All Posts By

Capt. Greg

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,

Windy Fishing Success

By Fishing Reports

As I put the boat in the water this morning, I could feel the breeze blowing from the south. But as most in this industry know a south wind in the Spring is a very good thing. I was soon on my way to gather bait for my clients and I noticed one thing that was very strange for this time of year… I was all alone, just me at the ramp, just me idling out the river, and just me throwing the net for bait, It was a great morning.

As I stated before, I could feel the south wind, and as I broke the river I could feel it and see it. As I made my way south I could see pelicans diving and turns circling and figured bait was thicker today than it was yesterday. And the birds didn’t lie, I wasn’t easy but I had plenty of bait in short order today. As I started back to meet my clients for the day I could see schools of Jack Cravelle roaming the flats looking for food, all of these signals told me that it was a Spring day today!

 

I had a pretty solid game plan for my trip today and as I picked up my clients I could tell they were ready to get after it. Chris and his girlfriend Patty (who was a first timer to inshore fishing) got on the boat and we started catching fish right away. First were some Mangrove Snapper, Jack Cravelle, and Spanish mackerel, we bounced around fishing several rock points and channel edges on the big incoming tide we were getting. When Patty said she had the hang of casting and fighting the fish, we moved on to look for the bigger stuff. We moved to the north end of Pasco county to a creek that has some holes and bends in it, the fish have been lying in these holes waiting for the current to bring them a tasty treat or two. We got set up and drifted baits back with the current, almost immediately Patty’s bait was crushed by something large. It took off like a bullet and made several hard runs, we got it right to the boat and could see it was about a 30 inch Redfish, but that is as close as he would let us get, with a shake of his head he won his freedom. I will tell you this, the reason we as guides do this is because of the sheer excitement of someone catching a fish like that for the first time. We stayed in the creek and caught a bunch of big Sea Trout, some small Snook, and a few more Redfish, but none like the one that got away.

By now the wind was whipping up pretty good so we hit one more protected spot in the river and were able to boat a few more small Snapper and some nice Black drum. We ended the day with lunch at one of our waterside restaurants and Patty said she was ready for more, I’m sure Chris was very happy to hear that!

Not sure what tomorrow will bring as we have another small front coming through tonight, but I’m sure we will find something to stretch our lines.

Till tomorrow, tight lines

March Fishing Madness

By Fishing Reports

This week has started out on the cold side but has quickly warmed up, and we are again hopeful that springtime is here. I started the week filming with Capt. C.A. Richardson for his TV show “Flats Class TV”. We were able to put several nice Trout and Redfish on film but just couldn’t convince the snook to eat with the chilly water temperatures. We were at a disadvantage though….we were trying to fool them and not feed them. Meaning we were using artificial lures to catch our fish not live bait.

After two fun days actually getting to fish, today was back to reality and I was working to find fish for my clients. I had one of my longtime clients and his wife on the boat today, the weather was great low 80’s and sunny sky’s. I was able to secure a few different types of bait because I wasn’t sure what the fish would want to eat as the water temperatures are still in the mid 60’s. We started the day throwing shrimp and sardines in to a large pothole that was loaded with Trout and Snook, the Trout responded well with several fish over 20 inches coming to the boat. However the snook, with the colder water would not commit and all we could do is look at them. As the day progressed the water began to warm and we found some very excited Jack Cravelle swimming across some shallow grass and warmed up the drags on the reels for an hour or so. My client Anthony asked if we could target something for the table so off we went into the back country. This is a very normal request, but our area of the west coast of Florida is under a no take order for Snook, Trout, and Redfish, so this is not as easy to fulfill as it would be. Luckily for me our coast is loaded with Black Drum, basically the cousin to the Redfish, and a very good eating fish.

The wind had begun to really blow so moving into some protected water was a good idea. We found a small bayou that was protected from the wind and just happened to be loaded with the tasty drum. Black drum are by no means fish eaters, but they love shrimp and I just happened to have a well full of them to. I’m not sure how many we caught but three 24 inchers went in the well for dinner, and the rest got a free meal and some exercise for their trouble. The good thing about the water temperature in the 60’s is that it’s cold enough to keep the fish in the warm pockets, but warm enough to make them want to feed. This means when you find one of these pockets they are usually filled with several types of fish, and the pocket we were in was loaded, along with the Black Drum we caught Trout, Redfish, Flounder, Mangrove Snapper, and Jack Cravelle.

Were ended the day looking for a school of redfish I had found the day before filming with C.A. We located them but with the wind blowing right on them they were not very cooperative, we were able to get a Jack Cravelle to eat one of our baits but the Reds just wouldn’t stay put.

With the south winds blowing it is only a matter of time until our water hits the magical 70 degree mark. Until then its time to clean the boat and get ready for tommorows trip.

Transition Fishing

By Fishing Reports

February is a month of transition on Florida’s West coast. Some years it is cold, windy and a continuation of Winter and other years it is warm, humid and the start of Spring. As of now, it looks like we are going to be starting with Springtime, and with that the fishing is getting ready to explode.

Once we get the water temperatures to start climbing everything will fall into place. The migrating baitfish and the baitfish that hung out in our residential canals all winter will break out onto our shallow grass flats, and that will trigger the start of what we all know as the spring bite! The first to enjoy the presence of the baitfish will be the big Sea Trout, they will begin to gather on all of our barrier islands and any rock and oyster bars adjacent to deeper water. These Trout will be in large schools as they are preparing to spawn, so the action can be fast and furious if you hit the right spot. The next to find the bait enticing will be the Snook that have been on a pretty strict diet all winter. They will be waiting on almost every point that has any current and deep water near.

One thing that will be different with the Snook is they will move from point to point pretty quickly as they work their way out to the open grass flats to feed on the arriving bait. The feed will turn on and off with the tide, so make sure you keep a mental note of when the bite started for the next time out.

The third part of our inshore trio, the Redfish will be on the prowl for not only the influx of baitfish but also plenty of shrimp and crabs will become a lot more available to them. For this reason, the redfish will roam the grass flats in search of all of these tasty morsels. If you are looking for Redfish this month I would look around any structure, such as oyster bars, sand holes, deeper troughs, and any kind of debris that will hold food for them.

With springtime right in front of us, there are several other species that will start to become available. Spanish Mackerel, Kingfish, Cobia, several Sharks, Triple Tail, Flounder, and loads of Jack Cravelle.

As always the tides and weather will dictate the best days to be out there but one good thing with February is that once the water gets to 70 degrees the bite is on! Look to the calendar to see when the full and new moons are, these will be the best days!

Spring Fishing Report

By Fishing Reports

This has been a very constant year to say the least, a cool winter has led to a warm and very mild spring, and that have led to warming April winds. And through it all the fishing has been FANTASTIC, lots of big Snook, Redfish, and an abundance of big Trout.

The only draw back has been the Sardines that we use for bait, it has been tough to get and non existent for some. Luckily i have had a few little hidding spots that hold them and Ive been able to keep my clients fishing with the bait that the fish really want this time of year. This is the time of year that everybody waits for, Snook, Redfish and Cobia take center stage and that is what everybody is coming to catch. This spring has not disappointed in that aspect. This has been the best year in the past 15 years for Big Snook ( 35 inches +) they seem to be on every point and deep trough that has good water flow, and they are eating like they are starving!! The Redfish while not as thick as the Snook are here and when you have the right feed and approach them on the right tide you can have some big days 15 to 20 fish days are not uncommon. The Cobia have been going in and out with every little front we get, but when they are here all you have to do is get a bait in front of them and it is on. I have had a big advantage over them with the new boat and the hight i gain by using the tower on it. Once we spot the Cobia i am able to follow him and get the cast we need to catch him. There have also been loads of Trout and Mackerel around to but I very early target them this time of year as most of my clients would rather catch the big 3! If you are going after them though any of the Barrier Islands such as Anclote and both of its Sand bars are loaded with them, along with all the rock bars from Gulf Harbors to Dunedin, with Trout you will usually have company as once the school is found everybody will get in on the action.

Next week will be my last week in the north area as It is time to chase Tarpon in Boca Grande, the fish have been there for a while now and i can’t wait to start flying some Tarpon. I do have some afternoon trips still available but the mornings are booked solid until mid July, but give me a call if you want to catch a king, if I can’t take you I can help you find a full time Capt. to put you on one.

 

Capt. Greg DeVault

727-919-8666

 

 

Know what your getting

By blog

If there is one thing I have learned being in business for 19 years, it is that you don’t always get what you think your buying. I have a lot of clients ask my opinion on what type of fishing equipment they should buy from Boats to floats, I can only give my opinion on what I use and what I have used in the past. I get the same question about other guides also, and all I tell them is to talk with them and get a feel of who they are and what they do.

One very important thing in this business is to be flexible in how you fish and where and when you fish. I have always wonderdrd how somebody can fish out of the same dock year round, the fish migrate and the weather patterns dictate where they will be. If you are anchored to one place you only have a specific time to catch fish. Having your boat on the trailer gives me the ability to move with the fish and do different things, this make fishing fun!!

The next thing I find interesting is how some will fish out of only one type of boat. If you are a carpenter or electrician or a plumber you have the right tool for the right job, Well the same holds true for fishing, we do not fish the same tides and times everyday and we should have the right tools to get to the fish we are trying to catch. Now I know boats aren’t cheap…but if you are spending your money to catch fish I think you should have the best opportunity to do that. And having the right style of boat is the best way to catch them.

But back to my first statement…Know what your getting before you get on the boat. If you guide can’t tell you what your going to catch and how your going to do it…he or she is probably not on the water very often, remember you don’t know whats going on if your not out there. And in todays world of information and the ability to get it, you want to be careful of the “phone guide”, if your guide is always calling other guys to find out whats going on….you may want to get the number of the guys he is calling for your next trip!!

Finding a good guide is not easy to do, and this is the reason the good ones have a very long client list and very rarly do a lot of marketing. But if you talk to enough people you will get to the good ones, remember if your guide is doing a lot of advertising and has a very up to date website with all the bells and whistles, he has a lot of time to do that….And after 19 years at this, time is not something I have a lot of!!!

Good luck and good fishing and when you get to Florida’s West Coast give me a call and we will get out on one of my 3 boats to catch what ever you would like to!!

Fish on!

Capt. Greg DeVault

727-919-8666

Get ready Spring is coming

By whatsNext

There are two seasons that the fishermen and the fish look forward to Spring and Fall. These two times of year are when the water temps are at their most comfortable for the fish and it is also when they feed the most often. But in my personal opinion i think they much prefer the Spring time as opposed to the Fall, and the reason why is because in the Spring they are going from cold water to warm and I know I would look forward to that!

Regardless what the fish like i know it is my favorite time, anything and everything will be starting to arrive in our waters. From Cobia to Trout and Tarpon to Snook, we will have an abundance of big hungry fish cruising our area in a matter of 4 to 5  weeks! So now is the time to get ready, refresh your tackle and make sure your castanets are not full of holes. And if you are waiting to get out with me on a charter start looking at dates NOW, May and June Tarpon are almost filled up and march and April inshore are booking at a very rapid rate! So don’t miss out on what should be one of the best springs we have had in a while!

Lets fish!

Fishing Report – Tampa Bay – Port Richey – Boca Grande

By Fishing Reports

Well so much for a warm winter!! Mother Nature brought a very abrupt end to our Indian summer about 3 weeks ago. Since then we have had 5 cold fronts come through our area in 7 days…needless to say it has put the fish into a bit of a tailspin. But one good thing about fishing in Florida is there is always something that will bite, especially if you have the right equipment to get to where they are at! I just happen to have the tool for the job, my 18 foot airboat will get me back into the back country where the water tends to stay a little warmer and a little deeper, if you know where the holes are. And because of this I have been able to put my Clients on very good catches of Snook, Redfish and Trout, while other are scrapping by with Ladyfish. It is a unique way of fish and I work with Mother Nature, not against her. I look forward to the North wind that blows so cold and the extremely low water that comes with it, as the water levels become VERY low and trap the fish in all the holes that I can still get to. But enough of how the right tools make a good carpenter lets get to whats biting.

The Redfish have been very good this winter, bunched up in small schools they have been eating very well as long as you do not push them out of the hole they choose to be in. Mirrolure Lil Johns have been the ticket most of the time with a Live shrimp picking up the stragglers.

The same holes were holding good numbers of Snook from 10 inches to 40 inches and they to were very aggressive on the Lil Johns, but were also eating the Mirrodines good also. They have slowed up dramatically since the last blast of cold air finally got the water temps to touch the 50s, but when we get a little warm up they go right back to the feed!

The Speckled Trout has been decent this winter but not on fire, the size is good but the numbers seem to be down, at least for me. Normally 100 trout a day is not uncommon this time of year but it seems if we can get 1/4 of that we have been doing good. I may just be fishing to far in the Back country to be getting the numbers I’m used to, but the Reds and Snook have made up for it.

Looking Forward February is only a couple weeks away and it will be time to throw the cast net as the crickets we love to use will become effective again. look for this spring to be Very good as we have had a normal winter with cool water temps and lots of fronts, the fish will be hungry when the warm winds from the south kick there metabolism up a notch!

Fishing Report Tampa Bay – Port Richey- Tarpon Springs

By Fishing Reports

What a winter it is going to be!! we have already had a lot of cold air make it into the sunshine state and the water is cooling off nicely. the Big trout have begun to group up and hang out over most of the hard bottom areas on the sun coast and are eating just about everything that gets in front of them, there is not much to catching a limit of nice big trout right now for sure. Just find a depression with some hard bottom around it and you will have plenty of action.IMG_20111118_104834(1)

 The redfish are in BIG schools if you know where to look, they are not everywhere and you had better know where you are going or you may lose a lower unit trying to get to them. Once you do get to them it is non stop action as long as the tide is moving. the bait dosent really matter as they have been eating anything that moves!hancock 2

Snook are still around in some of the deeper canals but I usually don’t mess with them this time of year, although on my last 3 or 4 charters we have been catching several small ones up to 28 inches. this time of year you will find many different species living together, Flounder, Sheephead, Redfish, Snook, Trout, and Mangrove snapper are being caught out of the same hole on most of my charters right now.

With the water cooling down it is only going to get better as we move into Dec. and Jan., The low tides will be the tides to key on. The low water will concentrate the fish into holes and troughs, this is when you need to have the right equipment, light line and long rods will get you more distance on your cast. Also if you are looking for a charter make sure your captain has a boat that is capable of getting to the SHALLOW areas that the fish are in right now, its no fun watching fish being caught while you are on the outside looking in or worse yet, setting on bottom stuck!

The holidays are coming and so are the crowds, if you are wanting to do some fish for Christmas contact me soon there are only a handful of days left for Dec. and Jan.

 

Fish on,

Capt. Greg DeVault

727-919-8666

Fishing Report – Tampa Bay – New Port Richey – Tarpon Springs

By Fishing Reports

It has been a long hot summer for sure, seemed like not to long ago I was wondering if we were going to get the dreaded heat that we associate with summer. Well it made it and it was all it was supposed to be. Along with the normal heat of summer has come some very good and unexpected fishing, our Cobia that are usually gone from the inshore waters have been fairly plentiful all summer, and the redfish that are spread out and lethargic to say the least have been aggressive and very abundant if you know where to look. The snook that are normally easily to find and tough to catch have lived up to there normal summer standards. The “other ” activity of summer, Scalloping, was spectacular this year. The Scallops were as thick as I have ever seen them and I was as busy as I have ever been with charters to pick them up. looks like next year we are going to be VERY busy hunting down the tasty little critters, check out our new website dedicated to scalloping, www.scallopcharters.com .

As I said it was a better than average summer for fishing in Tampa Bay and New Port Richey, but the best is yet to come. Actually it is very close to starting right now, the big schools of Mullet have started to form and the snook are moving in from the spawning rituals. it is only a matter of a few cold fronts getting through the state to cool the water just a bit before the dinner bell is ringing non stop. Don’t wait to long or the best days will be gone, this is one of the best times of year coming up and the fish are defiantly ready and waiting for you!!

Book Now

727-919-8666