One thing that is always true in everything we do is that change is inevitable, but there are times I do wish I could just freeze time for a few weeks. Yesterday was one of those days, the day started out with a cool morning and beautiful sunrise and the bait came back to the flat and was very easy. Three throws and my live well was full, I called my clients and told them I would be early to the pickup site in New Port Richey if they wanted to get an earlier start. I knew this would help our day as I saw a lot of the “part-time” fleet heading out to get bait as I was coming in.
We had a strong incoming tide and with the earlier start, I knew we could fish some not-so-secret spots before the others got to them. I had some clients today that I haven’t fished with in a couple of years so I told them we could go and get the good stuff but we may have to wait on the water to come up a little, or we could go catch some Mackerel, Bluefish and others on the deeper flats. I thought their response was funny as he said, we are not here to catch “tourist fish”, I laughed and was happy to hear him say that, because I can honestly say that kind of fishing is usually a last resort for me! While we let the water rise we started on some rock piles off of Port Richey and we greeted with a solid Speckled Trout bite, nothing huge but several fish in the 20 to 24 inch range. As we were packing up to move to the next area I suggested we go and run a line of crab traps that were fairly close, I told them we start to see Triple Tale in our area this time of year. We looked at 30 or so traps and we did see one small fish but he was not interested in anything we had to offer, so I decided to run back to the coastline and start our quest for “ Non Tourist Fish” as they called them. Today was only a 4-hour charter so we had a couple of hours left, I had a couple out-of-the-way areas holding good fish so we went straight to them. As we pulled up to the first one I could see fish moving over the sand bottom but could tell what they were. The first bait on the water revealed their identity, we had stumbled on to a school of nice Redfish. We kept our distance and made a long cast and spent the rest of the trip in that one spot, it started with all redfish coming to the boat 2 and 3 at a time and then some big Speckled trout joined the party. I had a fun group of anglers and the trash-talking was continuous, however, the girls did out fish the boys on this trip.
One thing I have done this year is to fish away from the crowds, it is only February and the amount of boats is crazy, do yourself a favor and spread out and look for fish on your trolling motor, do not “ Buzz” the shorelines looking for fish, this ruins the habitat and it spooks fish for a long ways, and it just means you are lazy. And if you see a boat Power Poled down don’t run to close, you can come back later and see what I was catching!!
We are defiantly into spring and the fishing will get better for at least another month, don’t wait to get your days I still have a few for March and April and if I’m booked I will make sure I get you with a full-time professional guide.
Capt. Greg DeVault