Fishing Report – Tampa Bay – Charlotte Harbor – New Port Richey – It Is Time

By Fishing Reports

After another cold winter that offered up some of the best fishing I have seen in several years I was ready for the warmth of spring to finally get here. Well little did I know that old Puxatony Phil would hit it right on the head this year. The little Rodent no sooner stated that winter was over before the Florida sunshine brought warm breezes and warm waters our way. It was very nice to be in Shorts and flip flops again looking for the little silver bait-fish we call Whitebait.  01

With all the warming up we did at the end of February we were able to get a jump start on spring, I had a few trips that we were able to catch sardines and the fishing was spectacular! We had inshore slams for everybody on several trips. It was good to see the Snook show up and feed after the past few winters they have had. They were very aggressive and looked very healthy, The redfish have been scattered out, but there are plenty of them, along with some very large sea trout. The Trout have been the mainstay all winter and with spring here the big Gator females will begin to school up and get ready to spawn. These are the days that we will be catch 30 or 40 of them up to 6 pounds002 (2).

We are just starting to enter what I think is the best time of the year for fishing our area, we will have Snook, Redfish, Trout, Cobia, Kingfish, Spanish Mackerel, Sharks, and some Tarpon will start to show. And with the springtime weather it is one of the prettiest times to be on the water.

I have added a new boat to my fleet this year, it is a 21 foot Shallow Sport, this boat will carry up to 4 anglers and allow me to reach waters I never could before. No fish is safe from us now. My new Ranger will soon be here and it will be my Tarpon boat along with plenty of inshore duty to.

Now is the time if you’ve been waiting for some great fishing, check out what is available for March and April and get in on some of the best fishing  going.  004 (4)

Fishing Report- Tampa Bay- Charlotte Harbor- Boca Grande- Roll Tide

By Fishing Reports

Although it may sound like I’m a Alabama fan, quite the contrary is true. Born and bread in the sunshine state has left me with only two real options for collage fan support. It just so happened that I would have two father and sons on the airboat this week, that were alumni of each. Shane and Nicholas were the Gator contingent, and childhood friend Jeff and Weston took up for the Seminoles. I must say that the annual Florida- Florida State game was definitely a very good one this year, so you can tell where my allegiance lays.DSC00675

Anyway back to the fishing, with a weeks worth of airboat trips on the books it was time for some shallow water puddle jumping. The two boys were raring to go and the boat had not even come to a stop on the power pole before Nickolas was putting on a clinic. He quickly caught 5 or 6 very nice trout and then followed it up with a very nice slot redfish. The rest of that day was very entertaining with the boys out fishing the dads….At least that’s the story i got. The second day was very foggy and almost felt surreal as I think we were the only boat on the water. The fish didn’t seem to care though, today’s was Westons turn to take the lead and put the boys team out in front. He did so with several nice speckled trout and a couple of nice Reds. However the dads where not going down without a fight and had it tied up by 10 AM. Then it happened, as if on cue from a ESPN commercial Weston hooks a nice fish to put his team back on top, and yells the words “ROLL TIDE” ! The whole boat when quiet for a moment then broke out in laughter. From that point on every-time….I mean every time the boys hooked a fish it was “ROLL TIDE”! It was funny though we could never get Shane ( the Gator Dad) to say it..couldn’t figure that one out!!!

Well the fishing has been nothing short of spectacular this winter and it looks as if we aer going to have DSC00673a much more consistent weather pattern from here on out. This will help set up for a very good spring, and the return of our bait fish and migrating fish wont be to long from now.

But for now I am still fishing the lowest water I can get and casting to fish that are holed up in the deeper potholes and troughs on the edge of the flats. The Mirrolure Little John and the Provoker have been the hot baits. There is nothing out there that wont eat them. I’m fishing them on a 1/8 and 1/4 ounce jig head and just bouncing them off the bottom, the fish have been fairly aggressive and it in very common to catch 10 or 15 fish out of the same hole.

If your not out enjoying this great winter fishing you better hurry it wont be here much longer, but the springtime fishing should be off the hook this year!

Get out and enjoy.

Capt. Greg

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Fishing Report – Tampa Bay – Charlotte Harbor- Hot as Ever

By Fishing Reports

Mother Nature has again been able to show us just how much global warming is taking hold of our world. This December has been one of the coldest on record again. The only good thing is that it was a gradual cool down unlike last years arctic blast that did so much damage.

The fishing however has been outstanding, I have been fishing out of my airboat on the negative low tides we get in the winter. We have been averaging at least 100 to 150 fish  a day DSC00658with Redfish, Specled Trout , and surprisingly enough a good number of Flounder. I have been targeting the pot holes and troughs on all the flats in Charlotte Harbor, the low water forces the fish into these holes and they are sitting ducks. We literally catch every fish out of the hole, then fire up the motor and move to the next one and do it again! One of the best parts of fishing out of the airboat is that I have the area all to myself, not even a kayak can go where I can. It is a great way to fish and a very exciting way to see all the natural beauty of the Back country.

I have also been doing very well back to the north around New Port Richey and Tarpon Springs. I have been fishing out of my Banshee Extreme skiff and doing very well here to. I have been targeting the back bays that are out of the weather and have dark bottoms that retain heat from the day. My charters have been catch over-sized redfish along with a good number of slots and some very nice trout.This has all been done using soft plastics on jig heads. The Mirror lure Lil John has been the big producer in the golden bream color, if you aren’t using these you should be.

This has been one of the busiest Decembers and January I have had and I think alot has to do with how good the fishing has been, It looks like we are going to have a normal winter the rest of the way which should make for a fantastic spring. It is right around the corner so get ready for some great fishing were coming up on the best time of year to fish our area. DSC00654

If your ready to go fishing

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Fishing Report – Chalotte Harbor – Tampa Bay- Flat wearing them out

By Fishing Reports

As most of you know I look forward every year to this time of year. The north wind pulls the cold air down from the north and while other fishermen stay in the warmth of there houses we are out absolutely hammering the fish with no competition. I know your asking why would anyone sit home if the fishing is this good, well I have a small advantage over them other guys….I fish out of my airboat during the winter which allows me to access water that outboards cant even think about getting to. This is the reason I love to feel the cold north wind blow, it makes our low tides even lower and alot longer. The fish get trapped in all the holes and troughs and I drive up to them and me and my clients catch fish all day long. kevin

December 2 was my first trip of the year and it was chilly to say the least a cold front had past right on time and the wind was out of the north east. My clients for the day were a surprise set up by a good friend and partner on our PTTS Tarpon team. The surprise was that our team Frank, Artie, Jon, and me were going to fish for the day. needless to say the fish would not have the advantage today, as all of us are very accomplished fishermen. When the day was done we had landed 125 redfish and a couple dozen trout with a flounder and some other stuff, Jon was the big winner with 38 or so redfish. The next 3 trips were very much like the first we did not have a day that we did not break the 100 fish mark. One of the best parts of these trips are all we use for bait in artificial lures, so for those that are not sure of how to use them, by the end of the day they are pros.

This type of fishing will continue through out the winter and usually only gets better as the water cools off. As long as we do not get the bone Chilling cold of last year, it looks like it will be another great year for jumping around the holes in the airboat. As for the fish I tend to target mostly reds and trout this time of year. They are much easier to target with the cold water and will not get lockjaw as badly as some of the other inshore species. I like the lowest water I can get no matter what boat I’m fishing out of, the low water groups the fish together and forces them to become competitive for food. When you find the right hole you can sit there for hours and catch fish on every cast.

Good luck dress warm and get out there, and if you hear the big fan blowing you are probably close to the fish!!   greg

steve

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

By Fishing Reports

We are very blessed in the state of Florida to be able to fish all year round and have beautiful weather for most of it. With that being said, there are 4 months in the year that are the absolute best for fishing and just being on the water. March and April in the Spring and October and November in the Fall, these 4 months provide some of the most beautiful days of the year, and the fishing is of the charts. DSC00623

This November has been one of the Best I can remember, the fishing has been absolutely spectacular, and we have had a run of the prettiest weather I have seen in a while. I have been running alot of charters in both Charlotte Harbor and Off of Anclote, and both places have been producing very good catches. This is the time of year that our most plentiful fish becomes very aggressive and is looking to eat anything that moves. I am talking about our Speckled Trout, they are moving into the shallow holes and troughs that cover the flats in both areas. In some cases they are so thick we were catching them on every cast for over 3 hours, They are averaging about 20 inches and with the lighter tackle that we use in the cooler months, they put up a very good fight.

The best part about fishing the holes this time of year is that you never know what is going to eat your jig. We have been catching Redfish, Trout, Flounder, Bluefish, Ladyfish, and black Drum all out of the same holes.The only key that we have had to watch for is the mullet, if they are in the hole you will catch fish. In the fall it is normal for the sardines we use for bait to come and go, I will usually not even mess with them as the fish will eat just about anything in front of them as long as the mullet are in the holes feeding.

This is a great time of year to break out the fly rods also, the fish are aggressive and you can approach them very easily, the word picky is not in there vocabulary right now. During the month November most of the charters I ran were very successful, we have been averaging at least 75 fish in a 6 hour trip. 004 (4)

Hopefully the weatherman is right in his prediction of a warm winter, if he is and this warmer than normal weather persists it will be a banner year for fishing through February. The bite will stay red hot as long as the water temps stay in the low 70’s

Now is the time to start making plans if you want to get in on the best fishing we’ve had in a while, December and January are filling up fast so give me a call if your ready to go.

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,

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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!

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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 around.mr 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.

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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!!

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