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Capt. Greg

Fishing Report – Boca Grande – Tampa Bay – Hot tempratures and Hot fishing

By Fishing Reports

It has been a while since I have posted my last report. I have been down in Boca Grande for the last 3 months chasing and catching the worlds greatest inshore game-fish….the Silver king, also known as Tarpon. The past 3 months are one of the busiest times of year for me, I am fishing almost everyday and on most days I am running two trips. needles to say it take a little while to recuperate from all the fishing I do. But I am not complaining at all, and I am very Lucky to have such a great client base to fish with every year. They truly make my job easy and very exciting.014

Now on to the fishing, it was an outstanding year for Tarpon in Boca Grande this year. I cant remember running a trip that we did not fly at least one fish with most of the trips recording multiple hookups. We did alot of beach fishing this year as the tarpon stayed out of the pass for a while. We were able to take advantage of it by throwing live crabs and threadfin shad at them. While you usually do not see as many fish on the beach as you will in the pass, the strike and ensuing fight can be even more spectacular. You get to see almost every hit and the fish are much more acrobatic on the beaches shallow waters. There were several days when we would find a school of tarpon at daybreak and have one or two to the boat by 7AM. It was a special time on the beach for sure this year.

The big pass was not neglected by any means this year. The Tarpon poured into Boca Grande Pass like they do every year and when they did they were extremely hungry. There were days that you could not make a drift through the mountains of tarpon without getting a hit. It was like the days of old, everywhere you looked there were people fighting tarpon. Some of the biggest fish of the year came from the pass this year, I heard several tales from other captains of fish well over the 200 pound mark and had a few myself that I’m sure would have broken that mark. I had one for sure this year caught by a very good client that tapped out at over 220 pounds, the fish was 84 inches long by 45 inches around!! She was a true giant tarpon!020

As the season wound down I started to run some trips back up in the Tampa Bay area. We have been able to catch plenty of fish in the Bay this year. A good friend of mine Capt. Clay Eaverson has been tearing the tarpon up at the Skyway bridge jumping almost 30 fish this past week, he is dialed in for sure. I was able to hook and land a 50 pound tarpon on a recent trip out of Port Richey. The special part about this fish was the tackle he was caught on was meant for the snook we were catching. It took about 35 minutes to land the little guy but on 15 lb line and 25 lb leader I didnt think that was half bad.

With the hottest part of summer on us the focus will be slightly offshore and for tarpon in the upper reaches of Tampa Bay. The close rock piles and wrecks will hold snapper, Mackerel, sharks, and cobia and we will be chumming hard for them. This is fun fishing with ALOT of action. The Tarpon in the upper bay will get better and better as the fish push up there to feed on the bait that has accumulated. This is a early fishery and we start around daybreak and are usually done by noon.

Hope you all are having a good summer and if you are looking to do some fishing now is a very good time light crowds and lots of fish….oh yeah and no oil anywhere around us!!

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Fishing Report – New Port Richey – Tampa Bay – Just getting Better

By Fishing Reports

The past 2 weeks have been absolutely off the hook as far as fishing goes. The Snook have been absolutely chewing the bottom out of the boat along with everything else. Redfish from 20 to 35 inches are just about everywhere from Hudson to Tampa Bay and the Speckled trout fishing has been the best it has been in 10 years. We are averaging around 50 trout per trip and only fishing for them while we wait on the tide to get right for the Snook and Redfish.005

Fishing New Port Richey

I have fished out of the Cottee river the past 4 days and with the bait getting easier and easier so has the fishing. The predator fish are starting to move out of the back-country and are looking for food. When ever you put the silver crickets in front of them they do not hesitate to devour them. I was fortunate enough to find a couple good holding areas for trout this past week and we absolutely wore them out, I had four young women on the boat on Saturday that could not catch them fast enough. We actually surrendered the spot to a buddy of mine so we could go on in quest of Redfish and Snook, we had caught over 45 when we quit counting, that was just a half hour into the trip. The Snook and redfish have been doing very well on the high incoming tide and the start on the outgoing, just about any shoreline that has a little depth and some kind of hard bottom is holding fish right now! Alot of the areas to the south of the Anclote river have been loaded with fish more so than to the north, these areas are pretty well know for fish and when it gets good it is really good.008

Fishing Tampa Bay

I was also able to fish Tampa Bay a few time the past few weeks also, the redfish bite in the bay has been very good. I had the honor to fish 3 retired servicemen that had serverd there time overseas. We were able to track down a large shcool of redfish and get them to eat our offerings .  The fish are running in large schools and when you find there “happy” place you can just burn them down. We had a couple days where we sat in one spot for almost 3 hours pulling on redfish the whole time, out of the 30 or 40 we caught I think we had 2 fish that were inside the slot. The one thing that you have to make sure of if your going to do this is to pack your live-well with bait, the redfish have required alot of stimulation to make them want to eat. The Trout bite has been very good in the bay also, several days we caught more trout than we could count and Spanish Mackerel right in with them. The only down side to the bay is the Snook fishing has not yet taken off like it has to the north, I think they just haven’t made to the outer part of the bay yet. This should change with a little more warm weather and the constant influx of bait that is showing up.002 (2)

As I said in my last report if you have not gotten out there and done some fishing lately now is the time. It is almost like fishing in a barrle some days and the sprintime weather is making everyday on the water more beautiful that the last.

Capt. Greg

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Fishing Report – Tarpon Springs – New Port Richey – What a Week

By Fishing Reports

Spring is in full bloom now and everything that swims in our waters knows it. Although the big migration of sardines has not made it here yet, there are plenty of the silver crickets to go around. The weather has turned into what Florida in the springtime is known for. Cool mornings and warm days with light winds to keep it very comfortable on the water.005

The fish have also been enjoying the warm up, Speckled sea trout, Redfish, Snook, and Mackerel have all began to search out food. The Speckled Trout have been the biggest hit so far this spring with at least 50 to 75 fish on every charter this past week. Most of the fish have been over the 20 inch mark with several making it to 25 inches, these are great fish that pull hard and are very aggressive. The redfish are still scattered around a little bit but they to are starting to eat very good for me, we had several days that we put 10 or so nice fish in the boat. The best sight this week was the way the snook have responded, the water finally got to the magical temperature and the snook responded very well.  5 out of my last 6 trips this week we caught snook and on 4 of them we had multiple fish as many as 15, the big girls are starting to show also. We had fish that e could not stop from getting to the mangroves and others that we just got lucky with, it was great to see these big snook hungry and healthy.006 (2)

I took the opportunity of great weather early this week to take some client offshore to see if we could find any Kingfish or Cobia. While the water temps were still a little cold we did manage to see a few but could not get a hook in them. We did manage two very nice Grouper that went home for dinner though.   002

While today’s trip was postponed till next week due to the small front that passed here this morning, it looks as if we are finally going to get a great spring of fishing. It may be a shorter window that normal but it has been so far, very good.  So if your thinking about getting out there quit thinking about it and go!!

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Fishing Report – New Port Richey – Tampa Bay -Time To Go

By Fishing Reports

It has been a few weeks since I have been able to sit down and write about what has been going on. But what a difference a week or two can make, warm air and warming water temperatures have the coldest winter in our history running for cover….FINALLY! Well between a full book of charters, filming some segments for Proanglers TV, and BackRoads and Backstage with Danial Lee Martin, and then fighting off a nasty cold for the last week, I am glad to have today off!

March was a very busy and full month, it started cold but ended up quite nice as far as the weather goes. I was able to rune 15 charters , while filming 3 different TV shows and fishing two redfish tournaments. Hopefully the rest of the year is not as packed as March was, but with the warming of spring here and the fishing really starting to explode, my calendar just keeps getting busier. But I am not a complainer and I’m very thankful to all of my clients and hope they have had a good time fishing with me this year and the years past.015

As I said the fishing has really started to open up as the high pressure that we are used to, has finally moved in to take control of our weather. The water temperatures have finally reached the 70 degree mark and the fish are acting more like spring breakers rather than hibernating bears! Although we have been catching bait since late February the last couple weeks have really seen a big difference in the aggression the inshore fish have had toward them. We are seeing the redfish and some snook respond to chummers in the way we are used to, and the gator trout are doing back flips for them. Most of the hard rocky areas from Dunedin north to Aripeka are holding large schools of trout getting ready to spawn. We have caught several fish in the 5 and 6 pound class the past two weeks, with alot in the 3 to 4 pound range. If you do find a big bunch of them just remember the larger females are the reason we have a great fishery, so release them and keep the smaller trout if your looking to eat a few.

The redfish have been starting to get together, but a few cool northerly blows the past couple weeks  has kept them in smaller groups. I have been doing best on them fishing the highest part of the tide, they seem to be looking for areas that have some protection from the wind and a solid bottom. We were able to get them to eat live sardines last week but before that they would only take cut bait or shrimp.

The other drum that became very popular during March was the Red drums cousin, the Black drum. There have been a couple schools around, I have been to one in Tampa Bay the other is in Pasco.  The Tampa fish have become very popular the past couple of week s, and are getting alot of attention. They have been roaming the area for almost two months now, and if you can get a shrimp in front of them you will get bit! They are alot of fun and are averaging about 30 pounds each. The fish off of Pasco are not quite as big, but neither is the crowd fishing them…in fact I have not encountered another boat on them yet when I have been to see them. I would expect these schools to stay for a few more weeks until there spawning is complete then they will retreat back to the deep water they came from for another year.012

Last but not least is our snook, they are still here and we seem to have quite a few left after the cold. I have been seeing more and more of them poking out of the rivers and canals looking for food and warmer water. We actually had a few bust some chummers in canal while fishing a dock. We could get one to commit to a hooked bait but they are starting to get frisky and I’m sure there will be several caught this upcoming week.

I would again like to thank all of my clients for keeping me this busy, I’d go crazy if I had to look at a computer all day!!  I look forward to seeing alot of you over the next few months as I only have a few days that I’m not on the boat with some of you. I’m looking forward to a great spring!

Fishing Report – Tampa Bay – New Port Richey – Starting to Look Like Spring

By Fishing Reports

This has been one of the longest winters I can remember, and I don’t think I have looked forward to the warmth of spring so much. While the fishing has been pretty good through all the cold, it is going pop when the water and the days start to warm. Over the past few weeks I have noticed a lot of fish starting to look for food on the shallower flats along our coast, and although the water is still cold by normal standards, they are staying out there and enjoying the sun warmed shallows. The only thing that was missing from the equation was a good food source, until this past week. The first wave of sardines has made the trek out of the warm winter hideouts to start looking for food and there migrating brothers coming from the south.

This was the first week I have put the cast-net in the boat and caught sardines, it made a big difference in the catching. Trout, Redfish, and even a few Snook all fell for the old reliable baits.It was almost strange to see the fish actually attack the baits with fury, a very big difference from how they have been just sucking in the artificials we have been throwing. As we keep moving toward the summer and the days get longer, the water will continue to warm and the bite will get red-hot. The fish have been waiting for the warm up as much as we have and the way they are feeding in proof they are ready to go!

I was able to run a few trips this past week, and the one that sticks out in my head is the one I ran today. It was the shortest trip I have run in a while, but a good client of mine that lives on the water called me and said he had a couple of hours the burn and wanted to know if it was worth coming out? I told him I woul;d pick him up at ten o’ clock at his dock. We only went to two spots and for three hours we caught Trout, Redfish, and even a Snook. It seemed like we had a fish on almost the whole time we were out. Needless to say he was glad he made the call.

I can honestly say I am very excited about the next couple of months fishing, with a cold winter behind us, the fishing is ready to explode. I still have a few days left in April if you want to get in on what is coming.

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Fishing Report – Tampa Bay – Charlotte Harbor – New Port Richey

By Fishing Reports

New Port Richey Fishing Charter

As I sat at the dock last Monday waiting on my charter clients to get ready, I could feel the warm rays from the sun starting to heat up my jacket. It took me by surprise as it had been a long time since I have not needed a jacket while I was on the water. As we started out the channel of the Cottee river in New Port Richey the day was looking very promising. I had I long time client with me today and for the first time his girlfriend had agreed to come with us. With the low tide we had we decided to fish out of my Ranger Banshee so we could access some schools of redfish that had moved up on the flats the last few days to enjoy the warm sun also.

We started out fishing the deeper holes and troughs at Anclote Island, this provided us with a few nice Trout but that was it. It was not what I was expecting from the conditions we had. We made a move to an area that me and a good friend of mine Capt. Clay had found a good size bunch of redfish. When we arrived on the flat I could see the reds pushing back and forth from and oyster bar to a grass point. We set up in the middle of the track to intercept them as they went by, we had a few refusals but we did get a beautiful 29 inch red to take a bait. Lisa fought the fish like an old pro and only when she landed it did she let us in that it was her very first redfish!! Congratulations Lisa.

After that the fish pulled a disappearing act on us like schools of redfish often do. So we relocated to another school and watched as they swam all around our baits with out so much as a sniff, oh well you cant always make them eat. It was a great day and the weather was wonderful except for a pesky little wind that would not quite let you keep your jacket off for to long.

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Charter

On Monday I was in Placida waiting for my client to show up at 7 am, the weather was perfect it was 57 degrees and the wind was nonexistent. We were planning on throwing artificial baits all day, which was good because I have a redfish tournament this weekend and I could use this trip to do some pre fishing. As we skated across the shallows it was obvious the fish were enjoying this warm morning and calm conditions also, every flat we came to had redfish and trout pushing across it. We were targeting the large sand holes in the grass flats with mirrolure Lil johns on jig heads, almost every hole we came to produced a few fish. We caught alot of trout to 24 inches and several redfish that I hope I can find this weekend again. we were also able to catch a snook which was also out on the flat looking for food, that was a very good sign!

As I sit here writing this report I am supposed to be back in Charlotte Harbor fishing, but mother nature will just not let this winter pass. The wind is blowing 25 knots and of course it is out of the NW, but “THEY” tell me by the weekend we will be in the 70’s. I cannot wait, when this winter does break look out the fishing is going to explode! I feel that alot of folks are thinking along the same lines as my charter booking are starting to pick up dramatically. If you want to get in on what is going to be a great spring now is the time to book it!

Capt. Greg DeVault

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Fishing Report – Tampa Bay – New Port Richey – It Was a Beautiful Day

By Fishing Reports

With all the cold rainy weather we have had this winter it is so nice to finally see some warm and sunny days in the forecast. I had some very good clients scheduled to go fishing this weekend and was very excited to get out on the water and see what the warmer weather would bring us. I had them meet me at the dock at 7:30 and i got there about a half hour early to enjoy the sunrise and actually feel the warmth in the morning air that was finally not below 40 degrees.

As we left the dock I planned on heading south toward Tarpon Springs to see if I could get on some redfish and trout that me and Capt. Clay had found a couple of days earlier while out shooting some footage for our new Internet video site Proanglersjournal.com . when I pulled my Banshee off plane I could see some activity close to the area that the fish had been, I poled us into position and we began to see the tell tale head wakes of redfish. We made several casts into and around the school but could get no takers. We worked the fish for another 20 minutes or so and then decided to move through them and go to another school I had found earlier in the week.

When we got to the area of the next school I saw Capt. Clay coming in to, we decided to try and get on opposite sides of the school and hold them between us. This was a great plan except there were no fish to keep between us, they had obviously moved on from the other day. We said goodbye to Clay and went to yet another bunch of redfish, on arrival we watched as an Osprey dove on some mullet, his aim was true and he got his prey. When the hawk hit the water he showed us right where the fish were that we were looking for. A large wake pushed right at us, and as we got ready to cast I could see the redfish moving across the sand bottom from the platform. My anglers all made very good casts in front of the school, but to no avail. For some reason this group of reds didn’t want to eat either, we poled around them and had 4 or 5 more good shots but had the same result.

I was beginning to get a little frustrated with the fish so we decided to move on to another area that I normally see fish in this time of year. When we got into the small bay I could see fish pushing already, as we approached I could see a mixture of trout and redfish, surly these fish would bite. We made several casts to them and again all our offers were turned down. One of my anglers had an 8 wght. fly rod and I told him to give it a whirl, on the third shot…. finally pay dirt, a nice redfish ate a small clouser. We managed one more small red on a Mirrolure Lil John and that was it.

Although the fish was tough I was very encouraged to see the redfish and trout in the shallows in good numbers and schooling up. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and I saw some signs of bait-fish in the area. It should only be a matter of time before the water is warming and the bait will be here. Spring time charters are filling up fast for March and April so if your looking to get out or know someone who is now is the time to make those reservations.

Capt. Greg

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Fishing Report – Charlotte Harbor – Is it Spring Yet

By Fishing Reports

Normally I love our winter fishing, I get to wear jeans a long sleeve shirt and a light jacket and by the middle of the day the jacket is under the deck and we are soaking up the warm sunshine. Not so much this year, most days I have had so many clothes on that I feel like the Michelin Man, and by the middle of the day I was wishing I had more jackets to put on. However through all of the cold and wet and windy days there has been one silver lining to it all, the fish have still wanted to eat when we put the bait in front of them. It is amazing how you can be so cold, almost to the point of teeth chattering and then make one cast, feel a thump and your adrenaline turns into an instant heater for you. Even though I don’t usually fish with my clients when they start to catch fish it make me feel all warm and fuzzy, If I could only bottle that for the cold days that the fish are stubborn!

Well enough of my thoughts on the cold winter…..During the past week I was able to run several Airboat Charters in Charlotte Harbor, and the fishing did keep us warm for the most part. With the airboat I always want stiff north winds to blow the water way off the flats and force the fish into all the holes and troughs. The only problem is this year that north wind is very cold, but we have managed to stay warm. Most of the trips we were able to catch a good number of Redfish and a few Trout, some days the reds would be so balled up in one hole we wouldn’t move for a couple of hours. I was using 1/4 once jigs with Exude Darts and the new Mirrolure Lil John for bait, the slower the better when working them. There was one of the days that we went to a muddy hole and found some snook laying on the dark muddy bottom soaking up the warmth from the sun, that was very good to see. Most of the trips were about the same a good mix of reds and trout and clients that were happy they went, once they realized a fish can warm you up!

I have one more week of Airboat Charters scheduled for the end of this month, then the tides and days will get longer and warmer. Spring will get here and all that comes with it. Snook will again show up along with all the others from the inshore gang. The pelagics will start to follow the bait and the Tarpon will not be far behind. This year Spring vacation will not just be for the folks on land!

Capt. Greg

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Fishing Report – Tampa Bay – New Port Richey – You Never Know

By Fishing Reports

Yesterday was one of those days that should have been very good for the fishing we were trying to do. A good low tide around mid morning, light north winds to make the water stay out, and a lot of sun so we could see the fish we were after. It was all in place except someone forgot to tell the fish they were supposed to be there and be hungry. We headed out to a flat in search of a school of redfish, but when we arrived all we found were mullet and a few strays. Not horrible but not what I was looking for, we did manage to catch one small red but that was it in 3 hours of searching. I decided to make the offer to put the boat on the trailer and head north to an area that I had been doing very well on the big gator trout. As we were driving north I called a good friend and fellow guide Capt. Clay to see how his day was going, He was in the area I was trailering to and I hoped for good news. He told me they to had been having a slow day, and that the fish would just not cooperate. As I put the boat in the water at the Anclote River I really had a good feeling about the move, we ran out to the island to fish some holes and troughs that usually always hold some fish. When we got there Capt. Clay was already out there not looking very enthused about the fishing. We put the power pole down and began fishing the same area I had done very well in just two days ago. Again the conditions were perfect except for the fish, they did not want what we were offering. We did manage 3 or 4 trout but that was it, I made one more move to a hole that is very secluded and could only be reached with the help of my Banshee Extreme. We got there and once again it looked perfect lots of mullet sunning, large pines to block the wind and clean clear water. Once again we were disappointed in the result of what we caught. We did manage the best fish of the day in this hole, a 23 inch Speckled Trout, bit that was it.

After about an hour in that hole we decided it was time to go have lunch ourselves, and realized that sometimes the fish win the battle. We will be back soon and I know the fish have to eat sometime. It is funny when we get used to catching 50 or 60 fish a day, that a day where we catch 10 or so fish just doesn’t measure up. But nothing cant beat a beautiful day on the water.

Capt. Greg DeVault

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Fishing Report – Boca Grande – Redhot Fishing

By Fishing Reports

Even though the air temperature were in the 40’s when we started, it was not long before my clients were feeling all warm and fuzzy from the pull of redfish. With the tides at there stevelowest and the help of my airboat, we were able to access all of sand hole and small troughs that the redfish and trout use to wait out the tide in Gasparilla sound.  We had to hit about 3 holes before we found the one that was holding a large bunch of fish. Once we got set up on them it was game on for the next couple of hours, redfish and trout came to the boat after falling prey to our Mirror lure Lil John baits. There were several slot sized redfish and most of the trout were in the 18 to 20 inch class. After the bite slowed we were able to go farther into the back country and find a large hole with a good dark bottom. The tide had started to come in and the trout were laying on the edge of the flat waiting for what ever the tide brought them. We set up on the back side of the hole and caught trout on just about every cast  until the water got high enough fro the trout to spread out on the flat. By that time it was time to head to the dock to put the boat on the trailer and grab some lunch.

With February will come the last of the negative low morning tides that make the airboat so effective, however this will open up the flats to the Ranger Banshee and alot of great fishing for March and April.

Fish on,

Capt. Greg DeVault

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