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Tag: fishing report

Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report, 5/29/12, from Capt. William Toney

by on May.29, 2012, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa

An old technique comes to play to help me catch big trout and large sea bass this week. Local guides call it “dragging” but it’s really just another form of trolling. It’s simple to do and very effective during the hot months to come. The best area to perform this is in 8 to 12 feet of water north or south of Homosassa marker #2. You must also have some sort of breeze or wind to help move the boat along, I like the afternoon sea breeze because that seems to be the best bite regardless of the tide. The bait is simple, all you need is a 1/8 oz. jig head with your favorite soft plastic tail.  Set the boat up so that it has a side ways drift by turning the motor and then cast behind the drift of the boat. Every now and again lift the rod tip and let fall back down. When you feel baitfish start tapping the jig then that’s when the trout ,sea bass, small sharks and gag grouper take the bait. It’s easy to have up to two or three anglers with they’re lines spread across the side of the boat. You can cover allot of water this way and drift thru fish then have a slow period and then drift thru more fish. One trip this past week we caught our limit of 15 trout on one drift that was over a mile long but only took just over an hour to do.
Red fishing has been O.K. The Chassahowitzka Wildlife Refuge has been the best area. Rocky points on the incoming tide is the best time to catch them. The annual Big Fish Cobia Tournament held out of MacRea’s is this coming weekend June 2nd and 3rd. Over $13,000 in cash and prizes can be won and the after tournament festivities are fun for the whole family. High incoming tide will be mid-morning this weekend.

Capt. William Toney www.homosassainshorefishing.com

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Fish get the holiday blahs, too! A Tampa Bay Fishing Report By Capt. Ray Markham, 5/28/12

by on May.29, 2012, under Uncategorized

Holiday weeks make for tough fishing sometimes, due to the excess boating traffic. Memorial Day weekend is perhaps the busiest boating weekend of the year. Not all boaters are anglers and jet skis seem to avoid channels at all costs to buzz the flats. I know that’s not always the case, but it seems that way sometimes. Because of that, I try to steer away from the mattering crowd to get to areas less traveled by errant boaters.
Mediocre tides this past week made for slow but steady action that made you feel like you were picking away at fish. Periods of fast action just weren’t happening, and those are days when you need to pay particular attention to details to make things happen.
When currents are running slow, fish tend to find areas where larger bodies of water squeeze down to small openings like passes, mouths of rivers, and creeks. Even mosquito ditches that drain out of the mangroves on outgoing tides will hold baitfish that move up into the mangroves to escape being eaten. But when the tide heads out, these baitfish leave their security blanket to move in the direction of the bay, and this is where predators lay waiting for a quick and easy meal. The areas from Cockroach Bay south to the Manatee River along lower Tampa Bay have hundreds of these mosquito cuts. These are some areas we’ve found good action for snook. Tossing CAL Jigs with Shad tails or curly tails work well here for linesiders.
Redfish have been difficult to target this past week. Schools have scattered in the area and we’ve been limited to mostly single fish foraging for food. With boating pressure, these fish have become very skittish and reluctant to feed. When this occurs, I generally scale down the sizes of my artificial lures to make them less ominous or threatening in appearance to the fish. Sometimes it can be a matter of downsizing soft plastics by trimming a half-inch or more off and going to lighter jig heads that will trigger strikes. Where my DOA CAL 5.5 Jerk baits previously were working well on deeper open flats, dropping down to the small CAL Jerk bait or the MirrOlure Lil’ John with a 1/16th ounce jig head will do the trick.
Not only size, but color can turn fish off. Bright chartreuse or other colors that stand out can sometimes turn fish off. Going to a mottled, dark, or dull color like brown, root beer, motor oil, or golden bream can create a profile that fish look for but reduce the spooking that some fish feel from bright lures.
One of my redfish favorites is the ½ ounce Eppinger Rex Spoon in either gold or copper, but when redfish are skittish, I’ll downsize to the ¼ ounce model and go to a color that is not as flashy, like black. At times I’ll even take some brass or steel wool and lightly scuff the finish to dull it, reducing the flash and taking some of the attention getting alert away from the bait. I don’t feel like it reduces the catch rate either, and during times when these fish are very wary, it can even improve it. Once the fish are back in the feeding mode, on the flashy spoons I’ll take a polishing compound called Flitz and buff it back out to a sparkling flash once again.
During busy on-water days, fishing backcountry areas with plenty of overhanging limbs that produce shade can be productive. These areas produce when fish go shallow. A 1/4-ounce DOA Shrimp is one of my favoites here, and the night glow with holographic gold glitter is one of my go-to colors. But if water temps climb to an uncomfortable level, deep water is the only way to go. Areas off Piney Point, Joe Island, and Rattlesnake Key or Emerson Point have depths with grass patches ranging from 5 to 9-feet and these depths give fish like trout a feeling of security, so they move there. I’ll use lighter jig heads on tandem rigged jigs like the DOA Deadly Tandem or Love’s Lures Tandem for these fish. A MirrOlure 38MR18 has always been one of my deeper water standards here for trout and seabass. A larger TTR26 is also a favorite of mine here for trout.
Black sea bass have taken up some slack during periods where other fish may be slow to bite. They have been running around 13-inches or so and are delicious to eat. A few of these mixed with a redfish, some trout, and some flounder or Spanish mackerel will make up a nice bunch of fish for dinner.
My inshore trips were not targeting tarpon, but in some areas we fished, they were nearby the areas we targeted other species, so I kept a rod ready in the event we had a shot at a cruising poon. Tarpon were very finicky over the past week. Anglers had dozens of shots at these fish, but had limited success catching them while we were targeting black sea bass or trout in deep water. Better tides with next week’s upcoming full moon should make for a big improvement on the action. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham of Backwater Promotions runs the Flat Back II out of Terra Ceia, Florida in lower Tampa Bay and specializes in light tackle charters with artificial lures using spin, plug, and fly tackle and can be reached for charter at (941) 228-3474 or via email at Ray.Markham@gmail.com.

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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota Fishing Report for 5/26/2012

by on May.26, 2012, under Bradenton and Sarasota

Anglers fishing the coastal gulf off Sarasota with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had lots of shots at tarpon with a fly and with live baits on several trips during the past week. Tarpon were plentiful but often indifferent to our flies, lures and live baits. Fly anglers had a few leans and follows and an angler using spinning tackle on another trip also had lots of shots at tarpon and a bite on a live crab.
We had a new moon last week which is when tarpon form into large schools as they prepare to spawn. This also happens on full moon phases in the May-July time frame when tides are strong. Often their main focus in those time frames is migrating to spawn, although some may eat a well placed fly, lure or live bait. There are a few things that may up your odds when tarpon are finicky. When casting lures or flies to tarpon schools, let the lead fish pass your lure or fly and move it in front of the followers further back in the school. Fish further back in the school usually feel more secure and willing to eat. Also, if you spook the lead fish she will take all the other fish with her. Live bait anglers should leave their baits in the water on the same line where fish are spotted rolling. When large tarpon schools are traveling they are often strung out in a long line and are moving fast. There may be a lot more tarpon still coming on the same line where you see a fish roll, so be patient and wait for a bite.
As we head further away from last Monday’s new moon, tarpon should be in a better mood and more willing to eat. Look for schools of tarpon at first light in the morning in deeper areas along beaches.  Spin anglers may hook up with live crabs, pinfish, DOA 4” shrimp, Baitbusters and Swimming Mullet. Fly anglers should do best with baitfish fly patterns such as Lefty’s Deceiver and EP flies in dark colors fished on intermediate sink tip fly lines.

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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Capt. Andy Cotton’s Sarasota, FL and Terra Ceia Bay Fishing Report 5/16 to 5/20/12

by on May.22, 2012, under Tampa Bay, East and South Shore

The Tarpon bite off the Sarasota County beaches was pretty good this past week.

Bill Moore and his 2 sons, Mark and Scott from IL, and Bill’s brother Chris Moore from OR fished a 2 boat trip with me and Capt. Rick Grassett on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Chris and Scott fished with me on Wednesday and we had 4 bites on live Blue Crabs and fought 1 Tarpon for over an hour, while leadering this wide bodied fish we broke it off.

Wednesday night through Thursday morning the weather took a turn for the worse and we had rain with a strong west wind roughing up the beaches. Switching up fishing partners, we fished in the bay from Stephen’s Point and grass flats near Buttonwood Harbor and found a large school of Jacks. Mark and Chris hooked a pair of Jacks, numerous Spotted Seatrout and a small Shark using DOA CAL Shad Tail Jigs and Topwater plugs.

Friday morning we fished off the beaches near Point of Rocks in Sarasota and Scott Moore hooked his very first Tarpon on a live Blue Crab. This fish gave us quite a show, with several jumps and tail walking on the water. We leadered this fish and estimated it to be about 90 lbs.

Myself and Capt. Ray Markham hosted a 2 boat group of anglers from Canada on Saturday. We fished lower Tampa Bay to Terra Ceia Bay. Robert Godin and friends caught Snook, Redfish, Trout, Flounder, Sea bass and Ladyfish using DOA CAL Shad Tail Jigs and Curl Tail Jigs in Gold and Glow color

Capt. Andy Cotton
(941) 685-9439

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Cedar Key Fishing Report, 5/21/12, from Capt. Jimbo Keith

by on May.21, 2012, under Cedar Key

Hey there folks, hope all is well in your area.  We sure had pretty weather this past week in Cedar Key.
Good tides and favorable winds made for good fishing.
The Trout  bite is still exceptional with good stringers of big fish.  This week my boat caught several Trout over 20 inches.  The top producing baits were the Cajun Thunder cork rigs and the MirroLures Mirrodine.
Our Redfish bite is still a little on the slow side.  The Redfish that we are catching are being caught on topwater baits, such as, the Rapalla SkitterWalk.  And as the day warms up we’ve been changing to live mud minnows beneath a cork.
The Cobia have moved into the channel markers and larger grass flats next to the channels.  Live pin fish and razor bellies are my preferred baits.
Good luck out on the water this next week and I hope this will help you land a big one.  Stay safe and we’ll see you on the water.

Capt. Jimbo Keith

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Persistence produces a mixed bag By Capt. Ray Markham, 5/21/12

by on May.21, 2012, under Tampa Bay, East and South Shore

Anglers fishing aboard my flats skiff, the Flat Back II found steady action much of the week. In the catch column, snook to 29-inches, trout to 23-inches, fair numbers of redfish to 24-inches, flounder to 16-inches, black seabass to 14-inches, jack crevalle, ladyfish, bluefish, and a host of others rounded out the species that were caught. While we targeted tarpon for a portion of one trip, none were caught.
Fly angler, Troy Williamson, of Corpus Cristi, Texas, and his wife, Diane joined me this week for a combo of fly and spin fishing. Our morning departure was my inaugural start for tarpon this year. His best efforts with the fly rod drew a blank for Troy despite presenting a black/ purple bunny fly right in the faces of dozens of tarpon ranging from 60-to 130-pounds. He got numerous shots at tarpon off Bean Point, along the beaches at Anna Maria, and on some hard bottom in lower Tampa Bay but it was apparent that the approaching new moon had an affect on the fish. Schools of daisy chaining fish surrounded my boat and eating nothing. We weren‘t alone, as it was evident that the 24 other boats that were staked out in the area bombarding the fish with an assortment of baits, both live and artificial, also were without a hook up. When it comes time to spawn, tarpon may ignore food while in the midst of the pre-spawn activities, and it seemed that this may have been what affected the bite on that day.
While the tarpon didn’t cooperate on this day, snook, trout, flounder, and redfish did. Troy’s largest, a 24-inch redfish, came to the boat while fishing CAL Jigs with curl tails.
Other action this week while working hard bottom areas on lower Tampa Bay, resulted in a mixed bag of black sea bass, flounder, and spotted seatrout all on DOA Shrimp, Deadly Combos, or CAL Jigs with Shad or Curl tails. Backwaters of Terra Ceia and Miguel Bays produced some action on redfish, snook, trout, and flounder.
When anglers wanted to take home some dinner, a good variety of fish were put in the cooler. Black sea bass inshore don’t get very big, but like mangrove snapper, a minimum fish of 10-inches is great for the pan, although I prefer them around 13-inches or larger. Flounder are always welcomed in my cooler. Trout are always a staple and usually an easy option. The toughest of the week turned out to be redfish, and the reds we caught came on CAL Shads and Curl tails in #309 glow/ gold rush belly color or #305 glow.
Capt. Ray Markham runs the Flat Back II out of Terra Ceia, specializing in light tackle charters using artificial lures with spin, plug, and fly tackle, and can be reached for charter at (941) 228-3474.

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Capt. Rick Grassett’s Sarasota Fishing Report for 5/14 through 5/19/2012

by on May.21, 2012, under Bradenton and Sarasota

Anglers fishing the coastal gulf off Sarasota with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, jumped several tarpon on live crabs and landed one on a fly during the past week. We also caught and released trout, bluefish and a nice red on DOA baits in Sarasota Bay.
Fly angler Hal Lutz, from Parrish, FL, fished the coastal gulf off Sarasota with me on Monday. It was slow to start, but he had numerous shots at tarpon on the outgoing tide. On the last cast of the day, Hal hooked a hot fish on a black Lefty’s Deceiver! After a couple of smoking runs and numerous jumps, he got the fish back on the fly line and under control. He had the fish, an estimated 90-pounder, alongside the boat in about 40 minutes. Often fish in this size category can be more ornery than a larger fish. Tuesday’s fly trip was slower. We had a few shots at tarpon, but despite good conditions, the push of fish that we had the day before on the outgoing tide didn’t happen.
Bill Moore and sons, Mark and Scott, all from IL, and his brother, Chris Moore, from OR fished Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with Capt. Andy Cotton and me. There were plenty of fish on Wednesday morning, although conditions weren’t great-rainy and cloudy. Chris and Scott jumped a couple of tarpon on live crabs and Chris brought a big girth fish to the boat with Capt. Andy.  Mark jumped a large tarpon while fishing with me and fought her for more than an hour that day.
Storms and west winds on Wednesday night turned to rough seas in the coastal gulf and more rain on Thursday morning. However, we fished Stephens Point and near Buttonwood Harbor in Sarasota Bay and caught and released trout, bluefish and jacks on CAL jigs with shad tails and DOA Deadly Combos. Bill ended the day with a nice red on a CAL jig with a shad tail out of a huge school of mullet in skinny water near Buttonwood Harbor. Mark jumped a pair of tarpon on live crabs with me on Friday. One of them put on a great show with multiple jumps close to the boat. Scott landed a 90-pound tarpon on a live crab while fishing with Capt. Andy on Friday.
Look for schools of tarpon at first light in the morning in deeper areas along beaches.  Spin anglers should hook up with live crabs, pinfish, DOA 4” shrimp, Baitbusters and Swimming Mullet. Fly anglers should do best with baitfish fly patterns such as Lefty’s Deceiver and EP flies in dark colors fished on intermediate sink tip fly lines. Reds and trout in Sarasota Bay and catch and release snook in the surf or around lighted docks and bridges close to passes at night should also be good options.

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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Capt. Kyle Messier’s 5/16/12 Fishing Report: Fishing Magic of May along the Nature Coast!!!

by on May.17, 2012, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

Tarpon fever has officially hit the Nature Coast and Florida Fishing Adventures is feeling the effects of this horrible sickness. Sleep deprivation, Hallucinations, and Exhaustion, are just a few of the terrible symptoms, but after staring at acres and acres of rolling, tailing and feeding Tarpon over the last few weeks this long awaited infection is a welcomed sign!!! Stay tuned to FLORIDAFISHINGADVENTURES.COM as well as our FaceBook page for all the up to date fishing photos and videos from this upcoming Tarpon season.

When Florida Fishing Adventures is not chasing the Silver Kings we are doing our best to work on some of the best inshore species along the West Coast of Florida. Redfish, Speckled Trout and Sharks are our top targets at the moment (other than Tarpon) and opportunities to catch all three within a day of fishing are occurring on a regular basis. With beautiful weather, crystal clear waters and great tides making up the bulk of May fishing now is a great time to experience some of the best fishing the Nature Coast has to offer.

With shallow water sight fishing being the preferred method of choice during the month of May and Redfish and Sharks all preferring the sheltered and shallow waters of the local flats stretching from Homosassa to Crystal River now is a great time to hit the skinny water for some Awesome drag screaming action. When hitting the skinny water remember to stalk up on a variety of baits. I for one love Gulps! and Live Shrimp but as the water continues to warm Pinfish become a more prevalent species on the flats and can make quick work of a shrimp in a matter of seconds. That being said now is a great time to consider catching a few Ladyfish, Lizardfish, or Mullet before your outing. Cutbait is great bait for both Redfish and Sharks and considering that most cut bait species are very prevalent this time of year it never hurts to put a bend in the rod before you hit the serious fishing.

Considering school is almost out what better way to enjoy the day than taking a kid fishing. Whether you take a kid out to catch a little extra bait for the day or you bring them along for the added bonus of a great Speckled Trout fishing bite, exposing a child to the wonderful world of the Nature Coast could bring lasting memories for all. Speaking of Speckled Trout, with water temperatures continuing to climb most Speckled Trout are making a mad dash to exit the shallow waters of the flats in search of deeper more consistent water and temperatures. During these massive pushes many of the outer/deeper grass flats that we normally fish for Spanish Mackerel in the spring and fall can load up with these tasty, toothy fish. I for one love to throw Live Shrimp on a Cajun Thunder on the outer most edges of these grassy areas (depending on the tide). Normally you will know right away if you have hit the right grassy spot on an area. It doesn’t take long for a Trophy Trout to find a wounded shrimp and more often than not where there is one Speckled Trout there are more fish along the same piece of real estate.

May is a magical time of year for fishing. Some of my fondest fishing memories have occurred during this month and I hope that I can create a few memories for my customers as well. So if you are interested in long drag screaming runs and unforgettable fishing experiences contact Florida Fishing Adventures today. We are in the fishing Memories Business.

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Cedar Key Fishing Report, 5/15/12, from Capt. Jimbo Keith

by on May.15, 2012, under Cedar Key

Hey there folks,  hope all is well on your part of the big pond. Well folks the trout have slowed down a bit after the big moon we had last week. We are still catching them just not as many as we were.
There have been a few more Redfish showing up around the islands. So maybe this means things are looking up. Cut mullet or shrimp still seem to be the best bait.
There are more Spanish Mackerel showing up on the closer flats. I saw my first big school on Friday afternoon. This means the bait is on the move.
The Cobia are starting to arrive in numbers around the channel markers.  A friend of mine caught two keepers on his last trip out. I hope this helps you out there and we’ll see ya on the water.

Saltwater Assassin Fishing Charters

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Inshore bite heats up as tarpon numbers rise By Capt. Ray Markham, May 14, 2012

by on May.14, 2012, under Tampa Bay, East and South Shore

Despite slower tides toward the week’s end, this past week anglers fishing aboard my Action Craft flats skiff, the Flat Back II experienced some good action with snook, trout, and redfish. Black sea bass and flounder were a couple of other critters on the catch list, but the “big 3” were tops this week.
Largest trout of the week, taping out at just over 23-inches came on a MirrOlure Top Dog while fishing with Michael ‘Mookie’ Wilson with the Lakeland Ledger newspaper and online website, www.polkoutdoors.com. I managed a Grand slam in first 30-minutes of our trip using CAL Jigs with Shad tails and a MirrOlure Top Dog in the ‘18’color, (greenback). We saw a solid top water bite for a couple of hours in the morning while fishing the major solunar period under an overcast sky that kept the light subdued. Tides never really moved much, turning the bite into a slower process, but we worked at it, producing a fine catch for the day.
Tarpon are showing up in a little better numbers and by the weekend, they should be in a feeding mood for the new moon next Sunday. Early and late day outgoing tides should be the most productive. While many anglers will choose to fish the sunrise tide, a good portion will opt for the big outgoing drop late in the day towards sundown. Wind conditions are usually much better early in the day before the sun gets up very high. Sight casting opportunities for fly anglers will likely be optimal after the sun comes up on the beaches. Several patterns are productive for fly anglers with baitfish patterns tops during incoming tides. Lefty’s Deceiver in black or purple or black and purple work well. Crab patterns could produce on the outgoing tides nearest the new moon.
Artificial lure anglers can score tarpon on the Trolling model DOA Baitbuster, the 4-inch Shrimp, and on the Swimming Mullet from DOA. MirrOlure Catch 2000 with beefed up hooks are one of my top producing hard baits for poons when fishing shallow water just off the beaches in near the mouth of the Manatee River or Terra Ceia Bay. Skyway tarpon tend to prefer the DOA Baitbuster.
Snook are getting easier to catch due to the heavy feeding pattern these fish encounter as the prepare to go into their spawn. The fish will concentrate, staging up in passes and on the beaches while they are there for the spawn. Catch and release fishing for these fish only is permitted during the season closure. It’s best to crimp down barbs on hook to make for an easier release that will also cause minimal harm to the fish so it can be released. Beach fish can be caught on Eppinger Rex gold spoons in the 1/2-ounce model. Baitfish are the staple in their diets while on the beaches. DOA Shrimp drifted in the current around the passes work well around the new moons. If currents are running hard, a small split shot attached a foot or so up the line will get the DOA Shrimp down to the bottom where the majority of the fish will hang.

Capt. Ray Markham runs the Flat Back II out of Terra Ceia and can be reached for charter at (941) 228-3474 or via email at flatback@tampabay.rr.com.

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