Taming the Tarpon

Recent inshore fishing reports from the West Central region.


Taming the Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: stpetebaitman

Locating the fish was the hardest part, but once we did find them they were willing to put on a show. We even had a double header Saturday and landed them both. We were in by noon both days as it seemed the bite shut down early.

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Changing Tactics, Catching Fish

Florida Sportsman member: SnookStack

I can’t seem to catch the specks, but being tempted to take my ladyfish and chunk it up was too tempting. I aborted trout fishing by 8 and the change in tactics paid off! I caught two beauties and was off the water by 10 am.

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Tampa Tarpon Action

Florida Sportsman member: CatchDog

Forum member CatchDog Put together an awesome video of some adrenaline filled Tampa tarpon. Between the big jumps and aggressive sharks, tarpon are sure to get your blood flowing. Nice Work!

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Wading Picnic Island

Florida Sportsman member: OverslotsOnly

Seeing some mullet getting spooked near a sand patch, I made a cast, twitched it twice and I was on, but it wasn’t a little trout. The drag starts singing and I’m thinking red, but then the fish breaks the surface with those big unmistakable headshakes I’m so accustomed to seeing over in my hometown of Stuart, huge snook!

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Keepers in the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: Captainbly

Only got one bite but only fished for about 30 minutes. But, it was a nice 24 inch gag. Caught on a magnum bomber gold and black trolled on a number 3 planer at about 3.1 mph going against the incoming tide.

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West Central Beach Snook

Florida Sportsman member: splitshot

Forum member splitshot shared some nice snook caught recently from the beach. Throwing top waters in the early morning has produced. Nice work!

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West Central Tarpon and More

Florida Sportsman member: stpetebaitman

Tarpon fishing has been excellent in the bay. But, they are not showing themselves very well. On the 4th we went 3 for 4 before noon. The only fish we saw were the ones we jumped, not a single fish rolled.

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Trout Fishing with a Cobia Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: spicyswamprabbit

Our first thought was that it was a shark but as the fight began we quickly realized that it was a rather large cobia. My dad quickly manned the trolling motor and the chase was on. My friend scrambled to get our gaff and readied himself incase we were able to get the fish close enough to the boat. We chased the fish for 15 minutes, and after a failed first attempt to gaff the fish, we managed to get it boat side, gaffed and in the boat.

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North Pinellas Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: TailingReds

Targeted linesiders around Three-Rooker and Anclote last Wednesday evening. Caught and released four snook to 35 inches, plus a bonus 23 inch trout. All fish were caught during the first part of the outgoing tide on palm sized pinfish and grunts.

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Tampa Bay Toads

Florida Sportsman member: Tailn_reds

I suddenly hooked up with a 25 and a 1/2 inch red. After we released it my fried hooks up with another monster snook we got it within 10 yards of the boat and it came off. Suddenly I hook up with a huge snook It jumped a few and was gone, finally I ended up getting a 39 inch snook.

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Snook for Everyone

Florida Sportsman member: Bruce F

Forum member Bruce F took his family out snook fishing on mother’s day. They got into them to say the least! Everyone caught nice fish! Great work.

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Anna Maria Island Sharkin’

Florida Sportsman member: Royalflush

First run was a 3 foot blacktip. 5 or 6 missed fish later , we had a big one, but turned out to be a 6 foot nurse. More missets and hook pulls, then boom the 12/0 gets nailed, hook set good! About a half hour into the hour long battle, we assume we have either a jewfish or small shark wrapped in a crab trap. Wrong , big bull, 105 inch fat boy.

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Tampa Bay Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Tailn_reds

We showed up at our spot, water was high and getting ready to drop. The wind and rain started to pick up but we decided to fish through the weather. First cast through out a live bait not 2 minutes later I got smashed and my Friend hooked up with a 30 inch redfish. After a photo release we kept fishing, we caught multiple large jacks and lady fish.

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Disturbing the Peace, Catching Bruisers

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Reeling along slowly and as soon as the lure cleared the dock, it got blasted. Set the hook and my drag begins screaming. Rather than take me right back under the dock and break me off, the fish heads for deeper water at high speed. Rookie mistake by a big fish. The fish comes up tail-walking away from me. It is a beast!

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Skyway Kings

Florida Sportsman member: SnookStack

Early Saturday morning I headed out to the Sunshine Skyway to see if the Kings were around. At first light I got my first ever landed Kingfish. Being a flats fisherman this was quite the experience!

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Tampa Bay Slobs

Florida Sportsman member: Youngbuck

Forum member Youngbuck had a good week, busting 2 healthy Tampa Bay snook. One on a Cut bait and the other on a D.O.A. shrimp.

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Tampa Bay Snook and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Jared

Red fishing has been excellent over the past few weeks and should remain steady for the next few months. Most of the fish we have been catching have been top slot fish, with many fish over slot. Double and triple hook ups have been pretty common on most trips and we have been averaging 12 to 20 fish on a four hour trip with many in the 28-34 inch range.

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Slammin’ Snook and More

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

This is just a quick synopsis with the highlights. We fished from around 1pm to dark. First we caught a couple of keeper trout. Around 1:30pm, my lure got crushed on a wind blown bank. Up comes a very nice snook. After a great fight with another jump or two, we got her in the boat. She measured 33 inches.

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Tampa Bay Heating Up

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Jared

The redfish bite has been extremely good especially fishing the high water around the new and full moon. Look for the fish to be schooled up on the flats on the higher part of the tides. Live bait has been productive, but fresh dead bait never fails, cut ladyfish, pinfish, threadfin and just about any fresh dead bait will do the trick.

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Sarasota Inshore Permit and Sheepshead

Florida Sportsman member: aaron

I saw something that looked like a massive sheepie sitting under a mangrove, so I landed my fly on its head and it ended up being about 5 medium to nice sized ones. They all swarmed my fly and I hooked up after one strip. We had to head out shortly after, but I am very curious if my method would have tricked one of those permit. I did see one school of three permit cruising along the mangroves averaging about 10 pounds, but I was being a fool and didn’t get a chance to throw to them.

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Tampa Bay Trout and More

Florida Sportsman member: rKotinsky

As the day moves on, I receive another hard hit and suspect a good mid-size red fish. It pulls drag and avoids my yak like the plague. I finally wear her out and see another gator trout, this time I do not miss with the net and capture this happy moment on my GoPro.

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Southshore Shallows

Florida Sportsman member: srqmynatt

We got into some ladyfish and jacks on the outer sandbar, then we made our way in and started getting trout on the flats. After putting a few nice trout in the box for dinner, we made our way back inside and managed one 25 inch redfish along the mangroves, he ate a penny gulp shrimp.

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Macks for Dinner

Florida Sportsman member: aquaholik

This warm weather has the macks fired up pretty good if you are looking for fish for the smoker. I’ve been experimenting with various jigs made of marabou and synthetics.

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West Central Bowfishing

Florida Sportsman member: Barnakiller

Bowfishing is not something you hear about often around here, but is a ton of fun. It’s like hunting, but you get a lot of shots. At the same time, it’s like spearfishing but you don’t have to get wet. I would like to get more people interested in it around these parts. Legally, anything you can spearfish you can bowfish.

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Doormats Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: NOTyourSPOT

Forum member NOTyourSPOT found some really nice sized flounder in deep holes inshore. Now is the time to get out there and bring home a doormat or two.

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West Central Winter Wading

Florida Sportsman member: secretspot

sheepshead-docks, rock piles and bridges, also on the flats in deeper holes-use barnacles, shrimp, fiddlers or tube worms
black drum-same as above but add in cut blue crab to the bait list. the big ones are still a month or so away.
trout , reds, flounder- shrimp or cut baits will work but I prefer a super slow fished soft plastic jig or plug- Logic Lures are working well as are the Unfair Lures rip n slash. Hit the same areas for all three, deeper flats, potholes, channels, docks , and seawalls.

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West Central Flats Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Systems

Fished a water depth under 30 inches all day. The majority of my fish were caught on a Sebile Innovative Fishing Stick Shad using FINS fishing Windtamer 10 pound braid, Seaguar Fluorocarbon 20 pound leader and a Shimano Stratic 3000FJ. Total fish count included Redfish up to 29 inches and Trout to 25 inches.

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Fighting the Wind, Catching the Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

This fish was pretty strong and ran towards the mangroves first, but inexplicably back out into open water. She had me if she got in the roots. Came up thrashing and it was a pretty good red. Came back to and dove under the boat. Got momentarily wrapped around the motor, a couple of more runs and slipped her into the net at 3:50pm. She had absolutely choked the lure and I had to use pliers it was so deep in her mouth. She measured 25 and a half inches.

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Fighting The Wind, Catching Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

This fish was pretty strong and ran towards the mangroves first, but inexplicably back out into open water. She had me if she got in the roots. Came up thrashing and it was a pretty good red. Came back to and dove under the boat. Got momentarily wrapped around the motor, a couple of more runs and slipped her into the net at 3:50pm. She had absolutely choked the lure and I had to use pliers it was so deep in her mouth. She measured 25 and a half inches.

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Fort Desoto Fun With The Whole Family

Florida Sportsman member: BryanC

Then Ron hooked into something that pulled quite a bit of drag. We had seen a few rays swimming around the boat and I figured he had hooked into one of them. Turned out to be a permit! That was pretty cool to see, and I thought we were kind of lucky to land it with 10 pound mono & no leader. A couple minutes later his line goes off again, and it’s another permit! After that everyone started to copy what he was doing and we ended up catching a total of 5 permit over the span of 45 minutes.

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Miguel Bay Via Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

I fished my usual spots and began catching a lot of small trout and jacks but no slot fish. I moved on and followed my usual recipe for success, hit the ladyfish waypoint for cut bait and yak on over to the redfish honey hole. Not long after tossing out the cut ladyfish I hookup with a nice red.

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Miguel Bay Via Kayak

Florida Sportsman member: rkotinsky

I fished my usual spots and began catching a lot of small trout and jacks but no slot fish. I moved on and followed my usual recipe for success, hit the ladyfish waypoint for cut bait and yak on over to the redfish honey hole. Not long after tossing out the cut ladyfish I hookup with a nice red.

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South Shore Flats Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Cast out into about a foot of water with the electric chicken. Reeling in pretty quickly and my lure got destroyed. Set the hook and the fish came up and tried to shake it. Thought for sure it was a trout, but then I felt the power. It was a nice red that put up a great fight. Finally got her in the boat and she measured 25 1/2 inches.

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Shallow Water Reds

Florida Sportsman member: jbibler

These fish were pretty fired up, but you had to be super stealthy in order to get close enough for a cast.
With any clink, clunk, step up or down on the boat and they would push away outside of casting range.
If you could get a cast far enough outside of them they would eat, but if you threw into the middle they were off to the races. Lots of patients was the key and we were rewarded with several fish.

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Terra Ceia Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

We worked it a bit longer, but had no more luck there. We decided to run up to Miguel Bay. Lots of bird activity and baitfish near the mouth. Still working topwater and I hooked a 15 inch trout on the spook at 8:45am. We went inside, but tide was very low and had no luck. Back out to the mouth and we began to drift south along the shoreline. A small 12 1/2 inch trout for me at 9:45am. Pretty good sand and grass mix out there and the water was 2-3 feet deep. About this time Phi hooked into what appeared to be a good red on a topwater lure, but she got off. Another trout just over 15 inches for me at 9:53am. Five minutes later a trout just over 13 inch for me. Caught a trout just over 13 inch on the 3 inch shadflash at 10:25am

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South Shore Angling

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Launched out of CRB today at 7:45am. The wind was blowing at least 15mph out of the west. Plans were to go south towards Port Manatee and try my luck. Got down near Piney Point. The wind and floating grass were brutal. Went inside for a bit and picked up at snook just shy of 17 inches on the spook jr in bone at 8:37am. Came back out and went south.

Was struggling with the grass almost every cast. Was just about to go and managed to catch a 20 3/4-inch red on the 3-inch mullet in rootbeer at 9:34am. Worked south a bit longer, but no more strikes. It was so bad I contemplated going across the road and putting in the river to get a break from the wind and grass. Decided to keep trying. Went up in Big Pass. Water was really low now. Picked up a 14-inch trout on the spook at 11:49pm. Clouds rolled in and it began to rain. Picked up an 18-inch snook on the spook on a point inside Big Pass at 12:42pm.

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Upper Tampa Bay Reds and Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Launched with Phil in UTB at 6:45am today. We headed over to a nearby oyster bar and Phil immediately hooked and landed an 18-inch red on the Spook Jr. in bone. No more strikes in this area so we went down to a nearby point. Phil’s spook got destroyed at 8am. After a tremendous fight I slipped an over slot red of 27 3/4 inches into the net.

We moved around the point into this shallow bay. It was alive with activity. Mullet were jumping everywhere and lots of bait fish were moving. Six minutes later Phil caught a small jack on the spook. I finally got on the board at 8:20am with a 20 1/2″ red on a skitterwalk that I sanded and re-painted gold. Phil got a 20 1/2-inch red on the spook just 3 minutes later. I picked up a 19-inch red at 9:05 am on the gold sw. At 9:26am I caught a 19 1/2-inch red on the sw.

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Spawning Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Tarpontine

Met up with a couple of buddies I hadn’t fished with in a while and decided to pick on some different fish. My buddy hooked a big trout on his first cast, went around 25 inches, then we worked our way around some flats. After getting some short trout and some 20-21 inch reds, we eased into an area I normally hit the big reds. They were home…but being picky! There was a decent size school, probably over 40-50 overslot or very upper slot, but just wouldn’t eat top water or jigs. I told my buddy if we switched it up to some bait we would get them.

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Paddling For Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: abm5926

Fished off the beach in my kayak today. The day started off pretty bad with really high seas, wind, and catfish on every drop with my sabiki. I managed to get a few greenbacks but I wasn’t getting anything on them and I went through like 4 sabikis because the catfish would get all tangled in them. Finally I got a good sized grunt and put it under a cork. A few minutes later, I see a tarpon airborne with my bait. Took me about 40 min to pull the fish in and it was a relatively small one – probably around 80 to 100 pounds? I’m not too sure about the weight but it was between 5 and 6 feet long. It went around my anchor line and my sabiki during the fight, I have no idea how I got untangled and landed it. Awesome fight and released safely.The best part was I got the whole thing on video…

Here’s the video and as a warning, I think there is a curse word or two


Manatee River Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

We hit the south side of the 75 bridge first. I lost a small snook on 4 inch shadflash. There were tarpon rolling under the bridge, but couldn’t connect. Jeff hooked and landed a small snook. We went further up river and found a shade line in a little bay on the north side of the river. Jeff had a couple of good pops on the big spook in bone, but didn’t hook up. I lost a small snook on the spook jr.

We worked a long mangrove line near Redfish Point but had no luck

Went to my north side docks that have produced in the past. First cast under the last dock and I caught a small snook on the 4″ sf. We kept working docks and Jeff landed a small snook also on a paddle tail. Proceeded on down and we were probing under a dock thoroughly. Nothing. Made one more cast to the T of the dock and it got crushed. Set the hook on a good fish that went ballistic. She went out and then back for the dock. Kept her away and she made a great jump. Circled the boat and Jeff got her in the net. She measured 28.5 inches.

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Anclote Reds

Florida Sportsman member: TailingReds

Pretty good day on the water fishing the hill tide at Anclote. We caught two redfish, 23.5 inches and 32 inches. My buddy Mike caught the bigger fish on cut ladyfish and I caught the slot fish on a live pilchard. FYI, the small black tips are thick, so you have to sift through them to get the reds and snook.

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Little Cockroach Bay Action

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Launched out of Domino on the LMR today around 11:15am. Headed to the flat off LCRB. Still nothing happening there so I went back into LCRB. Fished back in there for the next 5+ hours. Worked mangrove islands, potholes and oyster bars. I did pretty well. All fish were caught on the 3 inch mullet in shadflash or the spook jr. in bone[...]

Finally got out of LCRB and went to the “guide” bank for some snook. Too windy and water was low. Went around the corner towards the back entrance to LCRB. Paralleling the mangroves with the spook in maybe 2-3′ of water. Getting near the entrance and my spook got crushed. The fish took off towards the mangroves and then came right back out. This fish had some power and was really putting me to the test. It was a good snook. She went under the boat and back out deep. After a great fight, I finally slipped her in the net at 6:50pm. She measured 30 1/4 inches and was extremely fat and healthy.

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Overcast Reds and Snook

Florida Sportsman member: abm5926

Yesterday, I went out to one of my trout/redfish spots and started throwing a spook jr since it was so cloudy. I caught several lower slot reds and some trout between 18 – 22 inches. It was low tide and when it started coming in, I was getting huge blow ups on topwater, seeing redfish starting to tail, and then some idiot in a inflatable boat ran his outboard right through the shallow flat I was fishing. I was pissed but I sucked it up and went to a steep drop off and started throwing 1/16th ounce jighead with a zman 5 inch shad tail. I twitched once and got slammed by something big. I was using a med/light rod and 3000 reel with 10 pound braid and 20 pound leader and almost went to the backing. After a nice fight, I pulled in this 36″ snook.

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Steady Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: captainrandy

Todays charter landed two 39 inch snook and one 37 inch snook and lost another along the side of the boat. We have been catching them on the incoming tide along deep depressions and on points with rocks using white bait 4-6 inches in size. They have been feeding about an hour after the tide gets moving up to about 2 hours before high tide then they are cruising the mangroves and seem to settle in to looking at the baits. The trout have been around as well but they are in the lower limit of the slot with an occassional upper slot one thrown in. Get out and bend a rod as the cobia, mackerel are around to give you a great day on the water.

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St. Pete Trout and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Icatcher22

Planned on taking the kayaks out to a protected flat in St.Pete to hide from the wind. The overcast made it a perfect opportunity for a top-water day. RawDaws (Brian) and myself both started off with skitterwalks. We started out hitting some average/smaller trout and then I finally got a big blow up. After a nice fight landed my personal best top-water trout that measured right at 27″.

Went on to work around the mangroves – had a couple followers that pushed some very large wakes but all hit and misses…I believe they were reds but for some reason, they were having trouble connecting with the top-water…tried slowing it down, stopping , changing retrieve but no luck w red on top-water.

Got back to a nice cove and switched to a 1/16thoz jighead w/ a white zmann jerk shad. Second cast and I connected with a pretty overslot red. It put up a great fight with a couple impressive runs. Ended up right around 31″

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Desoto Action

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Inspired by Cody’s recent beatdown that he put on the redfish over at Desoto, I decided to see if I could catch a few reds too. Fifty-three miles, $4.50 in tolls, $6 for ramp fee and an 1/8 of a tank of gas later, I made it to the launch. I put in at 12:30pm and headed over to Sawyer Key. I trolled over a pothole and at least 20 trout scattered. What I ended up doing during the day was circling Sawyer Key twice with a trek just north of there also. I mostly fished 1-5 feet in depth and focused on sandy areas with a decent grass mix whenever possible. I did work docks close by but had no luck on them. Water temp was 69-74 degrees. The weather was great and mullet were everywhere. This place was alive with activity[...]

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Going for the Trifecta

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Launched out of Wildcat Park today around 12:30pm. Water temp was 67-69 degrees and the wind was howling. Headed down to the big dock on the southside. Skipped under it with the 4 inch RT Mullet in smoke/gold halo. Got a strike on the first cast. It was a 14 1/4 inch rat red caught at 12:38pm. Went to the next dock but no strikes.

Down to the 75 bridge. Worked the pilings on the north side but no luck. Over to the south side. Worked one side and no strikes. Over to the other and threw out the same lure to parallel the pilings. Near the end of the cast and got a nice strike. Set the hook and a good snook broke the surface. Got her away from the pilings and she put up a great fight. Got her in the boat at 1:15pm. She measured 25 1/4 inches. Thought about taking a pic but too much of a hassle with the wind. It was brutal.

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Braden River Trout & Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Alex from GA

Didn’t get a bite until 1:15 when my partner caught a small redfish. Then I caught 5 trout from 12 to 16 inches in the next 45 minutes. In the next 3 hours I caught a 22, 23 and 28.5 inch redfish.

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Anclote Trout & Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Juicebucket

We drowned a handfull of already dead cut pins for about 10 minutess before the first rod went down. I was suprised to see 20 inch class Trout on the end instead of a Red. I’ve caught em on cut bait before I just wasn’t expecting it today. Suddenly it became a day of Trout fishing. Every few minutes a bait would get picked up and trout after trout came aboard. Decided it was time to get the girlfriend involved and had her grab the next rod to go down. It did and she did. A couple minutes later she had her first fish. It was a rather healthy 23″ Momma Gator; not a bad way to get into fishing I’d say[...]

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Tampa Bay Sheepshead

Florida Sportsman member: mojotarpon

Despite a little wind we had to get out and fish and break in the new boat. We loaded up on some shrimp and hit some spots for sheepshead. This time of year I love to target sheepshead and what a great battle they are on light tackle. Make sure you get plenty of shrimp, today two of us went through 15 dozen shrimp and ran out with fish eating. We started out on the incoming tide and work a line of docks. I like to get in the tower and just crews the docks spotting the fish and then just head back at the beging and target the docks with fish. We had pretty good luck and had a dozen nice fish in about a hour.

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Gator Trout & A Surprise Guest

Florida Sportsman member: secretspot

Jeremy came down for a day of fishing for some gators and maybe reds. After a very late start, we arrive to have the area all to ourselves- a rarity. I hook up with something that was fighting unlike anything I’ve ever hooked before. I then see why. It’s no fish but a little sea turtle. A few quick pics and a unhook and back he goes. We proceeded to tear into trout between 21-25 inches for about 2 hours. I lost a fish that might have been the biggest trout I’ve ever had. It was a monster.

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Killer Day on the South Shore

Florida Sportsman member: SouthshoreSlayer

With the warm weather we might have been able to get bait somewhere closer but I would rather head to the Skyway where I know I can get it 100%. After anchoring and getting set up just a couple tosses of the net and my 30 Gal well was full. We decided to hit Piney Point on the way back up to Cockroach. We fished there for about 30 minutes but there was no signs of bait, fish, mullet, or any life at all so we decided to head more North and hit the Cockroach flats. The tide was – 0.6 so there was hardly any water on the flats. Josh didn’t want to push his boat so he waded the outside bar while I pushed my boat through the real skinny parts and over the bar. I was looking for potholes and wakes. I saw some movement about 100 yards away and quietly headed that way. When I got within casting distance I anchored and threw out 2 bats of chummers. The were getting chased and I knew it was game on. I had a bait out for about 30 seconds and my drag starts to scream[...]”

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Full Day of Reds & Snook

Florida Sportsman member: second splash

First stop was a small cut near the mouth I did pretty well on last week and got set up. Cranked a couple baits of chummers and they were getting popped. First bait in the water gets hit within 15 seconds, a snook around the 18 inch range. As I release him Dave hooks up on an 18 inch red. Within 2 minutes of fishing we are 2/3 the way of a boat slam. All the fish caught today were in the 16-24 inch range. I think we need some cold weather to push more of the bigger ones back in the river. We caught 6 or so fish (reds and snook) at the first spot and decided to push up river. We anchored up on the second spot and started chumming. I get a snook on the first bait[...]”

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Got Snook?

Florida Sportsman member: Tarpontine

“Got on the water around 7 launching out of Gandy with a buddy. Loaded up pretty good on bait- some fat snook size whitebait, tons of little threads, and a couple dozen pins. Made a stop just north of the Howard Frankland and got a 23″ snook, a couple keeper size trout, and a rat red.

Looking for some more consistent action we moved to UTB, weaved our way through a maze of boats fishing the same area as we scouted for fish. Throwing some chummers as we went, we pulled on to an area where I started to see some fish. Next 2 hours were pretty steady- with the first 30-45 mins being non stop. Between the two of us we got 4 snook 30″ or better, a bunch in the low 20′s, and 10 or so rat reds. [...]”

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Gusty Winds, Redfish hitting

Florida Sportsman member: Lilcthefishslayer

“Mike busted up like 4 fat fish all within 20 mins or so. I caught a few myself with one being a real stud that came home for some blackened redfish. All fish were beautiful slot fish 24-26 except Mike getting one at 27 1/2. With a few 24′s in the mix as well. Only caught 1 rat which was nice! Plus all fish are fighting at least twice as hard now that the water temp has dropped. I love cold weather redfish! [...]”

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No Sunshine Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Lilcthefishslayer

Took Mike out on the skiff today hoping to get on some afternoon reds during the low tide. Well the sun wasn’t cooperating so no sight fishing. We picked up a few reds right off the bat, then we made a big move. At the next spot it was kinda slow, spotted a huge black drum just roaming around the flats but he wasn’t eating. Caught a few trout and snook along with a little red and made another move across the bay [...]

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Fort Desoto Breeder Reds

Florida Sportsman member: secretspot

Being that I am known as a gator trout specialist, I’d like to throw some reds up for your viewing pleasure. Two came on the spook Jr. Clown, pinfish color, and one on the DOA paddle tail, bream color. Leader was 20 pound flour with 10 pound braid main line. It was Capt. Chris Hanna, his girlfriend Christina, and myself [...]

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John’s Pass Slam

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

The weather looked ok for Thursday so I planned on throwing some artificials under the John’s Pass bridge and then hit a near shore reef to look for some snaps. The water was really dirty so the bridge didnt look so promising but I tried anyhow.Second cast using a 5-inch swimbait a tarpon eats it and makes some decent runs then a couple jumps and then he throws the hook next to the boat [...]

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Pass-A-Grille Beach Linesiders

Florida Sportsman member: watsondan1515

From the end of July up until last week I had good action (didn’t get skunked) each time I waded out from the beach at Pass-A-Grille. Go early, first light til about 10:30 a.m., or in the evening 7:30 p.m through sunset. Netted some greenies then chummed the outer sandbar in about waist deep water and hold on tight; trout, reds, snook, mackerel, blacktips, and of course the ladyfish [...]

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Flats Suprise

Florida Sportsman member: KeepmBent

We left out of Simmons Park looking to fish some reefs for grouper and snapper. We loaded up on threadfins that we used for cut bait and found a few mangos and macks, and a LOT of sharks. The gags did not want to play. We tried moving to some nearby wrecks but there were already boats anchored on them [...]

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Cockroach Bay Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: flatsjunkie88

Got a call from a friend that wanted to give inshore fishing a shot. I told him I had a full boat but if he wanted to bring his we could hit the flats together. We loaded up with shrimp at Southshore Bait and Tackle. The shrimp were pitifully small ( 2″ was a big one ). We launched at CRB at 5:15 A.M. [...]

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Topwater Excitement

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Launched out of CRB at 6:15 a.m. yesterday with Dave (stormy). I had not done much fishing south of CRB so that was the plan. The noseeums are vicious at the ramp in the AM and then the mosquitos joined in at dark so have your repellent handy. We went out to the farthest mangrove point on the left and headed south along the shoreline. I started with the Spook Jr. in bone of course and Dave with the DOA chugger. It was overcast/cloudy and the sun only came out for a bit during the entire day. Conditions were ideal for a topwater bite [...]

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On the Road Again

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Decided to head back down to the Peace River yesterday with Dave (stormy). Launched out of Harbour Heights ramp at 6:20 a.m. I started off with the Spook Jr. in bone and Dave was throwing a DOA with a chugger head attached. We proceed over to the grassy points near the ramp, but no luck. Down to the little mangrove island at the mouth of Whidden Bay. Gave Dave first shot at the point of this island and he put it right on the money [...]

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St. Petersburg Reds

Florida Sportsman member: GEO

The redfish action continues to be strong with slot to oversized fish being caught around the Tampa Bay area. They are being caught on everything from top water lures, jigs, spoons, live bait and cut bait. If you can get upwind from them and drift in and set up this will leave them comfortable and willing to feed. With the wind at your back you will be able to make longer casts so that you can stay further away from the fish and catch more of them [...]

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Bishop’s Harbor- Tampa Bay Gem

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Launched out of Bishop’s Harbor with Dave (stormy) at 6:45am on Saturday. I had been there before with Hondo and Secret Spot and thought I would give it a try with Dave. The water temp was right at 80 degrees. The tide was incoming for a few hours, then kind of flat with a strong outgoing later. We eased out towards the mouth and the mullet were everywhere. We came up on a point with mullet jumping all around it. On my second cast with the Spook Jr in bone, my lure got crushed [...]

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Snook on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: flatsjunkie88

My buddy josh and I launched at Cockroach Bay at 5:15 A.M. We didn’t want to mess around looking for bait and it was still dark so we decided to run to the Skyway. We loaded both wells with whitebait and took off. We eased off the throttle as we hit the no wake zone as the sun was coming up. We anchor up along the mangroves and sling out some chummers [...]

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Peace River Catchin’

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assasin

Launched at Harbour Heights boat ramp at 6:30am yesterday with Dave (stormy). We were going to target boat docks again to see if we could duplicate our efforts from our last trip there. The fog was as thick as pea soup on the river. We went over to work the grassy area and island adjacent to the ramp. The water temp was 80 degrees and the tide was outgoing.

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Night Time is the Right Time

Florida Sportsman member: Trophy-Trips

Few pics from the other night. Basically how the last month has been. Snook bite has been solid day or night, and talk about quality fish this year. Bull reds hit or miss, tide and moon dependant. Few studs the other night but wasnt an all out blitz. As far as snook we still have a few good groups inside, but most have made their way out to the beaches and are chewing rather well on the right tides. Grunts, pins, cut lady, greenies and a few select other baits have been hard to beat. Should only get better over the next month.

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Peace River Dockin’

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Dave (Stormy) was going through snook withdrawal so I thought I might be able to put him on some snook if we took a bit of a drive. We headed down to the Peace River to work some docks. We launched at Harbour Heights boat ramp around 7am. The water temp was about 80 degrees with a high of 85 in areas. It was to be a slow incoming tide all day. We worked the mouth of Whidden Bay and the nearby island with no luck. We headed down river to a cut into the Shell Creek area [...]

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Beach Fishing Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

Spent a week down near IRB for my daughters wedding and a little RR with some beach fishing to boot. Kinda’ slow on the beach, only saw a handful of snook and a little bait was cruising around. We ended up fishing some causeways, inlets and beaches. Caught sharks, ladyfish, trout, snook and jacks as well as the usual beach-time residents. Thanks to the guys at DogFish for telling me where the trout and snook were hiding.

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Shallow Water Slam

Florida Sportsman member: CodyS

After a long week of testing at school all I wanted to do was get outside and on the water. Came home around 2:30pm, called up a fishing buddy, and were off. It was the end of the outgoing tide and middle of the afternoon…. not too great for fishing but we have a spot for that type of situation. Nearly dry flat with a sandbar and drop-off near a main channel [...]

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Windy Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: mojotarpon

Yesterday me and my dad hit the bay early, and the wind was blowing hard out of the North. Water temp around Gandy was a little above 74, and we had the 2 tide day with a tide slowly coming in all day. I had 4 blue crabs so we hit the Gandy Bridge first thing. It was pretty dang rough under that bridge with the wind and the smoke coming from up North made it more of a crazy morning. My dad made the first cast and was hooked up within seconds and the fight was on. After a a nice fight the big Black Drum was in the boat [...]

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Hooked into some Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Frogman

Hit the kings about 5 to 7 miles off, early in the morning got hits on blue runners and greenies. A lot of Spanish Mackerel floated one out for bait on a balloon but no takers. Wind picked up and then headed in back to the flats to hook into some reds. Caught some great size reds. Overall great day.

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Big Drum in the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: CodyS

Hit the bay early today around 6:30 a.m. and I was on my way to my first spot. Paddled out to a mudflat near some spoil islands and started throwing a topwater, first cast I get a huge blowup but whatever it was missed. After that all I was doing was atrracting a bunch of pesky ladyfish…those things seem to be everywhere. I moved out more to a grass bed in some deep water and started to drift, again the ladyfish are bashing my lure every cast but when it did make it to the bottom I hooked up with a nice trout, nothing big just 15-16 inch fish [...]

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Inshore Slayin’

Florida Sportsman member: inshoreslayer

My buddy and I hit the skyway early to load up on bait this am. Bait was everywhere, and there were tarpon under just about every light lurking around. First we waded docks in the river and scored a few trout 18-24 and I got a flounder around 15 ish. We picked a few snooklets up then we relocated to Palma Sola where we each scored a decent redfish. I also picked up my personal best trout that went 29 inches [...]

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March Double Grand Slam

Florida Sportsman member: mojotarpon

Today was another amazing day on Tampa Bay. Bait is really thick now, just about all the flats I checked today are loaded. After loading up on White Bait my son and I hit a couple spots just south of Gandy and we had a awesome bite. The Trout bite was sick, all fish were were just fat pigs in the 18″ to a nice 23″ Gator that my son “HRM” caught. We both hit a couple nice reds and we just need a couple snook for the slam [...]

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Peace River Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Got up early Friday morning to drive to the Peace River. Got to the Harbour Heights Boat Ramp around 7am, which was just over 90 miles from the house. This ramp was very easy to find and within a couple of miles of I-75. Great ramp for small to mid-size boats. Normally you pay per hour for parking there at $.75 per hour. The machine wasn’t working and had a plastic bag around it so didn’t have to pay. Sweet! [...]

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Simply, Snook and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: mojotarpon

Today we went out for a few hours. Bait is so thick and easy right now, I love White Bait! We nailed some nice over slot Reds pushing the 29″ mark, and a couple Snook ate. Not bad for a afternoon trip [...]

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Snook are Chewing

Florida Sportsman member: mojotarpon

Now that bait is showing up we hit a couple spots for snook and nailed a couple nice fish on Tampa Bay. Thats my grandad , my dad, and my son. I nailed a nice fat pig and she put up a great fight. It was great having 4 generations on the boat. I love white bait!

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Still Chasing Sheep

Florida Sportsman member: Inshoreslayer

I went out and found the oldest sailboat I could find this morning covered in barnacles, tossed some crabs at em and they were hungry. Didnt get weights on em but yeilded some nice fillets. Once again free lined oyster crabs did the trick.[...]

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Plenty of Tampa Bay Trout

Florida Sportsman member: onthemarkcharters

Somebody pinch me! My calendar says its mid winter but it feels more like spring! Temperatures in the low 80’s with barely any wind is making for true Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce weather. With afternoon water temperatures at 67 degrees on lower Tampa Bay the flats continue alive with action. My clients today Garry aka Larry and his wife Rosalyn from Alabama were treated to some amazing sights [...]

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