Fishing Reports

Fishing Report-Tarpon Springs- New Port Richey- Tampa Bay- Get away from the city

By Fishing Reports

There are some weeks when I sit and wonder where have all the fish that we used to catch gone? It seems like over the past two months the fishing has been just okay, we were catching all the usual suspects just not nearly the numbers of them that we should be. This got me thinking, if the fish are not were they should be they must be somewhere else. So I called a good friend and fellow captain Clay Eavenson and said lets go looking for a day. We loaded up my Banshee Extreme and started running down our coats at 7 am, the water was flat and you could see fish from a mile away. We had traveled about 3 miles to a flat in Sand Bay before we stated to see any signs of life. When we slowed up we could see large wakes from fish pushing all around and away from us. We both instantly though redfish, But it turned out to be an even rarer species than reds lately….Jacks, With the commercial value of Jacks going up they have become a very popular target of the net fishermen and have been decimated by them! the Jacks were so thick just a few years ago that you could not help but catch 20 or 30 every trip, now we are just happy to see a school of them. After playing with them on top-water for a while we decided to go in search of redfish and the other inshore species. We literally ran over 30 miles of shore line and only seen a hand-full of fish, we were both puzzled and could not figure it out. On the way back we decided to take a different rout and think “out of the box” so to say. Lets look in places that don’t receive alot of pressure from boats and fishermen, as we started our journey we still were not seeing many fish. Then it happened, we came around the corner of a sand bar in the middle of nowhere and there they were…one of the biggest schools of redfish I have seen in 4 or 5 years! We backed off them and began throwing top-waters and jigs to them to see if they were going to cooperate with us. My first cast was met with an almost instant blowup, Clay threw his jig in behind mine and we both had fish on. You would have though we had just found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as we were both giggling and carrying on about the reds as they all swarmed around the boat chasing there friends with hooks in there mouth.DSC00611

It was funny that between the two of us we have over 50 years of experience on these waters and yet we were able to find fish in a spot neither one of us has fished or even really payed attention to very much. Just like on land things change and people move from one area to another, fish seem to do the same, and when you think you have them figured out there gone. Our “little” school of fish have been good for the past week, letting me catch them on a few charters and even letting Clay and I film an episode of Pro Angler Journal TV with them. This introduction has turned into more of a story than planned but it was just so cool to see how when you think a little different you will get different results!

As for the fishing  the past week has been very good, Redfish and lots of big gator trout are moving in for the Fall feast. They seem to be best on the incoming tide when the cool offshore water stimulates there need to feed. The trout have been mainly on any hard structure, oyster bars, rock jetties and hard sand channel edges. If you move out into the passes you will find all the Spanish macks you want, and just offshore 3 miles or so look for any hard bottom and the Kingfish wont be far away.001 (2)

I always look at Fall as our second spring, the main difference is everything is in reverse, so if you want to catch fish they are there, just look to areas that don’t have boats and fishermen trolling or running through them constantly…who would want to live in the city!!

Fishing Report- Tampa Bay-New Port Richey- Tarpon Springs- Cool winds bring Great Fishing

By Fishing Reports

When we finally made it out of last winters clutches, I would have never thought I would be saying that I was ready for a cool down. But after the hottest summer on record that is exactly what I am looking for! I’m pretty sure that I am not alone in my quest either. While we did have a very productive summer the fishing seemed to tapper off a bit in August and the first part of September. The heat finally got to both fish and fishermen, but right on schedule mother nature sent us a reprieve. The first cold fronts started to find there way through the state around the 3rd week of September. And with the cool winds came longer nights and cooler water temperatures. All that together got the attention of many of our inshore and near-shore species, and they began to get ready to feed! 002 (3)

On several of the trips I ran early in September we looked for Trout and Spanish Mackerel around all the passes from Anclote down to Honeymoon, and most of the time as long as the water was moving they were pretty easy to find. Along with the trout and Mackerel there were always a few small sharks and even a few Cobia. Live bait was always the best choice and just freelining them back into the current was just about alway met with a strike. When we got to the highest part of the tide it was time to look for redfish. All summer we have had pretty good numbers of reds around the trick was getting them to eat. Cut bait around most of the grass bars would get you a few, but it was tough going for a few bites.

The past two weeks have really seen alot of life start to come back to the flats though. The water has cooled down a few degrees and the mullet have started to school up in big numbers. I have been fishing these mullet schools on the last of the incoming until the first couple hours of the outgoing. The reds and trout have started to use the schools of mullet for there feeding pattern and we were even able to catch a few snook out of them.

The next 6 weeks should be awesome, the bait is as thick as I have seen it and the fronts are starting to cool the days. The Kingfish and cobia will be here soon along with all the others that follow the bait for a living. Fall has arrived so get ready to get out and do some great fishing.

Lets go fishing,


Fall is upon us — Fishing Forcast

By Fishing Reports

The hot nights and sticky mornings are finally giving way to the cool breezes of Fall. This is one of my favorite times of  the year, our weather goes from hot sticky mornings and days to cool dry and almost brisk mornings.The fish can also feel this change and know it is time to start getting ready for what is coming. This means we are going to have about 2 months of great fishing.

When the water temperatures start to fall it triggers the fish to start to feed, along with the temperature drop we have a large influx of all types of bait fish moving into our area. All of these factors combine for a couple of things; lots of action and increased feeding times on our waters. The Redfish that have been scattered out all over the flats are beginning to school up in large numbers and it is common to see groups of 200 or 300 fish in one school. This is the time  when you can chum them into a frenzy and catch them almost at will. The snook have started to return from the beaches after a summer of spawning and are looking to feed on almost anything that moves, they will take up residence along our many creek mouths and river points and when a sardine comes by it will be met with a viscous hello! Our Trout that have been on the smaller side have began to grow, the 20 to 25 inch gators are showing up and will be very persistent in there quest for food. The number of big gator trout will keep growing as the water temperature continues to fall. Along with the Trout, Snook, and Redfish will be a host of others showing up to feast on the bait that has migrated our way. Tarpon, Spanish Mackerel, Kingfish, Bluefish, Jack Cravelle, Ladyfish, Mangrove Snapper, and Cobia, are just some of the species that will be here for all to catch!

Fall is a great time to fish smaller crowds on the water, cooler temperatures, and fishing that is literally “Off The Hook”! Now is the time to get out there and catch just about everything that swims in our water, they are hungry and they are here! Lets go gettem!


Fishing Report – New Port Richey – Tampa Bay- Just Enough Wind

By Fishing Reports

Just when I thought it could not get any hotter out there mother nature showed me different. With 4 days straight of no afternoon rain storms the days became almost unbearable, and the fish seemed to take to a very secluded hiding spot by noon because of it. But when the rain finally came it was like someone turned on the time to eat sign! I am sure this all happens mostly because of water temperature and the effect the rains have on it. I know it gets hotter and hotter everyday we go with out it on shore, so I’m sure the water dose the same thing. And warm water usually leads to very sluggish fish.DSC00156

By the middle of last week mother nature was back on track with her rain and the fish were pretty hungry to go along with it. I fished every day last week and split time between Tampa Bay and the waters off of New Port Richey. Each morning started off catching bait and both areas are loaded with bait right now, one or two throws of the net will bring you more that enough for the day. Remember that in the summer you do not want to pack your wells full or you will kill most of your bait.

Tampa Bay

The trips I ran down in Tampa Bay were very good, there is alot of fish to catch and alot of different types to catch also. We were able to catch Redfish, Trout, Ladyfish, Jacks, Mackerel ,and there were even some Tarpon. The key to fishing this week was water movement, I fished the best tides I could get and when the water was moving the fish were biting. I fished the deeper edges of almost any flat to find the Trout, Mackerel, and ladyfish and there was always a few sharks mixed in with them. The reds I was able to find on high tide under the Mangrove edges, most of the reds came on cut bait while the others all ate live ones. Keep your eyes open while you are set up on the edges of the flats as there are still a very good amount of tarpon tarpon 034

New Port Richey

I always love fishing in my home waters, there is never anybody around this time of year and I get most of the areas to myself. This usually means that the fish in these areas are very relaxed and are not getting much pressure. This past week I was able to do very well on the Trout and mackerel, with some very good redfish mixed in when the tide was high enough for them to get comfortable. We had one very calm day that I decided to run out to a rock pile that is about 5 miles off our coast, we were rewarded with several sharks and a nice cobia that never quite made it to the boat. I have been doing the same thing in New Port Richey as I have been in Tampa Bay, look for deep edges with good water flow.

Yesterday was a fun trip for me, we went scalloping off of Homossasa and we got our limit very easily. We started in about 5 foot of water and the scallops were everywhere. This is a great charter to do in the summer as you are in the water staying cool and the whole family can do it, plus at the end of the day you have some of the most delicious shellfish to make what ever you want out of them.

Even though we are in the hottest part of the year there are plenty of fish to catch and the crowds are very light, now is the time to get in some great fishing.


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

By Fishing Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By Fishing Reports

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

Fishing New Port Richey

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

Fishing Tampa Bay

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

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

Capt. Greg


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

By Fishing Reports

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

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

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

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


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

By Fishing Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Fishing Reports

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

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

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

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

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

By Fishing Reports

New Port Richey Fishing Charter

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

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

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

Charlotte Harbor Fishing Charter

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

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

Capt. Greg DeVault


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