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Fishing Reports

Port Richey & Tarpon Springs Fishing Report – March 2022

By Fishing Reports

March has been exactly what we thought it would be, great fishing, windy days, and one more strong cold front to make all the guppies wonder what to do. March has also brought out all the spring breakers and all the crowds to see just what Mother Nature has to offer.

The fishing this month has been absolutely awesome, this is the time of year that if you can hit the water you can catch fish, as is evident by all the pictures on FB world news. The main ingredient for a good day is catching the live sardines for live bait. Here is where a little bit of knowledge goes a long way, I have watched guys throw their nets for hours trying to catch the baits and some throw just 3 or 4 times. One thing you need to remember is to make sure you have enough time to catch your bait and fish the desired tide for that day.

Once you have your bait it has been easy as long as the tide is moving, and depending on what you want to catch will determine when and where you start. I have been fishing snook on the low incoming Tide, as the water fills the snook have been eating like there is no tomorrow, this type of scenario requires some holes or channels close to shallow flats. The snook will move up onto the flat as the water comes up and feed all the way to the bushes. There are several areas that set up good for this, North and South channels at Gulf Harbors in New Port Richey, the north side of Bailies Bluff, and most of the spoil islands around the mouth of the Anclote river in Tarpon Springs. If it’s Redfish you want, look for the highest part of the tide just as it turns to go out, the reds have been grouping up under the bushes and feeding as the outgoing tide brings food past them. The live sardines have been working fine but I prefer to cut up some of the sardines and pinfish and let the redfish sniff them out, they’re are a few good areas for this right now. The cut through at Green Key has had a good group of fish in it for a while know and the very south end of Sand Bay also has a good group of hungry reds, you may have to take a number to get a spot as it looks as if some boats camping with the fish! LOL

One good thing about spring is there are a lot of fish in several different areas, so if your favorite spot is occupied just keep moving and look for new water. You will be surprised what you will find if you just look around. Always remember to look around as you are moving spot to spot, you may just see something worth catching like a big Cobia. While they have been around for a while I have started to see the “run and gun” crew posting pictures of a few Lemons. Take your time and look for big southern stingrays cruising and you will find the cobia in tow, Sand Bay has again been a good area to start.

Remember there are a lot of boats on the water so patience at the boat ramps and channels is important, I am booking for the Fall season so if you have plans after summer get with me, I still have some good dates in October and November.

Till next time,

Capt. Greg DeVault



Springtime bite has been awesome

By Fishing Reports

The last report I said that the springtime bite was close, well I can say without a doubt our springtime bite has blown up, and apparently, our area is not alone. On the FB world news I have seen all the regular clichés, “we caught a fish on every bait”, “we left them biting”, “we had doubles and triples all day”, hell I even seen one guide trying to convince his client the Bull shark he was fighting was a Tarpon! But the bite has been awesome and some of the guppies tend to get a little excited.

The best part of this spring has been the bait, it has been thick since the beginning of February and even though some are finally figuring it out, it has been so thick that it has only taken one or two throws and 15 to 20 minutes each morning to secure bait. Most mornings I have just been looking for the tell tale dimples and thrown the net, on the days that the tide is slower I have been chumming.

 I can not lie the bite has been very good, especially for Snook and Big Gator Trout, our redfish bite has been a little slow, but I have not been targeting them very much as most of my clients have been wanting snook and I have been able to oblige them, maybe not every bait….but defiantly every other bait! One thing you don’t want to do right now is over chum the fish you are trying to catch, nothing will kill a good Snook bite like over feeding them. The trout bite has been steady and they have been big, which they typically they are this time of year. If you want to fire the trout up grab the biggest bait you can find and fire him out there. You will have to be patient, as it will take most of the trout 3 or 4 shots before they finally get the bait in their mouth. The Redfish are spread out everywhere but if you are wanting to target them I would look in the Green Key area, one of the bigger schools has taken up residence there and if you get to them first you will get a few.

 With as good as the bite is right now it is hard to believe that it is going to get even better, our Snook bite will stay strong and the Cobia will start to show up and soon after that we will have Tarpon… the real ones this time! This is the time of year to follow the birds they will show you the bait and the fish!

If you want to get in on some of the great fishing going on, give me a call or email me, but do it quick as I only have 2 days available between now and May. I hope you enjoy the pictures of a lot of happy clients, and none of them have the long arm disease I’ve been seeing so much of!!


Till next time,

Capt. Greg DeVault


Springtime fishing is getting ready to explode.

By Fishing Reports

For those of you that are anywhere but Florida, spring has sprung down here. This past week we have been in the 80’s everyday and the nights are only getting into the 60’s. This means one thing, the Springtime fishing is getting ready to explode.

I do love the weather and the fishing we get every year at this time, but so does everybody else, the boat ramps become very busy and there are A LOT more boats on the water. This means the days of 8 AM starts are over, at least for me. The warm temps have brought back the one thing that makes every guide a great fisherman….the Sardines, of course you still have to know where to find them but they are here.

The fishing is always a little slow to get fired up as the fish transition away from shrimp and crabs to the all mighty sardine, but when they do it is game on for a few weeks. The main areas I have been starting to catch fish in is still a little south of the Anclote River, the spoil islands in St. Joseph sound have been holding good numbers of Trout along with some scattered snook and redfish. With the water warming up as fast as it did this year the fish will move around a lot as their metabolism will have them looking for and following the food.

 Just because there is bait around does not mean you have to have it to catch fish, the great thing about springtime is the fish are hungry and will eat any artificial lure that resembles a sardine. I have had a few trips this week that we have caught 40 to 50 fish while watching the guppies throwing their nets hoping for sliver! This will change as the flats get inundated with sardines and charter captains chumming every mangrove tree, but we still have a few weeks of wide open fishing.

One trick this time of year is to not go to far to find fish, if you had an area that you were catching fish in during the winter chances are those fish will remain close to those areas for a while. So look for any ambush points that are between your spot and the open Gulf, like creek mouths, bend in creeks, oyster bars, and any undercut edges. These are the areas the fish will go to as they work their way out of the backcountry.

As I read somewhere on the FB world news “it’s finally fishing season again” and they are not wrong. However here in Florida it is ALWAYS fishing season you just have to have the knowledge, ability, and the correct tools to catch all that Florida’s west coast has to offer….year round!

If you have not begun to get your gear ready for spring, you better get going because it is upon us and the fishing is going to break loose on the upcoming New moon!


Till next time,

Capt. Greg DeVault


Incredible Winter Fishing

By Fishing Reports

Hello from Florida’s beautiful west coast! It has been a while since we last talked and the main reason is it has been an EXTREMELY busy winter, both on and off the water. The fishing has been incredible and as most of my clients know winter means negative low tides and we get to fish in holes only we can get to. We were able many times this winter to set in one hole the whole trip and catch almost as many fish as we wanted.

Mother Nature did throw us a curveball in December though, she brought us weather that was more spring-like than winter. This did change things up a bit, the Sardines that most guides depend on to catch anything showed up and they were able to get back in the “game” when they would normally be watching from their living rooms. This didn’t really affect my fishing very much just had to deal with a few more people at the boat ramps as the days were absolutely beautiful.

The one thing that having the boats to go where no one else can, is that the fish do not get beat on day after day like the community holes do. This means hungry and aggressive fish for us to catch on every trip. And it now like seems Mother Nature is making up for the springtime interlude with some late season cold air, and that gives me a few more negative low trips.

It is inevitable that spring will be here and the sardines will flood in on every flat but as for now they are at bay and we will have another week without the fleet slinging chum everywhere!

When the crickets do show there are several areas that will be holding hungry fish in our area, the Snook will show up but the Redfish and Trout will be the main targets to start with. Look to areas that have big shallow flats with some structure like oysters or big patches of Spritina grass. Places like the south end of Sand Bay and the cut-through in Green Key have been holding fish all winter. If Trout are what you want, look for the incoming tide and small rock islands like the Spoil islands in St. Joseph sound, the islands around the mouth of the Anclote River have been good most of the winter also. As it warms up and the sardines show up the trout will start to move onto the deeper grass flats like those off of Howard Park and inside of 3 Rooker bar.

The wintertime is the time I typically tell everyone to watch your moon phases and only fish when we have a full or new moon, however that will change as we move into March. The warmer water and infusion of baitfish will cause the fish to want to satisfy their appetites on a much more consistent basis, the stronger tides will still produce a more consistent bite but the “off” moons will still be worth the effort.

This will be a busy spring for sure as Facebook “world news” is showing that most of the bait guides are “filling up” for the spring and my book is for sure filling up also. I have a few days open in March and April so if Snook and Cobia are on your mind let me know. If you are thinking about Tarpon I have 4 days left open in May and June, and if you want to take a trip like no other to the Marsh of Louisiana and catch Giant Redfish I have one 3-day trip left for August. So I guess I’m booking for next fall! Lol not really but if you want to get on the boat at any time just give me a call. Enjoy the pictures from the past few weeks.

Fish on,
Capt. Greg DeVault

Perfect Timing and Fish Biting!

By Fishing Reports

Well, it has been a minute since my last report but it has been so busy that even the part-time guides think they are full-time. You will never hear me complain about being busy, and thankfully for me it is just a normal Spring. But anyone who has been on the water in the last month knows this spring has been anything but normal. Every weekday looks like a weekend day so I can only imagine what the actual weekend days look like. It has been a challenge to put my clients on the type of fish they have become accustomed to catching on my boat, but the good thing is most of the people on the water tend to follow more than lead, so there are plenty of great fish to be caught as long as you know how to find them.

Since my last report in March, I have ran 45 trips so I will just do a summary of how the bite has been instead of the normal trip by trip report. The biggest factor this spring has been Mother Nature, no surprise there, but her timing has been impeccable. Every time our water temps would reach the magical 75 degree mark she would open the Northern door and cool us right back off. It always makes me chuckle when I hear the part timers complain about how “ they had everything figured out” and then Mother Nature had to cool us off. But that is the difference in a part-timer and a full-time captain, we know where to go when the weather turns. The silver lining to these cool fronts we have had this spring is every time they happen we get a reset on the start of springtime, and the fish have responded every time! The Snook bite has been incredible with a bunch of slot and over-slot fish. They are moving out of the warm backwaters and looking for food. Snook are very repetitious and frequent the same areas over and over, and with 3 perfectly timed fronts in March I was able to catch these big girls several times in the same place.

The biggest surprise this spring has been the Redfish, we finally have good numbers of them and it has been evident on most charter this spring. I do still think they need to stay under a closure to help them come back strong, but I have been catching a lot of top of the slot fish and over-slot fish. The Trout fishing has been as good as ever, they are bunched up a little tighter but the numbers are great. March is the month we catch the biggest Trout of the year and once again March held true to pattern, I had 5 clients catch trout over 27 inches, all of them released to make more like them. Springtime means Cobia time, and this March started off with a bang. I had 4 or 5 trips in early March where we boated multiple Cobia, then the first front came through and the Cobia decided to take up residence elsewhere. From then until about 4 days ago we just picked at them here and there, then I tried an area from the past and bingo the big southern stingrays were there with the Cobia in tow.

It has been a great Spring for fishing and as we transition into summer the focus will be 100% Tarpon, I will miss the inshore bite we are having but at least I won’t have to worry about the bird dogs from West Pasco then!


Till Next time,

Capt. Greg DeVault

New Port Richey – All kinds of fish!

By Fishing Reports

And just like that, they were gone. Well most of them, what a difference a day can make. Most people I know are not fond of Mondays, however, they are probably my favorite day of the week. Monday usually means that most people are going back to work and will not be on the water, so in my world, Mondays are a great day! 

As with most of my Mondays, especially the ones around the full or new moon, they are reserved for my best clients, and today was no different. Rob and his crew had a great day with a warm south wind and a huge incoming tide, and when I got to the boat ramp in the morning there was not another trailer in sight.

I decided to make a short run south off of New Port Richey to a new area to catch bait, the flat I had been using saw a lot of pressure over the weekend. Once I got set up and started chumming it only took just a few minutes for the silver flashes to start to show, I was able to fill the well with two throws of the net and had the boat cleaned and ready to fish by 7:15. I was not meeting Rob until 8:30 at Nicks Park in Port Richey so I decided to do a little looking around to see if the fish had hung around through the weekend. I was pleasantly surprised to see fish on just about every point and rock bar I looked at, and bait was swimming on just about every flat.

I met the guys at the ramp right on time and we started our day, we had a tide change right at 8:30 so I decided to run to some deeper canals that would have moving water before the flats. We pulled up and the first 3 or 4 baits were inhaled pretty quickly but then it died off as the tide stopped. I knew once the water turned and started in it would fire up again, so we waited it out, and after about ten minutes the water was moving the opposite direction and the bite was on. One thing about these canals is the depth makes for a potpourri of fish, we caught fish for a solid hour Snook, Redfish, Speckled Trout, Mangrove Snapper, Jack Cravelle, and even a flounder or two.

The tide was starting to come in and the south wind was picking up to about 20 kts, I knew with the hard wind we were going to have a BIG tide, and I knew just where we needed to be. I made a run north to a great little spot near Hudson that has a creek with a deep corner that always is hot when the tide flows hard. We got set up and drifted the first baits down to the bend and it looked like bowling balls hitting the water, the Snook were very excited to see there lunch! We sat in that spot for the rest of the trip and caught Snook up to 35 inches two and three at a time, it was one of the best bites I’ve had all spring. We ended the day with lunch at Hooters in Port Richey and Rob securing his dates for the good moons in April and May.

I will say it was nice to be able to let the spots set up and get right to fish and not worry about racing to get there before some boat Invades it! This has been the best spring in a while for big Snook and with the cobia starting to show the next two months are going to be awesome!


Till tomorrow,

Capt. Greg DeVault

Lures, Live Bait, and Weekends

By Fishing Reports

This weekend was the final straw, starting this Fall I will only be running weekday Charters while I am fishing the West Coast of Florida. The number of boats and people on the water this weekend was unbelievable, and I know after the first couple of spots I hit, I am fishing behind at least one or two other boats. I will leave the weekend to the part-time guides and those that have to be onshore during the week. 

With all that being said, I was lucky enough to have big negative tides this weekend and on Saturday my clients wanted to throw all artificial lures. I had them meet me early Saturday morning at Anclote River Park in New Port Richey, so we would get out before most of the crowd. I didn’t need a live well full of bait, and we were going to be running skinnier than anyone on the water, so we had our pick of where we wanted to fish for the first few hours. My client had one request and that was to get Snook, we accomplish that request at the first hole. A beautiful 30-inch fish ate a ¼ oz. Bass Assassin jig and just like that the pressure was off, not that there really was any, it was a fun day with lots of laughs and trash-talking. I was lucky enough to have two anglers that could cast and knew how to fish very well, we ended up catching a bunch of Speckled Trout from 10 inches to 20 inches, a few Redfish, and several Snook from 20 to 30 inches. We finished up around 2 o’clock and as I left the ramp I was amazed at how many people were just getting to the ramp to go out.

Sunday was a different story I would be using the sacred crickets and figured I better get an early start on gathering bait as the flat I have been catching at would be crawling with boats due to its proximity to the ramp. I got to the flat just before dawn and by 7:30 was done with bait, I had some time to kill, so I just sat back and enjoyed the show that unfolded before me, it is painfully obvious that too many people are watching YouTube to learn how to catch bait! With bait and clients on board, we started our adventure. The first few spots were great we caught several nice Speckled Trout, and got some decent Snook, along with some hard pulling Jack Cravelle. I had the cover of a negative low tide to be able to pick and chose my fishing areas until 11AM or so. And to the Carolina skiff that was trying to beat me to a spot I was heading to all I can say is “ know your limitations” Carolina skiffs do not run skinny, and we smoked to Snook in that hole!

Once the water got up and everyone had access I had to get creative, we ended the day fishing a wide open flat for redfish that I had seen in the area. I trimmed the motor all the way up so it looked like we were stuck, and that actually detoured a few passer-byes. I then crushed most of the bait in my live well and broadcast it downwind and up tide of where I thought the Redfish would be, it took about 15 minutes but the first line came tight and it was Redfish on for the last hour. We also lured in some nice Trout and a few Jacks. 

All in all, I had two good trips this weekend with great clients, the worst part of both days was dealing with the masses of people at the ramp, that are let’s say not very adept at using a busy boat ramp! I know one thing, I’m glad tomorrow is Monday!


Till Tomorrow,

Capt. Greg DeVault

Fishing is spectacular!

By Fishing Reports

I’m not sure there is anything better than fishing on Florida’s west coast during the spring. We have great weather, beautiful water, and the fishing is spectacular. These last 4 days have been a perfect example of all those ingredients and it has lead to some great charters, it is no wonder 90 percent of my spring book is repeat clients.

With the forecast we had for today and it being a Friday, I decided to get an early start to avoid the mayhem that would be the boat ramp after daylight. And I knew although there is bait everywhere, somehow, one boat on a flat always draws a crowd. So my plan was to have bait by the time they got out, and luckily the plan worked well, it only took 2 throws of the net to secure more than enough bait for the day and I was leaving while the crowd was just getting set up. 

I was fishing my good friend and long time client Rob, who just became a grandfather this very morning CONGRATULATIONS. I had them meet me at Nicks Park in Port Richey, we had a very low tide that had just started in and I had a plan for fishing from New Port Richey then North. As i approached Gulf Harbors I could see some of the weekend fleet fishing the community rocks, those poor fish must wear helmets with all the baits they get thrown at them! I decided to move inside and set up on a much less pressured point, the water was flowing in hard and it only took a few moments before the first bait was inhaled, and before we knew it all three lines were tight and Snook were jumping like they were dancing. We landed 10 or Snook, and a hand full of Jacks and then the Trout moved in, but the water had risen to the level I was looking for, and we decided to move north off of Port Richey where I have been wearing out the Snook. 

As we approached the spot the water was just the right depth and we slid into position, I told my clients to be ready as the action was usually very fast in these conditions. The fish proved me right, as soon as bait hit the water there was an explosion and the drag started screaming! This was perfect, well almost, the only problem was instead of big Snook they were big Jack Cravelle. But that was okay as there is nothing that pulls like a big Jack. We pulled on Jacks for the first 30 minutes and then the Snook decided to make their presents know and we started to get Snook in between the jacks, one thing is for sure the drags got a workout for a solid two hours. The water was still rising and I had a small out-of-the-way spot I wanted to try, so we made a small move to a little bayou and put the crickets to work. The bite was defiantly slower than the last spot but anything would have been, it took a few minutes for one of the lines to come tight and when we got the fish boat side it was one of the prettiest Redfish I have caught all year, and one of the biggest at 30 inches. We stayed until the tide quit and caught the biggest Snook of the day in the same little nook, a beautiful 35-inch fish.

With the tide turning to go out and lunchtime calling I decided to hit one more spot in the Cottee river as we needed two trout for everyone to complete their slams, we pulled up to the shore and put the baits in a big school of Mullet. The baits were hit almost immediately, unfortunately, they turned out to be Redfish, not all bad! We had to suffer through 6 or 7 mid-slot Redfish before we finally got the Speckled Trout we were looking for, and just in time, as we were HUNGRY!

With the great weather, I am not sure what tomorrow will bring, I’m sure there will be A LOT of boats, but I have a new client that wants to fool them not feed them so I will be fishing and catching while most of the fleet is looking for crickets.

Till Tomorrow,

Capt. Greg DeVault


We’re not here to catch “tourist fish”!

By Fishing Reports

One thing that is always true in everything we do is that change is inevitable, but there are times I do wish I could just freeze time for a few weeks. Yesterday was one of those days, the day started out with a cool morning and beautiful sunrise and the bait came back to the flat and was very easy. Three throws and my live well was full, I called my clients and told them I would be early to the pickup site in New Port Richey if they wanted to get an earlier start. I knew this would help our day as I saw a lot of the “part-time” fleet heading out to get bait as I was coming in. 

We had a strong incoming tide and with the earlier start, I knew we could fish some not-so-secret spots before the others got to them. I had some clients today that I haven’t fished with in a couple of years so I told them we could go and get the good stuff but we may have to wait on the water to come up a little, or we could go catch some Mackerel, Bluefish and others on the deeper flats. I thought their response was funny as he said, we are not here to catch “tourist fish”, I laughed and was happy to hear him say that, because I can honestly say that kind of fishing is usually a last resort for me! While we let the water rise we started on some rock piles off of Port Richey and we greeted with a solid Speckled Trout bite, nothing huge but several fish in the 20 to 24 inch range. As we were packing up to move to the next area I suggested we go and run a line of crab traps that were fairly close, I told them we start to see Triple Tale in our area this time of year. We looked at 30 or so traps and we did see one small fish but he was not interested in anything we had to offer, so I decided to run back to the coastline and start our quest for “ Non Tourist Fish” as they called them. Today was only a 4-hour charter so we had a couple of hours left, I had a couple out-of-the-way areas holding good fish so we went straight to them. As we pulled up to the first one I could see fish moving over the sand bottom but could tell what they were. The first bait on the water revealed their identity, we had stumbled on to a school of nice Redfish. We kept our distance and made a long cast and spent the rest of the trip in that one spot, it started with all redfish coming to the boat 2 and 3 at a time and then some big Speckled trout joined the party. I had a fun group of anglers and the trash-talking was continuous, however, the girls did out fish the boys on this trip.

One thing I have done this year is to fish away from the crowds, it is only February and the amount of boats is crazy, do yourself a favor and spread out and look for fish on your trolling motor, do not “ Buzz” the shorelines looking for fish, this ruins the habitat and it spooks fish for a long ways, and it just means you are lazy. And if you see a boat Power Poled down don’t run to close, you can come back later and see what I was catching!!

We are defiantly into spring and the fishing will get better for at least another month, don’t wait to get your days I still have a few for March and April and if I’m booked I will make sure I get you with a full-time professional guide.

Till Tomorrow,

Capt. Greg DeVault 

Transition fishing in New Port Richey

By Fishing Reports

February has once again proven that it is a month of transition in our area. Last week we had water temperatures in the low 70s with fish all over the outside points and bait on every flat. This week has started out with a weak cold front that brought dry air and cool nights, the water temperatures dropped into the low 60s and the fish retreated to more comfy areas, and the bait left the flats they were so abundant on. 

This is where my week started, the easy bait and easy catching from last week was put on hold. I didn’t even try to catch bait on Sunday, we had a pretty low tide so we started throwing Artificials in all the potholes catching some nice Trout and used shrimp to get some nice sheepshead in the deeper canals. It was defiantly a step back into winter. Monday was defiantly warmer and we had a pretty brisk south wind, which is always good for this time of year. I had my clients meet me at 8am at Nicks Park in Port Richey, I figured if the sun got up and the south wind blew it might warm the water and trigger a bite. We ran to the flat that I have been catching bait at for a quick look, and with a few pieces of chum I saw the telltale flashes of silver. It was only a 4-hour trip so with a couple of throws of the net we had enough crickets for the trip. I wasn’t sure if the fish would move out as fast as the bait did, but we had to start somewhere, typically the Snook are slower to reappear than the bait, and the first couple spots were proof of that. I decided to jump into a small lagoon just north of Gulf Harbors that always holds some redfish, once we got set up we were able to pull 4 nice reds out of the lagoon. It is funny how redfish will stay in an area and let you catch them over and over, this spot only has about 10 or 12 reds but every time we go in there they eat, and have very red mouths to prove it! We had about an hour left in the trip and the water temperature was climbing, I had a deep hole that is pretty consistent in the spring and was fairly close. We ran north of Hudson and with the south wind and we had a lot of water. It took a little looking and then some convincing but we were able to finish with a bang. The water warmed up enough to put the Snook in a feeding mood. 

The next few days look to be awesome with light winds, and strong tides we should see the second start to springtime!

Till tomorrow,

Capt. Greg DeVault