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Tag: boca grande

Englewood/Placida/Boca Grande Fishing Report, Capt. Van Hubbard, 2/23/14

by on Feb.23, 2014, under Siesta Key to Boca Grande

Fishing is fun and fine for the Venice to Boca Grande area.

Our weather was been good to great last week; we’ve enjoyed great fishing and good catching. Catching will improve with waters continuing to warm up as Spring approaches. Business is great and if you want to fish with me please don’t wait too long to secure your date. We do have other good guides around and I’ll gladly help you line one up if I can; but I’m your best bet for fun family trips! With forty years of local guiding I can usually help you catch more fish too. Many of my recent trips are families; the kids make these trips special with their enthusiasm and joy! Wonderful lifetime memories are created and cherished forever. My anglers range from experts to beginners on trips and it all works out just fine. It’s wonderful to share Lemon Bay and our other area waters with you.
We have enjoyed steady action with a mixed bag of mackerel, trout, pompano, plus fun species like ladyfish and jacks for additional action. As the near shore Gulf of Mexico warms just a little more everything will pick up. I’m not finding whitebait minnows yet but expect to any time. I stopped by Baitmasters last week while in St Petersburg for a fishery dialog meeting and stocked up on Captain Van Hubbard’s Magic Chum expecting to need it soon. Yes, I have my secret baitfish chum available in local bait shops! Yes, it works if minnows are around.
Snook season opens next weekend on the First of March. Venice and Englewood waters are almost warm enough to see action pick up with this warm water gamefish. Our waters are almost seventy degrees inside already and snook like seventy-five degrees. Minnows will help stimulate the bite when we are able to cast net some. The season is only open for two months so don’t procrastinate! You really want to select the all day trip here to enhance our odds of success. Two anglers is best here but three works ok and four is crowded. It all depends on how important your fishing is.
Shrimp are available and help us catch a few tasty pompano and sheepshead also. There desirable fish don’t eat many minnows. Sheepshead will be over soon but pompano should improve sporadically. The secret to pompano catching is there is no secret, and you don’t catch them if you don’t fish for them. The trout and reds love shrimp also. All of our catching will get even better when we start catching minnows for bait. Our bait choices vary with species targeted and what’s available to catch or purchase.
Spanish Mackerel are available and should be more abundant every week for the next couple of months. The much larger king mackerel are due soon. Both are good eating fresh and you can keep enough to share with family and friends here. We are already seeing some minnow schools in deeper near shore waters. The baitfish and schools of migratory game fish will move into the Venice Beach area by mid March and remain through April. The barracuda, cobia, permit, sharks, etc…, are all due anytime also.
Sorry to be so brief but it’s the busy season and I have to get to work. I do love my office and understand I’m blessed to be able to continue taking you fishing to support myself. Thank you. Captain Van Hubbard

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Tarpon statewide snagging definition, gear rules in Boca Grande Pass changes effective Nov. 1, 2013

by on Oct.29, 2013, under Siesta Key to Boca Grande

Changes that will add language to the current statewide snagging definition for tarpon and modify what types of gear can be used when fishing in Boca Grande Pass will go into effect Nov. 1.
These changes will provide further protection for this iconic fish.


The first part of the adopted changes includes adding language to the snagging definition to prohibit catching or attempting to catch tarpon that have not been attracted or enticed to strike an angler’s gear. This change will apply to tarpon fishing statewide. The current definition for snagging or snatch-hooking is the intentional catch of a fish by any device intended to impale or hook the fish by any part of its body other than the mouth. Adding language specifying that gear must entice the fish to strike with, and become hooked in, its mouth will help further protect tarpon from the act of snagging.
The second part of the changes prohibits fishing with gear that has a weight attached to a hook, artificial fly or lure in such a way that the weight hangs lower than the hook when the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod (see photo below). This change will apply to fishing for all species year-round within Boca Grande Pass.

If this prohibited gear is on board a fishing vessel while inside the boundaries of the pass, it cannot be attached to any rod, line or leader and must be stowed. This change will further reduce the likelihood that tarpon in Boca Grande Pass will be snagged.
These changes will provide further protection for tarpon.
To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Tarpon.”

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18 June 2013, Fishing forecast for Venice to Boca Grande ,by Captain Van Hubbard

by on Jun.18, 2013, under Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Let see if I can get back on course here with weekly reports.
Life is good and fishing has been even better. Tarpon are the hot ticket right now and they are abundant from Boca Grande Pass south of me to Venice Beach and beyond. Snook have been very good and many larger fish; PS it opens for harvest on the First of September. Trout and reds are around but I haven’t had time to play with them much with the silver kings and snook so cooperative. We do also have fish on the near shore reefs; sharks, barracuda, permit and more, if the wind and seas allow. I have not had much time off the water to take care of things but bookings are slowing down after the Forth of July so it’s time to see if fishing trip fits into your plans. It’s not too soon to line up September and October dates with snook reopening.
Tarpon have kept me busy on and off the water.  Fishing has been good in fair weather. The strong winds can hamper our catching but we have plenty of fish. In fact they seem to be approaching the peak this week with the Full Moon in June. We can expect to enjoy good action for at least another month. We will have some excellent tarpon action into August and even September but it is just not as predictable. If tarpon are high on your Bucket list, like my new friend Gordon McDonald, don’t procrastinate because fishing is great right now and I do have a few days open soon. His day was awesome we got his tarpon of about 125 pounds and then several snook up to almost 40 inches.
Snook have been spoiling us most trips. The weather can mess with us but since we are usually inside the west winds don’t shut us down. Several trips have left anglers with sore arms from catch snook; literally! We have good numbers of smaller fish and I’m excited by the numbers of slot fish, but big trophy fish have enhanced smiles. We are seeing trophy fish from 35 to 40 inches even a few over, every day! So far minnows are available but not getting any easier. Scott Armstrong and family enjoyed a great day of snook action on Tuesday the 11th, they caught fish till the kids were bored and we found some dolphins to watch. Alex’s group wanted food fish and all we could catch was snook most of the time. We did find some trout but mostly smaller we only had a had day to explore. Sunday Don and Lisa joined me to catch some fish and we did. The snook bite was fair and they caught over 20 fish and Lisa got a big one we took photos. I have photos on my Facebook page at Captain-Van Hubbard if you want to see em. Sorry I’m challenged to get them on here but I am updating the web site soon as I get time. Thank you for your patience with me. Waters have cleared up nice since the tropical wave recently but Summer starts now along with evening showers. Get out early, have fun, and let’s get er done.
If you have some patience we can hunt up some food fish. Reds are here just not sitting and waiting like it used to be. Those tournaments keep em running around. Most are slot fish and tons of fun. Trout were great so we have fish they just got lost and I’ve not had enough time to look for them. We have gotten some nice flounder but not consistently.
Spanish Mackerel are around and we should be able to catch a mess if you’re interested? Kings are deeper if you want to chase the bigger fish. I smoked a couple on Sunday after our trip. Sharks are here if you want the big tackle testers. Reef fishing is good and the variety keeps it interesting.
We had our Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Lakeland last Wednesday. It was a long day but we got the issues communicated to our Commissioners and they have passed a proposal recommended by the Staff to be finalized in September. We may finally get rid of the weighted hook rig called a Boca Grande Jig!
On a personal note I adapted a beautiful Golden Retriever from Gulf Coast Golden rescue. She is shy but smart and wonderful; sure to keep me busy! I hope you are well and “if you’re too busy to go fishin’, you are just too busy’! Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard. <www.captvan.com>

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Florida Makes Tarpon, Bonefish Catch-And-Release Only

by on Jun.13, 2013, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its June 12 meeting in Lakeland, approved a proposal to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries and moved forward with a proposal to modify the types of gear used to target tarpon in Boca Grande Pass.

This catch-and-release proposal was adopted in recognition of the fact that the economic and fishing value of bonefish and tarpon greatly exceed their value as food fishes.

The following changes will go into effect Sept. 1 in state and federal waters off Florida:

All harvest of tarpon will be eliminated, with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an IGFA record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag.

Tarpon tags will be limited to one per person, per year (except for charter boat captains).

Transport or shipment of tarpon becomes limited to one fish per person.

One fish per vessel limit is created for tarpon.

Gear used for tarpon will be limited to hook-and-line only.

People will be allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches must remain in the water.

Tarpon regulations will extend into federal waters.

The bonefish tournament exemption permit is eliminated. This exemption allows tournament anglers with the proper permit to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale.

The Commission also approved modifying the tarpon tag program by eliminating the current reporting requirements and shifting the start and end date for when the tarpon tag is valid from July through June to a calendar year, January through December. These rules will be changed in FWC code and will go into effect Sept. 1.

The Commission also moved forward with a two-part proposal that would include adding language to the current statewide snagging definition and modifying what types of gear could be used to target tarpon in Boca Grande Pass. The proposal would add language that prohibits catching or attempting to catch tarpon that have not been attracted or enticed by the angler’s gear to the snagging definition that applies statewide. This change would apply to tarpon fishing statewide. The second part of the proposal would prohibit fishing with gear that has a weight attached to the bottom of a hook. This change would apply to fishing for all species year-round within Boca Grande Pass.

This proposal will be brought back for a final public hearing at the Sept. 4-6 meeting in Pensacola.

To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and click on “Commission Meetings” and “Agenda.” – See more at: http://www.thefishingwire.com/story/290792#sthash.6E82VaNx.dpuf

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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota & Gasparilla Sound, FL Fishing Report for 2/10/2013

by on Feb.10, 2013, under Bradenton and Sarasota, Siesta Key to Boca Grande

Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released trout, Spanish mackerel and blues in Sarasota Bay and trout, blues and reds in Gasparilla Sound on lures and flies during the past week.
Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. I poled several shallow flats and bars hunting reds and trout on both sides of the bay. After locating some nice trout in skinny water, we waded and caught and released a couple of trout to 22” on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly.
Minnesotans Mike and Jackie McGlennen, owners of Bill’s Fish Camp in Bradenton Beach, FL, fished the Middleground flat and Stephens Point in Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday. They used fly and spin tackle and caught Spanish mackerel and blues on Ultra Hair Clouser flies and CAL jigs with shad tails. Bill’s Fish Camp is a historic 1939 fishing camp on an unbelievable waterfront location, renovated for vacation getaways. A very unique place to stay with a lot of character!
Bill Moore, from IL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Thursday. He had steady action with trout, Spanish mackerel and blues at the Middleground flats, Stephens Point and Bishop Point on CAL jigs with shad tails.
Keith McClintock, Dan DiCaro and Chuck Hempfling, all from IL, fished Gasparilla Sound near Boca Grande with me on Friday. Although there were some signs of red tide close to Gasparilla Pass, fishing was good. They had some sight casting opportunities for reds, snook and big trout on a shallow sand bar. They caught numerous trout to 22”, including 8 or 10 in the slot, several blues to 3-pounds and 3 reds to 23” on CAL jigs with shad tails in several different areas.
I did a presentation on Saltwater Fly Fishing at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Fly Fishing Day on Saturday.  They also had free fly casting instruction, a fly tying demonstration and a fly casting competition. The newest products from Orvis, TFO and Lamson fly tackle were displayed and demonstrated. I will be the instructor for their Orvis-Endorsed fly casting schools on Feb 16, Mar 16 and Apr 13. Cost is $150 for the course which includes a textbook, lunch and the use of premium Orvis fly tackle. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 to sign up.
Action should be good next week as we head away from a new moon. Look for reds around docks, in potholes and on the edges of bars when the tide is low or on shallow flats on sunny afternoons when the tide is high. You should find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
(941) 923-7799
E-mail snookfin@aol.com
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com

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Captain Van Hubbard’s Venice to Boca Grande fishing report for January 27, 2013.

by on Jan.27, 2013, under Siesta Key to Boca Grande

When fishing is any thing near normal I can maintain a schedule but this mess has frustrated me to no end! We had a nice trip on Monday I’m just glad I have the Evinrude 200 E-Tec for power because fishing now requires a boat ride. The economy and speed are life savers. Rides are not a bad thing; our Charlotte Harbor area is beautiful now. The winter birds are abundant with hundreds of huge white pelicans, all kinds of wading birds and too many ospreys to count. It’s just gas costs are hard on my budget so I’d much rather catch fish in Lemon Bay and spend more time fishing. Actually I must admit like many of my friends that fish with me, I do prefer catching. Right now catching requires that we cruise around to find happy fish more than usual.
Normally I can put together a game plan and rarely need to alter it. Some stops are hot others are not. My good friend Scotty calls it a mail route and that works for me. These days fishing spots as messed up as our mail system; isn’t e-mail great.  Every day is totally new. At first this bugged me but now I realize that us old salts don’t take new paths unless we are forced to. So I figure this is what it takes to get me out of the old rut and discover; actually rediscover Charlotte Harbor and beyond! Shucks, I just might learn something.
Alright I’ll get to the fishy part. I am finding some quality fish I just never know where to start. After four decades of fishing I have an understanding of what our fish want to do. But between the other folks sharing the fishery and now this red tide mess I am back to the basics. Ride hard until I see mullet and wading birds. They tell me the area is alive; simple but very important right now. Then carefully dial in some desirable fish for my folks to catch. We may start out with anything to bend our rods. Ladyfish are fun and much better than nothing. Trout are abundant but many are small; great for future fishing but not dinner to night. Redfish are looking very good if you have the patience to locate and then stalk these shy flats trophies. Snook have been abundant and biting but catch and release only. I am very optimistic about this springs fishing because I’m seeing a lot of big fish. In side is fine we just need to invest time riding and looking; then make the most of our opportunities!
Near shore has bright spots but is not dependable this time of year; but awesome so far! We have the warmest winter waters I have ever seen now. Mid seventies most days, yes those red tide blooms are totally unpredictable. So while I am not pushing our near shore fishing now we have excellent odds if you are a gambler; nothing ventured, nothing is gained! Spanish and king mackerel are around. Baitfish are frequently available, in quantity too! Cobia are on the wrecks but it’s a ride we only do in fair weather. If we have a trip set up for outside and it’s windy, we do have a backup plan to fish inside protected waters.
I to wish I had a crystal ball to predict this red tide mess, and our weather while I’m at it; yea the Super Bowl too; but that’s not the way it is!
Let’s go fishin’ soon, if you’re up for it? Please get your spring and summer dates locked in soon others are not procrastinating! Thank you for your support.
Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>

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Looking For GPS Numbers for Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida?

by on Nov.27, 2012, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

I’ve had lots of requests on the site for GPS coordinates of reefs, wrecks and offshore fishing holes.  The list is too long to print, so it’s time to “belly-up” and get your very own copy of my latest (2012) book, The Saltwater Angler’s Guide to Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida.  Click the link to the right (on the sidebar) and you’ll be magically taken to Amazon.com, where you can get a copy at a discounted price.

In addition to GPS numbers, the book also has essential information regarding fishing from all ports from Bayport (in Hernando County) to Chokoloskee (at the top of the ‘glades).

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Charlotte Harbor and The Gulf Fishing Report, 10/6/12, from Capt. Ralph Allen, The King Fisher Fleet

by on Nov.06, 2012, under Middle Charlotte Harbor, Siesta Key to Boca Grande, Upper Charlotte Harbor

Gulf of Mexico

Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish, sharks and a few stray blackfin tuna are haunting southbound schools of migrating bait fish, offering outstanding action for offshore anglers who find the action. Since everything is on the move, one day’s hotspot can be the next day’s desert, but since everything is generally moving parallel to the coast, if you know the depth they were at yesterday you can start your search there.  Things to look for:  diving birds, breaking fish, schools of bait which show on your depthsounder, and happily-hooked-up anglers on other boats.  Trolling usually produces the most fish but drifting the edges of the action and casting with light tackle can be a blast, and it’s also possible to anchor down, chum heavily with live and/or dead chum and pull the fish to you.  If you’re fishing within about ten miles of the beach, don’t be surprised if you find yourself attached to a very large redfish (or several of them at once) because schools of brood-stock reds run the beaches in the fall.  If you tire of mackerel fishing (or limit out), the bottom fishing for red grouper, lane snapper, grunts, porgies and other assorted reef fish is good on flat rock in 65 feet of water or deeper, and amberjack are stacking up on wrecks and artificial reefs starting in about 80 feet of water.

Charlotte Harbor

The biggest news on our inshore fishing scene is that for the first time in many years trout season is open in November (and December).  So far the best trout fishing has been on the flats in two to three feet of water in the upper harbor, and on slightly deeper grass flats in the lower harbor and nearer to the Gulf.  When temps cool a bit further look for trout fishing in canals, creeks and boat basins to perk up.  The redfish action in 2012 continues to be better than we’ve seen in several years with good numbers of slot fish found along the mangroves on both sides of the harbor, and fishable numbers are showing up in the canal systems and up the rivers now as well.  Snook continue to benefit from nearly three years of closed season, with many homeowners reporting stacks of fish gathered around their snook lights, and anglers playing the catch-and-release game with good numbers of smaller fish with a healthy mix of larger specimens, a sure sign of a recovered stock.  Sheepshead are starting to bunch up around some of their winter spawning sites including the piers at El Jobean and Placida, the artificial reefs in the harbor, and under docks and around rip-rap in the canals.  This winter fishery is just getting started and will become hotter and hotter as the water becomes cooler and cooler.

Notes:
Snook season remains closed,  opens September 1, 2013
Gag grouper season closed November 1
All grouper close February 1, open April 1
Grey triggerfish closed in Federal waters June 11, opens January 1

Let’s Go Fishing!

Capt. Ralph Allen
captain@kingfisherfleet.com

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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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“World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament”, Boca Grande, May 17/18, 2012

by on Mar.06, 2012, under TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

The “World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament” is the kickoff for a great series of events on Gasparilla Island:

Downtown Tarpon Festival–art, food and music–May 19 & 20

22nd Annual Ladies Day Tournament, May 20

Gasparilla Island Kids Classic, May 19th

For more information, call (941) 964-0568 or email:  info@bocagrandechamber.com

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