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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

Tarpon Springs

Florida West Central Fishing 4Cast, Floridasportsman.com, 11/9/17 by Capt. Ray Markham

by on Nov.11, 2017, under Bradenton and Sarasota, St. Pete Beaches, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, Tampa Bay, East and South Shore, Tampa Bay, West Shore and St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs

Coming off last weekend’s full moon, anglers posted a variety of reports ranging from brisk action on Spanish mackerel, kingfish, and gag grouper to trout, pompano, and snook. The action this weekend may be a little threatened by an incoming cold front that may kick up seas and blow beginning Friday. Pay close attention to the weather and make sure all your safety gear is in order if you decide to head out.

Tom Tait with a nice pompano, caught on a CAL Jig with a grub tail while fishing with Capt. Ray Markham aboard the Flat Back II.


Gag grouper are where you find them right now. Water temperatures in the Gulf are beginning to cool and gags are slowly moving toward shore. Long runs to 125-foot depths are still producing some big gags for anglers, but just inside Tampa Bay, the Ship’s Channel is producing some nice fish for both trolling and bait-soaking anglers. To the north, Hernando anglers are finding gag grouper on shallow rock bottoms in depths ranging from 8 to 15-feet of water. These shallows allow for some topwater lure action. Larger crank baits like the Bomber Long A and or the slow sinking MirrOlure 77M twitchbait are excellent at this depth range. For anglers trolling depths from 25-to 40-feet, the Mann’s Stretch series in the model made for the depth fished are very good as is the MirrOlure 111MR 25+ and 113MR lures in orange with gold sides can troll up some nice gag and red grouper.

Mike Mahoney, of T. A. Mahoney Co., Inc. in Tampa trolled up some nice gag grouper in 35-to 45-feet of water in the bay this week. Mahoney was trolling inside the bay using a #3 planer with bright colored lures his green and pink plugs caught the largest gags they pulled out of the bay. Mahoney and some of the area’s top guides will be speaking at next weekend’s Reel Animals Fishing Show at the Florida State Fairground’s Expo Hall. On hand will be one of the nation’s top outdoor writers and former outdoors editor for the Tampa Tribune, Frank Sargeant.

Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina reported some ‘extreme’ action aboard this week’s 12-hour extreme trip. Anglers boated a 40-pound gag grouper and broke off a handful more that would have made the 40-pounder look small. They also broke off a huge wahoo that was estimated at 90-pounds. On their 44-hour trip, anglers whacked the snapper on the full moon. Mangrove, yellowtail, and lane snapper bit all night. Cobia and tripletail action was non-stop, according to Hubbard. This time of year is right for fishing and there’s no better time to book a trip. Go to http://HubbardsMarina.com for more information.

Anglers fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett out of CB Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key reported steady action along the beaches with fly anglers catching little tunny, i.e. false albacore or bonito, Spanish mackerel, and tripletail.


The flats from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs have seen some better trout over the past few weeks. Many anglers are reporting upper teen sized trout being caught on live shrimp under popping corks and on DOA Deadly Combos. Snook fishing seems to have slowed a bit in the area, but anglers continue to catch redfish in the Palm Harbor area around oyster bars on the flood tides using whitebait and gold spoons.

Look for the weekend’s slower tides to slow the action somewhat, but you can use the wind to your advantage by setting up between pinch points where wind blows through an area, producing an ambush area for predators.


Anglers reported some good bass fishing action on the lake at Walsingham Reservoir in Pinellas County. Using the new DOA PT-7 bass to 5-pounds were landed here. The large worm hook on the lure allows the lure to be cast into and around structure where these large bass are hiding. Give one a try. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655



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“A Reel Future” Fishing Fund Raiser, October 12, 2014, Clearwater

by on Sep.25, 2014, under CAPT. TOMMY'S BOOK SIGNINGS, TALKS, TRAVELS, Dunedin, Clearwater and Largo, FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, St. Pete Beaches, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, Tarpon Springs

Join Co-Founders Misty Wells and Capt. Tommy LaRonge aboard the Double Eagle on October 12 for a great fund-raising fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico.  For complete information, go to areelfuture.com or email misty@mistywells.com This event will certainly make a difference in the lives of foster children throughout Central Florida and the state.

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Tarpon Fishing Outfitters–Bigger and Bigger–and Better!

by on Jan.24, 2013, under Hernando and Pasco Gulf Coast, Tampa Bay, West Shore and St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs

I get into Tarpon Fishing Outfitters (on US19 near the intersection of ALT US19 in Tarpon Springs)every month or so and have been delighted to see its growth. When Mr. Lee, of Lee Fisher/Tampa Fishing Outfitters, bought the Tarpon Springs store, the selection was sparse and the place had a “lonely” feel.  Now, with the infusion of interest, capital and all those great Lee Fisher and Ohero products, it’s one of the premiere fishing tackle stores on Florida’s west coast.  In addition to Lee Fisher cast nets, a full line of Shimano reels, and Yeti coolers, you’ll find Ohero fluorocarbon leader material, Adrena lines, Trident hooks and affordable Ohero rods.  Tarpon Fishing Outfitters is also home to one on the best reel repair operations, still known as Dave’s.

Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, (727) 942-8944

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Fisherman’s World in Tarpon Springs Under New Management, with a New Name! Now Tarpon Fishing Outfitters

by on Oct.13, 2012, under Tarpon Springs

Fisherman’s World on US19 in Tarpon Springs is now under new management, but it still doing business as Dave’s Tackle Repair.  It’s official new name is Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, as it was purchased by Mr. Lee, owner of Tampa Fishing Outfitters, one of the best and largest tackle stores in the Tampa Bay Area.  Expect to see a much larger stock of merchandise at Tarpon Fishing Outfitters, including their house brands of OHERO Rods and Reels, lines and leaders and excellent Trident Hooks.  And of course, their fine service department will continue as one of the best reel repair shops in the southeast.

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The Saltwater Angler’s Guide to Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida is now available!

by on Oct.02, 2012, under Bradenton and Sarasota, Dunedin, Clearwater and Largo, Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, Hernando and Pasco Gulf Coast, Marco and The 10,000 Islands, Middle Charlotte Harbor, Naples, Old Tampa Bay--Above the Bridges, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, St. Pete Beaches, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, Tampa Bay, East and South Shore, Tampa Bay, West Shore and St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, The Sunshine Skyway and Beyond to Egmont, Upper Charlotte Harbor

The Saltwater Angler’s Guide to Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida is now available!

It’s been a long time coming, but the University Press of Florida has just released my second fishing book.  If you’re a native and wanting more information on the Gulf of Mexico coastline from Chassahowitzka to Chokoloskee, you need this book.  If you’re planning to winter in Florida, you need this book.  Everyone needs this book. The Table of Contents is outlined below.

To order, simply click on the link on the sidebar to the right of this page and you’ll be taken to Amazon.com.  Thanks–and enjoy!

Part One–The Destinations

1.  Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida

2.  The Upper Suncoast-Hernando and Pasco Counties

3.  Tarpon Springs and North Pinellas County

4.  St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Peninsula

5.  Old Tampa Bay, Tampa and The Bay’s Eastern Shore

6.  Manatee and Sarasota Counties-The Gateway to Tropical Florida

7.  Charlotte Harbor and Her Gulf Islands

8.  Fort Myers, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva

9.  Naples, Marco and The Ten Thousand Islands

Part Two–Practical Matters

10. It’s All About The Fish…

11. …And How to Catch Them

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2012 Peter T. Assimack Fishing Tournament, Tarpon Springs, April 28

by on Apr.22, 2012, under Tarpon Springs

The Peter T. Assimack Memorial Fishing Tournament was founded in 1990.  Initially it was the Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce Annual Fishing tournament.  With the passing of Peter on August 21, 1996 the tournament was changed to his namesake.  The Tournament has found a home for the last few years at the Tarpon Springs Yacht Club providing outstanding waterfront facilities for both the Friday night Captain’s Meeting, the last Friday in April, and the Tournament fishing with the official photo finish judging and awards ceremony that is held on the next day, Saturday.

The focus of the tournament is to involve family and especially kids in the sport of fishing.  Peter was known for his contribution in the Tarpon Springs community and among his best times on the waters was introducing children and adults alike to the sport of inshore fishing.  Numerous adults now owe their joy of fishing to casual invite to join Peter on the flats.

The Tournament’s major and event sponsor is Mercury marine, which has supported this tournament Since its inception through Boat & Motor Superstores by providing Mercury outboards products as part of the prize packages awarded.  Other Sponsors such as Fisherman’s World By giving each child a new fishing rod and reel and many others have helped make this a premier tournament. The Tournament is a catch and release photo finish tournament, anglers submit photos only for judging, submitting actual fish is not allowed.

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Fish Earth Day–Hook Kids on Fishing to hold event in Tarpon Springs, 4/21/12

by on Mar.06, 2012, under CAPT. TOMMY'S BOOK SIGNINGS, TALKS, TRAVELS, St. Pete Beaches, Tampa Bay, West Shore and St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs

In partnership with other like-minded organizations, the Anglers for Conservation is coordinating a Fish Earth Day using the Anglers for Conservation’s Hook Kids on Fishing Program on Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 9-11a, in celebration of Earth Day. Is there any better way to celebrate Earth Day 2012 than bringing families together fishing and learning about the our planet Earth? The Hook Kids on Fishing program will take place at:

Craig Park Spring Bayou

City of Tarpon Springs Recreation Division

(727) 942-5628

400 South Walton Avenue

Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Kids ages 6 to 16, are welcome along with their parents. The first 80 kids registered will receive a free rod and reel. Registration is mandatory by calling the City of Tarpon Springs Recreation Division at  (727) 942-5628.

The Hook Kids on Fishing program teaches casting, fishing safety, knot tying, the tackle box, catch and release tactics, fishing habitat and conservation; and is taught by professional guides and knowledgeable anglers. Parents and kids bring your smiles, positive attitudes and patience along with you! Volunteers are needed.

Additional community sponsors include the Anglers For Conservation, Fish Florida Foundation, Coastal Angler Magazine, Florida Outdoor Writers Association (FOWA), Aylesworth’s Fish & Bait and Pure Ocean Productions.

The Hook Kids on Fishing program is a product of the Anglers for Conservation (AFC), a non-profit-501-C3, whose mission is to create a new generation of marine stewards using community-based angling education, habitat restoration and applied conservation science.

Volunteers are needed and sponsorships are available. For more information contact Rodney Smith at info@anglersforconservation.org; phone, (321) 750-3374; or visit the website, www.anglersforconservation.org.

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Spring Fishing Seminar at Provisions Live Bait & Tackle, Port Richey, March 24, 2012

by on Mar.06, 2012, under Tarpon Springs

This might be fun.  Goody bags for the kids.  Talks with guides and folks from local fishing clubs.  Seminars 10AM-3PM.

Provisions, Inc.

Live Bait and Tackle

7933 US Hwy 19, Port Richey, FL  34668

(727) 807-3256

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40th Annual Old Salt Loop Tournament, May 26-29, 2011

by on May.08, 2011, under Bradenton and Sarasota, Old Tampa Bay--Above the Bridges, St. Pete Beaches, Tampa Bay, East and South Shore, Tampa Bay, West Shore and St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs

Don’t miss this event!  It’s courageous men vs. billed beasts!  For complete information, contact Tom Verdensky at (727) 439-7945 or info@oldsaltfishingfoundation.org

The Old Salt Fishing Club is one of the largest clubs in the state.  Based in Pinellas County, they have 9 tournaments a year, as well as plenty of good events.

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2011 Peter T. Assimack Memorial Fishing Tournament, Tarpon Springs, April 30

by on Mar.25, 2011, under Tarpon Springs

This is a great tournament with great prizes for professional anglers, sportsmen and kids (under 12).  There’s a mandatory Captains’ meeting on the 29th at the Tarpon Springs Yacht Club.  For complete information go to:  ptafishing.com or call (727) 938-1101

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