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Capt. Greg

Great fishing with good friends.

By Fishing Reports

Today was another early start to the day as I knew that today being Sunday would mean another busy day at the boat ramp. You don’t hear people say this very often, but “Thank god it’s Monday” tomorrow. One thing that has not changed is the weather, it has been absolutely gorgeous now for almost two weeks. And the fishing is still going strong, although today was a little slower than the past couple days but I’m sure it was from the number of boats on the water and it is still very good.

We are right on the new moon, so the mornings have very low tides with incoming water starting around 7 or 8am. This is one of my favorite scenarios to fish on, my boat has the ability to run very shallow and get into areas before the tide comes up. We can get set up, and as the water rises the bite typically turns on.

Today’s trip was a fun one, my good friend and client Mike and his brother Chris were on board for the day. They met me at Nicks Park in Port Richey at 6:30 am and went with me to catch bait, it took a few more throws than it had been taking but we still got plenty for the day. We left the bait flat and headed south toward Tarpon Springs to a hole I have been catching a little bit of everything. I knew we were there early but I was hoping for the best, unfortunately, the tide was slack and fish did not have much of an appetite. So we decided to head north to a small bay in New Port Richey that has been holding some nice trout and snook. It took some coaxing but we managed to get some very nice trout and jack cravelle, but could not get the snook to go. The bite again died down so off we went to a creek I was in yesterday to try and get the snook fired up. We were a little ahead of the tide but when it started moving in the snook started popping. Chris started with a nice snook around 26 inches, and then Mike followed with one just a little bigger. The bite stayed strong for about an hour or so, we were able to catch a few more snook, some trout, and jack cravelle, but the big bite came on Chris’s line and we got a very good look at the big snook as it leaped out of the water, unfortunately, that was the only look we would get, like they say, it was the big one that got away.

It was getting close to the end of the day so we hit one more spot in the Cottee River, it is a dock that always holds fish. We set up and chummed, and almost instantly we saw some fish crashing the baits. The guys caught some Jacks right off the bat, then a couple trout, and then the big hit…but yet again the snook managed to elude us while I’m sure laughing at us.

It was a very fun day with great guys and beautiful weather. This week is forecasted to be another gorgeous week and cant wait to get out there again.

Till tomorrow, tight lines

Port Richey Florida Fishing Report

By Fishing Reports

Without a doubt today was Saturday, I had a feeling it might just get a little crowded today so I arrived at the boat ramp around 6 AM, way earlier than I needed to be there for bait. But it worked out good as there was only one other boat there and I was able to launch and be on my way to catch bait well before the sun came up. It always amazes me as to what a different world it is on the water when it is pitch black, it is quiet and just a little eerie, as you don’t readily see all your points of reference. But most of the time you are the only one out there, as was the case this morning, at least for now.

Today’s charter was a friend of one of my regular client who was referred to me, he said his grandson would be with him and they wanted action. With the tides we have this week and the water temperature in the mid 70s, I told them we would be very busy.

I met them at Nicks Park in Port Richey after I returned from my favorite bait flat, I had a full live well and off we went. I decided to start at one of the trout spots I have been fishing this week to get the action going, it is always good on a hard incoming tide like we had this morning. We got set up and Evan launched a bait into the water, it was eaten almost instantaneously and he was pulling on a large gator trout. Just like the past week or so the bite was fast and furious for almost an hour, we had a few jack Cravelle mixed in and Evans dad caught a very respectable 28-inch snook.

Once the bite slowed a little and the water had come up we decided to see if we could get Evan his very first inshore slam. We moved to a small bay that was lined with mangroves, I threw out some chummers to see if I could locate what we were after. There were several explosions and as we moved in our anticipation was high. All three of them launched baits into the area where the fish had showed themselves, and like they were playing centerfield all three floats were gone immediately. Evans started pulling hard and kind of rolling and bobbing, I thought to myself…Redfish. And it was a beautiful 28-inch redfish, Evans first redfish and 2/3rds of his slam. His father had a nice red and the third fish was another Jack Cravelle. We stayed in there and caught a dozen more fish, a mix of Jacks and reds. But not the snook Evan needed for his slam, so off we went to a sweet little honey hole I have been going to in the Hudson area all week. I picked the biggest bait I could find in the live well and hooked it up for him, he launched it out and I told him to hold on. It took a few minutes but his bait started going nuts and all of a sudden he was crushed, Evan was pulling and holding on, and when it got boat side he had completed his slam with a 29 inch snook! But his dad couldn’t let Evan have all the fun and while we were taking photos of Evans fish we could here the drag singing on his reel. Once at the boat, we measured him to be 31 inches.

It was amazing to see how many boats were out today, but having a boat with the ability to run extremely shallow usually gets me to the fish first and that makes a big difference when the water is crowded. I have no doubt that Sunday will be similar to today, and I have one of my very best friends and clients. It will be a great day.

Till tomorrow, tight lines

New Port Richey and Tarpon Springs bite is hot!

By Fishing Reports

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record but, wow, what a spring bite we are having. I keep thinking to myself that the bubble is going to burst, but each day the fishing just gets better than the day before, and the weather only gets better and even more beautiful. Daytime temperatures in the mid 80s and nighttime temperatures in the mid 60s are keeping the water temperatures at the optimal 75 to 78 degrees.

Just like the past several days I cruised out to the bait flat by cover of darkness and again I had the area all to myself, bait once again was very easy, three throws and I was on my way to pick up my charter for the day.

I once again met my charter at the docks at Anclote River Park in New Port Richey, these were new clients and I wanted to start them off right. I decided to start at a hole I had been crushing the big trout at on the high incoming tide, today I had the exact opposite tide, low outgoing, so I wasn’t sure how the bite was going to be. We got there and set up and just like the other day, and again the bite was fast and furious and non-stop for the hour we stayed there.

After catching 75 or so big trout, the guys decided they wanted to go try for some of the snook I had told them about. I headed north to a little spot off of Port Richey that I had not been to in a while. This spot is a long undercut Mangrove edge that the incoming tide runs straight down, we got the boat in position and I had the guys go two at a time as room on the edge we were fishing was limited. The first couple baits drifted by unmolested, so I took a net full of chummers and sent them out to try and inspire a bite. It took a minute or two but the freebies started to get popped, and the snook gave away their location. We adjusted the boat and the next baits were smashed, we got one 30 inch fish and one that was unstoppable, however, she did give us a look at her when she jumped and she was large!

After we got done with that mangrove edge we slid back into a small bay to see what was in there, what we found was a huge surprise. One of the lines came tight and the drag started singing, and then it broke the surface doing cartwheels like only a Tarpon can do. We wound up jumping a couple and landing a couple. To say it was a surprise is an understatement, but the way this spring has been going, not much surprises me at this point. We finished the day off with a small school of redfish I have been playing with, and while they weren’t fired up we did get a few to eat and stretch our lines.

I love having new clients as it usually means a lot of firsts will happen and today was no different, three first were completed, first Tarpon, first Snook, and first Redfish. As they departed the boat they assured me they would be back.

Back at it tomorrow hopefully the weekend traffic will be light, HAHAHA.

Till tomorrow, tight lines

Capt. Greg DeVault

Great weather, Awesome fishing!

By Fishing Reports

We are having one of the most beautiful Marchs I can remember in recent history. The weather has been absolutely amazing with light winds, and temperatures in the mid 80s. The water temperatures have reached 75 degrees and the fishing has gone absolutely haywire. We are experiencing one of the best bites I have ever seen for giant gator Trout, Snook, and I am seeing great numbers of redfish. The only thing that have not shown up in good numbers yet are our Cobia, but I am seeing a lot of big southern stingrays so they are not far away.

Now that the Bait and weather have stabilized my morning routine at the ramp has become pretty repetitive, the one good thing is the flat I have found bait on is still a secret, and I’m thankful for that as I drive by the flat I was using early in March and see 10 to 15 boats crowded and throwing nets. Bait is getting easier and easier, today it took about 20 minutes start to finish and it is big pilchards, which is what the Snook and big Trout want.

I met my charter for the day at Anclote River Park in New Port Richey, we had about 2 hours of incoming tide so we headed north to and area that had some rocks and a lot of current. The first bait in the water lasted about 2 seconds before and big trout devoured it, from that point on it was all I could do to keep up with baiting hooks and taking off fish. After 50 or so trout we decided to go and see if the snook would bite, so I headed north to another creek in the Hudson area that I have been fishing. We still had a good incoming tide and once we got set up the bite was fast and furious until the tide slowed and finally stopped. The size of the snook is defiantly increasing we had a few in the 30 inch range and one that we could not stop.

With the slack tide we decided to go and look for cobia until the water started to fall. We ran back south toward New Port Richey to the flat I had seen some big rays on and started our search, we came across 5 large stingrays but none of them had any followers. After 20 minutes or so we decided to go back to what was working. I had a little hole on the way back to the boat ramp that usually produced on the outgoing tide. We pulled in and again it was almost instant hook ups, the big trout were fired up and popping baits as soon as they hit the water. We emptied the well there and the jack cravelle showed up and even a snook or two.

At the end of the trip we caught at least 75 trout over 18 inches and a dozen or so snook to 31 inches. With the weather getting better and better and the water warming up, the bite is only going to get better and better.

Till tomorrow, tight lines

Capt. Greg DeVault

Just another day in Paradise!

By Fishing Reports

Just another day in Paradise, that is what it has been for the last week here on the waters off of New Port Richey. We have had very light winds, crystal clear water, and air temperatures in the low 80s, for getting out and catching fish it just doesn’t get much better.

Today I was fishing a good client that was lucky enough to snag a day that had to be rescheduled by another client. I left the dock to go catch bait around 6:30 AM and the crowds were still very light, but it is springtime and I knew that would not last. So I opted to go to my quiet flat that I was at yesterday to get bait, which turned out to be a good idea as I had bait in three throws of the net. I was again done early so I did some more scouting to see if fish had moved around, I am starting to see a lot of big Snook moving to the outside and getting hungry.

I met my clients at the dock in Tarpon Springs at 8:30 am and we headed north to fish some creek mouths as we had about an hour of incoming tide left. We got set up and I had them drift some baits back with the current to the first points on the creek, we immediately hooked two snook, one 24 incher and the other we’re not sure as she could not be stopped! Unfortunately, the big snook ripped through the mouth of the creek and disrupted the whole thing. We stayed till the tide quit but the bite never got going again, we picked up and moved father north off of Hudson to try and get ahead of the tide again. We pulled into a flat with a few big oyster bars that were covered with mullet, I knew this would be good as soon as the tide got moving. I was not wrong, for almost an hour every bait that hit the water was consumed by something bigger. We caught Big Trout, Redfish, Jack Cravelle, and Snook all off the same bar. That is one of the best things about spring is all three species live together and eat at the same place.

After the bite finally died off in Hudson we headed back south toward New Port Richey to finish up the day. I have a little honey hole that has developed this spring on every incoming tide, is a deep channel with some submerged rock that for some reason is holding a bunch of BIG gator trout. Once we got set up I instructed them to cast into what seemed to be the middle of nowhere, however as soon as the pilchard made a move he was gone. The great thing about this spot is that after the trout get going they attract other fish like jack cravelle and redfish. We literally used every bait in the well today between chumming and catching, and on the last bait we caught a monster trout.

I haven’t been looking hard but it is just about time to start seeing some Brown Bombers (Cobia) on the flats, so in the next few days we will be looking in the shallow flats for sting rays with very long tails. Cobia fishing is about to begin!

Till tomorrow, tight lines

Be careful what you wish for

By Fishing Reports

I’ve always heard “Be careful what you wish for”,  well I have been wishing for some warm weather and light winds. And today I got it, slick flat water and 68-degree air temperature. When I dropped the boat in the water it was 65 degrees, today was looking up for sure. My plan was to go and see if our supply of pilchards had returned, as I left the ramp I was the only boat there, I was optimistically hopeful about the crowds.

I put the boat on top and cruised to the bait flat, it was literally like a mirror. As I slowed down I was again the only one in sight, could it really be happening like this, time would tell. Now the only thing I had to hope for was to see the flash of silver in the chum, and to my delight, it only took about 5 minutes before that happened. The first throw had about 50 of the magical crickets in it and I was happy I would not spend my morning throwing the net over and over. As I was cleaning the boat up to get ready to meet my charter, the first boat finally showed up, but it would not be the last!

I left the flat and worked back to the dock to meet my charter for the day, Eric Is a great client and friend and I was looking forward to today’s trip. We were set up to meet at 9am and they were right on time. We loaded up and left the dock, the group was very excited to see that I had filled the well with shiny pilchards. Our first stop was a springtime spot that always loaded up with big gator trout when the conditions are right. Unfortunately, everything was right except for the water temperatures, we are still fighting cold water in a lot of places, and this was one of them. We gave it 20 minutes or so and decided to move back inland to find some warm water, as we were running across the flat I saw a very large school of very large fish. As we spun around and dropped the trolling motor I could see it was a bunch of BIG black drum, about 200 of them. Luckily I still had some shrimp in the live well, and while its not their favorite food, we were able to get 10 year old Hoog hooked up to about a 45 pounder that wore him out. We chased the school of drum around for about an hour and could not stay attached to another one. But it was very cool to see them roaming around the flat. We left the Drum to go get some Snook and Trout, we were able to get set up on a rock pile that was loaded with trout, but only a few of them were hungry. I was able to get everyone a few trout and off we went to find some snook. We decided to fish a dock with a lot of current and got set up and caught them two at a time until they decided enough was enough. We ended the day in a small creek where we could see Snook and Redfish swimming around, we set up and drifted some pilchards to them. The bites were almost immediately and after 4 or 5 of both species we decided to call it a day.

One thing is for sure, the empty boat ramps of the beginning of the week are only a memory. I do not want the cold and wind back, but maybe just enough to keep the boat traffic low. One thing to remember, we do have loads of bait but if the fish aren’t ready to eat it they wont, so you better have what they want. Time to load the boat and get it ready for tomorrow’s trip.

Till tomorrow, tight lines

Let’s hit the docks.

By Fishing Reports

Finally, I arrived at the ramp this morning to see slick flat water and air temperatures in the 60’s. As I backed the boat in I had some time to look around as I was picking my clients up at their house on the water at 9AM. So off I went to see if any of our miracle bait (sardines) had started to show back up yet. The water temperature was still 60 degrees so I wasn’t very optimistic, but I had an hour to burn. I checked two very popular spots and there was not a sign of them, still too cold. So I used the rest of the time to find some new fish as I new with nicer weather the water would be packed soon, and the community holes would all be overloaded. I was able to locate some good numbers of Redfish, Black Drum, and plenty of Snook, which I new would not eat.

As I pulled up to the dock my clients were right on time and off we went. We had another very low negative tide, so I decided that we would do some dock fishing, as they wanted to catch some fish for dinner.  We worked our way deep into the canal system of Gulf Harbors to a dock that always holds drum, and sheephead. The bite started very slow, pretty much like every day this week but when the tide started back in the bite picked up enough to make a few of them eat. After we got dinner we decided to see if any of the Snook I had seen would like a big shrimp, I was not very confident but it was worth a try. Once we got set up I could see the snook laying in the current, but we still had 60 degree water, we drifted shrimp to them but the result was same every drift. The Snook would just move to the side and a smaller redfish or Mangrove snapper would inhale the shrimp. This was good action but we decided to move on to other chances.

By now the sun was up and the air temperature was closing in on 80, it was turning into a beautiful day and I knew what this meant, it would be very crowded from here on out. I started going to check on some of my out of the way spots, but we only had an hour or so before we were done. So we went out a drifted some deep cuts and caught some ladyfish to stretch the line and get some cut bait for tomorrow. 

Tomorrow I will be starting a little later and I am hoping the water will warm up enough to find some sardines but I will have shrimp until they show up. Time to wash the boat and prep the rods for tomorrow.

 

Till tomorrow, tight lines

A little warmer fishing.

By Fishing Reports

Finally, a day that wasn’t too cold to start with. However we did have the wind and very low water again, but ill take it because the wind was east and the tide was just starting to roll in and the boat ramp was empty again!

Today I would be fishing one of my best clients and a couple of his friends, they fish with me at least 4 times a month and it is always a good time with lots of joking and usually a lot of catching. Once we got loaded up and heading out the river I noticed that the water temperatures had risen to a balmy 59 degrees, not optimal but the warmest starting temps I’ve had all week. I decided to head out to Anclote Island with the negative low and good anglers I was hoping that the Trout bite might turn on. However the water was still a little too cold for anything great, we got a few to eat our jigs but all in all it was not what I had hoped for. We left the island behind and headed back to the mainland with the idea of hitting the back bays and creeks looking for some redfish, and anything else that wanted to eat some shrimp. On the way back across the intracoastal we had to go by the last flat that I caught Pilchards (Bait) at, I figured I would check the water temperature. It was not quite there yet but it is getting closer and with the warmth of the next few days we should get there.

After checking the flat we proceeded to the first creek to see what we could get, there is one dock on the creek and while it wasn’t loaded with fish we did catch redfish, mangrove snapper, and a flounder. The water was really moving good today as we are right on the full moon so we moved to a small cove that is very secluded and protected from the wind. As we worked our way in I noticed a large amount of mullet and a few redfish scampering away, I thought this was it, and it wasn’t a home run but we did catch 4 very nice redfish up to 30 inches.

We were on a bit of a time schedule so we decided to move and try one more cove, by now the tide had slowed and so did our bite. The last hole gave us a good mix of redfish, black drum, snook, and more snapper.

Tomorrow finally looks like the day that our water temperature will get back solidly in the 60s, and hold there. One thing is for sure when the bait returns to the flats, the fishing is going to get hot as the fish will be making up for lost time. I look forward to the big Snook, Gator Trout, and Cobia that are right around the corner. Of course I wont have the pond to myself once we get the fair weather but that’s okay, they got some catching up to do!

Till tomorrow, tight lines.

You don’t know, ’til you go!

By Fishing Reports

Just when you don’t think it can get any worse, be careful what you wish for. Yesterday looked like a banner day compared to this morning’s weather, but you don’t know if you don’t go. With the air temperature in the low 40’s I decided we would let the sun get up before we embarked on today’s trip. The wind had not let up from yesterday at all, but it had clocked around to the north some. I knew this would mean a giant negative tide and plenty of exposed flats, thus trapping any fish in the nearby holes and troughs. It was a good plan in my mind, however, when we got halfway to our destination I could see solid muddy water and 2 to 3 foot swells with lots of white. I asked my clients if they were game and they were, I wish they had said no! After a 10-minute hell ride we arrived at the first hole only to find 50-degree water temperatures, it always amazes me how fast our water cools off. I knew immediately that this plan was a bust, but we had made the ride so we gave it a try. After 30 minutes, a couple moves, and several casts, we had zero bites, so I informed my crew we were going back through the washing machine to find some warmer and protected water in the river.

This would have been my first plan if it weren’t for the giant low tide making me think we would have no water in the river and trapped fish waiting in the holes. Well at least it didn’t take me all trip to figure that out, and once we got in the river it instantly got better for just the mere reason of less wind and warmer air. We planned to fish some spring-fed bayous and deeper docks as the water was coming in at a good clip. We arrived at the spring to find birds working, mullet flipping, and 64-degree water. We got warmed up with some ladyfish and Jack Cravelle, both were a welcome sight I can assure you. After the spring bite, we decided to see if we could find some Redfish or Black Drum hanging around any of the docks. We stopped at 3 or 4 docks before we found one with a 40-foot boat a good depth, which was holding a good bunch of just what we were looking for. The Redfish were not very big but the Black Drum were all 3 to 5 pounds and pulled like trucks in the deeper water. We even managed to get a couple of very nice Sheepheads although it took some practice to hook these bait stealers.

All in all, what started as a day I wasn’t sure we would even get in turned out to be a very good and more important comfortable day. One thing is for sure if the temperature in the morning is chilly and the North wind is blowing, I’m positive I will not be lured into the hope that fish will be stacked in the holes this time!

Till tomorrow tight lines.

What a difference a day makes!

By Fishing Reports

What a difference a day makes, yesterday we were greeted by 25 MPH South winds, high humidity, and fairly hungry fish. Today was 25 MPH North West winds low humidity and very uncooperative fish. None of this was a surprise as the weatherman actually got this one right, and I had already let my client for today know that we would reschedule to a better day, and had my day off all planned. And then my phone rang, it was a short conversation with a very determined angler that had his offshore trip cancel due to weather. It took some talking but he was able to talk me into giving it a try, and trust me it took some talking.

We met at the ramp at 7AM and there was already I stiff “breeze” out of the worst direction we can have it, NW. I once again warned that these were not optimum conditions for what we were going to do, but they insisted. So off we went to find some sheltered water with good tidal flow, and hungry fish…no problem. Well after two or three spots and two catfish we started to see the picture, however after 25 years I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. The water temperature was still 68 so I decided to try and catch some bait, It was blowing almost 30 by now and the water looked like chocolate milk but sardines have a good nose. We arrived at the flat I have been getting bait on and immediately saw no birds, no porpoise, and white caps, not what I was hoping for. I started chumming and threw the net, and to my surprise I saw silver, not a lot but enough.

So with our new bait I decided to change it up and fish some windy points, which were not hard to find. We caught a few Jack Cravelle and then had a big hit that we never turned, not sure what it was but I think a shark came though as the bite stopped on a dime after that. Unfortunately, that would be the best bite we had all day, most everywhere else we stopped and tried to fish was muddy or just to much wind.

The best part about today was I got to fish with Al and Craig two new clients on my boat that I would have not met if the weather had stayed nice. We had a lot in common as they are from New Hampshire and do a lot of hunting, We had a lot of time to talk about the hunting we have done in between bites. As I had warned, and I think they knew, the bite was slow. We did manage to catch a couple of nice redfish and the sun warmed it up to make it a pretty nice day.

Looks like we’re going to cool down tonight so tomorrow’s trip will have Shrimp and Jigs on the menu. Hopefully we get a little reprieve from the wind, but it will stay north so I will be doing one of my favorite things, fishing the potholes on a big negative tide!!

Giddy up,