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clay eavenson

Conditions that make a great bite happen!

By Fishing Reports

There are many things that I have learned from my 40 plus years on the water off Pasco county, one of the biggest is to notice the condition that make for a great bite. Things like water temperature, length of days, tide pattern and bait patterns all figure into a mental picture I paint every morning. At the start of this week I knew we were close, very close to a fantastic bite, this past Tuesday was the start, we found a pocket of snook and they ate like no tomorrow. Fast forward to today. I felt like with a low tide at 9am we would have enough sun to warm the shallows and get the snook in prime form to eat anything on the incoming tide. 

I set my client up to meet me at Anclote River park in Tarpon Spring at 8:30am so we would arrive at the hot spot just in time for the incoming tide, we got set up and waited on the water to start flowing. And as the tide started pouring in I began to throw out some chummers, and oh my god, there were snook blowing up everywhere. I almost got whiplash from jerking my head around so much, we put baits in the water and the bites were instant. We had two and three snook on at a time and the other snook were hitting the floats as the guys were reeling them in. We caught around 30 snook from 24 inches to 36 inches, and the bite was insane I don’t often get over excited about a fishing hole but the whole time we were there, we were all giggling and laughing as the snook would blow up any bait that was swimming in their sight. My guys could not believe how good the bite was, and I honestly haven’t seen it this good for several years either. We stayed until the tide started to slow and the bite eventually did to, so we decided to eat lunch and move to a new area to finish out the day.

We headed back toward New Port Richey to fish a small oyster bar that always has a few fish on it, as I pulled up I could see it was covered with mullet. This time of year if you get mullet on an oyster bar it is going to be game on, we trolled in and got set up, the first two baits were hit as soon as they hit the water. Big headshakes and short runs meant we had a couple nice trout on, we landed those two and several more just like them before the guys decided they had, had enough. I had one more stop I wanted to stop at just to see if any one was home, it is a hole near the Anclote River that will get Jack Cravelle and Trout in it. I loaded the chum slinger and launched them into the hole, the surface started foam from all the activity. After 10 or 11 Jacks the guys were done for good this time. 

I had a feeling that today would be a good one but oh man, it was an absolutely fantastic day, and on top of it all we had beautiful weather and fantastic scenery. Today is what springtime fishing is all about, if you can get out give me a call and lets go.

Till tomorrow, tight lines

Capt. Greg DeVault  

 

 

Fishing keeps getting better and better.

By Fishing Reports

Fishing report 3-24-20

As we move farther into spring the weather just keeps on getting better, and this is making the fishing get better and better. We are just passing the new moon so we have had strong tides for the last 4 days, and the next 3 will be good ones to. The great thing about the fishing being so good, is even with the slower tides we will get next week I don’t foresee a drop off in the bite we are experiencing. With all that being said it is still fishing and we see the bite turn on and off throughout the day, but it has been on a lot more than off.

My Charter for today is a longtime client and friend,  myself, David and Shane all went to high school together here in New Port Richey. I had them meet me at Nicks Park in Port Richey at 6:30 am so they could go with me to catch bait. We made a short run south to the same flat I caught it at so easily yesterday, we were all alone and the bait came in fast and thick, just a few throws of the net and we were on our way to catch some fish. The tide was again very low so I decided to run south to a big hole off of Tarpon Springs, we pulled in and I noticed that the tide was very flat. We were right on tide change so I told the guys we would give it a few minutes to see if the fish would fire up, as I had a spot I wanted to hit on the incoming water. We had one good strike and decided to run north to my little honey hole, as we pulled in to get set up I noticed the water just starting to move in. I told them once the tide started moving good the bite would be on, and right on queue we saw the tide flow in and the bite turned on. It was mostly trout but we caught two very respectable snook in the hole.

After the water came up we decided to run back north New Port Richey to a hole I have been catching some very nice snook in, we got into the area and I quickly realized that we did not have enough water to get back to where I wanted to go. I made a slight course adjustment and slide into a bay I have not fished for awhile, I set us up so we could cover a long stretch of Mangrove shoreline, with the tide flowing right down the shore we were able to let our baits drift right down the edge. And this turned out to be a very good stop, we pulled on snook for the next 2 hours, we even mixed in a few redfish to complete both Dave and Shane’s inshore slams.

We had about an hour or so left in the trip so I decided to hit a spot in the Cottee river that fills up with fish this time of year, I threw out a hand full of chum and the surface erupted, mostly jacks but there were some Snook pops and then we saw it, the unmistakable chrome shine of a Tarpon. Dave quickly threw a bait in the area and just as he engaged the reel the water boiled and the line came tight. It was 5 seconds of chaos, the young Tarpon leaped twice before he threw the hook right back at us. What a great way to end the day, and for sure from now until I leave for Boca Grande in a month, these little guys will be high on the list to catch.

Tomorrow will start early as I want to fish some of the outgoing tide in the morning, so I’ve had my charter get to the ramp at 8am tomorrow and hopefully, the bait will be easy again

Till tomorrow, tight lines

Things are really heating up!

By Fishing Reports

This has been the week we have been waiting for, the warm air, light winds and warm water have made for the best fishing of the year so far. The only drawback this week is we have slow tides, but that will change this upcoming week. I left the house early knowing it was going to be a beautiful weekend day, and the ramps would get busy fast. As I got to the ramp at Anclote River Park in Tarpon Springs I could see my thoughts were correct. It wasn’t real busy yet but for 6 am it was busier than usual. I got the boat in the water and decided to go to a different area for bait, as the flat I have been getting it at, I was sure would be covered up within the hour. I went to a small out of the way flat behind Anclote island and had it all to myself, and it took about 30 minutes to fill my well and that gave me time to do a little scouting before I had to meet my charter at the dock in New Port Richey.

Today’s trip was one I had to reschedule from January, Jessie has two daughters (8 and 10) so today’s weather was much better than the cold windy day a couple of months ago. As I pulled into the dock we got the charter started by taking a short run south to Gulf Harbors to fish some deep channel edges on the last of the outgoing tide. The girls started out catching some Mangrove Snapper and then a few Jacks came through and woke them up. It didn’t take long for the boat traffic of the weekend to push the fish down, so we decided to run to a hole I usually catch some nice trout out of. As we pulled up I could see mullet in the hole and new it would be good, this time of year whenever you get a school of mullet in the area your fishing there are going to be fish. The girls started out catching trout on just about every bait for 30 minutes, then Jess got in on the action and it was all I could do to keep the bait on the hooks.

The tide finally died off and we had a little while before we would feel the incoming so it was lunchtime, the girls had prepared a full picnic and even had a sandwich for me! After lunch we took a short ride north to a creek in Hudson that I had seen some snook in, the water was now moving in and I could see snook in front of the boat. I threw a few chummers in and they were immediately eaten, I love springtime. I told the girls the snook would pull harder than the trout, so be ready, they handled the fish like pros. Both girls caught 3 or 4 snook in the 20 to 25 inch and then it happened, the water parted and the drag started singing. I’m not sure what was louder the drag screaming or Cassidy, either way, the snook fought hard but was at boat side and posed for a picture before being released. It wasn’t the largest snook but it was the biggest one of the day and one I’m sure Cassidy will never forget.

After that we caught several more and called it a day, on the ride back I was amazed at how many boats were on the water, and after we got to ramp the parking lot was completely full, thank God it’s Monday tomorrow!!

Big snook bite.

By Uncategorized

It feels good to finally know the weather is going to be good and the bite steady. The only downside of good weather is with it comes the crowds. But after 25 years in this business, you learn to cope with it. Right now bait and fishing is easy, and should stay that way or several more weeks. I started early again today and arrived on the bait flat at daybreak and was happy to again see an empty flat. I started chumming for the pilchards and seen the telltale flash within minutes, I threw the net and the first throw yielded 100 pilchards all 4 to 5 inches. Those who know know this is “snook candy” and I knew today’s trip was going to be a good one. 

Bait was so easy I moved up my pick up time by an hour, the guys from JSM industries were right on time and off we went. If there was one drawback to the day, it was we would have slower tides than we have been having. But that just meant adjusting where we would fish, I fish areas that have pinch points when the tides are slow as it forces the water to move through the narrower areas. I started on small rock piles that have gaps in them forcing the water through them, we started with a bang, all 4 guys hooked big gator trout on their first baits in the water. The bite stayed steady for about a half-hour until the tide stopped, we then moved into an area I fished yesterday during the incoming and smoked the Trout, Snook, and Jacks. The result was the same today with several more nice trout, and a couple of bigger snook. 

Once the tide got a little higher I ran to a spot I had been saving until I could catch the right bait, and today I had it. We eased in and got set up, I told the guys to be ready there were some big Snook on this flat and be ready to turn them when they hit. It was a spectacular show and looked like someone dropping bowling balls in the water as the big girls were crushing the baits. The first 3 fish could not be stopped, but the next 3 came to the boat, all very respectable fish of 30, 35, and 33 inches. We had some jacks join in the buffet and for an hour the drags got a severe workout from both species.

It was getting close to the end of the day so we started back, I had one more spot in mind on the way. It was a small creek mouth that was always good on high incoming water, we arrived and got set up but the tide had slowed and the bite was good but not what I expected. We ended the day pulling on a few more snook, and some smaller redfish.

I am finally taking a day off tomorrow so myself and my better half Terri can go and look at some hunting land. I don’t take many days off but this time of year the weekends are a zoo on the water, so a lot of times its better to just fish the weekdays. Time to pack the truck and get the boat ready for Sunday!

 

Till tomorrow, tight lines 

Boom, It’s Spring again!

By Fishing Reports

Boom, and just like that it was spring again. It is always amazing to me just how fast the conditions change on our water. On Saturday the water temps were struggling to get above 52 degrees, and 5 days later we are sitting at 70. I had to work my tail off on Saturday to catch a handful of fish for my clients, today it was just stupid, every bait was devoured, and every spot was loaded with fish. It is just crazy how tough the fishing can be and how fast it bounces back. This is the main reason I always tell my clients if you’re going to be here for a week or so book more than one day, you won’t be sorry. 

I had a good feeling about today but man, I didn’t realize how good it was going to be. I had my clients meet me at the ramp this morning and go with me to catch bait. We arrived at the bait flat just as the dawn was starting to break, I started chumming and after 5 minutes or so decided to throw the net and see what we had. I was pretty confident after yesterday that bait would be easy today. My first throw yielded absolutely no sardines, not the start I was looking for. But I could see I was parked over a sand hole, so I moved about 20 yards and reset, the next throw was much better as I had 100 or so pilchards. I made 2 more throws and off we went to catch fish.

 We had about an hour left of a fairly low outgoing tide so I decided to start on some rock piles that have been holding trout, we caught a few but the tide stopped and so did the bite. I moved into a deep canal that I had seen some fish at yesterday and as soon as the tide started in the bite went insane, Snook, Trout, Jacks, and redfish all started feeding like they had never seen bait before. We sat on those fish until the bite finally died down, we then moved north to a small cut that I knew would have good current flow through it. We arrived just as the water started moving and again the bite was crazy, it was mostly snook here but we did get a few trout and several jacks. The Tide was ripping through the cut and as we free-lined the baits in, the fish seemed to be lined up and waiting for them. We had snook on three at a time for most of the time we were in this spot, nothing huge, but several in the 24 to 28 inch range. I’m sure once the water temperature rises another 3 or 4 degrees the big girls will be ready to play.

 We were getting close to the end of the trip so I told the group we would hit one more spot in the river that is notoriously full of jacks. As we set up I dropped in a few freebies and they were crushed almost immediately, we baited up and had a jack party with the rest of the bait.

It was a great day with great client who I know had a great time, the weather is set to only get better and with everyday for the next few weeks booked I am ready for some great fishing!!

Till tomorrow, tight lines

Low water fishing.

By Fishing Reports

The calendar says its springtime, my book says its springtime perhaps someone should tell Mother Nature that it is springtime. I should have known today would be a struggle, first off the thermometer said it was 48 at 8AM, next I could still feel the North wind at my house (very protected), and finally we switched to daylight savings time, the time me and every other full time guide despise. But the show must go on and one of the benefits of Springtime is I am fishing everyday and it is easier to keep track of where and what the fish are doing. So as I drove to the ramp I was happy to hear that we would have east winds by noon, things are looking up.

I met my clients at the ramp at 9AM armed with an assortment of jigs and 100 of the prettiest shrimp a fish could want. As we eased away from the dock I noticed that the water temperature in the river was 56 degrees, not exactly optimal and the river was probably one of the warmest areas we would find today. My clients for the day just wanted to pull on some fish so that made things a little easier. We started in the Gulf Harbors canals that have deep water, lots of rock, and good current flow, all the things I was looking for except 70 degree water, but we did find some 60 degree water and caught Redfish, Black Drum, Ladyfish, and Mangrove snapper until the tide quit moving. The sun had actually come out so I was hoping we might get a little bit of a warm up, but with the north wind we had another giant negative low so the incoming water from offshore kept the chilly water in place.

There is only one real problem with low cold water, if forces everyone to fish together as there is not any water on the flats. This wouldn’t be a problem if our water temperatures were closer to 70 as the fish would be scattered on the flats, and with the boats I fish out of I can get to there when most can not. But the temps are 60s and to make it worse it’s the weekend! Well we bounced from spot to spot, with really no plan just looking for an open hole. The good thing was we were able to put together a pretty good catch and keep the rods bent most of the time.

We finally got to the highest part of the tide around 1:30 and it wasn’t very high. I told my crew we were going to try to get into one more spot, so I jacked it up, trimmed it up, and let her eat, and we made it across a flat that kayakers wouldn’t try. It dose help to have 40 years of experience at times. Once we got in the hole we were rewarded with a good bite of nice Black Drum, and small Redfish. My clients were happy and it was a great end to the day.

We will see what tomorrow brings as the forecast is shaping up and the wind is shifting to a favorable fetch. I have one of my best clients tomorrow so either way it will be a great day.

Till tomorrow, tight lines