Well, it has been a minute since my last report but it has been so busy that even the part-time guides think they are full-time. You will never hear me complain about being busy, and thankfully for me it is just a normal Spring. But anyone who has been on the water in the last month knows this spring has been anything but normal. Every weekday looks like a weekend day so I can only imagine what the actual weekend days look like. It has been a challenge to put my clients on the type of fish they have become accustomed to catching on my boat, but the good thing is most of the people on the water tend to follow more than lead, so there are plenty of great fish to be caught as long as you know how to find them.
Since my last report in March, I have ran 45 trips so I will just do a summary of how the bite has been instead of the normal trip by trip report. The biggest factor this spring has been Mother Nature, no surprise there, but her timing has been impeccable. Every time our water temps would reach the magical 75 degree mark she would open the Northern door and cool us right back off. It always makes me chuckle when I hear the part timers complain about how “ they had everything figured out” and then Mother Nature had to cool us off. But that is the difference in a part-timer and a full-time captain, we know where to go when the weather turns. The silver lining to these cool fronts we have had this spring is every time they happen we get a reset on the start of springtime, and the fish have responded every time! The Snook bite has been incredible with a bunch of slot and over-slot fish. They are moving out of the warm backwaters and looking for food. Snook are very repetitious and frequent the same areas over and over, and with 3 perfectly timed fronts in March I was able to catch these big girls several times in the same place.
The biggest surprise this spring has been the Redfish, we finally have good numbers of them and it has been evident on most charter this spring. I do still think they need to stay under a closure to help them come back strong, but I have been catching a lot of top of the slot fish and over-slot fish. The Trout fishing has been as good as ever, they are bunched up a little tighter but the numbers are great. March is the month we catch the biggest Trout of the year and once again March held true to pattern, I had 5 clients catch trout over 27 inches, all of them released to make more like them. Springtime means Cobia time, and this March started off with a bang. I had 4 or 5 trips in early March where we boated multiple Cobia, then the first front came through and the Cobia decided to take up residence elsewhere. From then until about 4 days ago we just picked at them here and there, then I tried an area from the past and bingo the big southern stingrays were there with the Cobia in tow.
It has been a great Spring for fishing and as we transition into summer the focus will be 100% Tarpon, I will miss the inshore bite we are having but at least I won’t have to worry about the bird dogs from West Pasco then!
Till Next time,
Capt. Greg DeVault