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Capt. Greg

New Port Richey & Hudson Fishing Report

By Fishing Reports

This week has been getting better and better by the day, this is for two reasons. We were getting closer to the full moon as the week went on, and we had the first small cold front actually make it through the area. The front didn’t change much as far as the weather went but it did bring a lot of dry air and some very comfortable and cool mornings and evenings. These conditions only solidify the fish on the west coast of Florida to begin their fall migration into the backcountry and begin to feed to fatten up for the winter.

All my trips this week were started in Hudson, as the bait has been very easy for weeks now and it is a short run after I pick up my clients to where we typically start fishing. Most of the fish are ready to start the migration but are still stuck in limbo, as the water and air temps are going up and down. This makes the fish move accordingly. If we get a cold night or two the fish move up inside the canals, creeks and rivers, and then when it warms up they come right back out. But the one thing that is consistent is once they get in a spot they sit in it for a few days, the downside to this is once somebody finds them or is told about them, you may never get a chance to fish there!!

But back to the good stuff, the fishing off of New Port Richey has been good for the past few weeks now and this week we caught plenty of Snook, Trout, and even the redfish have started to show up in decent numbers. However, the best thing going for a month now was the Cobia bite, I have not said anything about it because I had it all to myself…well the cobia is out of the bag so to speak now. It did stay quiet longer than I thought it would for sure, but somebody is always watching.

The great part of this late cobia run was I was catching them the same way I was in the spring, on the backs of rays, which is always a blast. I also had two hard bottom areas in very shallow water that they were hanging out at. The size was also surprising from 20 inches to 40 inches they were all grouped together. I’m sure they will leave as the water cools down but they were fun while they lasted. Another thing I noticed this week is the big Gator trout that have started to show up, while I’m not catching a ton of them off the Port Richey coast their numbers are growing. This is a good sign of things to come this winter when the negative low tide will pull them into the holes and troughs and we will be fishing in the proverbial barrel. 

I love the Florida heat but a can say for sure I’m ready for the cooler weather and the fishing it will bring, I am booked solid for October but I still have a few days left for November and December. Remember those are the months for negative low tide trips, and I have the only boat in the area to get you to the fish when there is no water around. So don’t wait or you will miss the boat!

Till next time tight lines,

Capt. Greg DeVault

Port Richey Fall Fishing is Hot!

By Fishing Reports

The month of September is always one of my favorite months, you get a little bit of everything during this month. The heat and humidity are still hanging on, but a couple of times this month we will get a small hint of what’s to come. The wind will shift to the north the air will dry out, and the skies will be bright and blue. For the ones that have been on the water long enough they know what these clues mean to the fish…and the others, well they will follow as always.

September is not my busiest time by far, but I do have some very good clients that fish every month and September is no different. The fishing can either be on fire or just ho-hum this month, but if you fish the right tides and the right weather it is always hot. One of my favorite people and good friend Mike was down to give it a go and man did we hit it on the head. The snook bite was off the hook, with several fish to 30 inches coming to the boat. We found a couple of nice schools of redfish but they were not interested in our offerings.

Our day started at daybreak at Nicks Park in Port Richey, as Mike always goes with me to catch bait. This time of year the bait is still growing so 2 to 3 inch baits are the norm. I have been catching bait on a flat North of Hudson very easily and today was no different, it took 2 throws of the net and we were on our way to catch fish as the rest of the fleet was pulling in to get there bait. Seeing that we were going to have company today I elected to try a school of Redfish that I knew would see pressure later. We approached them quietly and got a few baits in them, but they were very disinterested. I’m convinced we have vampires fishing these fish in the dark!!

We had a strong incoming tide so we decided to run a little farther north to a creek I have fished that will hold Snook this time of year. This was the best move of the day as we were able to sit in that are for 2 hours and catch snook after snook. We would free line baits down with the current and before you could flip the bail back over your bait was smashed. Mike brought 6 slot-sized fish to the boat and several that were just under the slot, and when that bite finally died off we moved to another creek and started again. The highlight of the day was when Mike had our biggest fish try and take him into the bushes. The snook succeeded in making it to the tree line but Mike was masterful with the rod and “persuaded” the snook out of the trees and to the boat.

By now the tide was slowing and it was almost time to head to the dock but not without trying one more spot. We pulled up and put baits out, Mikes line got hit and drag started screaming, but that would be as close as we got to whatever it was. Maybe that’s why Mike is back every month….to get the ones that get away!

The air is defiantly cooler and the days are getting short, the snook and trout know its time to fatten up for winter soon. October and November are going to be awesome this year, my book is full for October but I do have about 4 days left in November, so don’t wait, in this game, you don’t want to be a day late and a dollar short… otherwise you’ll be just another Flats Invader.

Till Next time tight lines,

Capt. Greg DeVault  

 

We’re catching everything!

By Fishing Reports

Well, it was a busy first week back from Louisiana, and even though the days are getting noticeably shorter and the calendar says its fall, it is still summertime and hot! All my trips this week defiantly reflected that the fish are still in their summer patterns. So with that being said, there are a few things that you should always remember this time of year. Bring plenty of water, always wear sunscreen, and the best fishing will be early and late when you have the best moving water.

The week started out with low incoming tides in the morning so gathering bait was very easy. I ran north to a known area to catch it, I typically stay away from these areas but with empty boat ramps, I wasn’t too worried about pressure. All week bait was very easy taking two to three throws at the most, and the bait is growing nicely with most of the bait being 2 to 3 inches long.

I picked up all of my charters at Nicks park in Port Richey, mainly because with a big incoming tide I was going to be going north of Hudson to fish.  With the water temperatures being in the upper 80s I stayed on the outside edges of all the creeks and bayous that had good current flow and some depth. Summertime is not the time you can sit in one spot all day and catch fish, so we were jumping around from spot to spot most days. This was working very well as we would catch 4 or 5 nice fish at each spot and move on, it was a good thing it is summertime and during the week or I would not have enough spots to hit with the normal crowds.

During my charters this week we caught just about everything that swims in our waters, Redfish, Snook, Tarpon, Cobia, Jacks, Snapper, Grouper, Flounder, and Trout. Again not great numbers or size but a lot of spices and plenty of pulling. I did venture south one day to a spot off of New Port Richey that I love to fish on a low outgoing tide, it will typically hold redfish in good numbers on the end of an oyster bar. As we pulled up I set the Power Poles and could see mullet and Ballyhoo swimming around the bar, I placed a bait right on the edge of them and it was inhaled almost immediately. I nice redfish about 20 inches came to the boat, after that almost every bait that hit the spot was eaten by a redfish or trout until the tide stopped moving. After that we picked up and ran north to one of the Stilt houses off of Port Richey and tried to catch some snook, when we got there we could see the big snook swimming in front of us and with a few chummers they were blowing up waiting for us. It just so happened we had a snook virgin on the boat that day. She made a perfect cast right to where the snook were sitting and everybody on board jumped when we saw one of the big girls come up and eat the bait. It was a great fish and she pulled drag hard and fast and unfortunately for us we could not stop her and she broke off on some pilings. 

I know I am ready for fall and the cooler weather, but most of all the great fishing that is just around the corner. We will soon have the wintertime negative low tide that make it like fishing in a barrel if you have the knowledge and machinery to get to them. And I have both, so be ready to get on board and catch some fish.

Till next time, tight lines

Capt. Greg DeVault 

Fishing is great — no matter where we fish.

By Fishing Reports

Even though Marco and Laura ran us out of the Marsh a week early, they couldn’t stop us from fishing. We just relocated to where the weather and water were beautiful back home on Florida’s west coast. My clients that were going to Louisiana decided that since they already had the time off we might as well still fish, just here in Florida. Steve has a condo in Bradenton so we decided to fish the waters off of Sarasota, I am familiar with the area but haven’t been there in a while. 

We started at the crack of 7AM, and there is one thing for sure, the bait was much easier down south. They have bait boats on the water here and all you need to do is pull up and pay for your scoops of bait. It took 5 minutes and we had bait for the day!!

We had a low incoming tide so I decided to head to some old areas in Terra Ceia Bay, we fished points that had a little depth and current coming around them. We caught some nice Snook and a few Jack Cravelle but as the water filled up, the bite on the Mangrove islands died off. So, we decided to run into Sarasota bay and fished some grass flats that had a bunch of sand holes on them. As we pulled in we got the boat set up and the first thing we noticed was there was bait everywhere, but with good current we decided to give it a shot. The action wasn’t as fast as I would have liked but we were able to put a few more fish in the boat. We stayed there for about a half-hour and after seeing the bait multiply around us figured our bite was done here. 

One good thing about fishing an area you have not been to in a while is that all your spots are open, meaning you weren’t there to beat them up the day before. So we bounced from spot to spot for a few hours catching fish at most of them but nothing crazy. The tide had turned and started going out and the storm clouds were building, so I decided to run to a flat with mangroves on the edge with an undercut bank. When we got there the water was moving good and you could see some fish popping baits on the corner we were going to. We got set up and as the first bait pasted the point it was inhaled, as Steve came tight and a nice Snook instantly launched through the surface. While we were fighting that Snook another bait was drifting to the corner, and was again inhaled at the point. The Snook were in the 25-inch range, not giants but great fun and defiantly drag screamers. The big surprise cam when I started to chum the point after a short lull. We started to see the tell tale boils of redfish eating, and sure enough, when the baits were put in them they ate just like we were in Louisiana! We were able to catch several Snook and Reds off the point until finally, Mother Nature got us again.

Although it wasn’t Louisiana it was still a great two days of fishing with some of my favorite clients and friends. Steve is set to have neck surgery the end of the week so prayers go out to him for a safe and speedy recovery, the fish will be waiting for you bud!

Till next time tight lines,

Capt. Greg DeVault

Great Louisiana Fishing

By Fishing Reports

It doesn’t matter where we fish, mother nature is still ultimately in control. Louisiana has been awesome this year with both great weather and great fishing. However, she decided to bring that all to an end, the last week I had scheduled in the marsh was interrupted by not one but two hurricanes. As the weather approached we were able to make the decision to cancel the last two groups and get out of town before it got ugly.

The good news out of all of this is the weather did not get to bad and the two groups before them both had great trips with a ton of fish to the boat. The first group was longtime friend and client Mike and his brother Chris, they have been coming to the marsh for 6 years and have seen how good it could be. This year’s trip was defiantly one of the better ones, we averaged 20 to 25 fish each day, and when the fish average 25 pounds that is a lot of Redfish. The one thing that was kind of strange about Mike and Chris’s trip was that in three days we did not land one Jack. Sometimes that is a blessing in disguise with the size of the Jacks out here. The last day of their trip was an awesome day, they had an early flight out so we needed to be back at the dock by 11AM. So we basically had 3 hours to get on the fish, and that we did. We were able to land 20 fish in those three hours, and lose about 10 pounds doing it. It was HOT!

My next group was new to the Marsh and to my boat this year, Craig and Tamara had come down and caught a couple of Tarpon with me this year and decided to give the Louisiana Bull Redfish a try. They were not disappointed, although their first day was probably the strangest weather day I had all month out there. It started off with rain and then the wind cranked up to 25 out of the south and made for a very bumpy fishing day, but we did put fish in the boat and they were big Reds. The next two days were much better and the bite continued where it left off with Mike and Chris. Both Craig and Tamara landed several big redfish but Tamara was the big winner with a couple that bottomed out my 30-pound boga grip.

It was a great month out in the marsh and everyone that got out this year is on the books for next year, and I’m ready for another great trip to Louisiana. One thing is for sure after fishing in SE Louisiana you will understand why it is the Redfish capital of the world, and if you would like to get on the list to go out give me a shout and ill get you in line.

Now it’s back to the gin clear water of the Pasco county coast and a very busy schedule for the fall.

Till next time, tight lines

Capt. Greg DeVault

Buras, Louisiana Fishing Report

By Fishing Reports

One group of clients out and the next one in, I try to keep a pretty tight schedule while I’m out here in Buras, Louisiana so the last day of one trip is the first day of the next. And with fishing this good you want to be on the water every day you can, and that is why I’m sure my Bull Red fishing trips out here are full well in advance.

My next crew in was a longtime friend and client Charley, his son Carter and good friend Terry. These three have made the trip to the marsh for several years now and like most of my clients they kind of know how the schedule works. One thing is for sure with Charley’s crew is there will be lots of laughs for sure on and off the boat. After a delicious dinner and watching the Tampa Bay Lightning win it was time for bed, as day one would be here soon. Breakfast was at 5:45 AM and we were on the water by 7AM I think our first hookup was at 7:01AM. The first morning was a good one it wasn’t on fire but it was steady and we caught 15 or so double-digit redfish, the bite slowed so I decided to make a 7 mile run north to another area I had scouted. When we arrived I could see the pogies dimpling on the surface and the telltale slicks that form when the redfish are eating well. It turned out to be a good move as the first cast they all made turned into drag screaming redfish and continued until we decided to call it a day.

The great thing about the Louisiana delta is the ability to stop just about anywhere and catch fish. And on day two we decided to try something different, we started on a large sandbar that had a strong current flowing past it from the river. We set up on the down current side and watch for redfish to swim along the edge to us and pick them off as they came by. It was like shooting fish in a barrel and it was a deep barrel!

After two solid days of catching big bulls, day three started a little slow as everyone had sore shoulders, but once the drags started singing everyone forgot about the pain. We stayed on them till 10 or so then decided to look for some other areas. We caught a few more to finish out the trip and then it was back to the lodge so they could shower and catch a plane back to Florida.

Next group is here and time to get the rods ready for another beating.

Till next time,

Capt. Greg DeVault

Destination Venice Louisiana

By Fishing Reports

The dog days of summer are defiantly upon us, triple-digit heat and very little wind makes for some hot days on the boat. The good part is we typically get afternoon rainstorms to cool off the water and us. August is also the month I do another of my destination trips, I stay in Venice Louisiana for the month and have my clients either fly or drive out and fish with me for a few days each. Those of you that are familiar with redfish know exactly why I set up shop out here and those that do not, just look at the pictures that accompany this report. SE Louisiana is without a doubt the absolute best redfish fishing in the world, and I go during the times that the big bull reds school up and gorge on the porgy schools. It is fast and furious at times and without a doubt some of the best fishing you will ever do.

This year my first group was a father and son who fish with me quite a bit, but had never been out to the marsh. On the first day it took about 5 minutes for both Bob and Owen to realize this was like nothing they had ever done. The first school of reds we fished was all 35 to 40 inch fish and they were hungry, there were also a few jacks mixed in with them. The Redfish are some of the strongest fish you will find anywhere, and it takes 5 to 10 minutes to land the average red. The Jacks are a whole different animal, they will be from 20 to 30 pounds and pull like a truck. You are doing good to land one in less than 20 minutes, as both Owen and Bob found out. And we can’t forget the jokers of the group, along with all the Redfish and Jacks you will catch your fair share of saltwater catfish. They are the slimiest fish in the water, but they weigh up to 10 pounds, so for a while, they pull very hard.  Bob and Owen were initiated by fire, to say the least, their first day was awesome and they still had two to go.

The second day was much like the first with very large redfish and Jack Cravelle right off the bat and a smattering of catfish to slime up the line. And just like the day before we were chased around by rain most of the afternoon. The third day is always a little shorter as clients need time to pack up and shower before they leave, so we decided to do something a little different. I had a small school of fish on a sandbar that we could sight cast to, as we pulled up to them the school slowly moved to our left. Both Owen and Bob made cast right in front of them and it was fish on! We did that for the rest of the morning until it was time to head back.

This trip is for sure a bucket list trip for all who do it and I am very fortunate to be able to offer it to a small group of my clients.

Bob and Owen are safely back home and the next group is ready to go!

Till next time, tight lines,

Capt. Greg DeVault

Shark Fishing in Summer

By Fishing Reports

Well, it has been a little while since I put any words down about what has been going on, on the water. I actually took most of July off to relax after a very busy spring and get our hunting leases in Georgia and Kentucky ready for hunting season. I did manage to get out on the water a handful of days though, and the fishing was outstanding if you were looking to just pull on some fish.

The one good thing about summertime fishing is the bait is always easy and always close. All the trips I ran this month left out of Nicks Park in New Port Richey, and because bait is very easy I usually had my clients meet me at 6am so we could get an early start and beat the hottest part of the day. Catching bait was only taking about 30 minutes, but you need to be carful not to overfill your live well with bait, or you will be catching bait again after it all dies.

I tried to time my trips around the high incoming tides so we would have a lot of water and the coolest water of the day. I was able to catch some very nice Trout, some slot sized redfish and even got a few nice snook to eat. But once the sun got up and started heating up the water the bite was over. 

I did have a fail-safe though for the summer bite, and it has become very popular with several of my clients, we have a very large population of 4 to 6 foot blacktip sharks in our water during the months of July and August (if only the Scallop hordes knew). Summer is when the Blacktips spawn and the Anclote basin is home to Thousands of these sleek fast fighters. Over the past couple of years I have fine-tuned a couple of areas and on the right tides you can catch them for hours, and Blacktips are a hoot to catch. They are extremely fast and will jump like a Tarpon most of the time, they will also pull drag as fast as a Barracuda, they are without a doubt one the funnest fish we catch in the dog days of summer. 

It’s hard to believe how fast this year has gone so far, I can’t believe we are on the doorstep of Fall and all the great fishing that comes with it. But before that I will be in the Redfish capital of the world, Venice Louisiana. My reports for the month of August will be all about our adventures in SE Louisiana catching Giant Redfish and huge Jack Caravel. I always say there is no way to explain how good the fishing is out there, it is World-class and if you love to fish you should defiantly get on my list for the upcoming years. Well I am on the road to Redfish heaven!

 

Till tomorrow, tight lines

Capt. Greg DeVault

 

 

 

Boca Grande Fishing Report

By Fishing Reports

Well it has been a few weeks since my last report, but I have a good reason. June is one of the busiest months I have, and this June was no different, I ran 53 trips in the 30 days of June here in Boca Grande. To say I was tired at the end of most days is an understatement, we had a few weeks of record-breaking heat, and a lot of hungry tarpon and even a few other species. Today is July 8th and I have pretty much stopped fishing for Tarpon and moved on to the snook, and redfish.

Now for the good stuff, the tarpon in Boca Grande were very plentiful in the beginning of June but just like every year before we start to lose some of the fish with each moon as they begin to migrate north along the west coast of Florida. The good part though is many of the “ Pass Guides” leave and head home as the Tarpon leaving the pass signals the end of their year. If they only knew how good the beaches and bays are after they leave.  When the Tarpon return from spawning offshore to the beaches of Boca Grande the first thing on their mind is food! And when you found that school of fish it usually only took a few seconds for them to slurp down the crabs.

I had several trips that we were able to make great memories on but a couple really stick out in my mind. The first was an afternoon trip that I wasn’t sure was going to happen because the morning was pretty slow and we had trouble finding hungry fish. But we ran out to the beach and found a school of fish and started to get in position, as we moved into them they spread out and were rolling in a area the size of a football field. We set up in their path put out the crabs and as soon as they got to the crabs they ate, and we were off. We hooked 5 tarpon and landed 4 of them, we left the dock at 1:30 and my clients were done and ready for dinner at 4:30, great afternoon.

The next trip that was memorable started as a Tarpon trip but ended up as something else. We arrived on the beach at 6AM right at daylight and found a very happy looking group of Tarpon, we put a crab in them and hooked up immediately. The Tarpon was boat side by 6:15, we found the school again but for two hours couldn’t buy another bite. It was flat calm and getting hot so we decided to run offshore to a small wreck I know if to see if we could find some Permit. When we arrived the water was still slick flat and crystal blue, however we did not see any permit, but I was marking stuff beneath us. We dropped down a couple baits and were greeted with a couple 10-pound Amberjacks, then it got fun, a 200-pound goliath grouper ate one of the AJs. I’m not sure how Mark did it but he was able to stop and work a 200 pound grouper to the boat with nothing more than a Tarpon rod with 50 lb. braid and 60 lb. leader, a very impressive feat!

July is the month I take time to get my hunting leases ready for the fall, I will slip in a couple fishing trips for my good clients off of New Port Richey, but most of the time ill be taking it easy in the woods!

Till tomorrow, tight lines

Capt. Greg DeVault

 

Boca Grande Tarpon Fishing report

By Fishing Reports

We have made it into June and the midpoint of the Boca Grande tarpon-spawning season.  There have been literally thousands of Tarpon in Boca Grande this year, and with the full moon this week we have more on the way. The crowds have continued to thin out as several guides and recreational fishermen have wrapped up their vacations and gone home.

In some ways, they left just in time as the weather this week turned ugly with a Tropical storm in the gulf we had plenty of rain and wind. But in some ways they missed it, they could have been treating their clients to some of the best fishing we have had this season. As the storm was developing we were treated to some very low barometric pressures, making the Tarpon go haywire. With the pressure so low the entire mass of Boca Grande tarpon moved out of the deep confines of Boca Grande pass to the nearby beaches of Gasparilla Island. And with the full moon, we also had a massive school of Tarpon move south from Sarasota down the beaches to us. It was one the largest congregations of fish that I have ever seen, there had to be at least 30,000 tarpon on the beach that morning. And the bite was insane, both morning and afternoon trips were outstanding as we had double-digit hookups during both.

Nobody is sure why every Tarpon moved to the beach but it was nice for the first day, after the first day the pass fisherman had no choice but to come to the beach. Unfortunately, the edict on the beach and in the pass are completely different, not to complain, but I’m not sure what universe you can drive up to a school of fish with your outboard running and still expect them to bite. Needless to say it was evident who the Tarpon fishermen were and who chase schools around a pass.

Even amongst all the motors, there were enough fish on the beach that you could find fish that would eat without any problem.

 Although all the trips this week were very good one, in particular, stood out in my memory. It was Friday mornings trip, and by then the entire fleet had finally found the fish, so we started early and were on the beach at daybreak. As we idled down the beach we found a nice school of tarpon slow-rolling and looking very happy, we launched a couple of crabs into them and immediately we were hook up. The tarpon instantly took flight and put on a show like no other, unfortunately, the acrobatics drew some unwanted attention and by the time we landed our fish there were 3 boats that had moved in on our school. As I looked around I could see a steady stream of boats coming to the beach, it was obvious the tarpon had not returned to the pass. So instead of trying to fish around all that we decided to take a chance and leave the big groups to find our own, and boy did it pay off. We found a school of 100 tarpon miles from anyone all by themselves looking very happy! The first cast was tight before I could make the second cast, but we were still within cast distance of the school. We put the second crab in them and it was also instantly eaten, after we landed that double we could still see the school rolling gently to our south. It was defiantly a magical group of fish, after the first double we moved in and doubled up 2 more time and on the last approach we hooked our fourth double from them but one finally came off. The school yielded 9 hooked fish and 6 to the boat in less than 2 hours, to say the least it was awesome!

 It is amazing how good the fishing can be if the Tarpon are approached the right way, perhaps if beach fishing is not your forte just sit back and observe for a while it is really not that hard, but one mistake will mess up a school of fish for everyone.

 June is a great month for Tarpon and with a lot less guides here it is going to be a banner month, its time to go!

 

Till Tomorrow tight lines,

Capt. Greg DeVault