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Tag: fishing report

Homosassa Inshore Fishing Report, 6/9/12, from Capt. William Toney

by on Jun.09, 2012, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa

Well we needed rain and the Lord has been very generous in this matter. The Miss Jennifer Ann and I are both water logged and ready for some dry weather. In-between rain squalls and lightning I’ve managed to get a few trips in this week with some good catches of redfish and big sea trout. I believe this rain will make for some great fishing in the week to come because it helps to cool the water and as my grandfather told me “sweeten the water”. Rain is just as good the Gulf as it is to the land that borders it. I believe it refreshes and cleans the water just as it cleans the air we breathe and give life back to our trees. It disturbs me to see the Homosassa river and what salt water intrusion has done to it. Barnacles and oysters have made their way almost to the head of the river and I have to explain to new comers that the dead trees on our islands are not from storms but from lack of fresh water. The river is allot wider now and the environment up river has changed from fresh to brackish and pure salt water. On the positive side we now have a decent snook population and lush healthy mangroves.
The best areas for trout have been any type of sand or oyster bar. These bars can be found west of Ft. Island beach, north and south of the Homosassa and Chassahowitzka channel. I’ve done the best on the outgoing tide and after the tide turns in the bite seems to shut down. The best baits have been the D.O.A. Deadly combo and MirrOlure MirrOdines. The best color soft plastics have been any color as long as it’s glow. If the weather calms done I believe there will be a good bite out in 10 feet for sea trout, sea bass, flounder, mangrove snapper, grunts and small gag grouper.
Redfish should be cooperating coming up near the end of the week because of the approaching new moon tides. Most any keys on the outside edge with rocky shorelines or points will have redfish on them after the tide floods up over the rocks and into the mangroves. One of the best baits to search and find reds is the Eppinger Rex spoon. I use the 1/4 oz. because it is very user friendly with it’s slow sink rate to keep anglers from hanging up on the rocks. High incoming tide this weekend will be mid morning with a late afternoon outgoing.

Capt. William Toney www.homosassainshorefishing.com

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Cedar Key Fishing Report, 6/5/12, from Capt. Jimbo Keith

by on Jun.05, 2012, under Cedar Key

Hey there folks hope y’all had a good weekend. The weather turned out to be better than the weather man predicted.
On Saturday morning, the fishing started out a little slow. We did start with a big black drum. The red fish were a little sluggish and did not want our shrimp offerings. While we were red fishing we did manage to catch a few keeper Trout.
Since the tide was getting full we switched to trout fishing. As I ran to a flat where I had been catching a few fish we ran across a pack of clean water. Clean water was hard to find this weekend due to the high winds during the past week. As we started to make the drift, we threw  Cajun Thunder corks with a Stinky Pink Saltwater Assassin tail. On about the third cast I caught an 18″er and a few more keepers.  After that we found just what we were looking for. We continued to make drifts across the clear flat and continued to catch nice keeper trout.
We ended the day with 1 nice Black Drum ,a small Tripple Tail and 14 keeper trout. Not bad day at all. The key to that day was clear water so keep an eye out for it. Hope this helped y’all and we’ll see you on the water.

Capt.Jimbo Keith

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Capt. Ray Markham’s West Central Florida Fishing Journal- June 3, 2012

by on Jun.04, 2012, under Tampa Bay, East and South Shore

Hot bite sparked by the week’s soggy ending
By Capt. Ray Markham

Mostly good steady action could describe much of this past week’s fishing with the exception of Friday’s heated action during a cool downpour. As wave after wave of rain came down in, the bite turned on. Trout provided steady blasting of top water MirrOlure Top Dogs. It was snook, trout, redfish, and flounder action non-stop for much of the day. We added small black sea bass and a few others of insignificance to the list but for the most part it was a snook, trout, and redfish day.
Buzz Minton, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin stood steadfast on the bow of my Action Craft flats boat, the Flat Back II to get slammed by snook, trout, and redfish a dozen times over, landing about 16 snook on CAL Jigs with shad tails, 12 or 13 redfish to 24-inches on the same CAL Shads and a couple of dozen trout to nearly 20-inches on the same lures. Buzz, an accomplished caster, made one accurate cast after another to small openings in the mangroves to score repeatedly with the reds and snook. I broke one big red off in the mangroves that looked to be about 38-inches long. We tried to get her out with no success before she sawed through my 12-pound Berkley Nanofil line. The barnacle encrusted prop roots of the mangroves was too much for the line, but it extended the fight an extra 10-minutes over what it would have been had I been using the equivalent size in monofilament line.
As always, we try and use lures that cover the water column to catch the fish where we find them. CAL Jigs with Shad or Curly tails can work the water column top to bottom, and is a good choice when fishing deep. For surface action, one of my go-to lures is the MirrOlure Top Dog, a big bait that catches big fish with its lound rattle and walk-the-dog action. When flash is required on those gloomy days, a favorite of mine for redfish is the Eppinger Rex Spoon in gold or copper. I start with the 1/2-ounce model and change up to a smaller 1/4-ounce version when necessary. During periods of warmer weather, larger baits seem to excel. Warm water adds more algae to the water, obscuring the fishes vision, and baits with a larger profile are easier for them to see. But as water cools and gets clear, we generally scale down the sizes of our baits. And at times, we just match the size of whatever the fish are feeding on.
Early morning water temperature in the Terra Ceia Bay and lower Tampa Bay ran about 80-degrees with the mercury topping out at about 87 most days. With temps running that high, it’s definitely time to consider fishing the coolest hours of the day for the best success. Outgoing late afternoon/ evening this week will be in the negative range dropping water levels down to nothing in some areas. Dry bay bottom exposed by these full moon low tides provide some good opportunities to do some exploring and see where new sand bars are forming and where potholes that hold fish on these lows are. This is the best time to get the “lay of the land”.
The week also provides and exceptional opportunity to go do some shrimping. Catching a 5-gallon bucket full of live jumbo shrimp is a doable thing on the evening outgoing tide. The full moon in June is also a spawning period for shrimp, and some of the largest shrimp of the year will be available for the next week or so. Shrimp that are in the 5 to 6-inch size range are about average for this time of year. All you need is a head lamp, much like the miners use to mine coal, a long handled fine mesh dip net, like those sold at F.I.S.H in Madeira Beach for about $10.00, a pair of sneakers, a cooler with a saltwater ice slurry, and a fishing license and you’re ready to go wading and dipping for some shrimp. Some can fill their limit around the Bunces Pass area in about 2-hours when the tide is running hard.
I’ll be heading to Jensen Beach at the River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp by week’s end to represent the Manatee County CCA Chapter in the
CCA All-release Inter-Chapter Challenge. The tournament is made up of teams from each chapter around the state representing their area and fishing with artificial lures to catch snook, trout, and redfish, photograph them on measuring boards, and releasing the fish. Anglers scores are by the total inches caught of each fish by each team for each species, plus a Grand Slam award and the top trophy award for the team with the largest Grand Slam caught, (snook, trout, and redfish).
After that, River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp will host the DOA Outdoor Writer’s Festival with top outdoor writers and DOA guides from around the country fishing for all species that the area holds. Keep your eyes peeled in future fishing publications for photos and stories from some of the top writer’s in the country as they showcase the variety and sizes of some of the fish caught on DOA Lures from this prime habitat. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham runs the Flat Back II out of Terra Ceia, Florida on lower Tampa Bay specializing in artificial baits fished on light tackle using spin, plug, and fly equipment. He can be reached for charter at (941) 228-3474 or via email at Ray.Markham@gmail.com.

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Homoasssa Inshore Fishing Report, Capt. William Toney, 6/4/12

by on Jun.04, 2012, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa

Not many times throughout the year do I get a chance to fish with out any worries as if we will catch them, equipment failures and just bad luck. I had one of those chance’s this past weekend when I had a charter cancelation and my father and 3 cousins ( all guides ) had entered the 26th annual Cobia Big Fish tournament held out of MacReas of Homosassa. Capt. Jody Johnson told me at the dock on Saturday “ come on and go with us, it’s not about winning it’s about family “. Well I thought it over for a few seconds and Sunday morning I was in the boat at 6 am for one of those fishing trips that I will never forget. We caught 21 trout and a keeper flounder somehow between the cold beverages , crusty sandwiches and good humored banter. If there was a third place for largest trout we would have got it, but at the end of the trip at all the festivities I saw it in everyone’s faces that they all , just like us, had a good time and like good sports cheered the winners. We fished down south in Chassahowitzka  on the many sandy bars that run north and south of the channel. As the tide ran out the bite was great and as soon as it turned in the bite slowed way down. After the tide made high and turned back out the bite picked back up again and that is usually the norm around the full moon. My cheeks still are hurting from the laughter at this modern all male family fishing trip and the more I think about it the more it blends in to my fishing experiences when I was a lot younger with the same crew.
For the best luck this coming week I suggest if the conditions are calm head out to deeper water north or south of marker #2 out of Homosassa and use 1/8 oz. jig heads with D.O.A. 3” shrimp trolled behind the drift of the boat on the incoming tide. The trout, sea bass, bluefish, sharks and small gag groupers don’t mind the incoming tide out there and the action is good. The best color shrimp are glow, gold glitter and electric chicken. Red fishing is O.K. in the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge Refuge. The best bait has been live shrimp under a cork on the incoming tide. High incoming tide will be at daylight or dusk this coming weekend.

Capt. William Toney www.homosassainshorefishing.com

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Cedar Key Fishing Report, 5/31/12, from Capt. Jimbo Keith

by on May.31, 2012, under Cedar Key, Suwannee

Hey there folks I hope y’all weathered the storm this past week. That was some much needed rain that will help in more ways than one. The rain will not only help the farmers it will help the fishermen. With all the rain we got the water temp will drop and cause the fishing fire up because of the cooler temps. Well the Trout bite is still exceptional with some bigger fish being caught up to 4.5lbs. The hot color this week was Stinky Pink made by Saltwater Assassin. If your looking for a good fight. There are some big schools of Big Uglies”Black Drum” on the flats. You can also find the tailing on top of oyster bars on the high tide. The favorite method of mine to catch these fish is a dead shrimp or a broken crab. I like to find the Drum tailing and cast the bait to him like you would a Red Drum. There has also been some Tarpon being caught right now. The best action is the mouth of the east pass of the Suwannee River around Dan May. Well folks hope this helps you land a big’un this week. Y’all stay safe and we’ll see you on the water.

Captain Jimbo Keith

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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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