 inches or bigger in just a 4 hour trip. We recently had a species hunt for a group of anglers and one of our fishing guides came in with over 19 species caught all over 18 inches in 4 hours..

Tarpon fishing in the channels of the Key West backcountry will be hit or miss only on warmer days in December. Book a Key West backcountry fishing charter with us and every day we try to catch a tarpon. What a bonus in the off season.

December is the beginning of our killer winter fishery here in Key West. Here at Dream Catchers we really like the ease of the fishing. It takes little or no skill to catch fish and fee like a hero. We regularly take 4 people out and have everyone catching fish all day, it's truly great to see the smiles and hear the stories.

Wrecks and Reef

Winter fishery brings Kingfish, Sailfish and the occasional Dolphin to the reefs. The snapper bite will be off the chain. Grouper is closed on the Atlantic as well as the American Red Snappers. There is still much to do with great hard pulling species such as mutton snapper, amber jacks and tuna.

Deep Sea Blue water

Sailfish, Wahoo, Tuna, Kingfish are all the rage in January and February for the Key West Deep sea guys. We troll the reefs and deep reef for these palagics coming through looking for a bite to eat. The winter days seemingly get easier for the offshore deep sea fleet. Not as far to run to find fish means more fishing time with lines out and trolling.

Our sport fishing fleet is loaded with some great captains. Guys who have lived here most of their lives and really get off on taking folks out to see what's gonad bite. We offer deep sea fishing trips on boats from 38 - 47 ft. all with experienced captains just different amenities and of course they vary in cost. Bigger boat more money.

We also run Key West deep sea fishing trips on our 32 ft center console the "Intense" here at Dream Catcher Charters for folks to "live the dream" stand up fishing from the Kite or trolling. Also using live bait. Whatever you want, however it is that you like to fish, we have a trip for you.

My Thoughts on the forecast..

We got the cold I was looking for.. A bit to much I might add. The iguanas hanging on for dear life was an indication that it was REALLY cold. that said.. lets look at the effects it will have for Spring.. YE HA>> yes this will help us with spring, we will actually have a huge warm up and the fish will go nuts... Our Sea Surface Temps SST will remain lower throughout the summer as the Gulf really chilled down to the core.

Fishing News

It's happening faster than we can think. I have seen it go before and now it is at EPIC speed and effect. Back in the early 90's I saw the National Marine Sanctuary come in and take over the Florida Keys very fast and against our local vote. This was the beginning of what is coming to the end now for Florida Keys recreational fishing.

A few months ago The SAMFC decided to shut down grouper fishing in the Atlantic for the months of January through April. Everyone said no, they said yes and did it.

A month or so ago we had an exploratory meeting here in Key West about Fishing quotas and catch limits pertaining to the different groups such as Recreational, Charter, and Commercial. They were working off of completely inaccurate data and admitted it.

This week they had another exploratory meeting.. Talking about bringing back fish traps!!! There is no doubt that the commercial interest is the thing they are trying to preserve.. Not our fishery...

As you can see, things are getting tight for our local charter guides here in South Florida and the FLorida keys. With an already crappy economy because of people just like the ones taking away fishing running this country we are headed for even more job losses and making fishermen outlaws just to make a living.

I am not usually one to bitch. My company Dream Catcher Charters is very diverse. We offer both inshore and offshore fishing. So far the rules for inshore have not been affected. However.. Take all the guys who charter offshore and tell them they cant do that any more and see what happens to our inshore fishery. It will be destroyed as 3 times the pressure comes in on it.

People want to fish, take a fish home and eat it. We have practiced stringent catch and release policies to both save the resource and make our people happy. Why shut it down, why not just say, one per person or something like that.

Capt. Steven Lamp...
Give us a call 1-888-362-3474

5555 College Road
Key West, FL 33040

Twitter "DrCatcher"

Face Book "Dream Catcher Charters"

Indian River Fishing Is Steady

Fishing Steady
We got some nice fish Friday and Saturday. They were not jumping in the boat but with a little work we managed to land some redfish and black drum. The water is clear and the sight fishing is good. The water temp is back up in the mid 60's and the fish are more active. I am currently booking for February and March. I do have a few days open this month so call if you would like to go. Have a great week! Check out the photos and reports that go back to 2005. It gives you an idea of our patterns and consitent catches. Let's go have some fun and catch a few nice fish! 407-405-0819
25 Jan 2010 by Captain David Rogers

Captain David Rogers
AAA Hawgwild Saltwater Charters LLC

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

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sarasota Fishing Report 1-25-10

Capt. Rick Grassett’s Fishing Report for 1/10 through 1/23/2010

Anglers fishing with me on the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released trout and reds in Sarasota Bay and Charlotte Harbor recently. Water temperatures have warmed to close to 60 degrees and fish are starting to feed again.

The week of Jan. 10th was still very cold and there wasn’t much action. Dennis Stehlik, from IL, and Ron Mosetich, from RI, fished Charlotte Harbor with me on Friday, Jan. 15th. With the water temperature still in the low 50’s, they managed a few trout on CAL jigs with shad tails.

The action picked up during the week of Jan. 17th. Tom Lamb, from Geneva, Switzerland and John Freeman, Jr., from Venice, FL, fished Charlotte Harbor with me on Monday. They caught and released 10 or 12 trout to 17” and 3 reds to 28” on CAL jigs with shad tails. Fly angler Dave Wahl, from IL, fished north Sarasota Bay near Long Bar with me the next day. He caught and released about 10 trout on Clouser flies, including a 3-pound trout that he sight-fished out of a pothole. He also fished Little Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday and caught and released a pair of trout on Clouser flies before wind ran us off the water.

Keith McClintock and Victor Feldman, both from IL, fished north Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday. They caught and released about 10 trout, including a 3 ½ and a 5 ½-pounder, and a redfish on CAL jigs with shad tails. The bigger trout and redfish have been in skinny water in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, the recent freeze claimed more fish (snook, jacks, pompano and ladyfish) than we had hoped. Further south in the Keys, bonefish, permit and tarpon were killed. In response, the Florida FWC has instituted and emergency statewide closure on snook, bonefish and tarpon. Snook season will remain closed through the spring and will not reopen until Sept. 1st. Bonefish and tarpon will be closed through March 31st. These measures were necessary to protect species already extremely stressed due to the recent freeze. Catch and release fishing is allowed for these species during the closure, although anglers should use good judgment and handle fish gently. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend targeting snook in the near future. They will need all the help they can get for a while. For more details, go to .

Next week’s tides, as we head towards a full moon on Jan. 30th, are favorable for reds and trout in skinny water. Reds may tail on shallow grass flats of lower Tampa Bay or Gasparilla Sound on negative low tides towards the end of the week. Although our recent freeze was the worst in decades many fish survived. We are fortunate to have a variety of species, such as trout reds, bluefish and sheepshead, which can handle the cold water.

Tight Lines,

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

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

Dave Wahl, from IL, caught and released this nice trout on a Clouser fly out of a Sarasota Bay pothole while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett

John Freeman, Jr., from Venice, FL, caught and released this over the slot red on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Charlotte Harbor with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, caught and released this 5 1/2-pound trout on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Sarasota Bay with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sheepshead And Reds Best Bet


The cold fronts have put a damper on fishing in general, but there are still Reds and Snook being caught in the backcountry in the deeper holes. Water temperature at present is critical to the survival of many species especially Snook who can't survive temps below 55degrees. The fishing is good for sheepshead off and around the piers and docks. Sight fishing Reds is the best bet. The fishing will get better later this week with the warming trends for Friday.

Tight Lines.

Capt. Al White

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

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Everglades Fishing Report 1-21-10

January 20, 2010
the freeze
Filed under: Ship's Log — Captain Ned Small @ 5:20 pm

There are enough horror stories on the net already so I’ll gratefully forgo the gory descriptions; suffice it to say it’s pretty bad. It probably will have a significant impact on the snook and snook fishing. The redfish are fine, spotted trout are OK too as are some other, more cold tolerant species like sheephead. Some resident tarpon succumbed but, given the severity of the crisis, I guess we can be thankful the reports of tarpon kills are something less than that of snook. There’s potentially significant mortality of juvenile class fish, particularly snook and maybe tarpon in the backcountry as well as a major hit to breeding class snook in general. The State has mandated a closed season, (catch and release only,) on snook until September subject to possible renewal at that time.

Captain Ned Small
All photos are the exclusive property of Capt. Ned Small

Islamorada Fishing Report 1-20-10

Here at Holiday Isle in Islamorada, the weather is finally as it should be,,,,warm and sunny,,,the last few days have been fishtastic for the folks here. On the 18th we had Capt. Easy came in with four king mackeral and one sailfish but it got away...bummer...the family from Cape Cod were still very excited..then the Dee Cee came in with 6 dolphin, 1 king mackerel, and 1 sailfish caught by a young fellow named Danny Stubs on his 13th birthday,,,Danny, our wonderful photo of you was ruined,,,and we couldn't post it...still we are so proud of you tackling that sailfish by your self....continuing on JR and a wonderful couple Matt and Eddie from Maine caught a bunch of fish and said their trip was fantastic,,,on the Yabba Dabba we had 3 for 6 sailfish ,,,they saw 10 out there ...and last for the day of the 18th we have Sassy Lady going shark hunting with a pack of handsome Polanders,,,well moving on to the 19th we have our photos above with our clients from Capt. Easy bringing in the motherload of 2 sailfish, 1 dolphin, 9 king mackerel, 1 jack, and 2 sailfish,,,those guys rock,,,,and of course the Vagabond bringing in a couple of king mackerel and 1 sailfish, the group hailed from Conn,. said fishing beat freezing up north,,,we had other boats go out but they came back late and I didn't get the report,,,Gotcha, Priority and Killer White,,I see sailfish flags flying on their vessels...If you would like to experience The Experience call us here at Holiday Isle offshore booking office at 305-433-9942 and ask for Nikki or Nicci. as always, tight lines.....
Posted by Let's Fish at 6:31 AM

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
A Warm & Beautiful Day at Holiday Isle Offshore Extreme Marina.
What a great day for fishing the fabulous Florida Keys!
Captain Mel Walker and First Mate Mike Walters nailed the kings for two couples from upstate. Captain Chuck Schimmelmen of the Dee Cee Loaded up with Kingfish. Gold Reserve had a sail today.
Posted by Let's Fish at 4:17 PM

Nikki Holiday Isle Offshore 800-327-7070 Etc 642

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 1-20-10

FISHING 1/17/10

Finally the weather is getting back to normal, I was almost pleased to here the air unit come on. The cold took its toll on our fish and the Marine commission is being proactive in closing our Snook Season, good for the Snook. Most anglers are still shaking their heads on the impact of the cold on our fish. Why did some make it and some not, only mother nature can answer that but thank you to the marine commission for acting quickly on this and have to study, what I do not know.
Water is cold and one thing for sure the Blue Fish are here, twenty five fish in twenty six casts. The surf is crazy with Blues, cool thing is what ever time you get to the edge they are waiting. If it flashes and dashes they are on it, Spoons, chrome top water and chuggers top the list and then the cut mullet for the angler that likes baits. These fish are just a pitch not a cast from the edge, wire leaders and long shank hooks will find all the action you can take. Blue fish have a minimum length of 12" and the bag is ten, watch your limit it easy to get caught up in the action. When you have what you want take the barbs off the hooks, for and easy and quick release with no damage to the fish. Change your hooks over to a single barb hook, the fishing is so good if you miss one before you can pick up your bait another fish will have it. Pompano, well who would hang around a school of Blue fish, as the water cools and the Blues move off I am more than sure they will show, water has to warm a few more degrees.
In the river, you guessed it Blue Fish, you can see them coming just follow the birds. Trout season is open as long as the water is cool you will need to fish deep and slow, put your shrimp on a jig or on a float and keep in mind they will pick up the bait not strike it, if the rod tip move set the hook. Those pockets of mullet that you see are really Red Fish, they do not mind the cooler water, let them come to you and cast to the fish that is on the outer edge, that will keep them scattering. Have heard a lot about Snook on the sand bars after sun up warming their souls, not eating. Plenty of Sheephead from the bridges (12" min. 15 is the bag) with a mix of Black Drum to keep busy with and the Pompano still waiting. Last year at this time we were in the fish and the Pumps are there just not the numbers but with water temps being crazy as they are once they stabilize a little the fish will not disappoint us, I hope. there has been catch reported across the Sail Fish flats, Hells Gate, north of North Bridge in Ft. Pierce so we know the fish are here just when are they getting to the bridges?
Off shore it has been 80 to 150 feet of depth trolling Ballyhoo, on the catch list has been Sails, Dolphin and Kings in good numbers. Weather you are fishing off the Black Condos or the Loran Tower seas have been sporty and the fishing has been hot. Captain Pat Price from Day Maker Charters has reported these catches daily and if you trolled a bait deep you may have brought home a Cobia, three for four boats did. These boats were looking for smoker Kings and all they
found were Cobia, we all feel bad for them.
Till next week enough cold weather, I am ready for the heat...........................................................................Henry

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

Jacksonville Fishing report 1-19-10

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
1/19 - Recovering..... s-l-o-w-l-y

As I said in yesterday's non-fishing report post (I got a wild hair) I was heading out with DOA Rob today on his boat. Don't believe Rob had the same thing I had in mind, as today's goal. Because he went and "stuck it too me". Yeah, what a bud. Let me explain.....

As you may know I'm a serious R & D'er. I like to take a day and go throw a lure, try a different spot, play with a new reel, etc. Today, I had plans on trying a HOT new lure, I got my hands on. Problem was Rob just had to have one. So I gave him a sample. And what does he do? He goes out yesterday in his Kayak and catches 30 Trout (boxes a limit) and a few Reds on them. "Hey, it wasn't official but Tuesday was suppose to be the R&D day." I said.

So either way, he wasn't using the lure for it's actual intended purpose any way. Remember, he's a caster, a caster of the DOA shrimp. So what ever he did, didn't matter to me. So I said, let's try float-rig fishing the _______ area, and then we can go and check out the ______ afterwards, with the new lure. B&M bait and tackle had plenty of live shrimp this morning. So we were all set.

First spot, not a Trout to be had. Never lost a single shrimp,either of us. And just on the 7th of the month me and Dave R. caught real nice Trout here. Oh well, I'm used to the inconsistancy.....hell, it's Jacksonville. So we moved on up into a creek area, as the tide continued to flood in.

The catching at first was tough. As we buzzed around on the trolling motor. But we finally did stop, anchored up and fished. According to Rob, it was to appease me. And because I was catching a few Trout on a popping cork and my new lure.

sea trout on popping cork

The Trout were all small. So we again, moved on. As we moved on the trolling motor we were still catching small Trout.

Then, I pitched up to a nice looking bank with the current pushing against it. Popped my cork twice and it went under with authority. I said to Rob, "Damn, now this is a better fish". Rob replies, "ya got a Red!" The water's barely 50 degrees, and no fish seems to be fighting at their best, but this wasn't a 14 inch Trout either.

It turned out to be my first ever popping cork, with a lure, Sheepshead!

sheepshead on popping cork

sheepshead with lure

As we got way, way back in this creek the tide turned. And we did a loop and came back to the main creek and stopped and anchored on the bank with all the Trout. And I caught four in a row. Rob was catching them too. But no Reds......"Hell, I'll take a pup even", I said to Rob. So we both broke out the live shrimp and float-rigs and worked the shell bank. And can ya believe, not a bite. I picked back up my popping cork and lure and caught a Trout right away. Rob put away his float-rig and grabbed a jig and finally caught a Red. Then another, then another......and so on. All small puppers. But something different on the hook at least. I kept on pitching and popping. No Reds for Dave. Just Trout.

Rob really wanted to get out here, and head straight to where he caught his Trout yesterday. And then we had the discussion about; challenges, different areas, and new scenery, versus going to the same ole places all the time. Fish or no fish. Personally, I get so damn bored fishing the same places, same town, same state. Most people I know don't think like I do. For me it's all about business, learning ways to get others on fish, places to go, etc. And I was kinda having a good time. Rob was kinda bent out of shape. He'll thank me one day.

A saying I always go by is; "don't leave fish to go find fish." The exception is Jacks, Ladyfish, Toadfish....ya get my drift.

We were easily over 20 Trout, and at least 10 pupper Reds. And still just the "one" Sheepshead in the fish box. As we worked our way out of the creek and went back to the morning spot on the falling tide to try our hand at float-rig fishing it again......and again, No luck.

Rob thought he knew all about the area, but the low tide helped him learn where the literal in's and out's of the creek were, because at low tide, there's hardly any water. Heck, I'm in a 26 footer and I go in and out of this creek. Today, we were in a 17 footer! Don't believe we'll really have a problem. But Rob's other craft is a Hobie Kayak. So he thinks his 17 footer draws alot of water.

I was happy though. My Hot new lure was, HOT! And my own hand made clicking-popping corks that are for long distance casting worked great. (versus those "cajun thunder" light weight clickin floats) That's what I do for YOU my customers. I go do, "Research and Development".

Yeah, this creek we were in isn't the last word in fish filled creeks, by any means. There was fish. But fish too small.

The water temp rose as the tide fell a solid 4 degrees according to our constant montoring. And at dead low it was 54-55, compared to the 50 in the morning on the surface.

I still have plenty of R&D to do with my new lure, before I let the cat outa the bag. But it looks to have huge potential for what I have planned for it. Yes, I have a lot more plans than what we did today.

Hold on. I'll tell ya about it all in good time.
Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler at 1/19/2010

Captain Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

Monday, January 18, 2010

Indian River Lagoon Devastated By Cold

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing January 16, 2010

By Captain Tom Van Horn

Up Coming Seminars and Events

On January 23, 2010, 10 am Captains Chris Myers, Tom Van Horn and Charlie McCullough, Editor of Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando will be teaching anglers how to target and catch crappie and American shad. There will also be a Shad Derby meeting after the class for those angler wishing to register. For more details and directions to Mosquito Creek Outdoors, visit their website at

This Weeks Report

I'm saddened to report of events last week here in Florida that critically injured a lifelong friend for which I paid a visit to yesterday. Knowing of her fragility and the tender feelings I hold for her, I tried to prepare myself for the sight I would see as I approached her. My reluctance grew stronger and stronger the closer I got, and the damage I witnessed was beyond all my expectations. If you haven't put it together yet, my allusion is to the Indian River Lagoon. Ten days of freezing temperature were more than the IRL could handle, and a large number of species took a serious hit. Redfish and black drum seemed to have survive for the most part, but the large breeder sea trout and snook were devastated. The lagoon floor was littered with dead fish of all sorts and the shoreline had a scattering of dead sea turtles and birds. On my charter yesterday, we located a school of about 20 redfish right away, but after two hours of chunking an assortment of bait with no takers, I broke the cardinal rule of never leave fish to find fish, and we finished the day without seeing another redfish or getting a bite.

I strongly suggest that all who read this report go to the Lagoon and witness the devastation firsthand, because descriptions do not serve it justice. In 1977 we had a similar situation, and back then it took about 5 years to recover, but we also had twice the habitat and one tenth the anglers we have now. I see this morning that the FWC has already acted on closing snook, tarpon and bonefish through August, and I suspect similar action for other specie will follow.

This only proves that now we must practice conservation and good ethics on the water if we ever expect our lagoon to recover to the sustainable recreational fishery it was. I know we've had more than our share of bad news lately with the closures of our offshore fisheries and now the freeze, so the importance of conservation is now greater than ever. I also know this news is not good for my guide business, but it is what it is, and hopefully anglers who rely on the charter fishing industry will continue to support the guides.

On the bright side, we are fortunate that we live in Florida where we have an abundance of other fisheries. I haven't heard of much damage off of the beach, so I assume the pompano and whiting are a good option. On the inland lakes and rivers some tilapia and armored catfish were killed, but the American shad run has begun and the crappie have starting to bite. So, I say let our friend rest for a bit and have some fun catching crappie, shad and pompano, and our stressed out lagoon fish will have a greater chance of recovery.

shad on fly

Speaking of shad, the Shad Derby begins with a free shad and crappie fishing seminar held at Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka on January 23rd from 10 am to noon with a short anglers meeting to follow and for more directions go to Mosquito Creek Outdoors or Fishing Florida Radio. I did catch two nice fish on fly last week, and I've heard many other good reports. Also, if you do not own a boat or your boat has deep draft, Bruce Fryer of Central Florida Airboat Tours, Central Florida Airboat Tours (407) 321-0753, is offering a water taxi services from the Jolly Gator Fish Camp for twenty dollars. Bruce can deliver you to points from the mouth of Puzzle Lake to Lake Harney and other shad hotspots. Also, there are several guides, Captains Chris Myers, John Kumiski and myself who are available for shad charters and lessons, and all equipment is provided. Remember, both fresh and saltwater fishing license is required to catch shad in fresh water. Most saltwater guides have a saltwater fishing license covering everyone on their boat, but Florida law requires each angler to acquire their own freshwater license. Fishing licenses can be purchased directly online through the
FWC's Website.

The Revival of the Saint Johns River Shad Derby

A Free Online Fun Fishing Event

Derby Rules

Derby starts at sunrise on Sunday January 24th, and ends at sunset February 28th.

There is no entry fee; anglers must register at one of the official Derby sponsor locations and pick-up the official Derby Token, Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka, Florida.

Anglers must meet all of the fishing regulations requirements of the State of Florida and possess both fresh and saltwater license if it applies.

This is a catch, photograph and release (CPR) tournament only.

Anglers are permitted to fish anywhere on the Saint Johns River system.

Angles must take fish with hook and line only.

Anglers are permitted to fish in any manner desired, paddle fishing, boat, shoreline or wade.

Anglers can fish as many times as they want within the Derby timeframe and contestant can submit as many photos as they want. One prize per contestant per category.

Three categories will be presented, fly division, conventional division, and junior division 15-years old and under.

Fish must be measured using any commercially developed and purchased measuring device, homemade measuring devices are forbidden. Official measurement will be total length from the nose to the tip of the tail, no pinched tail, longest fish wins. Two photos must be submitted, one showing size and token card from Mosquito Creek, and one photo with contestant holding fish. If caught on fly please submit photo with fly visible. Photos must be emailed or sent via Internet form to Fishing Florida or with contestants name and how caught.

Angler is responsible for uploading photos to the official derby judging Internet site. Photos must include the official derby token, no exceptions.
In the event of a tie, the angler who uploads his photo first wins.

Derby judges final decision stands.

For more information on how to sign up and post your photos, visit

Fishing Florida Radio's website.
As always, if you need information or have any questions, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing and happy holidays,

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!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Snook, Tarpon, Bonefish Closures

The FWC has issued executive orders that will keep snook, bonefish and tarpon closed to harvest until September, 2010. This was caused by the unprecedented cold weather that hit Florida after the first of the year. Below is an excerpt of the press release announcing the orders. To read the whole thing go to FWC responds to widespread cold-weather saltwater fish kills

January 15, 2010
Contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has issued executive orders to protect Florida's snook, bonefish and tarpon fisheries from further harm caused by the recent prolonged cold weather in the state, which has caused widespread saltwater fish kills. The FWC has received numerous reports from the public and is taking action to address the conservation needs of affected marine fisheries. The orders also will allow people to legally dispose of dead fish in the water and on the shore.

One of the executive orders temporarily extends closed fishing seasons for snook statewide until September. It also establishes temporary statewide closed seasons for bonefish and tarpon until April because of the prolonged natural cold weather event that caused significant, widespread mortality of saltwater fish in Florida. The other order temporarily suspends certain saltwater fishing regulations to allow people to collect and dispose of dead fish killed by the cold weather.

Atlantic Shark, Grouper, Reef Regulations

New fishing regulations take effect January 19, 2010 for the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Starting January 19th this year and January 1st in 2011 and beyond, harvest of Atlantic shallow-water groupers (gag, red, black, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin, yellowmouth, and tiger groupers) will be closed through April in Atlantic and Monroe counties.

Two other sets of regulations take effect January 19th, 2010 for Florida's Atlantic waters. New reef fish regulations will require the use of a dehooking device in Atlantic waters. New regulations for the harvest of sharks are as follows:
• Size limit of 54” fork length for all sharks except Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, blacktip, bonnethead, finetooth, and smooth dogfish
• Harvest of Caribbean sharpnose, silky, and sandbar shark prohibited
• All sharks must be landed in whole condition

See all of the latest fishing regulations at-

Friday, January 15, 2010

Panhandle Fishing Report 1-2010

Report for 01/14/2010

Salt Water

Few anglers reporting from offshore yet again this week due to frigid temperatures however, many anglers are gearing up and readying their boats for trolling. Winter months are excellent times to troll for grouper. Mann's stretch series lures and Yozuri deep diving plugs are very effective lures for this type of bottom fishing. Traditional bottom fishing techniques are still your best tactic for grouper beyond depths of about forty feet. One other report this week indicated heavy Amber Jack activity over high relief wrecks and structures like the “Empire Mica” A variety of bait and lures will work for these hearty fighters.

The trout bite continues to improve in the intercoastal canal as freshwater runoff and flood conditions subside. Of course, more rain is forecast for the southeast this week and fishing conditions in the intercoastal may continue to be depressed until the fresh water influx subsides. The redfish are biting well in nearly all of the deeper holes and channels in St. Joseph’s bay and along the beaches. The very best spot for trout continues to be the Port St. Joe marina. Savvy anglers are taking advantage of tides and using solunar tables to pinpoint the best times for fishing. Others are braving the cold and wind, are rewarded by nice catches of trout simply by putting the time in with a Carolina rigged live shrimp or any number of shrimp imitations like the DOA.

The Flounder numbers are starting to slow down over the inshore wrecks. Use live bull minnows, shrimp or pilchards on a Carolina rig and target the edges of the wrecks. Amberjack are closed in Federal waters Oct. 24 through the end of the year, state waters are still open, remember the new 30 inch length limit. Grouper are being found well offshore from 20 plus miles out, best bet is to use large live baits.

Sheepshead have shown up under the 79 bridge in the Intracoastal Waterway and a few are being caught around the jetties. The White Trout bite is still very good. They can be found in deep water under the Hathaway and Tyndall Bridges. Use live shrimp on a Carolina rig for best results. Redfish are being caught in very shallow water on the flats in East and West Bays. The Bull Reds are still being caught with live shrimp and pinfish around the jetties. Speckled Trout are starting to move into the Intracoastal Waterway, creeks and bayous. Use live shrimp fished on the bottom for best results.



John Prine sent in these pictures of his catch last week!

Fresh Water
Sorry, no freshwater reports this week.

Half Hitch Tackle

2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, FL 32408

Fishing Report prepared by Half Hitch Tackle Staff.

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

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

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jensen Beach Fishing Report 1-14-10


How many way can you say cold or colder, just plain cold is the only way to say it. The week of winter, temperatures that made me dig out the real winter clothes. If you were fishing the Sail Fish tournament I know you fished, other than that it was tough to find anglers.
Off shore as cold as the temps were that is how hot the fishing was. North or south of the inlets, from eighty to one hundred and fifty feet of depth trolling Ballyhoo. Live baits not to be found, all went deep to get away from the cold temperatures and they are probably still down there. Sails aplenty, some pesky Dolphin getting in the bait spreads and the King fish just to keep you busy. The problem, it was just cold, to cold for most anglers but there was a few. Sails, Dolphin and King Fish made the catch list and it was done in a short time. Being cold is one thing, cold and wet, now that is cold.
Surf fishing top the list, Blue Fish and more blues, cut bait and spoons were the favored. So many Blues they pushed the other fish up on the sand. The best part, they were there all day. No matter the time anglers reported catching their limit in as many casts. Not to many anglers but plenty of Blues. Dress in layers so you can take some off or add to depending on how the bite is. A few Pompano but a little to cool to just sit and wait, fish the action, Blue Fish.
In shore from eleven till three, giving that sun a chance to warm the water, Reds, Trout, Blues and some Pompano. Good bite of just inside the slot Red Fish on jigs and live shrimp. In that mix has been nice Trout, wait for that sun to warm the sand bars and shallows and them move slowly to location. The fish are cold also looking to warm, but hungry knowing it is going to be cold. Pompano from the cross roads, hells gate, both causeways just not many anglers willing to deal with the cold. I live here I can wait till it warms and I will.
Fish impacted buy the cold, plenty just depending on your location. Snook are very temperature sensitive, from the St. Lucie up into the Indian River we may have lost more than I wish to talk about. Heard about Triple Tail at the Roosevelt, up side down. Croakers and Look Downs at the causeways, baby Tarpon at the Power plant, lets hope this is over by the time you read this. Till next week, stay warm..........................not so happy Henry

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

Everglades Fishing Report 1-2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010 Everglades Fishing Charters Fishing Reports Jan-2010

everglades sunrise

This is a picture of one of SW Florida beautiful sunrise. This was taken with no filters and no touch-ups on Jan 8, 2010 in the 10,000 Islands

black drum

man & woman with snook

Man, is it ever cold down here this week. Since the week before Christmas the weather has been touch and go. I have been fishing in nice weather and fishing in very cold weather. Have we been catching fish? You bet'cha. I think the fish have finally got use to the cold but hope it doesn't get any colder as we might just loose some snook do to extremely cold water temp. Trout season opened on the 1st of Jan and it has proven to be a very good season for nice BIG Trout. We are also catching Redfish, Snook, Baby Tarpon, Whitting, Gray Trout, Silver Trout, Sheepshead, Blackdrum, Snapper, Ladyfish, Jacks and Flounder.

sea trout

kid with flounder

The North wind has been blowing for a couple weeks, but it seems like forever. This blows the water out of the back waters and doesn't let the tide bring it back up to normal. When this happens we start to fish our winter holes. Different types of fish come and go through these holes as the tides flows in or out. This type of fishing can be very exciting cause you never know what you are going to catch or get ahold of in these deep spots. It might be a 100 lb tarpon or a 10 lb snook....ya just never know.

Okay, we just got good news that the weather is going to start getting warmer in a couple days and will be back into the mid to high 70's by the end of the week. (Jan 16)

I am posting some winter fishing pictures including New Years Eve camping trip for you to enjoy. These will give you an idea of how the weather here in SW Florida, Everglades National Park/10,000 Islands bounces up and down, but more days than not the weather is quite nice and sunny.

camping crew

camping in the everglades

relaxing at camp everglades

So what are you waiting for...get out of the cold....pick up that phone, give me a call (Capt. Becky Campbell 239-695-2029) and make those plans for that fishing experience of a lifetime.

Captain Becky Campbell

Posted by Captain Becky Campbell at 7:40 PM

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sebastian Inlet Fishing Report 1-2010

Whiteys Fishing Report January 2010

Until recently our winter has felt more like summer. The warmer weather has not helped the fishing, but the sudden push of cold fronts marching through have definitely changed that. The colder NE winds brought cooler water and the long awaited Pompano finally came with too. After a slow start in November and December, which historically can be great months, good numbers are being pulled up on the beaches. This should stay consistent throughout January as long as the water stays fishable and clean. Your best bet for catching these fish are a double drop pompano rig, pyramid sinker and sandfleas or clams as bait. High tides in the mornings and evenings are the best times to target them. The by-catch that comes along with Pompano fishing can be just as tasty. Catches can include Whiting, Black Drum, Sheepshead and Bluefish.

The warmer weather has also affected the wintertime Flounder fishing at Sebastian Inlet. With a slow start to the run things have really heated up recently as the temperature dropped. January might turn out to be the better month for the flatfish this season. Slack tides at the inlet are the best to key on if you only have a few hours to fish. Finger mullet, Mud Minnows and Shrimp are the best baits with a sliding sinker rig on 20# leader. The hardest part of flounder fishing can be finding the bait. Finger Mullet tend to disappear once the Flounder start biting so check out your favorite bait spots before you go.

Sheepshead and Black Drum fishing at Sebastian Inlet has been really hot. The jetties and bridge pilings are holding good numbers of Sheepshead. Sandfleas and Fiddler Crabs have been the best baits for the Sheepshead. Black Drum are hanging around the Jetties and beaches around the inlet. Cut clams are the best baits to use to target these fish.

With the opening of Trout season on the first of January it is time to break out the waders or boat to hit the flats. On warmer days the fish will be up on the flats in the afternoons foraging around. Fish the pot holes and drop offs with artificial lures and live baits for some great fishing action. Keep an eye out for tailing reds when on the water. Schools of Redfish will be roaming the flats looking for an opportune bait fish to consume.

With the Grouper and Snapper closures starting this month it is going to be a tough couple of months for offshore bottom fisherman. Staring January 1st all shallow water species of Grouper will be closed until April 30th. Snapper closures will begin on the fourth of January till the second of June. More regulations will be coming during the 180 day closure while federal fishery managers come up with a long term management goal.

On a personal note what in the world are they thinking. In a time of economic despair they are going to put a lot of people out of work. The boating industry and charter fleets are already in a slump and the last thing they need is to make it harder for these people to make a living. The recreational fishing industry is a multi-million dollar industry in the State of Florida and provides millions to the state is sales tax revenue and licensing revenue. Since the state is already broke this can not help. The state will make up for the drop in revenue in higher fees and stealth taxes. Mark my words we are going to be paying more for the right to fish and are going to be allowed to harvest less.

This is a classic example of government getting too big. If you look up the directory of the South Atlantic Fishery Council you will see what I mean. There are so many hands in the pot that they are trying to fund themselves with these closures. We have too many scientists and politicians making decisions to justify their positions to stay on the payroll. No better way to do this than creating studies. A classic example of this is the Goliath Grouper. In the 90's the federal government enacted a thirty year mandatory closure on the species. In that thirty years they are to study the population density. No management changes can be made until that time has expired. What better way to create funding for the next thirty years.

The gun owners have a huge lobby effort in the form of the NRA. It is time that fisherman get their own NRA. I would like to apologize if it sounds like I am going on a Dennis Miller type rant because I am. Weather you are an inshore, offshore or freshwater fisherman these closures might not affect you yet, but they will. Call your congressman, senator, local representative, South Atlantic Fishery Council the governor and tell them how you feel and how it will affect you. It is time we make waves other than the ones from the bow of our boats. Join groups like the Fishing Rights Alliance and donate money to the cause. In my opinion they are one of the few groups that are really fighting these closures. This is just the tip of the iceberg and more closures are sure to follow. This is a call to action and now is the time to speak up before anymore closures take effect. It is time that the fishing community has it's own tea party.

Again I apologize if I am sounding too political, but enough is enough. If my rant can help the cause in any way I am willing to take the heat. If anyone has any questions about this article or would like to discuss it further I can be reached at Whitey's. Good luck to everyone in the New Year and may it be a healthy and prosperous year for all. Check in at Whitey's for the latest fishing reports and get out and go fishing while you still are allowed. Tight Lines!!!!!!!!!!

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

Slower Presentation Catches Cold Fish

Welcoming Winter 12/11/2009

Hey Friends! Ready for the holiday season yet? Why not buy your loved one a Gift Certificate from Capt. Brian? I've been sending them out for a couple weeks now and we still have time! They make a great stocking stuffer. If you are up North, I hope you are staying warm. Come on down and have some fun fishing with me, just leave that cold weather behind. Here is what is happening on the water...

big trout

This time of year always brings us some cold fronts. Not all bad as they push in the bigger Trout and also bring in larger Grouper closer to shore. Presentations must be slowed down as the fish tend to be a little lethargic, especially in the morning hours. The spoil islands around my area are starting to hold those big Trout. Select sized Shrimp, Sardines (if you can find them) and jigs are all working for the Trout. Your favorite plastic jerkworm on a 1/8 ounce jighead is perfect. The Shrimp can be floated a few feet under a cork and produce great results on the big Trout. Tidal flow is the key to catching a bunch so plan around the tides. Also, the warmer afternoons can be good if the early part of the day is real cold. Trout will be the focus of many anglers, especially in a couple of weeks when the season opens for keeping them on January 1st.

Redfish are staging up around a few docks but have been pretty scarce for the most part. They will settle in soon. We always seem to have them through the winter so I am sure they will move back in and eat the Shrimp pitched around the oyster bars and docks along the seawalls. Gulp Shrimp are a great artificial bait to use in the winter. The Reds love them and the Pinfish can't tear them up too badly.

Grouper are moving into the 20 foot range. Certain rock piles are holding good numbers of fish. Cut Pinfish and Grunts are a great bait but the Shrimp and Sardines will get a hit too. The Mangrove Snapper are also on most of these rocks so dropping a rig with smaller tackle is always a good idea. I like to use light mainline, 15 - 20 lb test with 30 lb leader and a 1/0 hook for the Snapper.

We will certainly hook a variety of inshore fish while targeting Trout and Reds. Ladyfish Bluefish and Mackerel are the usual suspects. Great fun for the kids or anyone looking to fight some fish! I am ready to go so call now or e-mail me and let's get you down for a fun filled day during the Holiday hustle and bustle! 727-365-7560 or Don't forget those Gift Certificates! Let's go fishing!

Capt. Brian

Capt. Brian

Capt. Brian Caudill

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jacksonville fishing Report 1-11-10

Monday, January 11, 2010 1/11 - Coldest day of the year? Who cares?

Headed out this morning with DOA Rob, in his other Hobie Kayak.

hobie kayak

(D.O.A. Rob, in his Hobie "Mirage Drive" powered Kayak)

I just had to see what all the fuss was about. This was my second yak experience. The first one in a Hobie "peddle" powered yak.
The last time I went with Rob, was when I used his big blue paddle yak. A super wide, super stable, customized one, that we installed a big boat seat in. Yeah a big, high backed, boat seat out of Rob's boat. Talk about comfortable!

To start I headed to Robs house at 6:30am. And we were headed out, truck loaded with two yaks, and all the tackle, paddles & peddles, and landing nets around 7:30am. We crossed the Mayport ferry
and were headed to the "holy grail" spot where Rob's been KILLIN' them. We get there, and there's a gate that was supposed to be open, that's closed. We sat around waiting and waiting for someone to show, and finally around 10:00am a park ranger shows up. He didn't even want to let us in yet, but he remembered Rob, and let us head on in.

We unpacked the truck, unloaded the yaks and took off into the creek. Right there and then, I could tell "this may not be for me." The Hobie kayak was small, I had too many heavy clothes on and couldn't even move. The seat had to be adjusted, the peddles that propel the yak needed to be adjusted. And I couldn't even reach theadjustments......"ya mean I have to lean backwards, but bend over my knees, and then reach to my toes and then squeeze the adjuster, and then lean forward, turn around a bit, grab the seat straps, and then I'll be okay????" Kinda reminded me of when me and my whole family went "Grass Skiing" one summer. You think skiing on snow is hard? Try Grass Skiing. Where the ski's have tracks on them like a tank. Did you know ski slopes have tons of rocks under that snow?

Well folks, I couldn't even bend enough to get my peddles right. So Rob eased up to me and adjusted my peddles for me from his yak. I don't know how tall Rob is, but he's not, tall. And he's not all that bulky either. He's wirey, like a squirrel. Not a bear, like your's truely. But as we peddled our way against the creek current, 100 feet. I was already wore out.

These yak seats, are not like any seat in a boat. For me, it's more like sitting in a dragster cockpit, that could tip over. And then you have to either peddle or paddle. And the backrest? It's a skinny little pad with with some straps, and gave me no upper body support. Your butt, sits on a foam pad in molded area.

But I was okay, and getting along. As good as a human pretzel could.

I quickly realized as I peddled Hobie's propritary propulsion system, that my knee muscles haven't seen this type of activity in about 25 years.

It took me about 300 feet away from our splash-in-point, till I could pick up a rod and start casting.

The water was crystal clear. I mean swimming pool chlorine clear. And shallow. As we worked our way around bends and twists. I saw not a single swirl, flash, or ripple on the surface. Rob pointed out all of his best spots....and they were maybe 2 feet deep. "You'd have to see something!" "Hell, a dang 5" mullet makes a wake in water this deep." Not a tiny little minnow, a shrimp or a crab was to be found.
That's wrong......I did see 3 dead crabs laying on the bottom.

And we never had a single bite, although Rob said he had a few? The water even at low tide, with the sun shining down on it was very cold. But ya know, in the sun with hardly any wind down below the marsh grass, I wasn't even cold. It was actually beautiful. A wonderful winter day, in D-E-A-D water.

But I have to hand it to Rob. He didn't give up. He worked the creek as he always does, sure and methodically. I anchored up and just pitched a jig and shrimp out into a deep hole in a bend in the creek. Right in the same spot where Rob caught Trout to 5 pounds and 7 pounds along with numerous Reds and Black Drum, just last week. That's why he wanted me to go with him, cause they were chewin so good.

Well, it didn't take an act of god to tell us we were just wasting time. So we headed back. Now, the tide was dead low and where we launched was solid mud. So we used a dock down the creek and then trudged all the yaks and equipment back to the truck. Kinda makes launching a boat at a boat ramp look like, childs play. The rods and tackle bags had to be unloaded, then the yak peddles and paddles, then the yaks had to be carried back to the truck.

Call me an ole dog....but man, what a ton of work, this kayaking was, for no fish. My knees popped back into position as Rob held the yak, and I flopped up on the dock., Then when standing up again, like a bi-ped. I could feel the tingle in my butt cheeks as they recieved a surge of warm circulated blood.

I gather, I'd need a bigger roomier kayak. I did like the comfiness of Robs other yak with the boat seat. Maybe that'll be the yak I use from now on.

kayak fishing

(Last year in BIG BLUE the "Cozy Kayak", in Guana Lake in Ponte Vedra)

It all worked out. I've learned alot about kayaks, in my two trips.

I learned, I need a elevated boat seat in mine, and enough room to straighten my legs out. And paddling really isn't that bad.

Although we had this trip planned for awhile, even fishing guides, being guided by a yaking pro like DOA Rob, doesn't mean I'm going to fill my stringer with fish. Especially the one day out of 365, that I chose to go. Yeah, even fishing guides guided by experts, go skunked sometimes.

We ended our day having lunch over on Hecksher Drive, before coming over the ferry back to Robs house in Atlantic beach. Even though we caught no fish and put a lot of time and effort into today's trip. As we crossed the river on the ferry, I asked Rob..... "Ya wanna go in my boat tomarrow?" He said, "yeah as long as we don't go at the crack of dawn." I replied, "Ya crazy, I want it to be at least 38 degrees before we leave the dock"

That's how it is, when you're a FISHIN' NUT.
And the two of us are "nuts", for sure.

Captain Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler at 1/11/2010