Saturday, January 28, 2012

Florida Kids Fishing Clinics 2012

kids fishing clinic

One of the best ways to teach children to love fishing and protect our states natural resources is through one of the Kids' Fishing Clinics sponsored by the Outreach and Education section of the Division of Marine Fisheries Management, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. These are one day events where children spend about an hour going through five mandatory skill stations: Casting, Knot Tying, Fishing Tackle, Good Angler and Touch Tank. Afterwards they will receive a free rod and reel (compliments of local sponsors while supplies last), and at most clinics, will have the opportunity to fish.

2012 Kids Fishing Clinics Dates And Locations
Month Date Location Address Time
February 25 Crystal River Fort Island Gulf Beach Fishing Pier12073 W. Fort Island Trail 9:00 AM - NoonPreregistration required:

March 24 Fernandina Beach Ft. Clinch State Park2601 Atlantic Ave. 9:00 AM - Noon
31 Daytona Beach Sunglow Fishing Pier3701 S. Atlantic Ave. 9:00 AM - Noon
April 14 Pensacola Plaza De Luna997 S. Palafox St. 9:00 AM - Noon
21 Panacea Wooley Park

Mound St.
9:00 AM - Noon
28 Naples Naples City Fishing Pier25 12th Ave. S. 9:00 AM - Noon
May 19 Panama City Panama City Marina1 Harrison Ave. 9:00 AM - Noon
June 30 Cape Canaveral Cruise Terminal #3220 Christopher Columbus Dr. 9:00 AM - Noon
July 14 Palm Coast Bings Landing Co. Park5862 N. Oceanside Dr. 8:00 AM - Noon
August 7-9 West Palm Beach Bicentennial Park200 E. 13th St. Preregistration Required:561-832-6780

Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters

Friday, January 27, 2012

Indian River Sightfishing 1-26-2012

Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters
by Capt. Chris Myers
January 26, 2012

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report
The past several days the fishing in Mosquito Lagoon has been about as good as it gets. The month overall has been up and down with some fantastic sight fishing and some days when the fish were few and far between. The warm and calm weather as of late has certainly been to the angler's advantage as the fish have been happy and tailing. The dead calm days has made the fish easy to spot but they are also easily spooked by unnatural noises. I saw hundreds of fish spooked the last few weeks by squeaky shoes on the deck alone. Be extremely aware of your noise discipline as you approach tailing fish.

With water temperatures in the morning in the high 60's and near 75 by day's end, the fish are aggressive and will eat even large baits. Unfortunately, the water is still not crystal clear like it should be this time of year. It is clear enough to see the fish though. Most of the month, we experienced extremely low water levels. The water has risen this past week and with it came tons of floating grass that had been washed up on the shore. Weedless jerk baits are a necessity when the grass gets to be too thick. Color has not seemed to be too important as we have caught fish on a variety of shades. Presentation, however, is very important. Trying to catch tailing redfish means you are casting at a stationary target but your bait must get within a foot or less of them or they will not see it.

Ray had an excellent day on the Lagoon before he had to go to a job in Iraq. He landed double digit redfish, mostly on the 3" DOA CAL tail and a 1/8 ounce jighead.

Joe wanted to try his hand at fly fishing for redfish. A steady 10 mph wind was a bit much for him to overcome with the fly but he did manage several nice reds on the 3" CAL.

Jim fished Mosquito Lagoon with me the following day. He threw the fly all day long. We tried feeding some uncooperative black drum. We never got one to bite. Jim used a small tan shrimp imitation fly of his own creation to catch several redfish.

Mike was my next fly angler last week. We began the day throwing a bendback to some very shallow schools of redfish. While he came close a number of times, 10 feet more on his fly cast would have resulted in some hookups. Again we tried a multitude of flies on some black drum. The only bite he got ended when the leader broke on the hook set. Mike was able to get his first redfish to eat a fly he tied on a #4 hook with some orange/brown chenille, small lead eyes, and a tan wing. With shots at hundreds of fish throughout the day, we called it a success.

This Monday I took a trip to the St John's River for some fly fishing for shad. While others I spoke to reported catching 30-40 shad, I caught that many fish but only 8 or so were the target species. The rest were a mixture of crappie, bass, bluegill, sunfish, and redbreast. The shad are there, however, and it seems to be a good run of them this year.

Tuesday, I fished with Jeff and Jim on their first flats fishing trip. We found the black drum a bit more willing to cooperate and even got a double header.

Tailing redfish were our next target. The tails were easy to spot as the water was smooth as glass. Soon we had tail in every direction. With lots of floating grass to deal with, I elected to go with a weedless CAL in melonback color. A Woodies rattle inserted near the tail helped the fish find the bait. The next few hours were filled with shots at hundreds of reds and some bent rods resulted.

We ended the day completing a Mosquito Lagoon slam by using the DOA Deadly Combo to catch numerous seatrout off the outside edge of the flat.

Yesterday was nearly a carbon copy of the day before. The only improvement was we had much clearer skies making it even easier to spot the fish when the sun came up. Rick and Cynthia started off the day bringing a few black drum to the boat before we moved on to tailing redfish. The first red came on a DOA shrimp but the weedless CAL bait proved to be a better choice with the heavy floating grass still around.

In addition to landing numerous redfish, both caught a seatrout as well to complete a double slam for the second day in a row.

As long as the weather remains stable, the fishing will continue to be outstanding. Should a cold front blow through and drop the water temperatures significantly, the fish will drop off the flats for several days. If you must fish during those times, target the deeper edges of flats and sand troughs with jigs. As long as the water remains warm, however, the fish will be happy, schooling, and feeding.

Seminars and Classes
On February 4, Capt. Tom Van Horn and I will begin our Basic Flats Fishing Seminar Series at 10am at Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka. These classes are designed to teach students all aspects of flats fishing from choosing equipment and lures to how and when to target specific species. The class schedule is as follows:

Class #1 Introduction to Saltwater Flats Fishing, Feb 4th

Class #2 Tackle, March 31st, 2012

Class #3 Lines, Leaders and Knots, April 21st, 2012

Class #4 Saltwater Lure (Hard Baits) Applications, May 19

Class #5 Soft Plastic Applications, June 9th, 2012

Class #6 Natural Baits, July 21st, 2012

Class #7 Tackle, Storage, and Maintenance, Augus 11th,

Class #8 Successful Angling Tactics, September 22nd

All classes are free and begin at 10am at the Mosquito Creek Outdoors Outback.

February 10-12 is the Old Florida Outdoor Festival in Apopka. I will be doing fly casting demos and there will be a host of other fishing guides and celebrities there during the weekend.

On Thursday February 16, at 6:30pm, Cat. Tom and I will be speaking about Winter Sight Fishing Tactics at Mosquito Creek Outdoors.

Saturday, February 25 will be the Shad and Crappie rally at CS Lee Park on the St. Johns River at SR 46. With a strong shad run so far this year, this should be a good event. There will be seminars and prizes.

Saturday, March 17 will be the next Fly Casting Class. This is a 4 hour class limited to 6 students that focuses entirely on fly casting. Pre-registration is required and the cost is $75. Call me at 321-229-2848 or Mosquito Creek to register.

Captain Chris Myers

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report 1-23- 2012

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report
January 21, 2012
By Captain Tom Van Horn

Upcoming Seminars and Events

Thursday, January 26th - 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., Free Shad and Crappie Fly Tying Event at Orlando Outfitters, 2814 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32808, phone (407) 896-8220. Visit: Fly tying instruction and seminar by Capt. Beau Osborne. Learn what you need to catch shad and crappie on fly in the Orlando area and see how easy it is to tie effective fly patterns for both species. These tying techniques can also be used to create your own shad and crappie jigs.

Saturday January 24th - 9 a.m. Free Rod Builders Class located in the Outback section of Mosquito Creek Outdoor, 170 South Washington Ave. Apopka Florida

Wednesday February 1st - 7- 9 p.m. Apopka Bass Fishing Club meeting at Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 South Washington Ave, Apopka,

Saturday & Sunday, February 9th, 10th and 11th - The Old Florida Outdoor Festival at the North East Recreational Complex in Apopka, Florida,

Thursday February 16th - 6:30 P.m. to 8:30 p.m. "Free Seminars" "Winter Lagoon Sight Fishing Tactics" instructed by Captains Tom Van Horn, Chris Myers, located in the Outback at Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 South Washington Ave., Apopka Florida,

Saturday, February 25th - 11:00 to 2:00 p.m., Free Shad Rally at the Jolly Gator Fish Camp, phone (407) 349-5554, on Hwy 46 adjacent to CS Lee Park in Geneva, Florida. Visit: "Free Seminars" instructed by Captains Tom Van Horn, Chris Myers and Charlie McCullough, "Shad Fishing Tactics" Event includes sponsor displays, giveaways and a raffle with all proceeds going to Anglers For Conservation (AFC), Hook Kids on Fishing Program.

This Weeks Fishing Report

Fishing this past week is as good as it gets and for those of you that follow my reports know when I get excited about fishing, it's time to call in sick, buy some flowers for your sweetie and take advantage of our gorgeous weather and hot catching.

On numerous trips to the St. Johns River this past week, we were rewarded with excellent catches of crappie and American shad. The bite has been hot from Lake Monroe in Sanford to Puzzle Lake with exciting reports coming from all of these areas. For me, my success has come from slow trolling 1/16 ounce white Road Runners, and fly fishing with chartreuse and orange Crazy Charles.

Captain Tom's Shad on Fly

Fat American shad on fly.

Captain Tom's 17.5 Shad on Fly

Captain Tom's 17.5 inch shad caught on a orange Crazy Charlie fly.

Charlie's 17.25 Shad

Charlie McCullough's American Shad

Charlie McCullough's 17.25 Shad

Charlie's 17.25 American Shad

Charlie's Sunshine Bass

Charlie's Fat Sunshine Bass

On the saltwater scene, good reports of black drum and redfish have been coming from the Banana River Lagoon's No-Motor Zone where I good friend Captain John Kumiski busted two of his fly rods this week on large black drum.

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

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
(407) 416-1187

For all of your outdoor needs, visit, it's where your adventure begins.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ft Lauderdale Deep Sea Fishing 1-18-2012

Ft Lauderdale deep sea fishing has been good over the first two weeks of 2012. Anglers aboard the Reel Work deep sea fishing charter yacht have been catching kingfish, blackfin tuna, mahi-mahi, bonita, tilefish and sailfish. The sailfish run through our area was slightly delayed this year due to the beautiful warm weather we have been experiencing. A strong cold front a few days ago has now pushed the sailfish into our area. Fort Lauderdale offshore fishing should be excellent for the next several months. Here is what we have been catching for the last two weeks.

On January 6th, we caught some sailfish and tile fish. Heard reports of a few kingfish, a wahoo, and a mahi being caught.

Fishing was pretty good on the 9th. Our clients caught a lot of blackfin tuna and some kingmackerel. Heard of a few mahi and a couple of sailfish.

Our anglers had a good day of fishing on the 10th catching blackfin tuna, kingfish, and a couple of bonita in the afternoon.

We had an all day trip on the 14th. Our anglers were rewarded with kingmackerel and mahi-mahi.

On the 15th we had a great morning of fishing! Our Ft Lauderdale deep sea fishing clients caught a bunch of kingfish, a few bonito, and a nice wahoo.

Fish On!

Reel Work Sport Fishing Charters
301 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Fort Lauderdale Deep Sea Fishing

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sarasota Fishing Report 1-15-2012

Sarasota, FL Fishing Report
by Capt. Rick Grassett

Anglers fishing Sarasota Bay and Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor during the past week with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released reds, trout and  pompano on jigs and flies. Action was better later in the day due to cool water.

Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. We waded several bars in north Sarasota Bay and Nick caught and released 3 reds and several trout on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly. Longboat Key winter resident, Pat Decastro, fished Sarasota Bay and the coastal gulf with me on Tuesday. We spent a couple of hours hunting false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail in the coastal gulf. Despite good conditions and water temperature of 69 degrees we didn’t find anything. We fished several deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay and Pat caught a few trout up to 18” but the action was slow.

Wednesday was windy as a front blew through, but it didn’t change conditions drastically on Thursday. Keith McClintock and Victor Feldman, from IL, fished Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor with me on Thursday and had a good day. They caught 4 reds up to 4-pounds, a 3 ½-pound pompano and numerous trout on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails and DOA Deadly Combos.

Trout and reds should continue to be good options in skinny water in Sarasota Bay. In addition to trout, look for pompano, blues and Spanish mackerel on deep grass flats. Afternoons may fish better than mornings due to cool water.

Tight Lines,

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

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

Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL, waded a Sarasota Bay sandbar with Capt. Rick Grassett and caught and released this red on a Grassett Flats Minnow fly.


Pat Decastro, from OH, caught this upper slot Sarasota Bay trout on a Clouser fly while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.


Victor Feldman, from IL, caught and released this red out of a pothole on a CAL jig with a shad tail while fishing Gasparilla Sound with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tampa Bay Fishing Report 1- 2011

Tampa Fishing Charters
January 6, 2012

You’ve got to love Florida winter fishing. I was fortunate enough to get a call from Phil about fishing in the Bradenton area. I live in Clearwater, but I have been fishing all over the bay area my whole life. So when Phil said he wanted to fish up the Manatee River I was very excited.

The plan was to pick up at Fort Hammer and fish with live shrimp. The morning was very cold so we had to make sure that Phil’s eight year old son, Thomas, was kept warm. We started working through different spots and eventually landed this slot red:

14” red fish came to the boat all day long and so did the pesky lady fish. We also caught small snook, keeper trout and undersized trout, and three nice sized sheephead. We had steady action all day and Thomas said it was his best fishing day ever.

As much as I enjoyed the day, I was little saddened that we did not get any large snook bites. I sure look forward to the day when they have recovered from the freeze of 2010. The water temperature was around 58 and all fish were taken on live shrimp. I can’t wait to get out there again.

Captain Rick Reddick
Tampa Fishing Charters

Friday, January 06, 2012

North East Florida Fishing Report

Amelia Island Fishing Report
January 2012

Happy New Year Anglers!

Here's hoping that you're able to get out on the water as much as you can and have the best fishing year you've ever had!  Plan to follow along with what's biting at the Amelia Island Fishing Report .   If you don't have a boat or just want me take care of everything, Get away from it all, book a trip,  and Let's Go Fishing on The Angler's Mark!

December Reports/January Forecasts
Amelia Island Redfish

December rolled along as if it were still Fall with only cool mornings warming to the high 60's and low 70's.  We had a number of trips where we caught all the small Trout we wanted with a few keepers thrown in to make a good dinner.  Some Flounder were still in the area and we found Redfish around downed logs and dock pilings;  when you caught one, you caught a dozen.  Although most of them were just undersized, we had a couple of trips where they were pushing the limit of the Slot.   My last trip of 2011 produced 40+ fish with 2 keeper sized Trout, 2 Slot Reds, and 2 large Sheepshead.

As I write this, tonight's temperature is supposed to drop into the low 20's so winter is here!  FISH THE STRUCTURE!  That's what I noted in my journal last January.  The Redfish, Drum and Sheepshead were found around the logs, dock pilings and even a wreck on the south end  of the island.  Keep track of the fish catching at the Amelia Island Fishing Report!   Wear layers and get out on the water to enjoy some Amelia Island fishing. And if you'd like to make it a "hassle-free" fishing trip, Contact me and I'll do all the work!

Amelia Island Redfish

Capt. Lawrence Piper
The Anglers Mark

Amelia Island, Florida

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report 1-2012

Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters
Capt. Chris Myers
December 31, 2011

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report
The flats fishing in Mosquito Lagoon the second half of this month has been good. Redfish, trout, and black drum have been plentiful on the flats. The water clarity is still not what it should be for this time of year but there are places where you can sight fish. This week's cooler temperatures along with some nights in the 40's next week will hopefully kill off the algae that has been plaguing us for several months.

While the fish have been feeding the last couple weeks, we have seen very few tails breaking the surface. A lot of fish can be spotted nose down digging for food but remaining completely submerged. If you don't have a proper pair of polarized glasses or if the sun is obscured by clouds, the fish are nearly impossible to spot before you run over them. If you can spot them, a variety of soft plastics have been working well. Topping the list is the 1/4 ounce DOA shrimp. Tailing redfish will rarely refuse it and the trout love it as well. I have been using the watermelon holographic color but presentation is much more important than the color you use.

If conditions do not allow for sight fishing, blind casting with the 4 and 5.5 inch CAL baits has been landing both trout and redfish. Adding a Woodies Rattle to the baits has improved the bite. Choose areas with a mix of sand and grass to improve your chances for landing both species. Blind casting is exactly what we had to do all day on a trip last week with Joe and his son Joe Jr. The skies were solid clouds all day and we could not see the fish in the water. They threw 5.5 inch Cals and landed numerous redfish and trout.

The two previous days had both sun and clouds and we had multiple opportunities to sight cast to redfish on the flats. We also used the DOA Deadly Combo along the deeper edges of the flats for some steady trout action.

Jeff and his son George threw melon back Cals on a perfect December morning and landed several nice trout and redfish as well.

I went out for a bit after dropping them off to take advantage of the clear skies and water. Unfortunately, I did not have my flyrod on board but the DOA shrimp and crab were eaten by almost every fish I cast at.

This week, I had the pleasure of having former Nebraska Cornhuskers coach Tom Osborne on board to do some fly fishing for redfish. The first day we were going to do the trip it was blowing 20 with a 4o degree wind chill. The following day, it was calm but we had solid clouds for the first 5 hours. We saw plenty of fish all morning, after bumping into them with the boat that is. None of the fish would tail and the coach never got a shot all morning. Finally the clouds passed through and the sun came out. A short time later, he was hooked up with his first redfish of the day. That fish came unbuttoned after a minute or so. The second redfish that ate the black worm fly stayed on the hook and was brought in for a quick photo.

Yesterday's trip brought the best weather of the week. Crystal clear skies and no wind made for excellent sight fishing conditions. My client landed both redfish and trout on a three inch DOA CAL and had shots at dozens of tailing redfish and black drum throughout the day.

The next couple months will offer some of the best fly fishing and sight fishing of the year. The fish will be targeting small baits such as crabs and shrimp and will eagerly eat similar sized flies and plastics. As always, the better you cast, the more you will catch. The number one thing you can do to catch more fish on the flats is to practice casting quickness and accuracy.

January Seminars
Learn to use that new fly fishing equipment you got for Christmas. Mosquito Creek Outdoors will be hosting a free Introduction to Fly fishing class on January 14 and 10am. I will be discussing fly fishing opportunities in Florida and we will do some casting. On January 21, I will be teaching my fly casting class from 9-1. The class is limited to 6 students and costs $75. Pre-registration is required.

Captain Chris Myers

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report 1-3- 2012

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report
January 2012
By Captain Tom Van Horn

Central Florida Shad and Crappie Derby Dates
Saturday January 14th, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Crappie Rally and Seminar at Boat Tree Marina at the Port of Sanford.  This event features free fishing seminars on both crappie and shad fishing by local pros, food, raffles sponsor booths and more.  Come out and join in the fun, and learn how easy it is to catch these two species.

Thursday January 26th 6:30 - 9:00 PM, Free Shad and Crappie Fly Tying Event at Orlando Outfitters, 2814 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32808, phone (407) 896-8220. Visit:  Fly tying instruction and seminar by Capt. Beau Osborne. Learn what you need to catch shad and crappie on fly in the Orlando area and see how easy it is to tie effective fly patterns for both species.  These tying techniques can also be used to create your own shad and crappie jigs.

Saturday February  25th, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Shad Rally and Seminar at the Jolly Gator Fish Camp on the St. Johns River and HWY 46 east of Geneva.

Saturday March 17th, Shad and Crappie Derby ends at dusk.

February 11th and 12th, Old Florida Outdoor Festival in Apopka, Florida.

January Fishing Forecast
It's hard for me to fathom how quickly 2011 past and all of the great fishing I experienced with clients, family and friends. 2011 was a great year for me, even with the difficult economic conditions, and I'm excited about the many opportunities ahead of us in 2012. The fishing charter business was a bit slow in 2011, but has shown considerable improvement this past month and the fishing has improved as well. In addition, the success of Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando has been off the hook. As owner and co-publisher of the Orlando franchise we have continuously expanded our reach to the angling public in Central Florida by expanding our content, distribution and community service. It's all good news, and we are moving forward with plans for expanded free clinics, classes and events, and I thank you for your continued support in 2012. As I've stated in the past, we are truly blessed by the many outdoor opportunities we have in Central Florida year round, and I hope to see on the water you soon.

God bless and happy new year.

Winter on Florida's Space Coast is not defined by any specific seasons, but by the temperature variations and winds created by passing cold fronts. These variations are subject to change from year to year, and they are impossible to predict. Average daytime temperatures usually range from the 50's in the morning to around the 70's by afternoon. Likewise, water temperatures average in the upper 60's, but they can drop as low as the 50's during extended periods of cold weather. On warm sunny days, water temperatures can increase as much as four degrees on the shallow flats and sandbars. All of these factors greatly affect species targeted and methods used.

On the lagoons, redfish and sea trout seek the warmest water they can find. Start out working the deeper edges of the flats in the morning and then move into the warmer wind protected flats around mid-day to late afternoon. An early start is not required this time of year. Additionally, both redfish and sea trout love to warm themselves in the shallow water sand pockets "potholes" within the grassy flats. On colder days, focus your attention on the deeper holes using a very slow presentation. When targeting redfish and trout in these deeper holes, I prefer using shrimp imitation baits like DOA, or GULP shrimp in the clear or nightglow colors fish extremely slow. Other species encountered in January are black drum, flounder, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, and bluefish. Also, January is one of the best months to target tailing black drum on the flats, especially in the Banana River "No Motor Zone". Both live shrimp and blue crabs are the preferred bait for black drum, but they will eat both artificial and fly when presented properly.

Inlet fishing should be good in January weather permitting, with Sebastian proving to be the most productive. There are still some reports of flounder moving through the inlet. On the inside of the inlet, look for good numbers of pompano, ladyfish, and jacks to be present on the flats both north and south of the cut and in the area of the monument. Also, January is the month when the jumbo reds move in and feed in the mouth of the inlet during the last part of the falling tide. These monsters are brood stock, so please handle and release them with care.

Near-shore, January is the month when the tripletail become consistent on the Port Canaveral buoy line and their numbers will increase as the month progresses. The other hot ticket near-shore is king mackerel holding along the 70 to 90 foot reefs of North Pelican and 8A. Weather permitting; bottom fishing on deep structure should remain consistent. Look for snapper, cobia and sea bass in depths of 80 to 140 feet, and grouper and amberjack along the 22 fathom ridge and deeper.

In closing, make a commitment to share your your time on the water with family and friends, and be sure to sign them up for the 3rd Annual Shad and Crappie Derby.

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

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
(407) 416-1187

For all of your outdoor needs, visit, it's where your adventure begins.