Florida Sportsman Blog

Brackish Water Fun

Recent fly fishing reports from all around the state.


Brackish Water Fun

Florida Sportsman member: dogman58

I have been using small baitfish patterns and topwater foam flies. On the light fly rods this is a great fishery, catching swordspine, tarpon, fat and common snook.

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Peacock Bass on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Prhea36

Forum member Prhea36 put together an awesome video of peacock bass on the fly. “When the weather is not optimal we grab the 6wt’s and do some good ole bank hopping.”

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A Different Type of Flats

Florida Sportsman member: remo_5_0

Found a nice “flat” at Flaming Gorge reservoir, got tight with some nice Rainbows while stripping egg sucking leech patterns on a fast sinking line.

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Brackish Water Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

The snook are chewing baitfish patterns well in local upriver spots. Lots of short fish, but a few photo worthy fish in the mix.

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Fresh and Salt with the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Fishing a size 8 minnow I was able to fool a few. With how spooky these fish are around beds, it can be pretty frustrating. I have noticed though, stay as low as possible and keep your shadow to a minimum, I try to hide in a tree’s shadow or some type of cover.

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Fly Fishing the Glades

Florida Sportsman member: Native21

I was anticipating light winds in the morning so I took my light 6 weight out for some sporty action in the backcountry. I had some nice shots and landed quite a few before the winds picked up in the afternoon.

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Offshore with the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Slamaholic

As soon as we got to the spots we had around 30 amberjack all around us. With a little chumming and throwing a chugger with a spinning rod we had the fish in a frenzy. Hook ups, doubles, triples, you name it. All fish were over 30 pounds some in the mid 40′s on a fly rod, we even chummed the American red snapper up enough to catch those on the fly rods as well, by vertically jigging massive clousers.

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First on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: NSByak

I finally stuck my first Mosquito Lagoon red last weekend. What a great feeling, Of course it would happen the day I left the gopro at home, so I could only grab some cell phone shots. Watching it eat was incredible.

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Sinking a Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Scott

I had a client using a five weight at the same place yesterday, throwing at 1 to 4 pound barjacks, when what had to be a fifty pound amberjack inhaled and departed with the barjack he was fighting. Not much to do except watch the line melt off his reel, right down to the knot.

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Backwater Poons

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

A heavily weighted size 2 white shminnow has been the go to fly for these fish, presenting it with long and slow strips. I have jumped fish to 10 pounds or so and have seen a few 20 pounders roll, but have yet to get a hook in them.

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North Florida Reds on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: lost1317

Went out for a few hours the other day. Seems like every creek you look into has a school of fish. Found this school and caught a few off it, 3 on fly.

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Jacksonville Reds on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

Forum member FlyFishJax shared some videos he put together of some great wintertime redfishing with the long rod.

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Backcountry Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: heavychevy15

Carlos then got into another Tarpon right after the first one. This one put up a hell of a fight. Being that he was fighting it from land, i thought he might not land it when it started making its run up the canal. He was able to turn the fish though and get him back towards us.

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Cold Weather Trout

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

When I launched, the water temperature was 55 degrees. I found a lot of nice trout sitting in a foot of water. I caught a nice 22 inch trout on a white bend back, and a Nice 25 inch trout on a white shrimp fly.

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Tripletail on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: OutdoorAddict

Forum member OutdoorAddict got into some tripletail on fly recently. He went 3 for 5 on these fish, throwing a tan shrimp fly.

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A Trip to the Lowcountry

Florida Sportsman member: greenie-slayer

It took Capt. Chris about 45 seconds to find a couple big schools of redfish. In short order he had me on the bow landing the first fish. Landed a bunch of nice sized redfish during the day and some even came up to eat gurglers which was surprising.

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Making it Happen

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

I switched to 2/0 bend backs, white/gray with dark green and blue flash, brown with dark green and gold flash. I ended the day with nineteen Snook from 17 to 22 inches, and one small tarpon. They chewed up six flies. The water temp never got over 62 degrees, but the fish were spunky and strong, lots of fun on 8 pound tippet.

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Hitting the Lights

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Went out on my buddy’s Jon boat yesterday evening to “test and tune” his new motor. brought the fly rods along, as we figured we might as well hit some dock lights once the sun dropped. The front pushing through really kicked up the wind once it got dark, but we were able to get tight on a few.

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False Albacore and More on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

We came across about an acre of bull reds. My buddy was quick on the gun and got his fly into these monsters first and got an immediate hookup. He was taken deep into his backing and again. I chose to skip the easy double header in order to help him land his fish. Good thing because this 23 pound behemoth snapped his 9 weight fly rod like a twig boat-side just before I got the boga grip on him.

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Tampa Bay Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Shadowcast

Visibility was at a minimum and we had to deal with wind and rain showers early on. Conditions improved throughout the morning and we managed a few reds on 6 and 8 weight gear. Using a Monic clear floating line helped out as we could not see the fish at any real distance.

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Hitting the Streams

Florida Sportsman member: remo_5_0

Got out in the river today with a buddy, fishing was decent but had a steady 20 mile per hour wind gusting to 30′s. I caught some decent ones, he got a few bigger ones, this week we will be hunting Big Brown trout.

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Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

I was slowly drifting in water so shallow I had to pick up my trolling motor and I saw a group of fish coming at me. Not being that experienced at telling the difference between mullet and redfish, I could only hope. They were moving with a purpose. Then about 70 feet away a few stopped and tails came up!

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Freshwater Action on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: chasinfins

Forum member chasinfins shared some of his recent freshwater catches on fly. All the fish were caught on flies he tied.

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First Tailer of the Season

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type posted his first tailing redfish of the fall. It’s hard to beat catching skinny water reds on the long rod. Tight work!

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First Redfish on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: staysalty

Forum member staysalty scored his first redfish on fly. This fish ate a small white minnow fly out of a docklight near Siesta Key. Congrats!

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A Juvenile Summer

Florida Sportsman member: redjim

I had a nice day on tuesday and got my 61st baby tarpon of the summer. Most of these fish came from the ditches and canals of Merritt Island, Rockledge and a few from North Indian River Lagoon. I learned early it did not matter what fly I offered these fish yet how I presented my fly to them.

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A Belize Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: DogDoc

He then took us to a flat where the bonefish were tailing and cruising everywhere. Small groups of 5 to 10 fish mixed with singles and doubles. On this one flat I saw more tailing bonefish than all of the bonefish I’ve seen in the Keys my entire life.

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Fishing the Dream Stream

Florida Sportsman member: greenie-slayer

Fishing Started off red hot landing 5 fish in the first hole with most being 12 to 16 inches. The last fish in that hole though was a true stud of a trout. A 26 inch brown that held tight to the bottom most of the fight. She ended up taking a run and pulling the hook but I told the guide that I could still see the fish sitting in about 2 feet of water. Put another cast in and she ate again.

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Sanibel Snook

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

I ended the week with 5 snook, 2 trout, and 1 tarpon. I jumped 4 other tarpon and the one I caught plus 2 of the snook at Ding Darling. I had a big snook try to eat one of the trout as I pulled it in, which was kinda cool.

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Putting Them in the Air

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type got some killer Gopro video of some fun size tarpon. What’s better than a tarpon jump? A tarpon jump in slow motion!

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Light Leader Peacock Bass

Florida Sportsman member: Beto_Matheus

The powerful attack and subsequent run left no doubt it was the butterfly. With the light leader I had to work the fish and he gave two good runs taking all my fly line out. It then ran towards the only submerged branch in sight to my right where bushes blocked my way. There was only one thing to do if I wanted the fish: had to get in the water.

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Flood Tide Reds

Florida Sportsman member: T-Shirt Bob

Forum member T-Shirt Bob has been catching some nice flood tide redfish in Jacksonville. Tying up his own rendition of a fiddler crab and the fish seem to love it. Nice tie and great fish!

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Bonito Blitz

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

Gotta love the hottest time of the year! We had a great fly bite and reel screaming test this past Sunday 8/17 out of St. Augustine with about 12 to 15 of these speedsters running between 9 and 12 pounds. on the 9wt. We also caught some on spin gear too. What a blast!

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Big Blackfin on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Scott

I had this guy show up in the melee of false albacore, big blue runners, rainbow runners and ravenous sharks I was chumming with live chum. The fish ate the fly 4 feet from the side of the boat. I have no idea how I got it past the sharks, weighed in at 34 pounds.

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Baby Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type put together a video of some aerial action of baby tarpon on fly. These fish are a ball in the backwaters, always willing to put on a show.

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Summertime Trip to the North

Florida Sportsman member: Ol’DirtyCaster

Laurentides was no different, but the weather didn’t cooperate so I was forced to dredge weedlines with tungsten heads for pike, which actually produced more bass than anything else. I did have some odd catches, I caught my first lake trout, my first walleye, and a 20 inch brown trout in a river that I was told didn’t have any trout. I fished the St. Laurence, the Ottawa, the Saranac, and the Ouaro rivers.

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Bahamas Bonefish

Florida Sportsman member: Prhea36

Forum member Prhea36 put together a video of some DIY bonefish on fly! Chasing these fish with a fly rod can really get your blood flowing. Nice work!

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Gorge Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: remo_5_0

Hit Flaming Gorge a few weeks ago with a buddy, there has been an epic Cicada hatch this year and the lake was covered in them and the trout and bass were killing them, and so were we! Nothing like surface action with some big ugly bugs.

I woke up at 6am every morning to watch the sunrise and have a cool morning alone, with no tourist. Having the beach to myself I sight casted fish non stop, Most schools of snook where 5 to 10 fish thick, with a few Tarpon mixed in.

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West Coast Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Slamaholic

I woke up at 6am every morning to watch the sunrise and have a cool morning alone, with no tourist. Having the beach to myself I sight casted fish non stop, Most schools of snook where 5 to 10 fish thick, with a few Tarpon mixed in.

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Summer Snook

Florida Sportsman member: twobbles

Was tossing a big white fly and was making casts every few minutes to singles or little groups cruising along. Most would come up and nose the fly before either turning away or opening their mouths to inhale it while I let it drift, while others tried to rip the rod from my hands as soon as the fly hit the water.

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Sanibel Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

My best day on the water was when I found a pod of Snook cruising the beach about 30 feet off shore on a long flat and I was able to pull 4 fish from the same school before the 5th fish wore through the bite tippet. It was my best day of the week with sight casting and landing 12 fish and at least 5 others that hit and came unbuttoned,some on some really wild jumps.

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Withlacoochee Slam

Florida Sportsman member: capt louie

Pete has a couple of 3/4 weights really light fly rods and we had 4 pound tippets and small popping bugs. The fish were ready.

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New Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: Pmoconnor89

The fish was on the edge of muddy water created by an eddy on the shoreline. I was able to sight fish it and had an excellent 4 to 5 minute battle with two long runs. It’s rare that I catch a beach snook on fly that can’t be stripped in, but this one was on the reel almost immediately.

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First on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: HenrySRQ

I had borrowed a friends fly rod and after getting some casting tips I went out to a bridge light for a try at some snook with it. Practice payed off with this nice snook.

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Big Trout Out Back

Florida Sportsman member: ShallowPersonality

Got home today after a long day and decided to throw the fly rod a bit in the back yard. Went down to the dock and casted my gurgler over to a fishy looking mangrove line and got nailed first cast. Ended up being a beautiful trout.

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Hitting the Ditches

Florida Sportsman member: weetza

Had an interview in Naples on the way back decided to hit the famed Tamiami Trail. Middle of the day in the sweltering heat, hit a couple of spots last one finally paid off.

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First Snook on Sand

Florida Sportsman member: pjstevko

I had a lot of followers but only 2 hook ups and only landed one but a sight fished beach snook on fly is a big deal for me! This little guy was in 6 inches of water and followed the fly right up to the sand before he hit.

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Matlacha on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

The one in the second photo ate a Crazy Charlie that we were blind casting over a wide open grass flat in the Indian Fields and was followed up by a similar sized gator on the very next cast. Smaller shrimp patterns like the Charlie really worked well on these guys all week.

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A Change of Pace

Florida Sportsman member: remo_5_0

Forum member remo_5_0 Shared his recent trout fishing trip in Wyoming. A change of pace from what Florida has to offer to fly fishermen. Beautiful fish!

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Fighting the Wind, Catching Fish

Florida Sportsman member: DKT

First time out in almost a year, neck and back surgery suck! Even though conditions weren’t the best I was stoked just to be out. All in all it was a good day, got to use a new rod & reel I’ve been couch fishing with and caught a few fish.

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Smashing the Docklights

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Docklight fishing with the fly rod is one of my favorite types of fishing to do and it’s been producing pretty good lately. Went out the other night with the 6 and 8 weight and put a hurting on them for a few hours. Ended up with 14 snook and 2 trout.

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Busting Them on Top, The Fly Way

Florida Sportsman member: redjim

I have been spending the last couple of weeks throwing a Pole Dancer fly around. Most of the time I usually end up throwing some type of topwater fly, usually a gurgler, so I really was excited to give this gal a test. In two weeks ended up with four tarpon, six or seven snook and a bunch of trout and of course jacks.

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Night Time Fly Fishing in Boca

Florida Sportsman member: fishfullthinking

Got out to do some night fishing throwing flies. My son landed his first tarpon on the fly and we had a double hookup on snook. Landed 4 snook total with one just making the slot. Took a few casts at 100 plus pound tarpon but could not get them to bite.

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Keeping the Rod Bent

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

The West bank gave up 12 trout and two blue fish. Most of the trout 17 to 19 inches, all keepers that swam free. The East bank, gave up only one snook, a 21 inch fish that ate the bend back, the trout and blues destroyed my Shrimp fly. Could not find a red, or tarpon to complete the slam, but had a bent rod most of the day.

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The Best By-Catch

Florida Sportsman member: Docked Wages

After we were convinced that no cobia were in tow we broke off pursuit and stumbled across a school of redfish. It took me a while and finally I got one to eat! This being my personal best redfish on fly. He got so far into my backing I got really nervous about breaking the line or pulling the hook.

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Red on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type shared this video of a nice redfish on fly in shallow water, something that many epitomize as the best fly fishing has to offer.

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Charlotte Harbor Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type shared some awesome pictures of stud snook on the long rod that him and friends have been enjoying this winter in Charlotte Harbor.

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Guides Day Off

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

In this video forum member FlyFishJax decided to share what he likes to do on his day off from guiding, which is to fish!

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First Snook On Fly

Florida Sportsman member: LilJim

First night out hitting the lights I managed to convince this guy to take a bite after just 3 casts, ended up getting a small trout on fly as well.

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Pompano On The Buggy Whip

Florida Sportsman member: sunflower

Pompano running this am. Got them on a kind of bright, high-tied clouser minnow.

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Only One Fish, But Made It Count

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

Florida Sportsman Member SUPER D caught this beautiful 29 inch trout while fishing the north Indian River. Fish was caught on a tan shrimp fly while working it through a sand hole.

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Always Will Remember Your First Fish

Florida Sportsman member: JonathanT305

I decided to try tying my own fly. I saw a version of a Mayan cichlid fly on here and wanted to try for myself. After attempting to make one with yarn, feathers, a sharpie, and some eyes from other lures it came together. Within 10 minutes I was connected to my first fish, a respectable peacock, about 3 pounds.

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Tampa Bay Reds On Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Icatcher22

Have been sight fishing reds on fly off the kayaks recently. Had some luck with the Northeast wind last week blowing all the water out of the bay. The reds were real shallow and gave us some good opportunities.

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D.I.Y. Louisiana

Florida Sportsman member: Chief_Osceola

My friends and I just got back from my first Louisiana marsh trip. It is truly a sight fishing paradise. We went in totally blind, and caught our first 25 fish within two hours. We caught way too many fish to count in three days, I can’t wait to go back. All in all the trip cost less than $400.

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Good Outcome On A New Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

I figured to just go for it and went to a buddy’s dock with the 6 weight in hand, I love the fight on the 6 weight compared to the 8 weight, and fired it in his dock light a few times. Put in right in the fishes face and they couldn’t resist. caught two that measured out to 25 inches a piece and called it a night, 2 fish in 5 minutes is good with me.

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Docklight Trout

Florida Sportsman member: bubujimbo

The second set of lights was loaded with trout and not feeding so we knew it would be a challenge. We were able to pull a couple nice fish off the light and had a great night. Our best luck was on a size two ep baitfish pattern.

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Two Days of Action : Tarpon & Reds

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

Another beautiful day and miles of gin clear flats. After polling around and nothing in sight I caught a silver flash to my 3 o’clock. As I made my way I saw a tail… ” is this it?” I asked “a permit”… I followed it for some time until I saw an opening I creeped up only to see something I was not to egger to see… I decided I may not cast at it… As I put the rod down and the lure hit the water Mr. tapron had other endeavors. it raced over and took my lure and we began the dance yet again… Didn’t even have to cast and I was hooking tarpon what luck… Still a good way to open the day.

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Trip to the Black Canyon of Gunnison

Florida Sportsman member: razorreilly09

razorreilly09 recently made a scenic and fish-filled trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado.

“Just got back from a three day solo hike/camp into the canyon. This is my current favorite place on earth. The hike into is not for the weak of heart, and the hike out even more considerable, but that’s what makes the fishing so good. The fishing was great, although very hot temps.”

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Boca Peacock Action

Florida Sportsman member: Prhea36

Before I left I was on a really awesome peacock bite and couldn’t wait to get back at it, so I grabbed the 6 weight and headed down to some of my favorite areas! Within a couple minutes of my arrival, it seemed like nothing changed. They were everywhere. Ended up landing 5 with some being in the 3-pound range over all awesome hour and a half of bank hopping.

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Sebastian Offshore Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Flyguy1

I got the opportunity this past Friday to make it out with a friend of mine to slay some big mangrove snapper on the flats skiff. We did end up whacking the mangroves up to 12 pounds on spin gear, but I also brought the 10 wt. out with me so I could have some fun! First up was a small mahi that spit the fly after charging it. Then bonita charged the chum and I made short work of three of them before a small cobia swam up. I didn’t care if it was small, I wanted a cobia on fly!

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A Day in the Park

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

As we approach our first destination there weren’t too many tarpon, so I suggested moving onto an area I knew the target species would be waiting. As we pushed on I gave the guys some direction and an instruction and sent them on there way. It didn’t take long for all of us to find some nice tailers waving for our attention. I was the first the first to hook up onto a decent tailer. Another victim of the fly… Lesson learned don’t cross my path!

The flat was much alive at this point and the guys where taking shots at fish but couldn’t connect. Tony finally hooked up only to see the nice red break off next to the yak. I continued my assault on these fish with target practice was in full affect at this point…

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Battling Bonito

Florida Sportsman member:Capt. Scott

Anchored up in 40 ft of water on a rock pile chumming up blue runners, small bonito and a few rudder fish when some significantly larger boils appear around the boat. I ask my guy if he’d like to switch up from the eight weight and he says “Whats the worst that could happen? I’ll stick with the eight”. Right about then I lose my grip on my chum throwing scoop and throw it over the side and the current immediately pulls it out of reach. “I guess I’m going to have to go after that” come out of my mouth at the same moment client gets nailed and fish goes off on a screaming run. I get to the anchor line, untie and toss the release ball, fish still screaming. Walk back, get the motors started and say to my guy, “You know to let me know before you run out of line, right?” He starts sputtering and stuttering, his way of saying “I’M OUT OF LINE!” I guess….

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Daytona Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

I took a vacation day to fish the new moon hoping for a nice tarpon, on fly. It was a little cool in the morning with calm conditions until the wind picked up around noon. I found some fish rolling, and was able to get one to eat. At the end of April, I jumped one 60 to 80 pounds, this one was probably 50+ pounds, 4 to 5 feet long, thick, and my best one to date. This fish would not give up, leadering it 4 times, and having to let go. This fish would not open its mouth, and I did not want to lip gaff it. The fourth time I had the DNA pad next to my knee, the shock in my hand, and it shook hard[...]

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Biscayne Evening Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: mbowers

When my friend Bob was interested in splitting the trip we drove down to Miami to fish with Capt LeMay. As expected Capt LeMay was very friendly with lots of experience in the area. We got a touristy trivia tour around the Bay and hit a couple of docklights while waiting for the tide to start going out. The first bridge did not show any tarpon. The second bridge showed a couple of tarpon cruising but not eating shrimp. Bob used a live shrimp to prove that the fish far from the bridge busting in packs were in fact jacks. The third bridge (first bridge now on the outgoing) showed a couple of tarpon busting and Bob hooked one on live shrimp. A decent battle but it finally got into some bridge pilings and broke the 10lb test. We moved to the fourth bridge[...]

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Miami Peacocks and Bones

Florida Sportsman member: paint it black

Finally, with a forecast for light west winds, Dan and I hitched up the skiff and made our way to Biscayne Bay. The objective was to finally get Dan his first bonefish. We had put in a lot of time throughout the winter, but it was so inconsistent, that things were tough. He had a shot at a couple finning bones early on, but as the fly landed ahead of the only two fish we saw, it actually landed on top of a school of bones that we could not see due to the low light. With a few scattered shots throughout the morning, we finally found some fish that were eager to chase down a fly[...]

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Peacock Bass, Bonefish, and Snook, Oh My!

Florida Sportsman member: paint it black

The other day, a friend hit me up to go harass some peacock bass, so we tied up a few clousers and were on our way. The high sun and hot weather made for aggressive fish cruising the shallows. They sure put a nice bend in the 6 wt. Then we made our way to a flat off the edge of a bank. The shallow area extended about 80 feet at the furthest point. The fish would come in from the deep and assault minnows. We caught a nice amount in about 45 minutes before calling it a day.

The same friend called me the day after to do some more fishing. But I told him I had something else in mind, and he was up for it. The wind was a little harder than we anticipated, but it was still very doable. After about 45 minutes of not seeing a single fish, finally, he saw bait scattering, so he shot the fly out to the commotion. He instantly hooked up and was in his backing in no time. We were looking for bonefish, but it wasn’t pulling like a bone[...]

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Stuart Evening Snook

Florida Sportsman member: snook87

Set out for my normal Thursday night fishing around Stuart. We started out fishing with jigs and then came upon a favorite dock of mine to fly fish. The current was ripping out so getting the fly in the zone was hard. I got a few jacks and a seatrout on a small white schminnow. About to give up on a snook I had a few more bonus casts. Saw the snook take after and engulfed the fly and it was fish on! An awesome fight it put up and got my blood pumping to keep it away from the dock and I quickly stripped line to the boat. I landed it and it was much bigger then I thought and measured 23 inches. Have it a quick revive and released.

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Flamingo, It’s That Good

Florida Sportsman member: paint it black

The weather man was calling for low winds, but cloudy skies, so my buddy Ramiro and I made the two hour trek down to Everglades National Park. Only to be greeted by strong 20mph winds, so we headed for cover in disgust by the once again wrong forecast. We worked a protected shoreline for quite a bit. I managed to get an eat from a nice 10lb jack, but didn’t get the hook to stick. Then managed to get a dink rat red minutes later. After exhausting all of our options for sheltered areas, we were forced to just head for open flats, and use the wind to aid us in the direction it was blowing. We missed some eats on a few scattered tailing reds, and at about noon, decided to make one last stop before calling it a day. Shortly after arriving at the last spot, the clouds passed, winds laid down and the bay become a sheet of glass. The tails began to surface.

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First Black Drum on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

Well its almost spring and it seems like the fish are biting. I’ve been going out and it has been pretty good. Some days are really good and some days are not so good. It usually has to do with the wind situation. Calm mornings has been really good but around 10 a.m. the wind starts kicking and everything goes to hell after that. Sight fishing for reds and snook has been really fun. Also I was able to catch my first black drum on fly. I thought he was a red but looked kinda funny as he got closer [...]

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Fishing High and Low

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

Well, with winter in full affect patterns are showing up finally. Snook are starting to hold up where they should be and reds are still prevalent in some areas. Biscayne Bay has stayed the same with over slot trout bedded up with plenty of little trout and jacks mixed in with bluefish to keep things honest. I have had the opportunity to fish several new locations in the everglades on the boat scouting new grounds in search of the next big fish. High winds have kept me at bay but has not stopped the bite.

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Backyard Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Joupdog1

Went over to the pond in my apartment complex, like I do every evening, to cast the fly rod for some bass. I’ve always seen some tarpon rolling and caught one, but it was only 10 inches or so. Hooked up to a big fish but never saw it before it spit the fly. I fished around the pond a little ways with nothing. Then I came to a spot in between some trees that looked fishy. Cast my fly out and strip two or three times and slammed! Fish on! The slack line is flying back out and then up comes a really nice tarpon flying out of the water! I manage to keep it hooked, but it is burning the drag on my 5 weight. It would make another jump and I’d gain on it, but then it would make another hard run. At one point, it was on the other shoreline and I was well into my backing. Got the line back and then called my mom to come down when I realized I had a shot at landing this one.

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Flipping the Coin

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

As of lately, I have been flipping a coin for every fishing trip I go on. Usually because I am not sure of where I want to go and it usually has to do a lot with the weather. Fishing has been pretty good despite of the bad weather. There has been couple of windows were you can have a really good day on the water with calm winds but other days you want rip your head off. I have been going on out on the Kayak, Gheenoe and friend’s boat. Some days have been really bad with finicky fish on the flats. And some days you find yourself with tailing fish all day long.

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Chunk Bass on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: ShallowExpectations

I tied on a bend back that I had whipped a few nights before to see how it swam. My buddy was using a gurgler and was getting 2lb bass all day. I ended up tossing towards a culvert, two strips, and the water erupted. Had to remind myself where I was because it was such an aggressive strike I imagined tarpon or big snook. Solid chunk for a Kook.

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Red Races

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

It was cold and windy today, and the sun did not come out all day. The conditions were pretty bad for sight fishing. I went to the peacocks pocket area today. I found two reds tailing next to each other, they saw the fly at the same time, and the race was on, it ended with a great whoosh, and fish on. It was the coolest take I have ever had. I just had to share it with you guys.

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Happy Days on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

Well with Christmas, New Years and the BCS bowl game all mixed in a month span I have been stuck at work since late December. Watching the calendar days zip by with only my thought and memories of 2012 to hold me through the long days. I finally got a chance to hit the water and do what I know how to do best, disconnect and get some fishing in. Here is where I left off in 2012, my last trip [...]

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Son’s First Fish on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: sunflower

Not much of a fisherman, but he showed an interest so we went out this weekend and he made some casts. A lot of blind casting, he missed a few fish on the strike, and finally he hooked what I thought was big pinfish. We can both die happy.

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Yankeetown Reds

Florida Sportsman member: deerfly

Broke into the new year on my Panga skiff and decided I’d try to get back on those Yankeetown reds I wrestled with last Friday in the canoe. The boy wanted to sleep in, so I was solo again. Launched at the end of SR40 for the first time too. Ramps aren’t too bad out there and saves me the long run through the barge canal. Weather was a little weird at first [...]

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Dorado Gone Wild

Florida Sportsman member: Carl Blackledge

My Loreto trip this year would more than do justice to this title. The Dorado is arguably the most aggressive fish that swims in the ocean, and has also been called the perfect saltwater fly rod fish. I agree totally. Only in Loreto can you watch the fired up fish fight to bite. When hooked, he rips a few hundred feet of line off your reel, then jumps and throws the fly only to have his partner swimming next to him grab it. What a rush!

If anybody loves to cast floating lines with poppers and Crease flies to Dorado, and watch the wild top water action, then I feel sorry for anyone who didn’t get to enjoy the phenomenal Dorado and billfish bite in Loreto this year. I guess I was especially lucky because this was the year I chose to go for three weeks instead of my usual two. I had made that decision based on last year’s abundance of small Dorado; I figured maybe this year they had grown up! That turned out to be an understatement, because this year we were inundated with giants[...]

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Banana River Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Flyguy1

We got out early and started poling looking for tails and other signs of fish activity. The fishing was very slow for the first few hours but once the sun got up pretty high we started catching fish. My buddy is a spin fisherman so he stuck with jigs the whole day and he ended up with 4 mid slot reds and a small trout. I started out with the jig and once I got a fish or two I switched to the fly. I ended up with 4 mid slot reds and a rat as well as a few nice trout and one snook.

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Carolina Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Bullshark

My father and I crewed off the boat at the same time this hitch so we decided to hit up NC for some trout action. We went two days solo, along with one with a guide I used three times before. The water was very low and the fishing was a bit tougher than its been in the past but we were able to catch about 40 trout on our own and another 60 with the guide Josh. I landed the odd looking giant brown on a one last chance stop at the river on the way to the airport.

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Back in No Man’s Land

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

Been doing quite a bit of exploring fishing with some of my good fishing buddies deep in the Everglades in no man’s land. The paddles are long full of creatures that would not mind having you for dinner or biting to fill there stomachs but the fishing has been outstanding. Fly fishing exclusively for these fish has been a challenge but the rewards have been all that sweeter!

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Merry “Carpmas”!

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

After the front pushed through last night today was Sunny and perfect for sight fishing these jokers, but all I found were a lot of laid up fish!! No one was in the mood to eat and I didn’t see a lot of mudders! I did manage to find one working the bank and connected! Ho, Ho, Ho Merry “Carpmas” Everyone!!

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The “Gold” Mining Continues

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

With the abundant sunshine today I decided to take advantage of it! Found numerous fish, but they were stubborn today. They were mudding and tailing pretty consistent, but for the life of me I couldn’t get them to eat! Changed up the fly, but still no connections. Went back to the Olive Backstabber and finally connected on a couple of fish.

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Fly Fishing Tampa Bay

Florida Sportsman member: Shadowcast

Decided to take advantage of low tides early in the afternoon and look for some reds with the fly rods. The fishing was tough even though Rob and I saw over 100 redfish, several snook, and found a pocket holding some very large trout. Clean water was at a premium. The outgoing tide made the water off color which made it tough to sight the fish until we were on top of them. We managed a few fish by blind casting some deeper holes on the low tide [...]

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Kentucky Carp

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

Man, these jokers have driven me crazy all summer long! They’ve haunted my dreams every night! I’ve had fish turn off every fly I’ve thrown, spooky fish and with the drought this spring/summer all the weeds and vegetation grown up where the fish usually hang out! It’s taken the lake draw down to winter pool to get them back on the mud flats to even get a shot. I didn’t think they would eat with this colder weather, but today I found a couple of hungry fish after it warmed up a little! Got some payback! Now I can sleep at night![...]

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Fly Times in the Everglades

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

Still tearing it up in the Everglades! I have dropped the spinning rod and picked up the fly thanks to my buddy Dan Decibel and have been having a blast. Not as easy as one thinks but I could attest this has freshened things up from the same old routine.

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Everglades City on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: miket1515

As we headed down Tamiami Trail we noticed that there was fog everywhere and for me this was the first time I have witnessed this in the Glades, so I thought this would be an interesting time out on the water. We arrived at Everglades City and launched at the Ranger station. We started paddling out into the fog [...]

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Bass and Bream on Fly

Florida Sportman member: Pmoconnor89

There is something to be said about the simplicity of fly fishing for bluegill. I love tossing a popper, letting the rubber legs quiver and being greeted by that classic slurp. If you were ever looking to get in to fly fishing this is surely the way to do it. Any rod from a 3-to 6-wt is proficient, and it doesn’t have to be technical [...]

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Crystal River Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: sparse grey

Made it to Crystal River Wednesday with my son Sean for our first time scalloping. After launching, getting a couple of miles into the Gulf, seeing way more wind than was expected and seeing no boats on the scallop grounds and lousy visibility we changed plans and went back into the river to spend some time fishing. Drifted a good looking shoreline with good looking sand and oyster beds in about 2 feet of water. Saw no fish or bait. Heading towards the ramp I saw some action along a built bulkhead so we set a drift [...]

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Fly Fishing in the Summertime

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

How’s it going guys? I hope everything is good, its been a while since I’ve posted but this has been my catches as of recently. I’ve been leaving the spinning gear at home, strictly fly fishing as of lately. The days have been hot and the Paddles have gotten Longer by the day. Seems like the only good time to fish is until about 10 or 11 am because the fish and myself can’t stand this heat wave going on outside unless you wanna fish until later on in the day [...]

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Jupiter Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: ABayne

Fished Jupiter again last week with Captain Dino and it was real good. Hammered them under the lights and managed a slob in the 35 pound range on a popper. Hopefully the pics uploaded properly. Thanks again Dino. Great time.

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Big Linesider on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Dino

A couple of fly catches from some recent fishing trips [...]

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False Albies on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: ABayne

Fished with Capt. Dino last weekend for albies off of Jupiter. It was another amazing trip with him. We had fish all day long. Saw some amazing shark attacks as well. Thanks Dino. See you in August for some snook!

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First Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: saltybum

Been trying for a while now to get a snook on fly. Tied up a bunch of white flies for Sanibel a couple years ago but was greeted by filthy water after the first tropical storm hit that August. Cleaned up the last day we were there. Had to leave. No snook. Hit the surf and around Port Canaveral and had more than plenty my share of lady fish, jacks etc. but no snook [...]

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Biscayne Bay Nights

Florida Sportsman member: lemaymiami

This past week the ‘Glades along the coast north and south of the Little Shark River were the destination of choice during the daytime. I was able to add one night in Biscayne Bay where the tarpon action was pretty strong (and will stay that way for weeks to come…). Here’s an extract of the fly fishing that we did [...]

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Independence Day Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: sunflower

Perfect day for beach tarpon off Venice. Flat ocean, full moon setting, no wind, and tarpon rolling all around. Weird thing, something went wrong, my toad started getting pulled away, and my 12-weight got all bent over and stuff!

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Multi-Fish Mojo

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

After being off these fish for the last two weekends it was time to get back to work!! The lake is still down almost 4 feet below summer pool and the flats are still covered in “green stuff” Fish are scattered and you have to find a “gravel” bank with some kind of shelf on it. Fish sit on this shelf and feed along or face the bank waiting for something to fall in…. I missed 2 eats and I think it was because the water so so clear that I was just so mesmerized watching these fish inhale the fly and then spit it out that I didn’t strip strike for a hook set! [...]

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Canada Northerns & Walleye on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Docked Wages

Spent 10 days at a very remote fly-in only lodge on Carol Lake in Northern Canada, 60 miles north of Lake LaRonge, Saskatchawaan. I am still relatively inexperienced with fly fishing and stopped by the Fishing Hole in Saskatchatoon on the way for some local flies. I ended up with two new species under my belt, Northern Pike and Walleye on fly [...]

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Past Month on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: FLA_tony

I haven’t posted much lately. Between the baby on the way (5 more weeks) and working the bugs out of the new to me maverick. The new boat is awesome just working out some bugs. I have still been managing 1-2 trips a week everywhere between Goodland and Pine Island sound. The snook fishing has been on fire way in the back creeks all the way out to the beaches. First thing in the morning i have been throwing topwater flies, there is nothing more exciting then top water explosions [...]

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Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Tight Loops

Got an invitation to fly fish Pine Island for tarpon. Met up with Joe Harley at dark thirty and headed out for dawn patrol. it a lot of spots running and gunnin. I was first up and got a fantastic eat by a 24 inch fish. He struck and missed the fly and would not give up. Missing it over and over all the way back to the boat. Just as I was out of line and out of room he ate! Wish I had a video of that. Next up is Joe who hooks up on baby tarpon. What a beautiful fish that was carefully photographed and released [...]

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Black Drum Redemption

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

Using a heavier weight fly rod (9 wt.) and having someone on board to land the fish all make for a recipe for success. A 3 plus hour fight becomes a half hour fight and your fish actually makes it to the deck. No need for lengthy, amateurish video to prove to friends and family that you truly had an enormous fish on the fly. By noon, we had 5 eats and 3 fish landed [...]

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Carp-O-licious!

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

With the lake trying to come up to summer pool It’s tough to find a flat with no “green stuff”…. If you find fish up in the shallows, they are in so much debris it’s tough getting a fly in an open spot! Found some fish that were up on the rocks and facing the bank. These guys were waiting for stuff to fall in the water and then they would turn and feed around. Finally connected with a nice fish that turned and ate the fly!

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Fly Fishing Tailing Reds

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

I fished with my friend Tim over the weekend in St. Augustine. We saw over 40 tailing Reds up on the flooded grass flats to kick the season off. They were challenging to say the least playing there typical hide and seek games. Most were in the lower slot size. I ended up catching a couple mid to upper slot Reds with this bigger one pictured below which was caught on my last cast of the night before the lights went out. Redfish grass hunting season is officially open.

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Big Peacocks on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: kahmad

Got to the water around noon, the fish were thick around our launch area. Tons of mayans, largemouths and peacocks just sitting around, occasionally busting up some bait. Threw in a couple of casts before launching the boat and I pulled out a small largemouth, about 1 pound. As I’m getting the hook out Jim is casting at a pipe. All I hear is “OH MY GOD!” and I turn to see a solid mass of bright orange and green take off about 3 feet out of the water.

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Fly Fishing Carp in the Bluegrass State

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

My home waters (Barren River Lake) has been below summer pool for a while now and that has the vegetation growing and my mud flats are just “green” now… With the lake coming up to Summer pool it’s been a little tough to find “open” spots to get some decent shots at fish. You have to find spots with no weeds/grass to get a fly in there on mudding fish or fish looking for an easy meal. Some fish are still spawning up in the vegetation and I’ve never witnessed anything like it! [...]

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Up The Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

Thanks to the huge moon and more boat traffic than ever, I couldn’t put my charter on anything decent yesterday on any of my favorite spots. Since I finally had some time to myself this morning I decided to do a little exploring and find where all the fish were hiding. There was a great incoming tide in Matlacha Pass around 10AM so I let the current carry me into one of the longer creeks in the north part of Buzzard Bay. I started seeing a lot of fish when the water started turning the same color as cherry soda. I was casting an 8wt fly rod and a 3/0 deer hair slider since I thought spinning tackle would make too much noise.

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Jacksonville Surf Report

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

I fished the beachfront with my long time fly buddy Scott from Ponte Vedre on Sunday morning. We caught a couple of the ghostly colored Redfish. We saw some Black Drum to and way to many Sharks. Action was a little on the slow side and ended up taking a lot of video for making a movie. It was a nice change of pace. Seems like there’s nothing more refreshing than getting and break from guiding and taking a long walk on the beach and getting washed up by waves.

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First Albies of the Year in Jupiter

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Scott

Here they come! Got these guys fired up on live glass minnows and had at em’. Landed six or eight. Nice sized 12 pound plus fish. Tight lines indeed.

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Sight Casting Snook at Night on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

Took a quick trip out tonight after a week of ever blowing wind. The river was a sheet of glass. Thought it would be good to get out and throw the fly rod at some snook under the lights. Put in at Sandsprit Park on the end of the incoming tide. Hit the first couple of docks and found a bunch of small fat snook chowing down some small creatures that were floating by. I put a cast in with a small white deceiver & it got picked up right a way. It was small too, about 14 inches. Could have stayed there all night [...]

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Solid Day Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

I launched, at the 406 bridge and went south around peacocks pocket. I have never been to this place, thought I would give it a try. The day was perfect, not a ripple on the water all day. Caught nothing big, but I had a blast. All I used all day, was my 7 weight, and 1 fly, a white shrimp looking fly. I end up with 5 Reds, from 17″ to 25″, and 12 Trout, from 17″ to 22″. I had the hook pull out on two upper slot reds, and 4 big trout, and I lined a couple of tailers, oops. The most fun though, was sight fishing trout [...]

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Banana River Red

Florida Sportsman member: Ol’DirtyCaster

I was double booked today, sort of. My freind John came down from Ontario and I’d already made plans with Mr. Adam Sanderson, so all of us hit the water this morning at about 8am. We started seeing fish right off the bat and it wasn’t long before Adam hooked his very first redfish on fly tackle. The pictures are great, and just thought I’d share. It’s great to see an 11yr old that has no love for video games, and would rather spend time at the vise than in front of a TV.

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St. Lucie River to the Indian River

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

Heard about a fly fishing tournament out of The Back Country Fly shop in Vero, so I decided to pay the fifty bucks and have a go at it. Invited a friend to fish with me. So we got to the spot for lines in a 7:00 AM. Fished at the first spot way too long, about forty mins with no action, so I moved over to the spots I regularly see big fish, but have never thrown a fly to. We worked the Seawalls & docks really hard with poppers & clousers.

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St. Lucie River Dock Lights

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

New to this Forum and I wanted to start reporting my fly fishing adventures. I am a fishing guide in Stuart, Fl I took a client out Friday to some dock lights in Downtown Stuart. Waited until about 8 pm until the tide really started moving. We pulled up to the first light & the trout were jumping out of the water tearing up shrimp. After we posted up on the light, he put his first cast in. Bam! It gets picked up by a nice 19.5 inch trout [...]

 

 

 


Shad Running in the St. Johns River

Florida Sportsman Member duke6543brings an encouraging report to the Fly Catching Forum this week. The shad are indeed on the run in the St. Johns River, as anticipated in this month’s print edition of FS.

Here’s what duke6543 had to say:

“I got out of work at lunch and made a run to meet up with my fishing partner who has targeted the shad run a few times on the St. Johns river. I have only heard the stories of catching them on fly so I was pretty excited to finally get on the river. I have crossed the St. Johns several thousand times but never actually fished it. The weather was quite windy with a chill in the air.

“It didn’t take five minutes and Greg was hooked up to a nice striper that nailed the clouser minnow he was using. The second hit was a big shad. What a great show they put on. He had me schooled for the first two hours until I hooked up with a catfish that made me feel a little better. Once the ice was broken I finally hooked up with the target species. Then a few small crappies decided to hit my fly. So there were several first time catches for me.

“There were six species of fish caught in the four hour trip with a few really nice stripers coming boat side and a total of four shad caught with the largest being about two pounds. Great afternoon of fly fishing. Now I can’t wait to get back to the river.”

Click here for the thread.


One Fly Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Super D

FS Member Super D reported a great trip on the Fly Catching Forum this week. Launching from the SR 406 bridge in Titusville and fishing south on the Indian River, he caught 5 redfish and 12 trout… all on a 7-weight fly rod … and all on the same fly (a shrimpy-slidey-thingy some of us recognize as a Kwan fly). For the full thread, click here. Super D fishes a 15-foot Alumacraft tunnel boat.

 

 

 

 


Juvenile Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: jkayakfly

Gary from NH wanted to set out this weekend to try to catch his first ever tarpon. Mission accomplished with several landed and multiple grabs on fly. Take advantage of the mid to the last of the incoming tide to catch more than your fair share of tarpon and snook in the backwaters and canals [...]

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Catching in the Marquesas

Recent offshore fishing reports from the Florida Keys region.


Catching in the Marquesas

Florida Sportsman member: heavychevy15

Fished the Marquesas and got some decent fish out there this past weekend. We caught yellow tail, muttons, red snapper, some other bi-catch, and a handful of grouper (that all went back).

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Permit, Cobia and a Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: NauticalWheeler

The real surprise at this location was when I saw a small shark with interesting markings cruising around the boat. I thought it might resemble a tiger shark, but wasn’t sure. I threw out a live bait in haste and was only using 40 pound mono for a leader and was lucky to not get bitten off, but the hook was right in the corner of the mouth.

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Islamorada Wahoo and More

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We had about a 45 minute flurry with at least one wahoo on the whole time. We wound up catching 4 out of 8 and had as many as 3 wahoo fighting over baits at once just 20 feet behind the boat including a couple the skyrocketed about 8 feet out of the water chasing the baits.

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Shallow Water Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Jciulla

Here’s a few pics from this week in patch reefs from 18-22 feet. Lots of good action from mangroves, muttons and mackerel. It seems like the fish are starting to go back to hitting the cut bait more as well as the live shrimp.

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Catching Fish on the Drift

Florida Sportsman member: youngguns2

We wanted to fill the box so decided to fish all wire on the top and mid rods and immediately had a triple on sailfish on the first set up. With only two people on board and wire leader, you can imagine the chaos that ensued but we did manage to land one out of the three.

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Fishing the Patches

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We had a great day patch fishing today. Fishing the patches about a half mile inside the edge of the reef. The water was completely mudded over with the strong southwest wind we had last night. That and a moderate northeast current made for some great patch fishing conditions. We wound up with a few dozen nice yellowtail, some hogfish, porgies, and a half dozen muttons including some really nice ones.

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Mack Attack

Florida Sportsman member: piner_wahoo

Forum member piner_wahoo got into some nice fish offshore, fishing in his flats boat. Big kingfish and snapper should make for some excellent fillets and fish dip!

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Islamorada Deep Dropping

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

The kings made for some fast action and after catching our limit of them on cigar minnows just offshore of the reef. We then headed offshore and spent the rest of the day bottom dropping in depths from 400 to 800 feet deep. We wound up with an excellent catch of yellow eye snapper, vermillion snapper, queen snapper, tilefish, and a couple of beautiful yellow edge grouper up to 30 pounds.

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Keys Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

Along the way we set out a dolphin spread of four Billy Baits. Luckily I put out one that had some wire on it as it got slammed by a nice wahoo. Others suggested at hookup that it was just a skipjack tuna but this fish was pulling some serious drag and did not want to come in. Finally getting it closer Harry yelled from the upper helm that it was a good wahoo. Bingo!

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Duck Key Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

Albert takes the first drift. Only one angler drifts at a time. At a moderate distance back he gets a run-off and hook up which produced a nice mangrove snapper. My wife Tania and myself each took our turns having bites and landing fish also. I think Albert went 7 or 8 fish straight without a miss.

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Summerland Key Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Death From Above

The weather was still good so we went for it one more time. Picked up some nice dolphin on another weedline and then the big hoo shows up. Hit a blue and with Islander with a rigged ballyhoo. The bait was rigged with mono so it was a little tense until he hit the deck.

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Fun Weekend in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: Lori Jo Fishing

Cayden’s on the reel, gets him boat side and the phin goes crazy. Then the captain sees more phins and says get some more baits out. Me and Jeff hook up and we ended up catching all three.

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Tavernier Tuna and Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Found dolphin all afternoon and into the evening. Dolphin were on small current rips and slicks. Found a couple on small white birds. Fish were between 270 to 350 feet for me. They were in closer as well, but found the best action in that depth so I stuck with it.

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Tearin’ Up the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

In the morning I started jigging and was able to connect with a red grouper, a story that would repeat over and over about 20 times. On this trip the ged groupers seemed to like jigs slowly jigged near the bottom.

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Mixed Bag off Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: EarlyBird

We managed to hook three and land two 40 pound hoo’s. My guests then looked at me and says, “Capt let’s head on in because we can’t top this” and I happily took her on in. We ended the day with 7 wahoos, 40 mahi, 2 tripletail, and a dozen tunas.

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Day Timing off Duck Key

Florida Sportsman member: out of the blue

We were now 5 for 6 on the day and we deployed once more and as we were near the end of the drift, there was the unmistakable tap. We went to work, he felt heavy all the way up so we were thinking it was foul hooked or a shark.

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Slayin’ Them Solo

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Went solo today looking for a phins and maybe wahoo and the fish were hungry! The bull and the cow crashed the baits at the same time. Cow hit the wire leader and the bull smacked the mono. 20 minutes later put them over the rail, thankfully the seas were flat. Both ate blue and white islanders.

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Limiting Out

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

I started the usual chum slick to find the yellowtails eating right behind the motors. The guys took pictures and were excited to begin the catching, which they did just that, in a short time we had our limit and a mutton on the bottom to make the 50 snapper limit.

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Fishing on the Edge

Florida Sportsman member: ShallowSalt

Biggest score of the week was a 19.5 pound blackfin tuna caught on 20 pound spin gear while drifting. We began to see the big boys skying about a quarter mile behind the boat and eventually they worked their way close enough and took a drifting bait behind the boat.

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Islamorada Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

Based on what we saw, if you want a shot at a dolphin, you’re going to need to run a bit. I know some bigger dolphin were caught in close, but no real numbers. If you want blackfin tuna, both the 409 and Islamorada Hump were loaded with small fish.

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Catching in Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: Joepilot

Dolphin were abundant about 10 to 17 miles off Key Largo. The ocean was glass and no one around to compete with. The edge of the stream was clearly visible in these condition, which was really interesting to see so defined.

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Keys Swords

Florida Sportsman member: out of the blue

We went to work and after a short battle placed a 50 incher on the deck. My spell had been broken and it was my buddy’s turn, unfortunately we pulled the hook on the next bite and then we caught a big mako in 1700 feet of water, we let that one go as it was only 1130 am and no point on putting that on the deck.

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Pulley Ridge Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Xaf

Greg said we could go ahead and load our gear. So we lugged all the above mentioned gear from the truck to the boat. Then it was off to the Hogfish for a bowl of lobster bisque and an order of hogfish fingers. Soon the rest of the anglers for the trip started showing up and went through the ritual of loading their gear on the boat. Finally it was 8 pm and time to shove off.

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Dry Tortugas Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

We all agreed the next morning that none of us had ever seen such a long, hot bite of such consistently BIG yellowtails! Even Ed, who fishes for yellowtails a lot in the Bahamas, was having a hard time remembering such great action over in the islands.

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Little Torch Key Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: punchdog

It was getting to be early evening so we decided to troll back in and saw a frigate at about 600 feet. Followed him for a short while and a schoolie mahi hits a lure. As we are bringing him in 3 or 4 big mahi are following. Avery, who is 12, grabs a pitch rod, puts a pinfish on the big circle hook, tosses it out and hooks the 47 inch cow. About 20 minutes later, good gaff shot and it is in the boat.

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Deep Dropping and Dolphin off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We set up a drift, and put down some bonita chunks. First pull up 3 roses, we were ecstatic! We did two more drops with 3 rosies each time. Afterward we continued to troll and found a nice log in 650 feet. This was loaded with schoolies, most of them were right at 20 inches but we landed 5 that were 22 plus inches. Many were thrown back to get bigger.

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Dinosaur Dolphin off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: SeaCarrII

Around 12:30 pm, we came up on a frigate tracking fish from about 30 yards up, with bait splashing below. Followed him for a few minutes, and our two trolled ballyhoo got hit. About a 30 pound cow jumped and spit the hook, but this bull came aboard after a long fight. It hit a green skirted ballyhoo in 670 feet, about 17 or 18 miles out.

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First Phin in the Box

Florida Sportsman member: SonarSup

Looked for weed lines and birds and didn’t find any. A lot of sargasso patches but no distinct weed lines to troll up and down. I trolled around 5 knots when I hit the 330 foot mark my drag started screaming. About 5 minutes later my wife and I got the fish in the boat. 20 pound 40 inch first dolphin for my wife and I!

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Big Pine Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: AMPED

We went out to about 625 feet today, East of Big Pine Key & West of Sombrero Light. We caught some really nice phins (triple header), some peanuts which were tagged and released, average size wahoo, a black fin tuna, and some cudas. Left at 8am and was back by 3:00 pm.

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Mahi in Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: CatchDog

Forum member CatchDog has been on the dolphin off of Marathon. Catching many fish trolling naked and skirted ballyhoo between 630 and 750 feet. The big bull was taken on a blue and white islander.

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Tearing up Tavernier

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Reef bite has been ok when the current cooperates. Been having some fun catching and releasing Permit. Got to do some grouper fishing on Sunday May 4 for the first time in along while. First drop we took a nice black grouper for dinner!

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Gettin’ Jiggy in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

On Saturday we took out Greg, George, Eric, Jomal, and Lynn and released 32 amberjacks all between 30 and 75 pounds as well as a dozen almaco jacks and banded rudderfish. These guys are a group of vertical jiggers from Miami and loosely refer to themselves as the “Miami wrecking crew”.

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Lower Keys Cobes

Florida Sportsman member: Bill Welder

We kept the first 3 and released number 4 and passed on number 5. We could have taken more.They ate whatever we threw at them. My clients also kept about a dozen yellowtails between 18 to 20 inches. Sharks are thick. We leadered a large Bull shark after a 45 minute tug of war. Only saw 2 Sportfishers all day.

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Tavernier Slammers

Florida Sportsman member: youngguns2

Found a nice bucket with bait but no mahi, then came across a nice piece of bamboo with heavy mono tied to it with again lots of bait and a triple tail but no mahi. Kept running southwest till about 11:30 am when we spotted a hawk heading down on the water in 750 feet and it was chaos from then on. With only 3 guys on the boat, we got covered by 3 large slammers, hooked all 3 fish but ended up landing the bull and the smaller cow.

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Awesome Trip on the Yankee Capts

Florida Sportsman member: LitiGATOR

The mate gaffed the fish and a beautiful mutton hit the deck. I don’t know if Juozas had ever caught one before, but I believe it was his first on the Yankee. At 10-years old, on his first trip out here. That’s impressive. You couldn’t wipe the smile of his face.

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Lower Keys Reef Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Apnatic

Decided that was enough mutton meat for us so we headed in a little shallower to a wreck in 100 feet to get some tails. After sandballing for about 45 minutes we had as much as I could keep and give away to a few buddies.

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Little Bit of Everything Out of Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

The deep dropping has been spectacular when the conditions have been right for it. Mostly a mix of queen snapper and nice blueline tilefish with some snowy grouper mixed in. I think I’ve probably seen more queen snapper this winter than I have in years. The queens and bigger tiles have been in 600 to 800 feet of water while there have been yelloweye snapper, and some nice vermillions in the 400 feet depths.

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Staying in the Fish on the Yankee Captain

Florida Sportsman member: cameronsleep

Capt Greg motored us to a canyon with current. Golden tile fish, barrel fish and numerous other fishies appeared, then the highlight, queen snappers! I was lucky and nailed on of the largest of these beauties, almost as big as the one I caught last summer. What a climax to the trip! About eight or ten were landed, including one that came unhooked and was floating away. Greg got us to reel in and went on a recovery mission. You don’t abandon a beauty like that!

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Deep Dropping Off Cudjoe Key

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

We only had a few hours due to prior commitments but we ran out deep and rigged up while we figured out the drift. We made one pass over the structure, adjusted and quickly into the next pass it was game on. Jeff, with some help from Bugsy, got to work.

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Big Blackfins off Big Pine

Florida Sportsman member: piner_wahoo

Forum member piner_wahoo Caught some monster blackfin tuna on live bait in the lower keys recently. Some anglers can’t decide what is better, the fight of these awesome fish, or the filets!

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Going Gulf Side

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

Was a little bumpy on the south side when we left the dock, so I was glad that we were headed to the Gulf. Stopped by the airport marker to get some Pilchards for the live well, and they were there. After sabiking some up we headed for the Gulf. Sad to say that we didn’t find and Cobia, but conditions were awesome. Flat calm seas, clear skies.

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Down South Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: Bill Welder

Just looking for birds, we stumbled on a weed line that was clean on the north edge and ran for a couple miles on the edge of the Ups and Downs. We were in 575 feet at daylight and never saw another boat. Only a fool would troll that deep this time of the year for dolphin. Gentle breeze changed to the east and the bite was over. We were back by 11AM. Mark and I ended up with 8 dolphin to 24 pounds.

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Sails and Tails

Florida Sportsman member: SaltwaterSportswoman

The bait used today were goggle eyes. While drifting we fished the bottom rod and hooked up to some mutton snapper and small sharks. We also caught some yellowtail snapper on the patches. The first sailfish came up on one of the baits mid-day and had a successful release. The next sailfish came up on the long bait about 30 minutes later and unfortunately unhooked during the fight.

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Great Way To End The Year

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

Paul, the angler who caught it paid his dues big time for this one. He stayed out and got soaked for over an hour fighting this fish on 20# spinning tackle. With the rain pouring down and some pretty big waves breaking over the stern while we where backing down. I was afraid we might lose him overboard one time.

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Wintertime Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

My wife and I went to the reef yesterday morning on Christmas Eve. We went 1 for 3 on wahoo. Fish were eating in 190 feet of water. Caught on red/black on the down bait over dead ballyhoo, trolling 7 knots. Got the one we wanted!

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Big Pine Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: dihrd

Most of the fishing has happened from the protection of land. We have caught lots of small to keeper mangrove snapper, and grouper around bridges. Some of the best spots have been deep holes in channels where we have caught good numbers of muttons and red grouper with several keepers.

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Reef Fishing Off Key Largo

Florida Sportsman member: Gary M

The next time the bottom rod when off, I knew that I had a real fish. When I finally saw “pink”, I no doubt grinned as it was my favorite fish, a nice Mutton Snapper. I netted him and he measured out at 19 inches. The fish box instantly got a lot better looking!

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“Grouper Bombs” Off Tavernier 

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

The black grouper bite continues to produce for my clients who want to target them. Finding them between 60 to75 feet. Took A couple guys from Missouri last week in for a short reef “meat” trip. They made one request prior to the trip, catch a black grouper for dinner. Caught a mess of tails then switched over to dropping “grouper bombs”. Went 1 for 3 then headed in with a grouper for dinner.

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Putting A Legend On The Fish

Florida Sportsman member: CaptainGeoffrey

Today we had a real treat, Captain Tred Barta on the boat. We caught 15 tunas, handful of medium Mahi, and a sail!

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Tallying Up The Tile Fish Down South

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewel

Yesterday afternoon we targeted Wahoo without success. Today, with reports of slim pickings on pelagics offshore, light winds and little current we kept the trolling gear in the racks and opted to deep drop. 6 tilefish later we headed home after a successful ‘Plan B”, 27 inches being the biggest.

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Keys Offshore Producing

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Thursday I had another group of repeat clients from Denmark. Trolled for a little awhile but these guys like reef action more than chasing tunas and dolphin. Tails were chewing for them on Wednesday night. Seas were slick and we had good current. They were of pretty good size. Not spring time quality but still good looking fish.

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Upper Keys Flags

Florida Sportsman member: heavychevy15

The day started off really rough with a storm moving through. We tried to stay away but all it did was ruin the time we had to fish. We decided to run through it and get to some spots. We started chumming and here came the trigger fish. Once we were able to get past them we had the yellow tails coming over the sides. Finished with 17 tails and a few had some real good size to them. Made for a good dinner that night with friends visiting from Ocala.

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Big Keys Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Clients have had “grouper” fever of late, No muttons or yellowtails, just grouper. So we did the grouper thing again on Saturday morning. Had a couple from Iowa first time fishing in the Keys. The fish were beating them up but they stuck with it. Was going to switch them back to Yellowtail fishing when McKayla made one last drop for her “picture” fish. Heard her scream, thought something was wrong. She put the heat on this fish. Caught the fish in the middle of day. We put the fish in the box and went home.

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Snapper Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Miamimuttonman

Today I was out on the Yellowfin 42 again, with the girls. These girls are fishing fanatics they will fish all day long and want to reel in every fish that they hook big or small. We got to today’s spot and the current was running fast to the north, caught one yellowtail before a big yacht went right across the chum slick. We left for another spot 3 miles away in 68 feet, we anchored there and saw a small boat with two guys fishing about 200 feet on the east side of where we anchored. Instantly I knew when these girls got going and start catching fish the neighbors were not going to feel to good. It was a perfect day with the correct conditions, even though I would of preferred a little less current, and the fish started coming over the gunnel

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Mutton Spawn

Florida Sportsman member: Miamimuttonman

I was out today from south Key Largo, we headed to Tavernier, I put the yellowtails behind the boat in 65 feet and the current was so slow they would not eat. The barracudas however, would eat as soon as wee hooked a fish. My customer got a nice mutton on the bottom As I caught about 15 ballyhoo, then we were set for the mutton bite in deep water we headed north 10 miles or so and got to 150 feet deep in a spot marking good fish on the bottom so we anchored. after a few minutes, my customer hooks up with a nice black grouper that fought real nice, I pulled him in the boat, then began with the high fives and pics. After the celebrations were over back down we go with another ballyhoo and a good north current. He hooked up to a nice mutton next after pulliing him in his son hooks up and its another mutton. We got a hand full here and time ran out,but they where happy to get dinner for a couple of days….

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Tavernier Mutton Mania

FLorida Sportsman member: Miamimuttonman

We headed straight out to the deep as we had a load of goggle eyes and ballyhoo. We headed north and anchored in 140 feet, put down a bait using a 24 oz lead and it was barely holding as the current was ripping north. We put down another line on the other side with a 28 oz weight and ended up catching two muttons The current was getting stronger as time went by, we got out a 32 oz weight and it was just too much for these guys to feel the bottom while keeping the weight there, So I decided to go back south and hit 60 feet, for some yellowtails and bottom fishing there. We got to the spot and the yellowtails came close behind as I was chumming heavily. I put two guys on the bottom rods and as one of them started fishing for the yellow tails the fish pushed back and the muttons started to bite on the yellow tail rigs with a small hook and 12 lb test. The first mutton, just couldn’t be turned as he ran for the bottom, another 6 made it to the boat though, as Jeff put the pressure of the rods to work turning the head of the fish towards the boat as they all took some drag.We also released an undersized black and lost the usual fish to the rocky bottom, they had a great time and all took turns catching fish overall a great day on the water until next time tight lines


Lower Keys Tripletail

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this break in the weather pattern we’ve had since the end of May and taking advantage by staying primarily offshore. There have been dolphin everywhere each day from 300 feet. and on out to the wall. I haven’t seen too many larger fish, but some 15 to 20 pounders are still being caught with an occasional 35 plus being heard of. Lots of blackfins still scattered around as well [...]

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Tavernier Bull

Florida Sportsman member: COJE PEJE

My buddy and I cleared Tavernier Creek about 7:30 and headed out to find that the forecast was actually on point. We found a decent weed line in 400 feet of water and began trolling. We hooked up with a nice cow which we boated, and caught 2 more schoolies on the troll. At about 10:00 we got hit hard, and a huge bull jumped out of the water. Seconds later the cow takes the other bait and starts running, but soon after jumps shaking her head and spits the bait. After a 25 minute fight, we finally landed the bull which ended up weighing 44 pounds.

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Islamorada Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

I squeezed one more trip in yesterday before bringing the boat back to Lauderdale to prep for Bimini. Based on our recent trips I decided to focus on 650′ of water and see what we could find. We were rewarded almost immediately with a nice cow.

These fish were very finicky and we had to follow them for extended periods to get a strike. They were gorging themselves on flying fish and had tuna sized flocks of birds over them. We could shadow the fish at trolling speed and watch them lazily cruise by the boat. They’d turn on pitched baits but not hit and then casually swim from bait to bait in the spread. It was frustrating but at the same time very cool to watch the fish for an extended period of time. Finally after following one fish for nearly an hour (and having a “run & gun” boat give up ) we got the largest dolphin of the day to eat a pitched ballyhoo.

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Key Largo Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: Chewdog2121

Finally got the opportunity to get offshore and chase all these dolphin everyone is talking about. Water temps were 77-78 degrees and a solid SE Wind at 13 mph. Well, we had to work, but managed to put together a respectable haul. It was a bit sloppy, call it a solid 3-4 feet at times, some a bit more. We shot out to 900+ feet briefly, but ended up pushing back in to the 300-450 foot zone. At least there was broken live grass in this area and lots of terns. Anything past 500 feet was pretty desert-like, no grass, debris, and minimal bird activity out there. Once we came back in, we picked up the only frigate we saw all day, along with a tern working hard to the southeast. The flying fish were flying! We casted live bait into the activity and hooked up a nice 30-lb cow

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Mahi Off Cudjoe Key

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

We headed offshore and after talking to a few others on the radio, we decided to drop in and start trolling at 350 feet or so. Almost immediately we hooked and landed a schoolie that was about 25 inches. At about 450 feet the rigger popped and we had a much better fish, call it 38 inch fork length. We continued south through the ups and downs with reports of the occasional fish in the second 600 feet. Sure enough, a way back goes off and another 38-40 inch fork comes in. We continued to troll and on the way back in at 600 feet we hook up again and put another 40 inch fork Mahi in the box.

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Key Largo Grouper and Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: gtpvette

Finally got out yesterday and the wife and I had a really nice day! We ended up running in about 1PM as a couple of Storm clouds were moving in. We were in 120′ Grouper were really biting. Our one Red went the better part of 15l pounds. I Hated putting him back. Water was flat and clear.

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Lower Keys Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

After getting through the windy/rainy/lightning filled Friday I was excited for the “predicted” calm(er) Saturday. It of course wasn’t to be and with a small craft advisory hanging out we decided to give it a little time to lay down. We finally left the dock at 11 or so and got on the water. It was still pretty sloppy but calmed down a fair amount while we were out there. Very fishable, just had to drive carefully. The plan was to head offshore and get some people their first AJ’s. The fish were very cooperative and readily ate the jigs we presented.

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Offshore & Patch Reefs/strong>

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Have not venture offshore in awhile, but here is what I know. Bigger Tuna on the Islamorada Hump and the 409 Hump showed up. Phins are being caught on the southeast wind. Pick and choose your days. 300-600 feet. Guys got on them late yesterday, right place at the right time. Pick your sick days on the southeast wind. Few wahoo. We lost one yesterday on the edge in 130 feet on the tide change. Chewed through #7 wire. Fished 85 feet for Yellowtails yesterday, few fat flags, but the water temp. is hoovering around 73 degrees fahrenheit. Few sails cruising the edge. Kingfish bite was on with the cold.

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Lower Keys Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

The offshore bite is there, but not rock solid. Wahoo have been caught but not in any serious numbers. The tunas are out as well but it seems the most reliable bite is coming from live chumming early in the morning. I’ve been playing around with the early tarpon on light tackle that have been showing up and they’ve been pretty co-operative. As long as the wind is from the north it’s pretty nice out front. Here are some pictures of a baby goliath we got on the reef, a nighttime tarpon release, my good friend Capt. Joe and his recent wahoo catch, and a picture I like that I took of bahia honda today.

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Staying Busy in Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We’ve had some great fishing down here in Islamorada this week. Today we had a beautiful catch of mutton snapper and kingfish. The kings haven’t really shown up too good this winter, but today we had a nice bite of fish from snakes all the way up to 30 pounds. We also caught some really nice muttons. Both the kings and muttons were taken on live cigar minnows. If anyone wants to know where we caught them, all of the muttons were caught right in the corner of the mouth. There’s also been some really nice dolphin lately. This 46 pound bull was caught along with a 27 pound cow on friday in about 250 feet of water.

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Patch Reef Windy Day

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Got out this morning with Capt. Troy and Capt. Jason to do a little windy day patch reef fishing. Kept 2 Nice Muttons for dinner. Bite did not let up. Lost a few mystery fish. Good day.

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Muttons in the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: rwood

We caught a lot of muttons, blackfin tuna, red grouper, had a sailfish on the line, kingfish and more. Incredible trip. We left Key West at 7:30am and got to our first spot at 9am. First spot was good with a couple of muttons. We then moved to another spot that was solid action. At one point one of us was fighting a sailfish, another was fighting a blackfin tuna and the other was hauling in a mutton[...]

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Mutton Snapper off Tavernier

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Got a late afternoon start today so I only had a couple of hours to get some fishing in before the cold front pushed through, did not feel like chasing phins. Decided to stay in close & look for mutton snappers and groupers. Had one dead bonito for bait. At about 2:30 PM the fish fired up, caught two heavy lifters. After putting the second one in the box, it was time to go as it was starting to get ugly looking off towards the west, not to mention the Bonito meat was gone and the Cudas were thick around the boat. [...]

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Dolphin & Blackfin Off Tavernier

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Grabbed 3 conventional rods & 1 spinning rod today, no ballyhoo rigging. Just going fishing. Keeping it simple paid off today. Fish were chewing. Got to love the Southeast wind in December. We were working a weedline that had been picked through pretty good early in the day by other boats, spotted a lone frigate bird about 2 miles off the weed line, set the course, then hooked a tuna under the frigate then up came the dolphin. All the drags started screaming. Had a serious fire drill going on, but it was a hell of a lot of fun! The fish did not want to stick around the boat, so we stuck under the Frigate bird for another 2 fish then started to move back in, had enough fish. Caught 5 at 2:00 PM, that was a enough for us. [...]

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A Bit of Tavernier Patch Reef Action

Florida Sportsman member: Augie3000

Fished a patch in 15 feet, inside of little conch reef using shrimp and ballyhoo plugs. Caught a few short muttons around 10-12 inches, a red grouper about 1 inches, a couple keeper yellowtails and this pretty nice short black too. We only fished for a little over an hour at this spot and there was good action. I’m sure there were some keeper groupers down there we just didn’t find them. Water was very clear, light winds under 10 mph from the ENE , and almost flat calm with a tiny bump. Very light current.[...]

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Thanksgiving Dry Tortugas Trip

Florida Sportsman member: kilsong

My fishing report might be different from others because I concentrated on jigging on this trip testing/experimenting tackle as I own a tackle shop specializing in jigging and popping.

I am an addicted grouper jig fishermen and I knew I could catch many groupers on jigs on the trip.
But I really wanted to catch black grouper on jigs as I haven’t done it before. Also, I wanted to catch mutton snapper on jigs and figure out what kind jigs work best for them. But, the most important objective of this trip was to know whether jigging actually scare off mutton snapper as some mutton snapper bait fishermen claim [...]

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Patch Reef Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: TavernierGuy

Wind was gusting pretty good from the North early Friday. Did not want to mess around chasing Sailfish offshore as my guests just wanted to bend the rod & catch dinner. Set up in 90 feet, but sea sickness took its toll shortly after the hook was set. Went with Plan B and hit a couple of my favorite patch reefs and rockpiles in 15 feet to 20 feet of water that hold nice snappers in the winter [...]

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Fat Keys Muttons

Florida Sportsman member: flagfishing

Started of with a beautiful day with winds under 7 mph. Joined some friends for a day of bottom fishing with Captain Jack with Two Conchs Charters. He put us on a reef and we hit the mangroves and yellowtail snapper. Then we headed out to deeper waters for the big boys. We caught four fat mutton snapper to complete the day. Thanks Captain Jack for a great outing!

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Big Pine Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: fyrdriver

We headed out Saturday afternoon before the winds started on Sunday. My family got a couple hours of fishing in. Caught tons of smallish yellows, regardless of where we anchored. Can’t complain about the bite though, it was constant, just drop and reel up. Although the only notibles were a 19-inch mutton, 18-inch mango and a 24-inch grouper, we had a great time. And yes, my son outfished me again, he got the grouper all by himself [...]

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Dry Tortugas Fishing Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

It was going to be a mixed jigging trip and bait trip. We had planned what worked for us last year, no bait in the water until we finished jigging. It worked at the beginning but later on we seemed to have gone in our own individual plans to get the fish to bite. We all had mixed jigging and baits at the same time and it worked ok. Jigging didn’t impair fishing with bait and fishing with bait didn’t impair jigging. Dead bait worked better by switching to different baits as often as the bite slowed down [...]

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Big Pine Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: fyrdriver

My son and I went out to Big Pine reef area on the 30th for some yellowtailing. The forecast said 1 to 3 but really was 2 to 4 and wind chopped (they were way off with the wind forecast too). I aimed a little shallow because I wanted my son to catch lots of fish and have a good time, so we ended up in about 50 feet of water. Right now there are tons of ballyhoo in the area, so when we started chumming they were everywhere [...]

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Daytime Swords off Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

We’ve had some great fishing down here in Islamorada especially this past weekend. On thursday the 20th we started the weekend out with a swordfish trip and had a great day bringing 2 swordfish back to the dock. The current was ripping out in the deep, but the bite was on with 3 bites on 3 drops [...]

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Lower Keys Reef Trip

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

Headed out for a brief trip to the reef Saturday after finding a break in the weather. Did some bottom fishing and found the usual snapper/grouper suspects willing to cooperate. My buddy Jack who was yellowtailing on straight 10lb got a solid hit from a mystery fish. We all suspected it was a yellowtail that had gotten cuda’d but we hadn’t seen any tell tale cuda’ signs yet. Once we finally saw the fish as it shot to the surface we were all pretty surprised to see a cobia.

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Groupers and Muttons off Key West

Florida Sportsman member: snappersnatcher

Hey guys! Fishing started with a 7 hour ride, way west. We dropped our first baits and it was on, bites right away. I thought for sure it was on, but I thought to soon, the bite shut off for a little bit and then sharks started to turn on. After some sharks, we made a move and we started to pluck some more muttons. The trip wasn’t on fire but if you put in time on the rail you managed to do well. Goggle eyes were working well, as well as ballyhoo [...]

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Keys Offshore Smorgasbord

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

For those of you that have read my reports you know it’s usually dolphin, dolphin, and the occasional dolphin. This one will be a little different. We fished Friday and Saturday and here’s what we found.

We spent most of our time between 350′ and 750′ (10 mile to 16 miles) and conditions were similar over that entire spread. The dominant theme is birds and tunas, LOTS of birds and tuna [...]

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Big Sword out of Islamorada

Florida Sportsman member: syxx

Well everything seemed to settle down after the minimal tropical storm we encountered last week. The weather has been been very good, with moderate to light winds in the 5 to 12 knot range for the most part. The mahi bite has still been fair the past few days. If you find the right piece of debris (which holds bait and keeps the mahi around), your day can be made, which happened on the Catch 22 a few days ago. They found a piece of bamboo and caught 50 mahi off it to 12 pounds!

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Labor Day Weekend in Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: gatormonroe

We were down for the long weekend and decided to try fishing three different ways on the three different days.

Saturday was a little choppy for my son, so we started off on a patch reef. We caught quite a few small snapper and grouper and kept a decent mangrove and a couple of grunts. Before you laugh, try it. Grunt is excellent. There just isn’t much meat on them.

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Key Colony Flag Yellowtails

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today, I was out of Key Colony, with a family that wanted to fish for yellowtails. They rented a house there and didn’t know the area well, so we started by going to a spot where I’ve caught many tails and some bait with a previous customer with his family. I moved around and anchored near and all we caught where some bonitos, so we moved on and tried a few more spots [...]

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Trolling off the Islamorada Humps

Florida Sportsman member: Mako my Day

Made a trip offshore from Tavernier creek today, stopped at the Islamorada hump and trolled up a few Tuna, then headed out to look for the elusive Mahi Mahi. We managed to find a huge school of peanuts, but no keepers. The wind picked up a bit for the ride in this afternoon, made a couple of quick drifts for grouper, but no takers. All of the out of towners caught a fish, and came home with smiles, so a good day, topped off with a plateful of seared tuna and a cold cerveza [...]

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Blackfin off the 409 Humps

Florida Sportsman member: expedition

Late post , we were actually down on the humps last weekend on the 12th, what a great day we had, got 9 nice blackfin tuna. Never even saw a dolphin or any sign, lots of birds and tuna schools on the way to the humps but we could not get them to eat, we tried several schools [...]

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Tavernier Bottom Report

Florida Sportsman member: miamimutton

Today’s trip was out of Tavernier, The ocean was nice with smooth conditions, we ran out to 70 feet and the current was slow to the north, the fish did not want to show very much, I started with a demo and got one tail but, the bite was too slow and far so we moved on to another spot in 82 feet and I noticed a commercial boat near by he was a friend of mine [...]

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Marathon Patch Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: captdallas2

With all the lobster and spear fishing reports I just had to add that you can actually catch fish hook and line in the Florida Keys. With a weak current up the anchor line, the ‘tails developed lock jaw after a couple were boated so we shifted to patch fishing. The Mangrove was about 25 inches and the Red grouper 22 inches. The mutton was just legal, but Tom seemed pretty happy to invite it home for dinner.

 

We lobstered Monday and Tuesday. A bit rough for my boat to do much else but we did get some nice snapper with some help from CaptDallas2. Then bit a little Sunday afternoon [...]

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Full Moon Snapper Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Trollaltdelete

The plan was to do some spearfishing and then hit the reef for full moon snapper fishing. On the way out back we dropped the pinfish traps and then since we had a youngin on board, we hit some shallow water for some hog hunting. We saw lots of them, but only small ones. I did see one big one in the deeper water, but I was out of air when he appeared and he was not sticking around [...]

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Lower Keys Bull Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: fyrdriver

Kinda’ new to the forums, but I decided to post our report from yesterday. Trolling off Big Pine we found some nice weed patches and birds in about 600 feet, but only got a couple throw back dolphin early. At about 11:00 we hooked up with this bull in about 550 feet in some scattered weed. He made a few hard runs but in about 10 to 15 minutes we were able to gaff him!

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Key Largo Blue Marlin

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

Went out with Capt. Geoffrey Campbell on the Sweetwater. Headed out to 600 feet but didn’t see much action. Decided to go back to 400 feet where we saw a nice weed line. As soon as we get there we see a big splash, looked like a marlin, but not 100 percent. We had a chin weighted ballyhoo back deep on a 20 pound outfit, she hits hit twice and lets go, but on the third time she’s hooked. Took two and a half hours to get her boatside for pics and release [...]

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Marathon Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today we went out of the Channel Five Bridge and headed south. My customer said he wanted big fish, he didn’t want quantity he wanted quality, so I changed my original plan since he was with his kids. I was going to get them in an easy catching frenzy of tails, so I changed to a flag spot in deep water where the bottom holds unstoppable groupers [...]

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Family Fishing in the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

Hi, last week took the family out for a short trip with Captain Geoffrey on the Sweetwater. We only fished for 2 hours (storms were coming) but had non-stop snapper action and great conditions. Kids had a blast!

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Dry Tortugas Grouper Diggin’

Florida Sportsman member: Yellowtail 23

Been trying to post our trip for a couple of days now. I think I broke the code on posting pics. We’ll see in a few lines. After a ton of planning and prep, we finally set a date for our trip to the Tortugas. Crew consisted of myself, son-in-law Matt and a former Chief of his in the USCG, also named Matt. We’ll call him Chief for the remainder of the post. Chief just got back to the keys from the panhandle and brought his beautiful new toy, a 27′ Walk around Grady! [...]

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Miami Mutton Marathon Vacation

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

I’ve been on vacation, doing what I like best, fishing with family and friends. We went out after all the storms and fished for mangroves at night and got our limit of 20 in 1 hour and ran in quickly with another storm coming. We took the nephews and cousins the next morning, went out and got 25 yellowtails. These fish where flags [...]

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Dry Tortugas Fishing Bonanza

Florida Sportsman member: bassjedi

Headed down to Key West on June 24 ready to do some fishing. I had never been there before and was excited to get some new species. Unfortunately the weather was not cooperating and I had to sit at the dock June 25, 26, and 27. Finally on the 28th I was able to get out and fish. I hopped on the Allison Jane out of Key West with Captain Steve Sanchez. Captain Steve has been fishing there his whole life and it showed [...]

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Key West Offshore/Nearshore

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

In general, as we got closer to the full moon…the bite got tougher. Last Friday there were tuna all over the place, but it was tough to get in front of them and get them to bite. Finally did and got a double on the skippies on a Rattle Jet in the way back position and on a ballyhoo/skirt combo in close. Dolphin were tough too, ate the blue Rattle Jet mid spread [...]

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Nice Bull off Summerland

Florida Sportsman member: Death From Above

Ran out to the wall looking for dolphin and tuna. The dolphin have been scattered but we manged this one around 5 miles past the wall under a couple of birds. Hit a rigged ballyhoo on a blue and white Island lure. We had a big Boone bird teaser out and that may have helped him find the bigger bait. Found the tuna schools right at the wall and caught them till our arms hurt. Purple and black were the hot colors for the tuna.

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Yankee Capt’s Fishing Fun

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

At the last minute I decided to jump on the 2 day Yankee Capts trip. I did not have much time to go out and catch bait on my own but I did look for Gogs but couldn’t find them so I loaded with white bait, small runners, and dork jacks. Nilson (rare) one of my fishing buddies gave me some more bait including some pinfish and so I went on my way to the Keys [...]

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Lower Keys Offshore Report

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

Been taking advantage of this nice weather as of late and have fished both offshore and the reef. The offshore bite has been kind of sporadic dolphin wise, where it seems to be if you find ‘em you’ll kill ‘em but if you don’t, you don’t. The skipjacks have been large and in good numbers right on and near the wall itself. 9 out of 10 pieces of debris I’ve found have been empty, but that 1 has been holding dolphin and tripletail. The reef is real hot right now, both shallow and deep. Tight lines.

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Dry Tortugas with Capt. Yuri

Florida Sportsman member: Fingerling

Hi all, new to the forum so here goes. Also, sorry for the late report. Headed down to the keys on Thu 6/14 for our annual Dry Tortugas pilgrimage with the famous Capt Yuri. Our group of John, Gil, Bob, Dean and myself (Frank) have gone on many trips with Yuri (this one made 9 for me) and we always have a great time. This year, Yuris’ nephew Chris joined us since he was down visiting for a few months. What a great kid and pretty good fisherman too, must run in the genes [...]

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Offshore of Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: chompchomp

It’s Saturday morning, and the same old story’s really getting old. Small craft advisory yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. Yesterday we fished really hard only to boat three mahi. Found the first one under some birds just beyond the reef and thought it might be one of those days when we find the fish inside, but we ended up having to run 23 miles out to find birds.

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KW Offshore Grad Gift

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

I had the opportunity to run offshore with a father/daughter team to go catch dolphin on Dream Catchers 32′ Yellowfin Wednesday and had a blast! The trip was originally scheduled to go on Tuesday, but Capt Steve and I discussed it and decided if the pair could fish Wend it would be much better. Fortunately, their schedule allowed for the shift and it was set [...]

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Offshore of Marathon

Florida Sportsman member: chompchomp

We arrived on Saturday and will be here for two weeks. Considering the long-range forecast deteriorating from bad to worse, we decided to take a beating on Sunday. It’s hard to fish when you can’t stand up in the boat, but we trudged out toward the Hump, looking for signs along the way. Ten miles off, we found birds and practiced for awhile on short schoolies before moving deeper. In 650, we found a decent weedline that held a big red plastic water tank. We trolled by and a nice bull immediately slammed a skirted hoo. Though our gaff broke on the first attempt, we pulled out the backup and put the 25 pounder on ice [...]

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Yankee Capts Trip Report

Florida Sportsman member: cudaman

The morning started slowly for me, one pink muffing and since I saw Bobby hooked on an AJ I took out my toys to do some jigging and had some fun with a 50 pounder AJ that was released. What a pain they are to fight but I love it [...]

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Lower Keys Dolphin

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

The dolphin have definitely been around this past week. I’ve seen the majority of the fish in the 350-450 foot range on scattered weeds, with the tell being small birds hovering over the fish. The average size has been smaller, around 18-25 inches, but there are still plenty of keepers to be picked out. We were able to catch as many as we wanted, and whenever they’d get finicky I’d throw a plastic swimbait out and they’d get fired right back up again.

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Little Torch Mutton

Florida Sportsman member: captdallas2

Just had to post Elijah with his first mutton snapper. The current was a little off for the tails. Only put a couple in the box before the ceros and rainbow runners took over. We caught the mutton on in the channel scouting spots. Fun little half day showing them around.

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Hogs on Hooks

Florida Sportsman member: Reel Tease

Went down to the keys before the weekend started to get on some hogfish action. The day was rainy, with some bad weather rolling in early in the morning. The wind and current were not our friends that day. They were totally opposite and everyone knows how much of a pain that can be. Anyways we managed to pull up a few Hogs and some nice sized mangroves. The day wasn’t the best, but was able to spend some time out with my dad and some friends [...]

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Yankee Capts Charter

Florida Sportsman member: bite my bait

We got to the mothership at 8:45 a.m., and began the process of unloading the suv and U-Haul. Then the clock hit 12 and then 12:15 and still we didn’t leave. Greg has always been punctual on departure time, anyways we had a few late birds show up at 12:30 and if me and my boys didn’t help them unload we would have been at the dock till 3 p.m. Anyways we leave at 1 p.m. and we heard that we were going for a long ride, we started fishing at 6:30 p.m. [...]

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Lower Keys Offshore and Reef Report

Florida Sportsman member: swordslayer71

I’ve been fishing a pretty even split of offshore and reef recently, and both have been producing pretty well. The dolphin are definitely “here” now, and we’ve been finding them from as shallow as 50ft(chasing bait onto the reef), and out to 650 ft. with consistency. The last few days the ticket was a color change in 450 feet that was very strong and full of weed/birds just due south of Looe Key [...]

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Marathon Offshore- Sailfish and Nice Mahi

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

My luck changed for the better this past Saturday with folks from Boca Raton, the Rotenbergs and their friend David. We worked out from KCB in a Southeast direction staying mostly in the 450-650′ range. We had a nice surprise of a sailfish that came in open ocean with the fish taking a lure without ballyhoo. Billy Bait Super Magnum in dolphin colors. Never caught a sail before on just a lure [...]

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Memorial Weekend in the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: mtbrider85

I have fished in Key West growing up my whole life and never made the trip out to Dry Tourtugas. So a few friends and coworkers of mine decided to plan a trip out for the holiday weekend. We left friday morning after loading up on bait, fuel, and ice. Stoped at the Sub wreck, caught a alamaco jack, and a large, what I thought was, a big grunt…but was informed it was a margate. It was the first I’ve ever caught. After that we went onto the reef to try spearfishing and load up on some live ballyhoo [...]

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Port Largo Tails

Florida Sportsman member: miami mutton

Today I went out with Carl for the 3rd time and Jeff and Tyler for the second time. We left port largo at 7 Am picked up some pin fish traps and didn’t get many, so we went out to 55 feet anchored up and the current was going south and slow, Ocean was 1 foot and water was cloudy.

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Old Friends Fish the Keys

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

We planned the reunion of friends from the late 1970′s and early 1980′s who lived in the mountains of Colorado. We were all fishing and hunting buddies from Summit County, Colorado. This is the ski country region 75 miles west of Denver- Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain. Life has taken us all different directions and careers [...]

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Keys Dolphin Report

Florida Sportsman member: CaptBill

My good friend DogDoc(Bert) and I left at noon and found a weedline in 700. Nothing active until we found a little debris and I started chunking ballyhoo while Bert jigged. He has been able to bring a school up from the depths in the past. After 10 minutes the school could be seen and we boated several schoolies on pitch bait and lures.

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Fishing the Humps

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

TeamTeke had the pleasure of fishing with Dan Bloomquist and his lady friend Evamarie Buskirk from Kalkaska, MI. today on a deep offshore trip to the Marathon Hump. We got an early start and were blessed with calm seas but heavy overcast skies all day. Rain threatened throughout the day but we only had a short sprinkle in early afternoon. The air was heavy and the humidity high [...]

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Key West Dolphin!

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

After taking a little trip, to New York, to take “Roll Tide” back to her homeport on Long Island I needed a fishing fix. We had planned to stop in the Bahamas for some fishing along the way, but mother nature kept the winds up…so outside of hand-lining some Trout, Lookdowns, Ladyfish and Stingrays in various Marinas…there was no fishing included in over 1,000 miles of water.

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Yuri Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Spoonman

When you have a Yuri trip booked it is hard to sleep the week before, at least for me. Particularly because the weather the week before was 4 to 6 foot seas and 15 to 20 knot winds which is hard fishing and not very comfortable. The seas the whole trip was 1 foot or less as you can see in the picture of Al with one of his Kingfish. Three of the six parties on this trip went down early on the 6th in the hopes of securing bait. Glenn unfortunately was hit broad side and his car was disable which put a wrench in the bait situation.

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Big Pine Key Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Gamekilla

Left the house around 8 a.m. and headed out to about 150 feet and got our troll on, nothing until about 550 where we spot a white crab trap buoy. At about half mile we head that way to check it out and it is attached to what looks like a small parachute….needless to say SCORE! We notice a big triple tail on it. The area is full of dolphin but they are small…so we catch about 10 to 15 letting them all go except the couple that were not fortunate with an easy release [...]

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A Nice Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

If it was possible to anchor there, I would. We didn’t catch a fish outside of 500′ all week and very few inside of 300′. Today most of the boats went further offshore because the weather allowed it. I heard very few positive reports on the radio. Don’t give in to the temptation to run “far”[...]

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Islamorada Grouper Opener

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

After getting blown and rained out the last few days of April and Tuesday, we finally managed to get out there on Wednesday and today. The grouper season started out very good for us with limit catches of blacks and gags the first two days so far. A few of the wrecks have been an instant bite as soon as you hit bottom and they’ve been biting on the edge of the reef as well [...]

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Wind, Waves and a Few Fish

Florida Sportsman member: INTREPID377

Yesterday was good because the winds DROPPED to only 20 to 25 knots. We were limited in the number of lines we could troll and trolling into the seas wasn’t a good idea. We made it out as far as 425′ but found more action in close around 300′. At about 12 miles out we noticed a nearly one degree jump in water temperature. Not sure if the stream could be in that close (doubt it) but there was an edge there for sure [...]

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Loaded up in the Tortugas

Florida Sportsman member: duke6543

This trip was booked when we got off the boat last year so there were 360 days of anticipation for this trip. The six of us met at the boat on Stock Island and made a quick trip to Duval Street for a couple cold ones and then back to the Hog Fish Grill for a good stuffing before we loaded the boat with everything we would needed for the next four days, beer, food, tackle and more beer [...]

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Mixed Bag Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: NauticalWheeler

A bit breezy for offshore (for us anyway), so we went exploring to the Marquesas and played with snappers and jacks in a couple of the channels. On the way back played with some more jacks, snappers, etc. in the channels draining the Lakes Passage. The best fish of the day was this mutton my wife caught in one of the channels. She has some mutton magic going on…she has caught several good ones over the past couple of years. She caught another nice one in the NW Channel a few days ago.

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Lots of Tuna, Mahi, and Big Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member: TeamTeke

Fished this past Monday with Matt & Jennifer Ruff from North Carolina. They wanted a Hump trip and the weather was a question mark up until the morning of the trip. Winds had been 20 knots but luckily it calmed down on Monday morning.

We got an early start at 7am leaving from Capt. Hook’s Marina at Vaca Cut. It was somewhat bumpy but we averaged about 22 knots on the ride out. When we got to the Hump it was a pleasure to see that I was the first boat out there. Arriving early or staying late is what you want to do to find the tuna active and on top.

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Reef/Bar Success

Florida Sportsman member: NauticalWheeler

First day on the water in KW this year. Beautiful day…seas flat. Went out a little past Western Dry Rocks looking for yellowtail. Scouted around the reef and bar, and didn’t mark any fish…at least no obvious schools. Meanwhile, saw some nice weed lines, with fish busting… false albacore/bonito and ceros mainly. We chased those around for a while and caught this nice cero probably at least 5 lb and a nice flag yellowtail under the weeds on a spoon near the surface [...]

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Key West Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

I’ve been out fishing the last few days and took the day off today to get some rest and get caught up on paperwork as well as other misc “stuff”.

On Thursday, I was out fishing with the Adler family aboard their 45′ Silverton (Eagle VI). We had the grandkids aboard and needed to put them on some fish before they headed home on Friday. It was blowing a little more than the kids were prepared for, so I took the safe route and took them to the North West Channel for some assured catching in calm waters.

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Keys Swordfish Impresses

Captain Kenny Spaulding, Angler Mike McIntyre

This 520-pound swordfish was caught last week on the Caribsea out of Islamorada with Captain Kenny Spaulding. The 2-hour battle waged in 1,000 feet of water, but angler Mike McIntyre, of Ft. Myers, was finally victorious. The fish was officially weighed at Bud ‘N’ Mary’s Marina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Reef and Luck

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

Vicky is down from VA visiting so we did offshore trolling the other day, trying to get her hooked up with Mahi and got skunked. The next day was diving for lobster. She found lots out there but most were shorts! Then a day of diving on Looe Key which is a can’t miss proposition. We were one for three and today was the day for reef fishing [...]

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Key West Tourney Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

“I guess the easiest thing to do is post some “Fish Porn” so that everyone can see the variety that was caught over the weekend during the Tourney. Keep in mind that “lines-in” was at 8:30 am each day and “lines-out was at 3:00.”

Full results are posted on the Key West Fishing Tournament Homepage.

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Quick Gulf Side Report

Florida Sportsman member: Got TA Go

Over in General…I said that I was fishing today no matter what. Seas were good, scattered rain, Strong tides (full moon), green water, not too bad and cool…Fished just West/Southwest of Smith Shoal. Caught Cobia, Grouper, Mangrove/Yellowtail Snapper, Grouper (all Reds) and various Jacks and Bluefish [...]

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Another Slammer!

Florida Sportsman member: urbanRenewal

Well, I must be living right or something ! For the second time in three days we’ve put a big Mahi in the boat. Two days ago it was with Dave on his boat in 275 feet off American Shoal. Today Susan and I took advantage of the great weather to head back offshore on our boat and hooked up in 575 feet just on the outside edge of the ups and down. Just like 3 days ago, it was the only hit we had all day [...]

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Islamorada Slammer Dolphin and Wahoo

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Easy

Fishing has been pretty good down here in Islamorada lately. This report is a few days old, but we had Pat and the boys from South Dakota out for 2 days late last week and managed to show them a great time. On day 1 we started out catching kingfish just off the edge of the reef on live cigar minnows which made for some fast action. After warming the guys up with our limit of kings and a nice blackfin tuna I decided to hit some of the deeper wrecks in the 200 foot range and put a few nice mutton snapper in the box [...]

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Marquesas Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: Deep Penetration

Thursday night I go through the regular routine of readying all the tackle, boat, food, and miscellaneous items. All the while, in the back of my mind, I’m constantly thinking to myself if the trailer is ready for the 160 miles to KW and if boat engines are up to the 35 miles to Tail End. Luckily, a few trips out of Miami in recent weeks had given me a little sense of security. Friday morning 3 am and we’re loaded and on our way down.

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Dolphin and Wahoo!

Florida Sportsman member: Hooked Up Key West

Had a trip yesterday and today and went trolling for both to try and get some nice fish. Yesterday we managed to get some nice schoolies and lost a wahoo. Today we went two for three on wahoo. The weather was really nice both days. Scattered weeds around and the dolphin were under birds. All fish caught on Ballyhoo.

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Working the Docks

Recent inshore fishing reports from the Big Bend region.


Working the Docks

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

Switched to the smoke/gold halo color and was slowly swimming my lure near the bottom in the front of a dock, it got blasted. Set the hook on a solid fish. Got it away from the dock. After a nice aerial display and some good runs, Pat got her in the net. She measured 28 inches.

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Crystal River Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

Hammerhead Ted and I got out there early to catch the outgoing tide. Ted is the king of topwater snookin and he hooked a giant one on his 3rd or 4th cast. He fought it for a long time but it scraped his 40 pound leader up and broke off.

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Fun with Friends

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

A great day on the water with a couple excellent fisherman and lots of laughs. Almost all fish came on top water and a Redfish Magic type lure. We’ll definitely do this again.

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Big Bend Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Forum members ripnlips and Swampthing07 got into a nice mixed bag of fish from triple tail to black drum. Swampthing07 wife Kayla got in on the action too.

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Successful Scouting

Florida Sportsman member: CarneLoco

We saw some big tails pop up in about 3 foot of water. Have heard of big black drum in these areas, but had no live crabs. Could have swore a few were reds mixed in. After many very good casts from both of us, Libby had a monster on. 15 minutes and a few laps around the bout she had her first black drum landed.

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Big Bend, Big Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Jim311

I pushed in further into the creek. I spooked one nice red which I didn’t even see until he’d spooked. Then I hooked up again, and again it was another super hard fight. This fish was bigger though, over 32 inches. It had a head on it the size of a football, a real stud fish.

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Crystal River Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

We caught fish everywhere we went including some places that haven’t produced the last couple years. Robbie got 4 lower slot and under slot reds and several jacks. I missed a big snook early, but disappointment didn’t last too long when i got a 31 inch snook at the next place.

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Sheepshead, Snook and Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Sheepshead Snapper and Snook have been the targeted species lately. Seems like the sheeps are finally spawning out on the rocks reefs and ledges just offshore. They are willing to bite if you get good enough weather to get out there. When the weather gets bad we have been getting snapper and snook in the river. Live shrimp has been the bait of choice.

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Big Bend Bruisers

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

We hit the first spot, the water was clear and they were schooled up. Watched a school of over slots swim down the bank. Then got to watch the whole school fight over my fluke, simply awesome to watch.

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Homosassa Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: floridafan

Pulled in about 60 mostly undersized reds but managed 4 keepers between 20 to 24 inches. We each had a run 10 fish in 10 casts for me and 11 fish in 11 casts for my son, both at the same time! 21 fish in less than 10 minutes!

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Crystal River Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Sheepshead are starting to show up in their normal wintertime spots. We’re still getting a by-catch of gag grouper too. All on 8 pound braid and live shrimp.

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Afternoon Redfish Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

Once the tide came in enough we headed out front to fish the outer bars. Was slow for an hour or so but the last hour and a half of daylight they turned on. Had a couple of doubles then switched out to topwater and got a few good ones on top.

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Catching the Bulls

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

Well Jacobs first blind cast was inhaled by a 20 pound stud. I was thinking this is a good way to start. Jacob, my youngest son, and I were on one boat and moved out to another cut to the gulf. Took a while for another bite and I finally got on the board with another 25 pounder on topwater.

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December Inshore Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

My son Jeremy came home for Christmas so we went out and fished for a few hours for trout around some creeks. Caught our limit of trout and released about 20 more by 11:30. Also caught these on jig and DOA Cals and some with live shrimp on a jig.

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Nice Weather, Hungry Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

As I get within casting distance I see a pack of about 5 reds milling around so I post up and tell the boys to throw up there. Jacobs cast was right in the middle of them and he hooks up instantly.

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Hiding From the Wind, Catching the Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

Moving to some areas that were sheltered from the wind we caught jacks, more ladyfish than we cared to, mangroves with some keepers in the bunch, a red, and lots of snook. We managed to put twelve snook in the boat losing more than that before touching the leader.

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Catching with the Kids

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

We headed to the first spot and started throwing topwater over some oyster bars. Got one 25 inch red and a stud trout right off the bat. Pulled the hooks on two over slot reds and had several misses before making a move. I then jumped up on the platform and turned the front of the boat over to the boys.

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Birthday Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew

We chased huge schools of mullet picking off reds here and there, Jen even hooked a nice flounder. After high tide we went to a bar to try our luck with black drum. Saw a few huge ones that didn’t seem to mind us being right on top of them, but the jacks were so thick it was hard to keep a lure in the water.

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Catching in the Transition

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

For the past few weeks we have been seeing fish transition from Summer patterns to Fall patterns and this means that they are in the mood to eat. Now is the time to get out on the water and take advantage of it.

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Seeing Red

Florida Sportsman member: G8trbait

Then the girls got a double hook up. It must have been a small school that swam by because they were hooked up back to back! April’s was a keeper, but Sophie’s had to grow up a little. It was legal, but we could afford to be picky and I don’t usually keep them unless they’re over 20 inches.

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Big Bend Redfish Action

Florida Sportsman member: cthurow

Drew’s first cast with his Zara Spook and boom, fish on! Nice drag screamer. I already had a piece of lady fish rig on a larger rod so I went ahead and threw it out while Drew played his fish. As soon as I netted Drew’s 26 inch red, he yells, Dad that rod is bowed to the water!

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Suwannee River Tripletail and More

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

As we trolling motor up to the first pole, a 10 pounder sky rockets 6 feet in the air about 75 yards out in the open. First time I have seen one free jump. My brother makes a cast at the pole and hooks up instantly. The fish gave two amazing jumps and spits the hook.

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Crystal River Fishing and Fun

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Forum member ripnlips and friends had a great weekend, catching a slew of fish. They also loaded on scallops, making for a nice meal!

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Waccasassa Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

About the time the tides were getting right the heat was kicking into gear. After a couple of decent Reds a storm started brewing up towards Cedar Key so it was time to cut it short.

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Tearing Up the Tripletails

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

The chop made it a slow boat ride out but busted one on the very first pole. The fishing was hard due to waves coming over the bow and only being able to see down 3 to 4 inches but we made the most of it and put 5 in the box and called it after about 4 hours.

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Big Bend Slam

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

All the fish were caught on artificial and I believe we didn’t get any on topwater. The snook was about 31 inches, the red is dinner, and the trout is back in the water. I have a place that you can almost always catch a trout even in this heat so we went there so Duane could try to get his slam. Duane came through with a Mirrodine.

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Horseshoe Beach Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: florida_dorksman

The thunder cloud may have saved the day, because the first creek we hit had more activity than I have seen out of there in almost a year. A steady stream of live shrimp kept the bite on fire, and within an hour and a half we had 4 redfish to 28 1/2 inches, an 18 inch sheepshead and a 24 inch black drum.

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Waccasassa Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

So after the skies cleared up we were able to get up to where we wanted to fish. Strong tide and the breeze made for some tough fishing at first but we stuck with it and hit some quality fish. Five reds from 16 to 34 inches with two right at 27 inches that went home for dinner.

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Yankeetown Black Drum

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

Forum member Biggary16 got into some nice black drum! Only fishing for a few hours he caught 6 “big uglies” and a nice flounder. Tight work!

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Big Bend Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Snook Spanker

These fish weren’t just slobs, they were smart slobs just like all the big snook I’ve encountered. In fact the first 6 or 7 I hooked were on topwater lures and either threw the hooks, ran me into and around rocks and snags or had me on so long they wore through the 50 pound leader!

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Wrecking the Reds

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

Brandon and I had the best day of our life inshore fishing for Reds. We caught Reds up to 32 inches and 13 Reds overall on the outgoing tide, all reds and trout were caught on soft plastic paddle tail on a jig. The big fish came first then as the tide was bottoming out came the four 26 and 27 slots for the cooler.

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Tarpon and Scallops in the Big Bend

Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew

Started off the day at my honey hole. Caught several jacks and runners. Then Jen hooked a nice little Tarpon that burned off lots of line and gave us several great jumps for the camera. Later we headed out for scallops and quickly got out limit.

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Yankeetown Slam

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

5 minutes after we came off plane I get a little 16 inch red on a topwater plug to start the day off. My step brother threw right behind me and picked up another one about the same size. It was starting out as a promising morning. Just around the corner I threw into a spot I knew I was gonna hook up with a fish. I didn’t expect a 27 inch red to go into the box.

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Big Bend Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

My brother said he was tired of catching jack so he declined to throw into the madness. I got hit three times before getting buttoned up. This was a better class of fish. Thought it was one of the 12 to 15 pound jacks but after a good battle a 10 pound permit pops up next to the boat.

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Crystal River Opening Day

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

If I was to guess how many boats we saw out of Crystal River I would say maybe 1000. Even with all of the crowds we still got a boat limit of scallops in a decent amount of time. We had time today to even get some fishing done.

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Scouting the Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

After seeing the scallops we decide to see if the fish were biting. Jeremy got a quick slam and I got a decent snook. Jacks seem to be everywhere as always. Everything was caught on the same bait, DOA Cal shad tail on a jig.

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Big Bend Slammin’

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

Initially we stopped for some fishing and I hook up a decent snook but lose it, I hook up a red, yep, and lose it. Duane hooks a red and he too loses it. We’re thinking maybe we are getting rusty.

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Father’s Day Fun

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

Its not always about the fish You catch, it’s about the memories made and the things passed on from one who loves to fish to another! All I can say is thanks son for a great day on the water!

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Getting to the Point

Florida Sportsman member: shuterkng

Forum member shuterkng got out this weekend and got into the fish! Fishing Long Point with live shrimp produced some nice fish, including black drum and flounder.

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Cedar Key Catching

Florida Sportsman member: Flash

Picked one of the islands out and moved down the shoreline. Saw some reds but got no action. Finally I eased us up along a bar, gave it a cast and fish on! Took me under the boat a couple of times but managed to bring him to the net girl.

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Shired Island Monster and More

Florida Sportsman member: jwroe

I started throwing my top water at it, but no luck, and a few minutes later , the tail pops up again. My wife casts a shrimp to it, and off to the races. She nails a nice 35 inch plus drum. about 10 to 15 minutes of fighting and we had it boat side. I reached down to get the lippers on it and it turned and broke line right at the boat.

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Cedar Key Trout and Macks

Florida Sportsman member: lboverhof

After being done with catching mackerel and before the tide slowly started coming back in, we started drifting over some grass between 3 to 4 feet of water behind snake. We ended up with 5 keeper trout with the biggest being 19 inches. At first there was maybe one other boat out there, but around 3:00 I look around and it looks like a parking lot. There had to have been 15+ boats that were pretty close to each other on the flats!

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Reds, Over and Under

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

No fish dinner tonight. Two over slots that were fat and healthy, plus eight under slots. I did catch a trout but no snook. All fish came on spoons, redfish magic, and soft jerkbaits.

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Busting Reds on Both Coasts

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

I then jump up on the poling platform and start poling the boys around this big mud flat that has some scattered fish on it to see if we could sight fish some. We see a few and miss a few, then I see one headed down the bank and tell josh to cast a 11 o’clock and he nails the cast and the red jumps on the fluke. Another nice upper slot fish joins the party.

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Birds to the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

“We hit the water at the crack of noon. It wasn’t long before we had trout on almost every cast. Most were just underslot but we did manage to sort thru them for a nice bunch for dinner along with a nice pompano…”

Want to catch trout like this? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more!

 



Slammin’ the Big Bend Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

Still looking for reds and trying to avoid the trout we pulled up on a point and a 33 inch snook hits my lure. After a long fight on trout and redfish gear I got it in the boat. The area we fish has some nice snook but they aren’t easy to catch until it warms up a bit.

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Light Tackle, Low Tides and Keeper Trout

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

I finished today around noon and took off to Waccasassa. Short and Sweet, here it is guys I`m not going to hide where , what bait and everything. Got on the water at 2:30 this afternoon and headed in around 5:30. Fished the outgoing tide back in the creeks and caught Trout up to 18.5 inches and a small Red around 16 inches.

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Seein’ Red in Cedar Key

Florida Sportsman member: GatoRella

The contrast of a dark fish on a light colored bottom made them real easy targets for sight fishing. For the next hour or so we took turns netting and releasing big over slot reds, high-fiving, and generally having an awesome time. We ended up with 3 keeper reds including 2 bookend 27 inch tourney winners, a handful trout, and a bunch of 30 plus inch over slots.

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Rainy Day Trout

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

Liking what I was seeing, but with little or no bait action we decided to fish a few of the points with deep water. It didn’t take long as the fish were there and hungry, we made short order of putting some in the box for a couple dinners until this weather cleans up.

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MidDay Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: dakilmartin1

We worked the edges of deeper cuts during the outgoing tide and the shallow flats on the incoming. Every fish was taken on a MirroDine and several were sight fished. Long light leaders and longer casts were the trick today. Both Rob and I caught our personal best trout today on hard baits but I was more excited for rob as this was his first trip down the river! We easily put a limit of upper slot trout in the boat today but only kept a dozen.

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Steinhatchee Bulls

Florida Sportsman member: JC_UF_ITK

Outside of a handful of trout, 3 being keepers, we managed two monster redfish on a double hook up. The first fish ate a jerkbait and was followed by two others. A quick cast of a spinnerbait managed the second fish. One weighed 26 pounds and the other was 20 pounds.

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Catching A Little Bit of Everything

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

The first stop Jake says “Look at that gag”. I told him it looked like a trout to me and caught it to prove it. Seems like those trout just like me! It was so smooth I could read good structure from a half mile away by the surface boil from the tide moving over the rocks. Knocker rigs with 2/0 worm hooks 1/8 to 3/16 oz bullet weights tipped with shrimp did the job for us.

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Big Bend, Big Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

Had a good bit of time of over the holidays. Unfortunately the weather was bad for a good part of it. Was able to fish in several locations including Wacasassa/Cedar Key, Suwannee, and Palm Coast on the east coast. We managed to get good numbers of trout on the lower tides, but once the tide came in it was all about reds! Caught reds from 8 inches to 34 inches.

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Winter Time Trout

Florida Sportsman member: kingkong954

Then with about an hour left before we were due at the marina, headed off to the flats in search of the trout, which I thought were supposed to be tucked into their creeks. To our surprise, we found them! In about an hour of fishing we landed 4 keeper trout, Nia catching two 18 inch trout and I found a much smaller pair.

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Steinhatchee Reds

Florida Sportsman member: JC_UF_ITK

While we didn’t find fish at the same spot I’ve been seeing them, we did manage two nice reds while working our way to the spot. The largest was well over 36 inches (biggest ruler I have) and weighted 18.5 pounds on the boga grip.

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Homosassa Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

The larger trout were in the skinny stuff along with a few reds but not real thick or active. The shallow flat north of the channel up to Homosassa point had a decent number of big trout. Ladyfish were in front of the river along with some big mackerel. Another good day to be on the water with friends!

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Creeping The Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

We fished some nice deep creeks right behind our Red spots. The big Trout were loaded up in the deep cuts. There was a double hook-up mixed in there that were keepers. We lost some nice ones but Brandon had a real nice couple hours with his limit and I had a big one in the boat.

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Homosassa Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

The largest trout of the season so far made it into the boat. Along with the trout were a pair of upper slot redfish and a pile of rat reds. We worked the channel edges waiting for the tide and moved in close as soon as we could. Several of the trout were between 23 and 26 inches with most of the big girls released. The reds were in all the usual places and feisty.

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Crystal River Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: OneMoreYear

For 90 minutes the action was non-stop, with the majority of fish caught on Mirrolure Lil-Johns. The biggest trout was 20.5 inches. We had a good number of fish between 18 to 20 inches. We had our 3 person limit by noon. Ended up releasing about five 15 to 16 inch fish, and probably caught 5 to 7 shorts. The majority of fish were keeper trout, with only 2 ladyfish and a small redfish.

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Windy Weather, Nice Fish

Florida Sportsman member: shuterkng

She got a nice over slot red, I got a little sheepy. After that the waves were getting to all of us so I figured I could maybe find some action in the crystal river. We anchored up inside of shell island near some bars and the rat reds were eating! We all proceeded to catch and release numerous little reds.

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Shallow Creek Reds

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

The water temperature was running about 59 degrees today and had a slight breeze to keep us comfortable. We got out to a dead low tide and as the tide turned there was even very little tide on the high. All the bars we fished were out of the water at High Tide.

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Homosassa Gator Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Troutman57

Trout, ladyfish, and bluefish were all over our Mirrodines. For a couple hours we circled a small area and took a bunch of fat trout all pushing the top of the slot to over 23 inches. We did find a few smaller reds but stayed on the trout since they were pulling more drag. We kept a few for Mikes freezer and one for Bill and his better half’s dinner.

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Big Bend Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew

I saw huge swirl and quickly cast on it. Instantly the fight was on making plenty of exciting runs. After what seem like an eternity, this beautiful linesider broke the surface and was quickly scooped into the net. She measured in at 35 inches and I am happy to say swam off to fight another day.

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Great Homosassa Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

We hit several islands and took a total of 8 reds with 3 being between 30 and 32 inches. As a bonus we caught fat 24 inch trout up with the reds on bait. Yes we fished bait as this was Eric’s first time targeting redfish and it was going to be an easy day

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Seeing Red Solo

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

Immediately started throwing Mikes Aqua Dream Gold Spoons and landed a 20 inch Red within 30 minutes and got my 27 inch Red on a Zoom Super Fluke about a hour later on a weedy point to finish my limit.

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Kayaking Kings Bay

Florida Sportsman member: NoQuarterNoMercy

He heads away from the docks and is all tuckered out. I feel him give up and now it’s just a matter of hauling him in. As he nears the yak, he heads underneath it and somehow I managed to pull a ninja spin around the stern of the kayak and get him to the other side. That’s no tarpon, it’s a monster snook!

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Cedar Key Smorgasbord

Florida Sportsman member: Flash

Her personal best Flounder to date at 19 inches. I saw some action also and tossed a rattle trap. Hooked up and had a good fight going until it came free. Turned out it broke one of the hooks on the trap. Looking at them, it needs a new one for sure.

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Big Bend Bulls on Top

Florida Sportsman member: jperdue

Took the wife fishing this morning. Top water is about the only thing she fishes with anymore. I Caught one red about 22 inches then she went back to back on top water with a 38 incher and 36 incher. Bite shut down at 10:00am. Both were the largest I have ever seen caught on top water. They were sent back in with no harm done. Skitter walks around the creek mouths seem to work the best.

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Crystal River Reds and Scallops

Florida Sportsman member: tekmunki

We had a great time, went for a dip with a few scallops, didn’t get too crazy or gung-ho about limiting, just wanted a nice day and something to nibble on… it should be noted, my scallop location skills pale in comparison to Marrio’s. LOL We didn’t spend all day on the scallops by any means, we managed to sneak in some fishing, which I’m sure was a welcome refreshing change to the nonstop scalloping Marrio has been busy with.

With Marrio’s help, I caught my first mangrove snapper and the kids each got to reel one in, then we moved into the red-fishing where Marrio got a taste of my redfish curse for a bit- that is until— BAM big hit, big fish, 30-inch red. I caught my first overslot red!

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Holiday in Hudson

Florida Sportsman member:Jim311

A friend of mine has a small house on a canal in Hudson. I hadn’t ever been to the area and she is out of town and asked me to mow the lawn so I figured I might as well make a weekend out of it. Adam met me down there Friday night. We fished in the canal for a few minutes but got run off by the rain. Got up at a decent hour Saturday and hit the nearest boat ramp. The wind was blowing a fair bit, and we were in my gheenoe and seeking protected water. We fished some grass flats right near the ramp and deep cuts on the outside of a little private bayou with no luck. We ran into some creeks south of a big residential canal and knocked around in there too. The water looked great, lots of deep cuts, grass, good amounts of bait.. but nothing was biting. We got tired of that after a while and ran back towards the marina and had lunch at the restaurant right near the marina.

Lunch was pretty good, and after chilling there for a while we went to the marina and got some frozen shrimp, and then headed north to try that area on a suggestion from a forum member here. The area there looked similar to the last place. We beached the Gheenoe near a shack and wade fished for a bit. After a while I had a blowup on a topwater plug, and landed an upper slot trout. That was the only fish caught wade fishing in that spot, so we shoved off and drifted a deep cut between islands, casting topwater plugs, paddle tails, and Mirrodines. Good size trout were just blasting my topwater plug and we took home 4 for a fish fry…

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Crystal River Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member:nick

We went out Saturday and got rained on a bit, but that’s what rain gear is for. Cruised in the shallows basically spooking reds with the trolling motor down, alternating between; the gulp shrimp, pumpkin spice zoom super fluke, gold spoon, mirrominnow, and a top dog.
Released 6 slot reds and one overslot. I lost a 30 inch plus red that went airborne after my top dog. After 3 attempts at the bait he finally got it but pulled the hook after a few runs. Big trout were busting the mullet schools and this made easy pickings with at mirrominnow. Released 8 trout that were all over 20 inches except one that was 18. Pops also got spooled by a tarpon after it made two jumps. Fish was probably 80 pound’s but he didn’t stand a chance with a 2500 stradic. Lots of juvenile sharks swimming in the shallows. Water temp 79-84.

Sunday-Only went out for a few hours throwing gold spoons we released 5 lower slot reds and one 25 inches. I did manage to successfully sight fish a 42 inch black drum with a gulp that put up a good 15 minute fight. After the tide got up high it was over and we decided to try for triple tail on the way back even though I had no shrimp. Saw 7 tripletail, hooked 4 and put 2 on ice. One that wouldn’t eat I attempted to throw the cast net on Water temp 81-85


Crystal River Snook, Reds & More

Florida Sportsman member: mitziboy

By the time I loaded the boat, made a sandwich, and lowered my baby into the canal it was about 11am. First spot first cast I missed about a 25 pound snook on topwater, that will get the blood flowing. It was a super low tide so I didn’t expect to get much more than that hit since whatever fish were in the hole would be trapped, but that was not the case. We ended up with close to a dozen snook, most around 25-30 inches and a half dozen reds around 17-20 inches. Fished around some more and caught a few more of both and headed back to the house.

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Chassahowitzka Trout & Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

Ran to my trout spot and I put a decent trout in the boat. We both said nope, “we want reds”, so back it went. After a couple more fish that didn’t make it into the boat we went hunting for reds.

To say Duane knows the area is an understatement. I thought I had a pretty good feel for fishing spots but he took it to another level.

The skies were clear as a bell and the sun was beating down but he had a few spots to try. First nice fish was a 21 inch red, then I got a 23 incher, we lost a couple more, Duane hooks a decent snook but it gets off at the boat. He hooks another and it gets off. He then hooked a touney winning red…right under the mark. I hook up on a snook, hoping for some sort of slam[...]

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Homosassa Redfish & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

We had a window Saturday morning so another instructor and long time friend from North Dakota and I
made a run from the south to the Bend for some shallow water fishing. We hit the ramp at just after 6:30 am and I finely new why I have been spoiled by fishing weekdays, and staying away on the weekends! With that being said, we were out front Homosassa around 7:45 and in search of a bite There was no shortage of boats and people. It makes it tough fishing the skinny stuff with people constantly running by checking you out. The fish were there but very spooky and most times would fail to engage, even though you put the plug where it needed to be. We did manage a nice red and 7 big trout for our efforts with the red a hair under 27 inches, trout of 24 & 23 inches and five more from 18 to 20 inches.

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Crystal River Inshore Slam

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

Went out for what I thought was a couple hours topwater. Tide was high incoming, light wind and blue sky. First place- nothing. Second place, the bar was covered, but I fished it thoroughly, getting a few small Jacks and a lady fish and finally a small trout, but a trout none the less that would become important later. With the water higher than I expected, I decided to head way inshore. Even though it was getting late and the sun was high I pressed on with my trusty Skitterwalk. This 25 inch Red rewarded my perseverance with a great battle. It was one of those fish that would not give up[...]

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Crystal River Trout

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

Jake and I headed towards the channel out of Ozcello this morning looking for trout. Saw overcast skies so we thought it would be a good day for topwater! Started off with some nice trout on the spooks, the bites were a bit spread out and the tide was moving out so I didn’t want to get stuck so we moved out a bit. We started thinking when we hit 5 keepers we would limit easy so we were letting go anything in the 15 inch range and not bother measure anything unless it looked pretty big. Got a couple 20 inchers to add to the cooler and limit around 12. Jake’s went 22 inches and mine went 20 inches. Then came the tide change an wanted to get in the water and dive to change pace. Feels good to jump in once in a while to look at the inshore rocks and see all the spade fish, snapper, small sheephead and the ocassional gag in 3-8 feet of water. Caught and released some more trout, not many more keepers but we released a good 5-10 keeper trout and several under sized trout on the lil johns.

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Homosassa Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Dogdoc2011

Went with two buddies of mine out of crystal river and ran south at first light. Got on a school of nice slot reds at first spot and had a double and triple hook ups on topwater. Limited out on reds in about 20 minutes and turned a few back before moving onto trout. Found the trout in 2-3 feet spotted bottom and all they wanted was topwater as well. Caught 3 limits of nice trout with the biggest being 24 inches by 11:30 and called it a day.

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Crystal River Trout

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

Jake and I headed towards the channel out of Ozcello this morning looking for trout. Saw overcast skies so we thought it would be a good day for topwater! Started off with some nice trout on the spooks, the bites were a bit spread out and the tide was moving out so I didn’t want to get stuck so we moved out a bit. We started thinking when we hit 5 keepers we would limit easy so we were letting go anything in the 15 inch range and not bother measure anything unless it looked pretty big. Got a couple 20 inchers to add to the cooler and limit around 12. Jake’s went 22 inches and mine went 20 inches. Then came the tide change an wanted to get in the water and dive to change pace. Feels good to jump in once in a while to look at the inshore rocks and see all the spade fish, snapper, small sheephead and the ocassional gag in 3-8 feet of water. Caught and released some more trout, not many more keepers but we released a good 5-10 keeper trout and several under sized trout on the lil johns.

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Homosassa Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Dogdoc2011

Went with two buddies of mine out of crystal river and ran south at first light. Got on a school of nice slot reds at first spot and had a double and triple hook ups on topwater. Limited out on reds in about 20 minutes and turned a few back before moving onto trout. Found the trout in 2-3 feet spotted bottom and all they wanted was topwater as well. Caught 3 limits of nice trout with the biggest being 24 inches by 11:30 and called it a day.

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Crystal River Nearshore Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Clay G. Shidler

With reports of Cobia moving north and the hot tripletail bite that has being going on out of Crystal River me and my brother headed out in search of some nearshore pelagics. We started our search at the scallop rack where we promptly caught a well full of live pinfish and a few small spanish mackerel. After loading up on live bait we headed west under cloudy skies in search of brown bombers on a series of small limestone ledges in 12 feet of water and we were not disappointed. As we pulled up on the first spot, my younger brother threw a 2 ounce Spro jig towards the spot and his jig was immediately crushed by a spunky 25 pound Cobia. As he landed his fish I pinned a live bait on a 5/0 circle hook and dropped it over the side and before I could put the rod in the holder my pinfish was eaten. I reeled down tight and the fish took off like a rocket towards the south and the fight was on.

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Homosassa Nearshore Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

We took off at 7:15 and headed out about 6 miles to a 5 foot flat I call the bombing range. Nothing military just the area we break out the bombers and pitch them at anything that would bite. This being my 1st trip there this season I really didn’t know what to expect. Ladyfish, blue runners seabass mackerel shark and of course trout. Lots of everything but plenty of trout to fill our limit with 16 to 22 inchers. The only slow period was on the tide change for about a half hour. Had a live pinfish out for any big guys that wanted to play but only shark today. The trout pushing offshore right on time and seemed to really like chartruse in the morning and green backs in the late morning and afternoon.

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Waccasassa Reds

Florida Sportsman member: G8trbait

When the wife is away the men will FISH! Wife headed to California for her spring break so I took a planned mental health day this Monday with a coworker of mine. Hit the water around 8:30 in the morning to high cold winds The bite was too quick, caught two nice ones at 24 inches and 25.5 inches, and that was it. The water was coming out of the creeks so fast it reminded me of trout fishing in N.C. I was actually trying to get hung on the bottom. Once hung the fish would come by and pick up my shrimp. This did make for two very good fights. They would turn sideways and just pull drag! Unfortunately the catching was done within the first hour. The wind pushed the tide in so fast I don’t even think the fish noticed it.

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Warming Weather and Hot Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Clay G. Shidler

This past week has been great for inshore fishing; guides from both Crystal River and Homosassa have had successful days with good catches of both trout and redfish not being uncommon. Rising water temperatures has been the driving force behind the great fishing this week. Anglers should look for the trout to be active in water temperatures above 65 degrees and redfish to become active in temperatures of 63 degrees and higher. The kelp grass flats and oyster bars in the Crystal River and Homosassa areas are holding good numbers of trout because those are the areas that warm up the fastest. The redfish are beginning to school up on the hard bottom flats and oysters bars in the Ozello area and they can normally be found patrolling the backside of most islands that are in the sun and out of the wind. The best way to target these fish is to fish live baits in the morning when the fish are colder and less active, as the sun warms the water artificial lures become the best way to cover the most water.

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Windy Post Front Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Forum member Roger was heaqding to Homosassa for a visit and asked me if I would take them out fishing for a day during thier visit. I rarely say no to a forum brother and we chose Wednesday to chase some trou. We took off at 11 and found scasttered slot trout while we waited for the tide to get right. There were pockets of small trout to be caught on every cast but we avoided those to find larger fish. As the tide turned to incoming the wind picked up to 20 from the NW making our drifts faster than ideal. Racheal had the hot stick this day catching several overslot trout. They took a dozen trout for a fish fry and released the rest. The water was clear and 62 degrees with small pockets of 64 degrees.

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Red Hot Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: jbehnen

Weather was not promising, but Dan said lets give it a try, and I was glad we did. We hit some rock bars, oysterbars and shorelines off Crystal River and it was one fish after the next in the boat. The trout bite was so good we ended up throwing back a ton of fish because they were too big and we already had our three over twenty on board. We started hoping for some shorter fish. We hit it all, trout, reds, pompano, spanish mackerel, and sheepshead[...]

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Rainy and Cold with a Hot Bite

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Kevin Joined me again today to see if we coulld get some big trout to pose for the camera (I lost the shots Monday). His brother Tom joined us as well. The forecast said light breeze and 30 percent chance of showers. Well it rained from the time we tossed our first lure till I was finished cleaning fish. Kevin used to -fish with me up in Rochester NY trolling for salmon but his brother has not spent that much time on the water. Despite the conditions the trout were really chewing. Another 50+ fish day with several solid 3 and 4 pounders.

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Short Day on the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

Linda and I did the ten to two today despite the wind? All I can say is the fish are there even though today most were just a little shy of the slot? Its always fun having the action but we kinda picked our way around the sub slots to end up catching a few nice ones? Linda had fish of the day today at 22 inches most were returned to fight again, but we headed home with three for the grill!

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Waccasassa Bay Shalow Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

We went up the West side to a nice productive hole last year but things were tough. The beginning of a new moon and nice winds did not go well for the hunt for Reds today. Lots of mullet but no signs of reds at all. Brandon got out and walked some creek bars and caught a couple smaller slot reds with me landing a nice 19 and 21-inch trout all on soft plastics.

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Homosassa Trout’n

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Don and I spent a few hours on the flats today doing what we love to do. The day started off a bit slow while we killed time waiting for the tide to shift to incoming. Working the edges of cuts with Mirrolures we picked away at mid to under slot trout. When the tide got right we started picking up quality trout on a regular basis. We released several over slot fish and kept a limit of smaller 17-20 inch trout for the table.

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Homosassa Gator Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Don and I chose today to jead out for the day on the bay. It looked like Thursday was to be the best day for us so off we went. The water temp started out at a chilly 58 degrees and very low tide. We worked the shallow stuff exclusively looking for some big girls. Today they were on but not in any real big numbers. The quality more than made up for it. We picked away for 4 hours and bagged 4 over slot trout from 21 to 26 inches. the 26 incher was my best in a year and she was fat and fought like a redfish despite the cool water temps[...]

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Playing Around in the Backcountry

Florida Sportsman member: river1

My wife and I fished up around the Salt River today. What a great day in the back country. We casted plastic on 1/8 oz jigs. My wife does not like treble hooks so that was an easy fix. We only got one under size trout but oh boy we landed some nice trout over slot and a Spanish mackerel all in the skinny water. We did have to bring a couple fish home for dinner only because they were eating so hard they swallowed the bait deep.

[...]

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Crystal River Reds & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

The day started at around 9am with one of my friends from work Will and my son Jeremy. Launched at F.I.T. and went to the mangrove covered shorelines of the Salt River to sight fish some reds and trout. We saw a bunch of reds from the tower but soon realized that they can see me just as good as I can see them. We found some shorelines that the sun was at the correct angle to camouflage the boat. We got into a ton of rat reds next to a sandbar that appeared to have fiddler crab holes all over it. After getting our fill of rat reds we drifted some flats that had a good amount of kelp grass. That was the ticket today for the trout [...]

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Homosassa Reds & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

We started in an area along a series of islands casting spoons for reds with no luck. We saw very little life there so we decided to head inside to look for trout. With the 68 degree clear water we were unsure where the larger trout might be. We tossed mirrodines from the barrier islands out to about a half mile onto the flats with some success but nothing fast. I decided that we should move inside a good bit and that did the trick with trout coming to the boat often. Don hooked a nice red and landed it for a quick photo and back it went. Then we hit a deeper cut that put a trout on our lines on almost every cast. when that bite slowed we started drifting along a shoreline and I hooked and landed a 27 inch red that we took a photo and released [...]

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Still Catching  Fish on a Rough Day

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

We couldn’t wait to even put the fish away we were tossing them on the floor trying to get a bait in the water asap! After about 15-20 minutes of this bite we brought in 5 nice sea bass with two around 12 inches and a nice sheepshead a little short of 16 inches. Bite slowed down we looked at the floor and was like I guess we can put the fish away now . Moved around a bit in this nice hole, picked up a keeper here and there and then I got another sheepshead pushing 17 inches [...]

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Great Weather, Great Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

Put the boat in around noon to flat calm overcast conditions. I was thinking topwater all afternoon. Got to the first spot and within 5 cast had a nice trout in the box. 5 more cast and Bruce adds a 24 inch red to the party in the cooler. But then the clouds parted and the sun came out. Had to switch over to soft plastics and the bite slowed a bit but was steady and we had our limit of trout and reds with in just over 4 hours. I also took my fishing bow to shot the sheephead we have been seeing but had a very high tide that put 3 foot of water over most of the bars. Now the black drum are in full force and were running down soft plastics[...]

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Good Day in King’s Bay/Crystal River/Salt River

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Got out today with Adam (LineDrive) and my son Jeremy for a day of fishing. Got out to Kings Bay early this morning to see if we could jump some tarpon before the dive boats show up. Got a bunch of ladyfish early on. Fun to catch but we wanted to see the pooners. Each of us ended up with one hitting our baits but no connection. The dive boats show up in full force and put the pooners on edge so we decide to hit the salt river for some trout and redfish action[...]

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Homosassa; Staying Busy.

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Today’s forecast was looking like a winner so we shoved off at around 11AM. The sun was shining bright but the wind was blowing a bit stiff from the north. As we hit the rivermouth well into the long outgoing tide, we picked an area that would allow us to cover productive areas casting with the wind. We worked the edges of cuts adjacent to the shallow flats with slow sinking twitchbaits and shallow diving crankbaits. The action wasn’t fast and furious but I managed half a dozen trout all right at 20 inches with one being 22 inches[...]

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Homosassa Trout

Florida Sportsman member: angler18

Since I was there and had a few hours to play Sunday morning, me and Mitchell left the dock at 8 am to see if we could find him a few trout to take home for dinner. The water was 64-65 everywhere we went, and the wind was lighter than forecasted for a change. We threw mirrodines and soft jerk baits for about 3 hours and picked up about a dozen trout with 2 just over 18″ and 6 keepers in all. Also had about a dozen ladyfish to keep us busy between the tide change. A better than expected quick trip and a good time[...]

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Foggy Day Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

Wanted to see if the trout have showed up yet. I Have not been to my old stomping grounds in months and my buddy Mike bought a new (to him) flats boat last week, so I had an excuse. Hit the water at daylight, if that’s what you want to call it. It was flat calm, very foggy conditions. Went to some of my shallow spots first and they were[...]

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34 Inch Snook caught at Blind Pass

Florida Sportsman member: PONCE

The fish were more active down there with average size 20-to 24-inch snook being caught along with some black drum off the bridge along with a assortment of other fish. There were a ton of mullet and white bait running the shoreline at Blind Pass so the cast net came in very handy [...]

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Waccasassa Bay Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

Well what do you do when it’s going to be windy, tides are wrong, and the Gators are playing in the evening. Go fishing of course. I knew it was calling for some wind and they were right. It did make for some tough fishing but me and Capt. Mullet still got a good mess of trout while waiting for the afternoon high tide. Bright skies and a pretty good breeze made topwaters a no-go. So go to back up plan of traps and spoons and we were able to put a few reds in the boat [...]

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A Good Morning on the Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

After nearly a month off the water I was finally able to spend a couple of hours harassing some fish today. The day started out with a beautiful sunrise on the Salt River. We made our first stop at a few mangrove shorelines at high tide and my Uncle Roger was the first to hook up. A fat 23 inch redfish. We got on a few rats but this was the one that was coming home for dinner [...]

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Trout, Reds, and Flounder

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Don and I took a short trip today to work the inshore flats with plugs. I packed a light tackle bag with just (what I thought) I needed. The trout were taking Rapala Flat Raps but right off the surface. With my topwater plugs at home I made it work twitching that flat rap along the surface. Before long we had a couple trout each in the box for dinner and released a few more most pushing 19 inches [...]

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Hot Homosassa Redfishing

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

So, when the bite is good, it’s hard to stay home. Plus, it’s always fun to put some friends on the hot bite, so I had Don and Lee join me today. We finally found a few ladyfish and some decent trout so the bait was in the box by noon and it was off to the islands. A strong high tide along with overcast skys and rain on the way put the reds on the bite even better than yesterday [...]

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CR Reds and Rain

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

Woke up early for some topwater and was greeted with some rain just offshore, SHOCKER. Actually, it worked out well since there was a good cloud cover, just what I like. Decided to stay in the Salt River area since it is a shorter run when the %#&@* hits. Caught a 21 inch red in the first area, but the Jacks were so thick it was hard to get an undisturbed retrieve, but fun! [...]

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Crystal River Scalloping Day

Florida Sportsman member: wmflyfisher

First of all I would like to thank windysurfer and troutman for helping me over these past few weeks. It’s been YEARS since I’ve been scalloping and yesterday didn’t disappoint. We put in at Yankeetown and traveled south to CR for scallops. Water was clear and the tide was high. My wife, mother, and sister had never scalloped before. Once I figured out what I was doing we had our limit in a couple of hours. Had to move around a few times but no biggie. Had a BLAST!

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Spoon Fed Reds

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Both reds were in the mid-slot and returned to fight another day. A first for me was seeing two reds casting at both and actually catching both. I usually blind cast to areas that I know hold fish but this time was a bit different tossing spoons past and infront of fish I spotted. It certainly is a ton of fun to see a the fish smash a spoon (or any other bait). A short but sweet trip with my neighbor and friend Don.

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Nature Coast Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Don and I got up early this morning to hit the daybreak tide to get after some reds with spoons and then head out to drift for some trout. We hit the 1st half of the outgoing and the reds had started moving out off the banks a bit. But for an hour the bite was hot with 3 reds boated all in the upper and over slot [...]

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Homosassa Scalloping Report

Florida Sportsman member: Catalyst

We headed to the Camp and Water Outdoor Resort for our first family scalloping adventure. I have always wanted to give scalloping a try and finally got a chance to make it over to Homosassa.

We started our trip with very little knowledge of the area other than head out the river and look for boats. We quickly found the boats and also got a few scallops. We started kind of deep in 6-8 feet and didn’t really know what to look for but we still got a few dozen [...]

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Inshore with New Neighbors

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Mike contacted me from Coneticut by reading our fishing reports. His Mom and dad bought a place in my neighborhood and love to fish but are new to saltwater fishing. Mike and his wife are here on a visit and asked if I would take His wife Laura, his Mom Patty, His dad Eric and himself out and show them the ropes [...]

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Homosassa Trout Bite

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Had to shake the cobb webs off after the storm so I decided to head out and work the shoreline for ladyfish with Pete. The water temp was a comfy 80 degrees and stained. We worked the cut infront of the Homosassa River and picked away at ladyfish and trout all morning. The trout came near structure at the ends of the tides and the ladyfish were everywhere. I believe I limited on slot trout, keeping only one for dinner [...]

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Father’s Day Trout Driftin’

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

We decided to give the redfish a break today and do a little Carolina drifting for trout. We first started the day around the oyster bars and the mangrove shorelines for a little top water action. Got a few to cooperate [...]

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Fishing with the Reel McCoy’s

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Forum Member Brent (Reel McCoy) has fished with me a few times before this trip and it is always fun to have him and his family aboard. Today both of his sons Colby (the younger guy) and Dallas joined dad for a day drifting up some trout. We hit the water at 7:45 and ran out to 9′ to begin our drift with the outgoing tide [...]

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Fishing the Waccasassa

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

You know the weather man never gets the forecast right. So they predicted rain and since they are usually wrong it going to be a good day. With a early morning high tide we get to the ramp at first light.. A perfect morning for top-waters. I get this big blowup and don’t connect so Ponce comes back and scores a slot red.

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Nature Coast Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: jaeforceone

Had a chance to sneak out and do some fishing over on the Nature Coast with A2OZ. Working a certain cove I hooked a ladyfish and she spit the spook in the air. oh well…I twitched the lure three more times to have this fat snook smash it. Probably the most epic topwater bite I have ever experienced. With such a wide back I was hoping she measured over 35 but was 5 inches short. Either way it was a good fight and a great way to test out the new eyecon 6’8 MXF.

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Wacasassa Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

Friday the 11th we hit Wacasassa knowing there was a little bit of a high in the morning but not a lot of water moving. Caught a few redfish on topwater, gotta’ love the blowups on topwater and quite a few blowups and short strikes. Not going to tell what color was happening- ha, ha. Trout were hitting Gulps and dines and got a good Georgia limit. Water was pretty clean for the WB [...]

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Spoon Fed Reds

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Mike and Rye wanted to get on some redfish on artificials. Like myself that means no bait no gulp just spoons, spinnerbaits and plugs. we took off at 3:30 to catch the late afternoon high tide. The skys were high so I concentrsated in areas that I knew would have some colored water. The reds were fiesty right from the start. They were chasing the spoons and we could see them miss often. A few found thier mark and inhaled the spoon. We moved around points with good flow and deep water near by and picked away finding a great late afternoon redfish bite. All the reds we caught were in the slot.

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Super Moon Slammin’

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

The CCBA tourney is a family fishing tournament that I have fish the past 5 years.The format is simple and fun for all. It’s main prize money is for trout and redfish and includes cobia and catfish as secondary categories. The past couple years Joe and Billy joined me as the team on my boat. It seems to be a rare thing when 3 guys can spend 3 days aboard a boat and not get on each others needs. It’s even better when my two guests are superb fisherman with the drive necessary to fish hard all day while keeping it fun and focused [...]

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Crystal River Reds

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

I finally got back on the water after 2 weeks. I end up getting a chance to fish with my old friends Dennis and Mike. We haven’t fished together since Christmas because our work schedules do not match but he took off today to fish with me [...]

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Inshore Red

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Don and I hit the water for a short afternoon trip on the inshore flats. The water temp was 69 degrees out near Marker 22 and clear. We drifted over the skinny flats on the incoming tide and the large trout and redfish were hungry! Mirrodines fished slow over the flats and along the shorelines produced lots of trout most over slot to 24″ and four reds to 32″. The fish are scattered all around the flats including some out to 6′ that I heard of today. Another fine productive day on the bay here in the Big Bend.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Lesson One and Nice Snook

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Mike, A neighbor on our street had moved here a few months ago and is getting into the swing of saltwater fishing. He has spent lots of time here in Florida mostly bass fishing and has chartered a few times on the flats. He hooked up with a guide here and also a few neighbors that to him over complicated the flats fishing here and wouldn’t really show him the here and why of Homosassa. His friend who rewards our forum talked him into approaching me to teach him the ins and outs of Homosassa. Of course i agreed ’cause it’s what I truly enjoy doing.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Homosassa Inshore with Don

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Well the family is all back to work and home now so it’s time to get back into my routine. Well the same game but the names have changed to protect! Don and I hit the water at a leisurely 9:00 and headed out onto the flats looking for some trout for dinner. We took a few in tight on mirrodines but decided to look around for some other areas. We did find some trout around the outer St. Martins Keys and once we had enough for 3 households dinner we moved inside looking for reds [...]

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Fish Were Hungry

Florida Sportsman member: Fishin Rod

Lightnin’ and I headed for HSB again this morning to see what we could get to come out and play. We dropped the boat in the water at a little after 6:00am and sat there in the howling wind waiting on daylight. As soon as it got light enough to see we headed for our favorite redfish hole and it was way to rough to hit the flats or even fish the outside today. We hit one of the creeks and it was nice fishing with the wind being blocked but then came the rain.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


HSB

Florida Sportsman member: tekmunki

The inshore seas were super-calm this morning and remained as such all day, the breeze was just enough to keep the heat from getting to you, and kept the bimini top down all day in spite of equipping it expecting a 90+ degree scorcher… When it got too toasty, we got up on plane and cooled off with some ice-cold dye-free Gatorades that really hit the spot. Now this was a great day to take kids fishing [...]

Click here for full forum report.

 

 


Every Other Day

Florida Sportsman member: jaeforceone

Took some of my nursing classmates to the Homosassa area for a late morning launch. Started off landing 20″ Seatrout and some lower slot reds. Soon after a short instruction I had them working the spook jr trying to get the rhythmic motion down. Each of them caught only one fish each but they were big fish. One Trout at 20″ and One Red at 27.25″ [...]

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Reds with Joe and Billy

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

There are always a few guys that just seem to click when together on the water and today I had the pleasure of fishing with two of the best. Joe and Billy (both forum members) joined me this afternoon for a day pounding the banks for reds. With the strong high pressure and strong winds I figured we would go through the motions but really didn’t expect too much. We hit the incoming tide for it’s duration and found what shelter from the wind we could manage.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Lovin’ Spring Time

Florida Sportsman member: jimsfishingobsession

I did a few fishing trips over the past couple weeks and of course got a dive in too. We got a ton of snook in the river one afternoon. The snook came in at all different sizes anywhere from a foot long to almost 40 inches. we mainly fished with the D.O.A. terror eyzs for the snook. We also managed to catch about a half dozen reds and 3 mangrove snapper that same afternoon in the river but most were small even though we did get 3 slot reds, all after the sun went down [...]

Click here for full forum report.

 

 


FS TV Nature Coast Shoot

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Blair contacted me a couple weeks ago and asked if I would help out by doing an inshore segment for thier television series “Destinations” Our part was the Nature coast area. I agreed figuring it would be relatively easy to put together some inshore action this time of year. Well a couple of curve balls were toosed my way. Mother nature decided to blow 20 out of the east for a solid week having me worried about having enough water to even get near my fish. The other part was a real challenge [...]

Click here for full forum report.

 

 


Windy River Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Me, my son Jeremy, and my friend John decide to hit the creeks of Crystal River today no matter what the weatherman said about the SW winds. We end up hitting the river early so we can catch the incoming tide. We hit the water at about 7 am with the winds blowing at a 10 to 15 from the west. The winds got worse and worse the rest of the day. Turned 20 to 25 real quickly [...]

Click here for full forum report.

 


Big Big Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Indianoutlaw

I got to fish a little bit with SnookMagnet two weekends ago, but we didn’t have much to report. Simply had a great day on the water, did well with the trout, but only managed three reds. Captain Jerry Kernan sent me pictures of a great snook he caught last week. Fish was hooked in 18 inches of water on a falling tide down South, made three blistering runs of 50-75 yards, and then [...]

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Homosassa Trout and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: troutman57

Mark contacted me and asked if I would take him and a couple friends out on the flats fishing during thier stay here in Homosassa. I offered to show them around at the begining of thier trip so they would have an idea where to start when they set out on thier own. We settled on a Friday afternoon trip with Bob and his friends Steve and Craig. They met me dockside at 12:30 ready to fish. All of them were able fisherman so I planed a day of chasing trout with artificials (mirrodines) and maybe a redfish or two

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Sheepshead Beat Down

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

Today’s plan was to hit the near shore rock piles and see if we could get the sheepshead to bite. The day started out beautiful with light winds from the west and air temps in the low 50’s. With the baitwell filled with 200 shrimp we set off to some rock piles that shutterkng and I hit a few weeks back and also some that I have not been to in nearly 15 years.

Click here for full forum report.

Florida Alligator Permits now Available

Press Release FWC

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is now accepting applications for a chance to participate in this year’s recreational alligator hunting season.

For the Phase I random drawing, applications will be accepted through April 30. Approximately 5,700 alligator harvest permits will be available.

During Phase I, each person can submit one no-cost application with choices of up to 20 hunt areas and periods. To apply, a person must be at least 18 years of age by Aug. 15. A permit allows the harvest of two alligators on a designated area. Only one application per person will be accepted.

Hunters can submit applications at any county tax collector’s office, license agent (retail outlet that sells hunting and fishing licenses) and at License.MyFWC.com.

The drawing will be held shortly after the end of the application period, and results can be checked by logging in to License.MyFWC.com. Successful applicants must pay for their permit at the locations listed above or online by the end of May 14, or the permit will be made available to others for Phase II.

Any permits remaining after May 14 will be offered during the Phase II random drawing. Applications for Phase II will be accepted beginning 10 a.m. May 18 through May 28. Those who were awarded a permit during Phase I may not apply during Phase II, even if the awarded permit was not purchased. Applicants in Phase II are limited to one permit.

Successful applicants must submit payment for an alligator trapping license and two alligator harvest tags, or provide proof of a valid alligator trapping license (must be valid through Nov. 1) and pay the fee for two harvest tags. No other hunting licenses are required.

The cost for the resident alligator trapping license and accompanying alligator harvest tags is $271.50, and nonresidents pay $1,021.50. The cost for each additional alligator hunting permit is $61.50, regardless of residency. All fees are nonrefundable, and tags and permits are nontransferable.

An alligator trapping agent license is also available for $51.50, which allows the license holder to assist permitted trappers in taking alligators.

The alligator hunting season will run 11 consecutive weeks from Aug. 15 through Nov. 1.

To educate participants on the how-to’s and rules and regulations of the hunts, the FWC offers free training and orientation sessions, which are held at various locations throughout the state. Permit recipients are not required to attend, but the FWC strongly encourages first-time participants to go. These courses will be offered in July and August, and permit holders will be mailed permit packages with listing dates and locations.

For more information about these alligator hunts, visit MyFWC.com/Alligator.

The Snet

Combining the security of a snare with the simplicity of a net, the Snet offers the simplest way to catch – and keep – your lobster. The lobster swims backwards and almost captures itself – just pull the black grip and it’s secured. You “Snet ‘em and Forget ‘em“!

The Snet is a capture device for divers of all ages and expertise. No more losing those keepers from regular nets, no matter how experienced you may be. For the novice lobster diver, the Snet requires less precision compared to a snare, especially when snorkeling. Now you won’t have to worry about securing those spiny creatures in your regular net while focusing on your next breath of air.

The Snet doesn’t require the twisting and turning like regular nets, ensuring minimal lobster entanglement and easy release from the net. If the captured lobster doesn’t meet the minimum size requirements, or happens to have eggs, they can be released with little to no trauma, such as broken antenna and/or legs. Just flip the Snet over, push the handle in, and watch the lobster easily swim away.

First encounters with the spiny lobster, whether in the water, on the boat, or in the cooler, are usually painful – the only exception might be the dinner plate! These painful experiences can cause some divers to be reluctant to join in on the awesome lobster dives. With the Snet, now everyone can enjoy catching lobster. Grab your Snets at local dive shops this coming season and start creating your lobster diving memories!

Suggested Retail Price: $39.99

Blue Wave 2400 Pure Bay

The Blue Wave 24 Pure Bay meets the needs of inshore and offshore anglers alike.

Performance meets style is the best way to describe the Blue Wave 2400 Pure Bay. Computer engineering combined with over 40 years of boat building experience has produced a bay boat that meets the needs of the most demanding angler and looks good doing it.

100 percent hand-laid composite construction; including 4 full length, fully bonded stringers, yields a high strength yet lighter weight hull. The transom is bonded through the sidewall and has a two-level gusset support system.

The Pure Bays fully molded inner liner has all of the fishing features you would expect to find in a tournament winning bay boat like built in rod storage under the front casting deck and under the gunnels. Two livewells, fish boxes and lots of dry storage compartments. The bow deck has a flat area specifically made to accept a trolling motor and is pre-wired. They also haven’t forgotten the family by adding a pair of unique high back Cyclone seats at the helm with additional stern seating across the rear casting deck.

Other standard features include a high tech center console design with plenty of room for your flush mounted electronics, a built in cooler, vertical rod holders, tackle storage and much more. Their innovative stern livewell has a 3-inch drain, Pro Air plus Recirc Pump.

Florida Sportsman Boating Editor, Dave East, took time away from the filming of the new Florida Sportsman Best Boat series to meet with Tim Long, factory rep for Blue Wave, to get a closer look at the 2400 Pure Bay. “The fit and finish of this boat is the finest I’ve seen in the industry and the ride is nothing short of amazing,” remarked East.

Blue Wave Boats
www.bluewaveboats.com
(405) 382-0349

2400 Pure Bay Specifications

Length Overall: 24 feet, 5 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 2,200 pounds
Draft: 12 inches
Maximum Horsepower: single 300 hp
Shaft Length: 25 inches
MSRP w/power: $59,995.00

Tuna, Snapper and More

Recent offshore fishing reports from the West Central region.


Tuna, Snapper and More

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Tuesday, let’s do it all over again. We are ready, I mean good and ready. The excitement level is off the chart. Our home for the next 39 hours, the Florida Fisherman ll, is loaded with enough food and drinks to supply a small army.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Running the Bay Boat Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: SouthshoreSlayer

After about 2 hours of snapper fishing the flat lines start getting cut off. We didn’t have any wire or long shank hooks, we all rigged our big setups and the king bite was on for the next hour.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Full Moon Snapper and More

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Most consider mangrove snapper fishing to be at its very best during the full moon periods of the month. Last month the Florida Fisherman ll, out of Hubbard’s Marina, fished three days after the full moon. We limited out on AJ’s (two day limit) and the mangos were on fire.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


West Central Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

We moved out to 115 feet and this is where we did the best. We weren’t too far from a wreck so we decided to try for yellowtails. We saw someone was on it so we changed plans and ran 13 miles back in to try for hogfish on a ledge in just under 60 feet.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Hog Huntin’

Florida Sportsman member: slper

This was our second trip targeting hogfish and we found them. The great day started out a little cold and seas were 2 to 3, but it warmed up and calmed down. My wife, buddy Jimmie and I got our limit in under 4 hours.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Fish for All

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Better hit the sack; after all, we will be challenging the monsters of the deep for twenty five hours of actual fishing time. Captain Garett has advised us to get plenty of rest; we are going to need it. After mango time we are going to this wreck known to be the home of Mr. Amber jack and family.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 


West Central Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

We caught a couple fish but it was pretty slow. We moved on and both the breeze and the bite picked up a little. We were able to anchor and started catching a mix of red grouper and snapper. Troy had the fish of the day with a 24 inch, 7 pound mangrove snapper.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Red Grouper Rampage

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Looks like all good things must come to an end. With well over 200 gray snapper and 30 large red grouper this will be a trip to be remembered. Let’s go ‘In search of red grouper’ again ASAP.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Catch and Release Gags

Florida Sportsman member: OU-Pilot

Went out Sunday off Port Richey to some reef lines in 30 feet. The water was pretty nice all day. Temperature was 62 on the surface. We trolled some Rapala Mag 30′s and a stretch 25′s. Trolled about 2 hours from 3pm to 5pm on either side of high tide. Managed 5 gags with 2 double headers!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Finding the Honey Hole

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

In 120 feet of water, these huge, alien fish, would slam your stoutest meat stick against the gunwale again and again using squid, sardines, live bait – it didn’t matter. This would continue until your back gave out, fighting belt or not. Mixed in with these beasts were some amberjacks that you could not lift off the bottom and other fish, that, if you tried to, would break your terminal tackle somewhere in between hook and main line.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Starting the Year Right

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

The Florida Fisherman ll, Hubbard’s Marina, is ready to challenge 2015 with the first ever 44 hour trip one hundred miles off beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida. We will be fishing a couple of days before the full moon; it just does not get any better than that.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


West Central Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

We went out friday and saturday afternoon to 70 feet of water. It was non stop gag action with some amberjacks, scamp, and mangroves mixed in. All were caught on live bait. Spotted most of the bait in 50 to 60 feet.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Full Moon Mangrove Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Harbison

For the Florida Fisherman that means it’s mangrove snapper time. The mangrove snapper is one of the best eating, most abundant, fish Florida has to offer. They can be found from very shallow bays to way off shore. We will be fishing 100 miles off beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Trolling for Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

Despite high wind and big seas we were able to get out to the trolling grounds for one last meat trip before the upcoming closure. As usual, gag grouper trolling ace, Justin Spigener, put us on the fish even in relatively rough conditions.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Grouper Grand Slam

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

That’s it! The boat has completely limited out on grouper; and that’s a two day limit of 8 each. We are still a very long ways from Madeira Beach, Florida. Let’s feast on that Chef Tammy steak dinner, with all the trimmings, and hit our bunks. We are tired, I mean really tired; grouper wore out tired.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Clearwater Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

It was take the neighborhood kids fishing day! Headed out at 8:30 and tried to get bait. It was tough but managed to get a couple dozen runners, grunts and a few squirrel fish. We went out to 55 feet of water and set up. The AJ and gag action was non stop from 10:30 to 12:30, all caught on live bait.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Veterans Day Fun

Florida Sportsman member: OneLandOneSea

Headed out to 65 feet of water for some kings and grouper. Bite was slow but caught two nice 32 inch gags and broke off a bunch more. We lucked out with a nice 20 pound cobia on the bottom too.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Trolling for Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

I hopped aboard the gag grouper catching machine, the Grumpy Grouper, and trolled up some of the fattest fish I have put on the deck this season. We caught fish from 27 to 35 inches and no shorts. Limited out and back to the dock by noon.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Fishing with an Old Friend

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

We left my dock around 7:30 and headed to 40 feet which is about 7 miles out. It started out slow but after some hopping around we found some fish willing to eat. We ended up with 4 gags and 5 red grouper which was a little surprising.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Fun for All

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

Monday evening we went out 12 miles and anchored up. On the way there saw schools of cigars minnows and spanish sardines and loaded up 5 at a time. We were in 50 feet and the area was covered in small baits. We caught gags, cobia, barracuda, spinner sharks and Ajs.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


West Central Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Whenever cold fronts move into the gulf the pressures starts to plummet, this causes the fish to go into a feeding frenzy because they know the coming storm will stir the water and prevent them from feeding easily. So the days leading up to a front are great fishing, but then the day the weather blows up the fishing stops.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Catching a Mountain of Fish

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Three P.M. friday afternoon, Madeira Beach is under a severe storm warning. As we board the Florida Fisherman ll at Hubbard’s Marina, we can not help but wonder will this overnight trip produce, ‘A Mountain of Fish,’ or be a complete wash-out?

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


West Central Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Jerseygirl

We ran south and hit some hard bottom spots that were very productive. The current was strong and the bite was on at most spots we hit. starting out with dead bait, then switching to live once the fish got chewing. We started out with a couple smallish red grouper and some medium sized scamps, then the bigger fish started to show.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Shallow Sailfish off St. Pete

Florida Sportsman member: Jcclark

About 15 seconds later our flat line starts singing and as soon as my friend grabs the rod the sail starts dancing on top of the water for about 15 yards. I broke off on my fish and jumped up and pulled the anchor. We chased it down and after a great fight we were able to boat the fish for a few pictures and get it back in the water to revive it.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


West Central Offshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Once again time for a 39 hour adventure that defies the imagination. Our weekend home away from home is Hubbard Marina’s Florida Fisherman ll. We love to catch fish, however, what makes these extended trips really special is the chance to get to really know real sportsmen/women from all over the country.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Hook and Line Hogfish

Florida Sportsman member: spanishsardine

I got the chance to venture to my new fishing spot. I call it The Spanish Sardine Fishing hole. We managed to catch 3 hogfish in 2 hours. We also caught triggerfish, grunts, porgy’s, gag grouper, red grouper, and mangrove snapper.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Making the Run for Red Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: anglingarchitect

Forum member anglingarchitect got out during this short red snapper season. Making a long run, but producing some really nice fish!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Monster from the Depths

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

The trophy fish takes Matt from the starboard bow to the stern, and across the stern to the port side. Finally, forty five minutes later, we see color, the color of a huge amber jack. Quick Will, the gaff. Kyle, get the other gaff; it’s going to take both of us to bring this trophy of all trophies over the bow.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Mangrove Madness

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

The Middle Grounds, located roughly 100 miles north west of Madeira Beach, Florida, is a prehistoric coral-reef complex covering 461 square miles, and is home to 170 species of fish, including the hard to fool, hard to catch, mangrove snapper. Mango snapper are notorious bait thieves.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Middle Ground Mayhem in the Rain

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Ms. Lisa Shouron, Tampa, refuses to let a little moisture rain on her day. Lisa, fishing out of spot number 10, shows that nice cobia who the boss really is, after all, Lisa is all woman!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 


Sharks and Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

The bite was on right away for mangos with a few other tasty fish coming over the rail.Best mang bite this year for me but most were around 15 inches,but quantity made up for quality.The two biggest snapper of the day got eaten bye sharks just under the boat.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Grouper on the Rocks

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

We did well for a few hours then the bite shut down, we tried moving around but was limited because we only had about 125 feet of anchor line. Towards the end of the day we drifted over the best shows and put a few more mangos in the box.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Taking Out The Kids

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

We caught lots of short reds, a few keeper scamp and five good gags. the kids were reeling in a fish and about half way up it got blasted so I put out a mackerel we had sabiki’d up. Soon we had a shark on, a tiger shark. About 30 minute later another Tiger ate a red grouper right next to the boat.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


Grouper Limit Out Of Longboat Key

Florida Sportsman member: ericf

We came in closer to public numbers in 30 feet, and experienced the hottest grouper bite I have ever seen. Nonstop gags! Live blue runners, frozen sardines, regurgitated whatever from caught fish picked off the deck of the boat, nothing lasted more than 20 to 30 seconds. We limited out in about half an hour, and released a few fish after that. It was mayhem, totally crazy.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 


First Foreign Kingfish

Florida Sportsman member: guifri

We are on vacation from Germany. Trolled around the crab buoys 1.5 Miles from the shore to catch some Macks. After a while put a white/red yozuri on the Second rod. It only lasted minutes until the drag was singing!

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


100 Miles Off Madeira Beach

Florida Sportsman member: Harbison

Captain Mark Hubbard fires up the Florida’s two huge Caterpillar diesels and punches in the numbers for ‘One hundred miles off Madeira Beach.’ We are on a mission, a mission to catch fish. Will the mangrove snapper be hungry? Join the party as we find out together.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


a Long Trip Equals a lot of Fish

Florida Sportsman member: TennesseeDave

I got one red snapper and one large amberjack, some mangos, beeliners, and such. Some people did well and some people didn’t. The weather held out pretty good. At 1 a.m. on the way out it got bumpy for a little while but then softened back down so we could get some rest [...]

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


Gags, Red Grouper & Rough Seas

Florida Sportsman member: flatsrunna

Pulled double duty today, had two 4 hr trips and again huge seas, but not as bad as the day before. We managed 6 reds and a batch of nice grunts before the current decided it wanted to move as fast as the breeze we were in. We got nice fish in 40 feet today. I love it when they are super close! We were in by 12 fish cleaned and headed to go get our next group.

2nd trip we got a good number of fish as the seas totally laid down in only an hr, loved it ! 28 knot cruise out and back and nice fish to boot !

Click here for full forum report.


St. Pete Red Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: GASeminole

With the 10 knot West wind, the trip out was into 2 foot or less chop. Water was clean and flying fish started showing up around 50 feet. Schools of bonito were boiling every so often, saw a couple of king mackerel “sky” as well.

Stopped about 20 NM out, about 3/4 mile from a public number (found this spot while re-rigging/drifting one windy day and saw it on the sonar.) Anchored up and my wife and I caught 21 reds. Pulled anchor and drifted over area and caught 3 more. Released all but 7, the one pictured below was the biggest, and was my personal best grouper. All caught on live pins.

While we were out the winds died down and it was hard not to head farther west, but we had more than enough fish in the box and were happy to head home.

Click here for full forum report.


Fort Drum Gag Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: glihon

Went out for some grouper Sunday from Ft D (finally my first trip since the season opened). No tidal movement and other issues in the morning made bait catching difficult at the small bridge. Wasted enough time so just headed out. Ran through a solid rain on the way but made it to the area we wanted to fish and the day turned beautiful. Weed pushed in from the west wind made the trolling difficult but we did get a nice 29-inch gag to the boat as well as 24-inch spanish. Started bottom dropping with the bait we did have and only found short rg. Tried ledges in 45 feet, 55 feet and a wreck in 40 feet.

Click here for full forum report.


Shallow Water Grouper off Anclote

Florida Sportsman member: Juicebucket

Got the boat wet around 6:30 and headed out to the island for bait.

Whitebait was super thick and super tiny. After getting about 450 net wreckers and a couple dozen pins we headed back into the river to fuel up and ride. We hit the GPS and made the long 5 mile run to his first spot. When I think grouper fishing I think straight drops on 4/0 reels and falling to my knees to yank them off the bottom. This was a whole different ball game. The water was so shallow we had to anchor way off and cast to them just like if we were mangrove or dock fishing. Basically once you hook up you have to drag them across 50 feet of bottom that they can wedge themselves into rather than yank them vertically 10 feet until you’re safe. I’ve never had a 24 inch gag fight harder then the ones we caught on this trip. Shallow water fish have a different gear, I swore everyone was 30 pounds during the fights and the bruises on my arms and hips are testament.

Click here for full forum report.


Mixed Bag out of Bean Point

Florida Sportsman member: JEIBE

After casting off out of my place at 530am in palma sola we were met with beautifully calm seas out of bean point. We stopped at the 3 mile north and quickly filled up on cigars and pins. From there it was a nice 43 mile run out. We got 31kph at 2.1 mpg on the freshly re worked 250. We got to our spot in 147 feet and immediately were greeted with a Christmas tree on the foruno. It felt like 20 minutes and we had our boat limit of keeper snapper. they were loving the threads more than anything. We then moved to a barge in 80 feet and of course had the water walking with bonita, sharks and cudas. A captain in a contender came up and asked to share the wreck. He then unloaded hundreds of white bait in to the water and it was game on with monster cudas, mango snapper, sharks, golaiths, bonitas and some baby amberjacks.

Click here for full forum report.


Rough Conditions and Worthy Catches

Florida Sportsman member: Jayzilla

After another 2 hours of getting the crap beat out of us we finally made it out deeper to the first spot. We made a couple of drifts and it produced a mixed bag of jacks, gags, and mangos. Anyone who has ever fished with me knows that I hate to anchor but with the stiff winds, big swells, and ripping current it was a must. We dropped the hook and it was perfect, 7 feet directly in front of the spot. The next two hours we proceed to fill a 150 quart cooler with big mangos. It would have been more snappers but we kept getting the occasional by catch or break off from big jacks or gags. Just before I decided to leave that spot I managed to catch a nice rusty belly on 30 pound snapper tackle. I actually broke the fish off earlier because when I got him up I saw two circle hooks buried in the corner of his mouth. Greedy grouper couldn’t stop eating those 3 inch pinfish.

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Sarasota Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: srqmynatt

We ran out to a spot in 135 feet between New Pass and Longboat pass, I had found these numbers back in April and new right away it was covered in snapper. I fished it once or twice in May just seeing what was there and found out the Mangos and ARS were stacked up 20 feet off the bottom. I brought the numbers with me and sure enough we marked a nice pile of fish so we set the anchor. We started with smaller gear and worked our way up to the red grouper. Had a nice mixed bag[...]

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Way Offshore – Grouper & Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member: Jerseygirl

We decided to hit some numbers past the 400 foot contour line. Definitely worth the run time, although next time need to budget for more line in the water time for further exploration. Spent most of the day running, but the fish were there. While we did come up empty trolling, deep dropping was interesting. Neil F. bagged a nice Yellow-Edge Grouper around 25 pounds and I managed a 50 plus pound AJ that hit on the bottom at 430 feet (not fun, especially when you are expecting another big deep-water Grouper). Looking forward to more time fishing this depth to better learn how to approach it.

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Longboat Pass Gags, Kings and More

Florida Sportsman member: rreed

We headed out of Longboat Pass at first light, with a few dozen shrimp and lots of old bait to cut up. The pinfish catching was slow, due to large blue runners tangling and breaking off sabikis. Wind and tide opposition made for slow going without getting soaked in small boat.

As we got out deeper the sun broke through the clouds and seas laid down for a nice day. We drifted for Red Grouper first, quickly putting keepers in the box around 90 feet. We saw some structure during drift and threw out marker. On second try we were on the spot. Given the last few trips RG success came quickly, we brought different setups and shrimp to try to diversify the catch. I brought a 4000 reel with 20 pound mono/ 20 foot 20 pound fluro sliding 3 ounce to 3/O hook, this caught all the mangos.

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St.Pete Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: 06powerstroke

Launched the boat out of Fort Desoto around 5:30 PM and cruised over to the Skyway to put a few live baits in the livewell, bait wasn’t hard to find at all. Cruised out to the pipeline at sunset, tried a few different spots and picked up a few Mangos hear and there. On our way to the next spot watching the bottom machine found a sweet spot! It was loaded with Mangos! Made short work of filling our limit and caught my personal largest. Just before the sun was coming up we cruised out to 125 feet of water to try and find decent AJ’s. Couldn’t find them anchored so we started trolling. We were getting Bonita one after another which is fun to catch for me but then the rod bent over good and line was screaming off. We hooked into a decent Blackfin Tuna! This was my first tuna I have ever caught.

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Snapper and Blackfin Tuna Action

Florida Sportsman member: Navy_Fishing

Headed out towards the Elbow to see if we could hit the big fish for a 2nd trip in a row. Started out fishing the Pipeline in about 155 feet and hit a few mangos here and there. Most were of decent size, 2-4 pounds. A few 5 pounders came over the side as well. Then it happened. One of the regulars, Ritchie hooked up with a fast moving fish that turned out to be a nice blackfin tuna that ate one of his pigfish being sent down on a knocker rig for mangos. I was working a 1 ounce jighead with live bait and got hammered about 5 feet off the bottom and ended up boating a 25 pound Blackfin.

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Prefront Bite

Florida Sportsman member: srchn4salmon

I was a bit skeptical only going about 9 miles out for Mangrove Snapper but the first 2 fish that came up were a couple small mangs. After that we did everything we could to get away from the “endangered” Gags. It was an amazing bite, every drop produce Gag after Gag. Thankfully a couple Mangs were mixed in to get some fish in the cooler. Finally tally for the day was 8 Mangs brought home, biggest being 21”, at least 40 gags with more than half of those being keepers. The biggest came on a triple hook up that we all managed to land our fish.

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[...]


An All Florida Week to Remember

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Florida weather, Florida fishing, Florida shrimp, and Florida hunting, all in one week. Who could ask for anything more? Sunday, three P.M., twenty eight emotionally charged anglers are ready to go, ready to challenge the monsters of the Middle Grounds. The Florida Middle Grounds, 100 miles Northwest of beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida, consist of underwater formations of stony hard and soft coral growths, ledges with twenty-thirty foot drops, and numerous ship wrecks. The 330 square mile Middle Grounds provides a natural aquarium for many species of fish and a tropical wonderland for the serious angler[...]

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MLK Day Snapper Trip

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

I had the day off of school for MLK day and the weather looked good for a trip offshore. I called a few buddies and we did the first trip of 2013 in my boat and it was a good one. We fished 90-100 feet. and the mangroves were chewing. Most fish were caught on light jigs or knocker rigs. We headed in around 1:30 and had over 30 mangroves and a handful of red grouper. The biggest snapper was just shy of 25 inches. It was a great day.[...]

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Hogs, Snapper, and Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Navy_Fishing

Took out the dusky for it’s 2nd fishing trip since being completed. Had an old Navy friend come over from Lakeland to fish with us. I also brought along two guides that I have come to know since working at O’Neill’s, Capt. Lee Blick and Capt. Craig Weaver.We set out about 0800 and headed west. Got out to a snapper spot that has been good to us for the last few trips. Fishing was slow to start but picked up as we moved around the area to find the fish.[...]

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Foggy Snapper, Grouper, & More

Florida Sportsman member: Navy_Fishing

My buddy has been working for the last 14 months restoring an 85 foot Dusky. Some of you may have actually seen his thread on the Hull Truth. well, he finally got it complete and after a quick sea trial last Friday to make sure it floated and ran as desired, we decided to take her out for the maiden fishing trip. Left out of O’Neill’s at 8ish and the fog was still thick. After a slow trek out of the bay through Pass-a-Grille, we finally were able to get up to speed and head 30ish miles west. seas were a bit sportier than the forecast called for, but we pushed on with hopes they would lie down as advertised. Got to the area we wanted to fish and came upon a spot that lite up the bottom machine about half a mile from our intended stop. We dropped down some sardines and it was game on with the mangos and yellowtail. We boated 4 or 5 within the 1st 10 minutes and then the rudderfish hit us. We couldn’t get away from them.

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Kings in the Fog

Florida Sportsman member: rreed

I haven’t been able to get offshore for awhile, with my wife past 8 months pregnant I needed to stay close. The newest fisherman has joined the family and things are getting back to normal. On the drive to friend’s house was thinking I hadn’t gotten a king trip in this year, just a passing thought on long drive. Load boat with ice and old cooler full of old bait from freezer. We were met with a real challenge safely navigating to pass. Sabiki’d blue runners and cigar minnows, just outside of pass. Headed for 85 foot area we fished last few times out. Got two keeper Red Grouper on drift and tossed marker out. Started chunking old bait and caught short reds and grunts while slick built up. Once the chum was built flat lines didn’t last more than a minute in the water. Baits intended for the bottom didn’t make it. Didn’t prepare for kings, had 40 pound mono with circle hooks on flat lines. Lost quite a few, but landed some beasts [...]

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Middle Grounds Action

Florida Sportsman member: JerseyGril

The action picked up pretty quick with a Dolphin (small) right away, then a 20 pound class Blackfin Tuna not long after that hit the shotgun line. After that we were nearly spooled by what turned out to be a monster Kingfish around 60 pounds that we released, to bad there were not any tourneys going on as this fish would have won.The King hit a Marauder plug as did the next Tuna in the box (15 pounds), then were nearly spooled again on the same lure by a big fish that broke off after a 30 minute fight. That killed the party as we did not have any more Marauder plugs. Not bad action for 2 hours of trolling, unfortunately with short daylight this time of year, we had to crank up and make the run home soon after. [...]

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Clearwater Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

Got the kids up and decided to head out for a quick quick grouper trip . Found pinfish and blue runners a mile off the beach in 20 ft. Went to a good bottom area in 40 ft and anchored. Every bait down got eaten. We a mix of red and gag grouper with the biggest gags all taken on blue runners.After 2 hours our live bait was gone and it was time to go. The kids are reeling in a small red grouper and Im reeling up my bait. As we get to the surface a tiger shark goes after the red grouper, misses but grabs my pinfish and then tries to get the grouper again. i quickly back the drag off has he starts running – now hes tangled in the red grouper line, goes around the anchor, then heads back underneath the boat and kids are screaming “shark” non stop ! [...]

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Plenty of Scamp out of Egmont

Florida Sportsman member: perlmman1234

Went out with a buddy on his bad a** 35 foot center console. First stop at 20 miles or so and reeled in a couple keeper reds. Bait was northern mackerel live shrimp and live 2 inch greenbacks. Second stop was around 45 miles out and let me tell you the scamp were on fire. I cant remember the last time I caught scamp like this. Every shrimp down barely made it to the bottom. As you can see in the video there are no shortage of them at this spot [...]

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Plenty of Bait, Plenty of Action.

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

A few of us had the afternoon open so we headed out of clearwater. Marked bait as I was heading out of the pass , steve threw the net out the back and loaded us up with scaled sardines. Took 3 of us to bring it in, filled the well and 2 five gallon buckets – still had the deck covered. Stop by the rube and toss out a few free lines. slammed right away and steve gets a cobia. Next bait out, slammed again. This one almost spooled my battle with 320 yds of 30lb power pro. I got a nice king. The boca grip was going between 38-42 lbs . [...]

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Pass-A-Grille Offshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: yelladevil17

With the recent winds, we wanted to wait a few days until the water cleared up. My cousin Tan wanted to show some east coast friends what it was like to fish on our side of the state. We loaded up with lots of live shrimp, white bait, and frozen sardines. Great day to be out on the water…overcast clouds, slight breeze, small chop. Mystery sighting of the day: As we were going out, Tan spotted a sailfish…he said it popped its bill and sail out of the water while chasing bait. That would have been a cool sight, considering we were only in about 50-60′ and 20 mi out. We got to our first spot in 65′. Gene was the first to drop down a shrimp and gets railed on his light tackle setup. The fish kept digging and running all over the boat. After a tough fight, we netted a nice 35″ cobia[...]

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Box of Red Grouper, King for the smoker

Florida Sportsman member: CaptainBly

About 8 miles into our trip I see a really nice show on the screen. I Turn around and the bottom just exploded with color. Throw the jug. Drift it a couple times and some almost keeper reds come over the side. But way bigger than the last spot so we were hopeful. We decided to anchor.

Within an hour and a half we had our limit of Red Grouper and a nice king that is about to go on the smoker in about 20 minutes… Not a bad day for no plan,not hitting the water until almost 11:00am, and not putting a line in until noon[...]

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Spooktacular Mahi and Mangro Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: indabox.bc

“Headed out of John’s Pass Friday afternoon for some Friday night mangros. Ran into a school of mahi 30 miles out. Luckily, we had plenty of live whitebait to keep them at the boat.After an hour of mayhem, 33 mahi were In Da Box and we left them biting to get set up for the nighttime mangro bite[...]”

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Girl Power on the Grounds

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

The Florida Fisherman, Hubbard’s Marina, has been on dry dock for a few weeks. Spent my weekends attending Jesuit High School football games instead of fishing the Florida Middle Grounds. That is about to change, the Florida is back. Forty eight anglers and a crew of five are busting at the seams in anticipation. Let’s go! The weather forecast is great, the moon is full, the Florida is loaded with enough food & drinks to supply a small, make that a large, army. It’s time! [...]

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Fishing the Forty Fathom Break

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Friday means deep water time for the Florida Fisherman, Hubbard’s Marina. The moon phase is perfect for an all out assault on the ‘Monsters of the Elbow & Forty Fathom Break.’ Thirty dedicated anglers wait to board the Florida Fisherman ll. This is going to be all out war.

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Hogfish on Artificial

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

Monday’s trip hit a little snag when we got to the marina, they were out of live shrimp. We never head offshore without a livewell full of shrimp, everything eats them. Instead we got a box of dines and castnetted up some pins and greenbacks.We ran out to the pipe knowing that there is some big mangs out there [...]

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ARS Pay Back Time

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Friday, June first, 2012, American red snapper season opens. The very best to one & all, let’s go get them. Finally! It’s ARS pay back time. No more free meals.Forty four anglers, and a full crew, departs Hubbard’s Marina on the Florida Fisherman ll. We will be fishing two days before the full of the moon, the best time of the month. Will the fish be hungry? Let’s go see.

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Gag Reflex

Florida Sportsman member: flatsrunna

Took my buddy out today for a lil’ action, he hasn’t fished in 12 years. So I rolled up to the marina at about 9:30. Droped 300 dollars on gas, loaded the boat, and we were off to the nearest flat to catch bait. After a few tosses we had bait and we were off to the wild blue yonder. Feels like we threw back 100 plus fish today. Bite was sick.

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Giant Cobia in Clearwater

Florida Sportsman member: ericj359

A good buddy asked me if I wanted to go out on his newly re-powered Calcutta 263 well I said said “OH YEAH!” A lot different from the 18 foot Mako I usually run. We went out to our favorite cobia spot to see if anybody was home, it was pretty rough at 45 feet, in about 3-6 foot swells the boat handled it great. We ran 25 mph the whole way through it and didn’t get wet. Enough about sounding like a Calcutta commercial and back to fishing. We anchored up and started to chum and I hooked up on the biggest blue runner I’ve ever seen, it was huge! [...]

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Full Moon Mango Madness

Florida Sportsman member: Navy_Fishing

Showed up at Mango’s house and loaded the boat. Heading out to challange the GOM beasts would be Mango, Kokosing Lover, Manny (Mango’s friend) and myself. Got the boat in the water sometime between 12:30 and 1 PM. Headed out of Blind Pass and started looking for the bait. Got a few cigars and runners and then headed out to about 100′. Started to drift over form fishy looking hard bottom and I get hooked up by a big fish only to have my knot to the swivel come undone [...]

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Offshore AMI

Florida Sportsman member: JEIBE

Finally had a day off with school and work being so crazy so Capt Vern treated me to a trip. Started off at the 3 mile and sabiki’d up pins, blue runners, pig fish, sardines, you name it. We were going to run out to 100 or so in search of some big fire trucks but we found a bottom chunk we couldnt pass up. Several gag grouper in the large and larger range were caught. RGs got in the action as well with bringing 4 keepers home…between 20-23″ [...]

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Cobia’s out of Clearwater

Florida Sportsman member: ericj359

While most of you were fishing the king of the beach. I didn’t enter cause kings are a hit or miss with me. Headed out to a public wreck in 45 feet about 10 miles out looking for some light tackle bonita mackerel action, well that wasn’t the case. Filled the well at a bridge in the intercoastal so we started chumming, the first bait in the water gets slammed not even 5 minutes in [...]

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Middle Grounds Trip

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Once again we challenge the Florida Middle Grounds. Once again the weekend weather prediction is less than perfect; in fact, down right lousy. Forty eight anglers hope for the best. Low pressure or no low pressure, we know what the Grounds has to offer. Most of us arrive at Hubbard’s Marina early. One reason is to watch the 1/2 day boat returning. Sure enough, the Friendly Fisherman returned one P.M. Friday afternoon. Grunts were targeted. Grunts, small but very good eating. Also some very impressive king fish and mackerel were landed.

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75 Miles

Florida Sportsman member: electricblue

Ran out for opening grouper and got on the mangos something nice. See the 8#er. Had the ARS chummed up from 200′. Folks these bastards have doubled in size. It’s almost like they know they get a free pass. Some sort of hope and change I guess…. $1000 in fuel, couple of fish, day on the water, priceless…Life is good.

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First Cobia- and much more!

Florida Sportsman member: timbo615

Went out to run the boat because it hadn’t been ran in a while. Engine had a hard time and thought it was gas. Got out 4 to 5 miles and started trolling. Dropped a big lipped lure down and was about to get the spoon out and boom the lure gets killed. Stopped the boat and he was not moving. Maybe I got hung up. Motor back over it and he comes out. About a 28 in gag. Have no idea how he got in the rocks trolling. I turned the engine off and when I went to turn it back on, nothing. I opened a compartment and smelled gas. The water fuel separator is spitting out gas [...]

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Kingfish out of Hubbard’s

Florida Sportsman member: TennesseeDave

Me and my neighbor went on Hubbard’s Sunday morning half-day. Trolling on the way out we caught a bunch of Spanish mackerel. One was at least 4-5 pounds (sweet). These were caught using a #1 planer and a green drone spoon off one of the corner spots. My buddy used a silver spoon with a small trolling weight wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy back [...]

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Cobia!

Florida Sportsman member: GEO

Cobia have started to show up at the mouth of Tampa Bay to just inside the Skyway Bridge in decent numbers to where I think we are going to have a great cobia year. On back to back trips we were able to catch four while sight casting to them. Pinfish or scaled sardines under a popping cork is a deadly combo for these brown bombers. They fight great especially the second time after they see the boat. Look for these fish to be around reefs, bridge pilings channel markers and similar structure [...]

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Gags, a Mango, and a Porgy

Florida Sportsman member: Navy_Fishing

LateAgain, Myself and an old Navy friend from Lakeland went out to try our luck with the Mangos this morning and to say the bite was tough would be an understatement. Only 1 Mango wanted to come home for dinner, so we of course obliged him or maybe her. Gags were hot and eating everything we dropped down. Sardines, live shrimp, dead shrimp. Largest went 11 something pounds [...]

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Big Gags and a Frisky Shark

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

The weather looked decent so I tried to get a crew together but only my buddy Kit could ride out,oh well time to go find something willing to put up a battle. On the way out about 12 miles out we see something that looked very stange, there was a loon diving down and there was a huge colorspot under him.We pulled up and to our surprise it was a massive whale shark with a school of bait fish all around him,the loon was diving down getting him some.I made the mistake of taking my eye off the whale shark fetching the camera,when I got he dove down never to be seen again [...]

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The Bottom Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Gordo35

Ended up fishing with 3 buddies today. I just put the boat back at O’Neill’s the other day and we departed from my lift around 6:50. Stopped at the PAG marker and got some smallish Pinfish to go with the live shrimp I got from the marina. Headed out to the Egmont channel markers and got some nice Sardines and Cigar Minnows to join the crowd in the livewell [...]

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Can You Say Tuna!

Florida Sportsman Member: timbo615

My uncle is a long time local who moved to Tennessee. Whenever he comes in town I make sure I have plenty of time to take him out. This past week Thursday-Saturday looked to be the best days. Took another person out with us, his son-in-law, never really been offshore before. We ran out to the pride in hopes of playing around with some aj’s. We get there and the aj’s are all over. Uncle throws out a soft plastic and gets hooked up. He saw that it wasn’t a aj as it was really silver [...]

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Spring Time Variety

Recent fishing reports from the East Central region.


Spring Time Variety

Florida Sportsman member: Capt Michael Savedow

Fishing from New Smyrna to Edgewater to Oak Hill and south into the lagoon, clients catching everything from Redfish and Seatrout, Black Drum and Sheepshead, Mangrove Snapper, Sharks, Bluefish, Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish, and more. Backcountry mixed bag trips have been great, 10 or more species on most trips, keeping it interesting waiting to see what type of fish will surface next.

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East Central Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: jmsnookman

It was a little tight with four anglers on the boat, but the fish were chewing hard at all three spots we hit this morning. Between breakoffs and missed hook sets we lost as many as we landed; and we landed twelve trout (mostly overslot), two slot reds, snook, and missed a tarpon that would have completed a grand slam.

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East Central Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Reel Teal

I re-rigged another mullet and put it in the same spot and a couple minutes later got hammered again and this time stuck the hook in em. After about a 5 minute fight landed a 29 inch red. It had a fat belly full of those mullet I assume.

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Catching in the Indian River

Florida Sportsman member: tron1.8

Me and my wife headed out early and had a great time getting into some fish. She got her first tarpon and some large jacks. One jack had two large jigs down his throat. We were able to bring home some sheephead and one nice mangrove snapper as well.

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Night Time Sebastian Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Salty Roots

The night time tide changes have been our bread and butter. The snook have been hitting bucktails, the reds were hitting cut pogies when we could get them, live croakers when we could get them, and for two nights they were smacking crabs on the top.

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North Brevard Wading

Florida Sportsman member: IRJ

Forum member IRJ caught some nice fish wade fishing in North Brevard. Fishing soft-plastic paddle tails were the key to success.

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Catching in the Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: Capt Michael Savedow

The shallow water coming up a few degrees can have some fish leave the school to look for food on their own, fishing some areas with soft muddy bottom, can have loose groups of reds and trout in dished out type spots of a couple feet deep.

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Windy Day on the Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: flightcontroller

A good day on the goon even with the winds. We managed to drift up on several single/double over slot reds but the planets aligned only for this one 29 inch fatty. If we had been a bit more on our game, we could have boated a half dozen of these.

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Cocoa Beach Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: fishin4amission

Been busy enjoying our local waters trying to find some willing fish. Some days have been great letting us get some inshore slams. Others we are lucky to just catch a couple fish. Most fish have come on slowly presented paddle tails and doa shrimp.

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NIRL Drum Bite

Florida Sportsman member: RealSeabee

It’s a pretty good size piece of real estate to try and cover but I did manage to get three BIG red’s to eat, but none willing to get all the way inside the boat, two alongside and one about 10 feet away. They were all OVER Slot and would’a been released anyway but I’d rather have done the “releasing”.

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A Friend’s First

Florida Sportsman member: duckmanJR

With us having a grueling duck hunt schedule we finally had an off day on Monday while one buddy drove another to the airport and we slept in. We woke at 9 and the weather looked OK, so we splashed the skiff. Wind was brutal at 14 out of the northeast but it didn’t take too long.

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Wintertime Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: redfish27

So my 14 year old son invites me out yesterday on his “new” skiff and says he knows where some tarpon are. I take him up on the invite, no doubt he knows his stuff. Seems like just yesterday I was showing him the tricks of fishing and boat handling, now he is taking Dad out and putting me on fish.

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Warm Winter in the Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: Capt Michael Savedow

New clients Laszlo and Brittany from Connecticut had a great, first flats fishing experience out with me, good sight fishing conditions helped them catch 5 Redfish with most overslot fish up to 29 inches and upper slot fish, being good catch and release anglers all fish were sent off swimming.

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East Central Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Cavanaugh68

The spotted seatrout are thick along the drop offs and ledges. However the big boys, the gators, are back in deep thick backcountry waters. Searching the white holes or sand spots and always keeping in mind your posture, bait movement and signs of their presence.

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Early Winter on the Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: Capt Michael Savedow

The colder water has redfish starting to school on the flats with winter sight fishing patterns as water gets much clearer and the temperature drops. Sea trout are also a winter target species on the lagoon waters, the larger Trout frequent the flats along with Redfish, while most school size Trout are caught along the drop offs edges of holes and sloughs in the backcountry.

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Nearshore Mayhem

Florida Sportsman member: SaltyRoots

We went out of the Port in search of triple tail, flounder, redfish, and kings. Both times got blanked on the triple tail and flounder but that was because all of our time was spent reeling in kingfish and redfish!

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Braving the Conditions

Florida Sportsman member: Keystroke

We were the only boat in Sebastian Inlet for 2 hours. The fish were fattening up for winter on the incoming tide. As the tide started to swing to outgoing we got out of there. Sebastian Inlet can be a deadly place if not respected.

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East Central Slams

Florida Sportsman member: duckmanJR

I really didn’t keep count on how many I was catching, but it was close to “palooza” status. We ran south to a new spot and it didn’t take long till I had another trout, then a snook and then Frank hooks up his first snook ever.

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Fun in the Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: Capt Michael Savedow

The water is still fairly high on the north lagoon so fished mostly shorelines and points that the north wind would allow. Mainly finger mullet baits as I fish with clients to give them the best chance for maximum bites, our second red did not take long at that first spot as daughter Calle hooked up with this 25″ extra spot fish.

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Banana River Red

Florida Sportsman member: Panfishangler1

My friend and I pulled the lines in, anchors up and began to let the fish lead the way. I was using 10 pound mono with a 25 pound test leader. If my drag wasn’t set right, there was no guess that I would have lost the fish.

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Messin’ with the Macks

Florida Sportsman member: Farout

We ended up with 30 Spanish, threw back countless bluefish and jacks and another 10 or so small mackerel. A huge shark came up and grabbed a small spanish we had just hooked, it came out of the water and performed an awesome acrobatic display for us and promptly snapped the line.

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Bulls off the Beach

Florida Sportsman member: triplehelix

Joined the fleet atop a redfish frenzy. They were feasting on pogy pods, so we matched the hatch with some live ones on the bottom. In half an hour we released four reds in the 15 to 20 pound range.

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Sebastian Inlet on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: Final Point

What an incredible fishery we have here in Sebastian. The last week has been full of some serious fish. The smallest snook to come in the boat was 30 inches, the smallest red was also 30 inches.

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East Central Action

Florida Sportsman member: SaltyRoots

Been hitting up the inlet for the late night outgoing tides with the old man. We’ve been pretty successful drifting through with live bait bouncing the bottom. Mullet, pins, pigs, croakers it didn’t matter, if you were bouncing bottom you were hooking up.

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Putting the In-Laws on the Fish

Florida Sportsman member: RealSeabee

Top Water (Skitter and Sebile Slim Sticks) and Cut Mullet are the baits. We’ve been doing much better this go around. Don has caught 18 reds to this point and we will be out again today.

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New Family Record

Florida Sportsman member: RealSeabee

The old family record red fish WAS 44 1/2 inches which my wife held. Well, today she done went and broke our family record, new record is 50 3/8 inches!

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Redfish Riot

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

I also pitched them the monster 7 inch Fender Walker topwater plug. These reds lost their minds when they saw that plug, I had one red of at least 45 inches come completely out of the water about a foot above the surface trying to dismantle my plug. It was epic action to say the least.

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East Central Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: Keystroke

There are some big fish out in the ocean along the beaches, feeding on all that little bait moving along the coast. The trick is to fool them into eating in that clear ocean water. Can’t wait till all the big girls find their way up through the inlet and visit us this fall.

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Early Morning Trout and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: B. Graves

I had some fun with the trout for a while then made my way to the spot I had been fishing the last few times out and the reds weren’t there. So I started trolling around looking for some and came across a school of 30 to 40 over slot reds.

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Indian River Reds

Florida Sportsman member: B. Graves

Took about an hour to find some redfish. Caught a couple decent trout on topwater while looking for reds. Finally started seeing tails so I anchored up and threw some top water, soft plastics and a spoon, nothing. So I turned to cut up pinfish.

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East Central Tailers

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

We made the paddle out to the spot and we were greeted by 100 plus over slot reds happily tailing away in the grass, finning out, backs breaking the surface, the whole 9. We managed to scoop up 5 until the wind switched out of the east briskly and they all made their exit off to the deep end.

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Bulls Before the Storm

Florida Sportsman member: RiverRat321

Within ten minutes of that mullet surfacing the water there was the blow upp! I grabbed the bell and set a perfect hook set and enjoyed the ride! She put up a nice and long fight for her size at 36 inches, I got her in and unhooked her. Of course we released her just in time to head in before the storm.

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Backwater Tarpon in the Rain

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

40 hookups between us give or take, the vast majority of them shook off after a fine display of acrobatics. We got a few decent ones to the boat though, including a nice one Steven caught on fly.

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Sebastian Slob Snook

Florida Sportsman member: MelbourneMark

A little defeated we headed to one of our shorelines to soak some shrimp, hoping to catch some trout or reds. We were using light tackle with 25 pound leader. This was my wife’s first snook over 40 inches, and she did a wonderful job of handling her around the boat. The fish ran what seemed like 100 yards before slowing down. I finally got her in the net, but she would not fit completely.

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Setting Personal Records

Florida Sportsman member: SlamPiece

School of 30 or so breeder reds tailing in the flats, carefully casted with the jerkbait and twitched it twice. Thought I spooked the school (as a huge wake was formed near my lure) but turns out two or three reds were racing to get to the lure first. Hooked up and after a nice fight on my lightest outfit I landed a 44 inch red!

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East Central Reds

Florida Sportsman member: FLChance92

I spent a ton of time up in north Brevard and some schools in the Banana this past week. I haven’t fished up there much in a while and figured I would go chase some schools of Redfish I used to fish for as a kid.

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Tarpon off the Beach

Florida Sportsman member: Secretweapon321

Forum member Secretweapon321 got into the tarpon recently. Jumping one fish and landing one after an hour and a half battle! Nice work.

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Solo Mission in the Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: FowlMouth824

After a couple hundred yards on the pole I spotted a small school of slot reds. They were milling about, completely unaware of my approach. I tossed out the ole trusty CAL on an 1/4oz head, one fish spotted the “prey”, broke ranks and pounced.

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East Central Gators

Florida Sportsman member: FowlMouth824

There was no shortage of bait or game fish, we saw hundreds of black drum all morning long. We could hear them drumming through the water. Though we never could convince one to eat. We threw D.O.A. shrimp, cals and an assortment of flies. They were just completely disinterested.

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Snookin’ Success

Florida Sportsman member: Postal

This girl blasted my bait and screamed off line the fight is on. She headed for the dock pilings and the mangroves. After a fun battle and yelling ” no! ” a 100 times with every dart she took for the dock, I landed the old girl.

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East Central Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Montana1

I think we only caught two fish that were under slot, and one that was just over. None of the fish were tailing, and 90 percent of them were caught while blind casting, and just like always they were all caught on artificials, and released to fight again.

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Big Mosquito Lagoon Snaggle Tooth

Florida Sportsman member: tron1.8

My friend invited me out Sunday for a short trip. Caught a couple of small trout and reds, nothing major but it was nice to get out. Then this one took my DOA glow shrimp with my 6 pound line. Ended up being 30 inches long, one of the biggest I have caught in a long time!

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Saturday Sheepsheading

Florida Sportsman member: DeHeaven

We ran to our first spot and within a few hours had boated five keepers. Kris had the winner with a seven pounder! We ran out of fiddlers and the weather started to improve so we decided to go to port to get some food and more bait and try fishing at the mouth to see about a mix bag.

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Gator at Daybreak

Florida Sportsman member: dtm

As soon as it got daybreak I was ready to fish. About 5 casts and then wham! Fish on and a good one, it came up shaking its head trying to spit the hook then surged for the trolling motor under the boat ,buried in the mud and then game over. right into the one arm landing net. This thing is a hog first fish of the day and wow. By this time another boat showed an was working the same area but keeping his distance. I kept on a fishing and wammo another hog at 25 inches and released it.

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East Central Action

Florida Sportsman member: KLUELESS II

Not having a push pole we drifted the flat until we started seeing tailing reds (BONUS!).The wind dropped and the rain started but it seemed to really get the fish fired up. Although I struck first blood with a small rat red that I will not post pictures of, captain Adam was the top hook with a just short slot red and two slob trout!

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Big Trout in The Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: dtm

Hit a few deep spots hoping the trout would be hunkered down waiting for the flats to warm up, we threw gulps and worked them slowly in their face and they couldn’t let the easy meal go by.

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Redzilla In The Inlet

Florida Sportsman member: SaltyRoots

Got a solid hook set and 25 to 30 minutes later, redzilla was boat side. It bottomed out our 40 pound boga grip scale with ease. We guess it to be 45 plus pounds and it was a hell of a way to start off the new year.

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Sebastian Inlet Holding Big Fish

Florida Sportsman member: SaltyRoots

Occasional weeds fouled plugs and Friday and Saturday the waves made it a little dicey in a 16 foot boat to say the least, but the fishing was on fire. Managed to catch around 11 snook (2 slot before the 15th), 7 reds, and 2 tarpon and lost countless others. We were using 50 pound Yozuri Flouro with a decent size split shot about 8-12 inches above a Owner Mutu Light 4/0-5/0 circle hook.

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Trying Something New

Florida Sportsman member: Muskee50

I went fishing today for the first time out of Port Canaveral. I usually fish out of Mosquito Lagoon but decided to try something different. I fish out of a 17 foot flats boat so we were waiting for a nice day like today to fish along the shoreline. We picked up a few small bluefish and this nice bull Red. It is by far my largest red to date. I battled it for approximately 15 minutes before finally bringing it to the boat. I didn’t want to keep the fish out of the water any longer than necessary so no measurements or weights were taken , just this photo.

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Night Time Bruisers In The Inlet

Florida Sportsman member: Final Point

Did a trip with a good friend on Saturday evening. It rained on us most of the night but the fish didn’t mind. I’ll just show you the two big fish of the night. All fish caught on 6000 series PENNS with 50 pound braid, 50 pound fluorocarbon leader and 4/0 circle hooks. Baits were pigs, pins, croakers.

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Slobs In Sebastian

Florida Sportsman member: Final Point

Then, as the sun was starting to drop Sammy hooks into something big. Never got it close enough to see it even though at some points the top of the leader was out of the water, fought it over about three quarters of a mile of inlet and almost 20 minutes before it pulled the hook. I thought he was going to lose it and chuck my pole in the water but he kept it together. And on the very next drift he had redemption.

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Bringing Home Dinner In Sebastian

Florida Sportsman member: duckmanJR

At this point both the wind and water clarity were past what I like and my arm was now past the point that the two morning Aleve were doing anything. I was willing to quit with dinner in the well but thought,
“one pass on those oysters by the island over there” and that’s where this nice red was to finish the slam.

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Banana River “Red” Hot

Florida Sportsman member: SLW UroCane

So here are a few more pictures. Started in the morning on west side out of the wind by Kars campsite. 2 reds there including the biggest of the week. Few trout and jumped another tarpon under that dock. Then went over to 528 and waded out to the bombing target. No reds but a lot of small trout. Finished about of the wind south of 520. Another red and a few trout on the Mirrodine. All fish this week released alive. Best part, not a single jack, catfish, or lizardfish!

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Redfish Mayhem in Cocoa Beach

Florida Sportsman member: Fin & Fly Charters

The redfish bite is super hot right now, were catching 10 to 40 redfish a trip and all of them are on artificial. Topwater is definitely the best strike for them but you can use any of your favorite lures [...]

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Indian River Lagoon Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: cbmdk86

my fish was a stud, and would have been the biggest fish of the day, which got wrapped around someone’s boat and I actually managed to work it out, had it pretty whooped and to the boat. It made one more big run and crossed someone else’s hooked fish, and my line parted also had a double hookup of smaller ones that made it to the boat. we hooked 9, landed 5.

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Titusville Reds

Florida Sportsman member: AdamHughes

I drove down to Jacksonville and met my family at the ramp at 9, we took off and before we got to the first channel marker had engine trouble. Great start to the day, we ran the river looking for the big schools of spawning reds and after about an hour we found them. The school was so large it looked like a moving sandbar. We started tossing live pinfish and crabs at them with only the pinfish getting hit. We hooked up on the first fish and my mom gave it a good fight before pulling it in for some pictures. The school kept moving and the crowd began to grow. We worked the school for a couple more hours not getting to much action until I tossed out at top water. Second twitch I get blown up and the fish takes off, only to be broken off by a flurry of panicked fish swimming into my line. I quickly tied on another and as we got back into position I got my line right on the nose of the school. It seemed like the whole school targeted my bait. I got blown out of the water 3 to 4 times before finally getting a hook set.

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Cocoa Beach Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Off Shore Dude

Went out of PC this morning hunting for tarpon with friend Capt. Alex Jr. On the water by 6:15 and saw no pogies till sunrise. Then they were everywhere. We didn’t see a single tarpon all day!

However, we did run into some nice snook right off the beach. Once we realized there were snook around we started to target them. Hooked five and netted four. Caught them on pogies and all fish were released in good condition.

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Cocoa Beach Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Off Shore Dude

Went out this morning with my friends Alex and Bob. Ran down the beach – pogies everywhere. Found some Tarpon rolling and busting bait between 520 down to steeples. We did run down to patrick but the pogie pods disappeared south of steeples. Was kind of weird but the water off Patrick was beautiful and clear.

We lost a few Tarpon but managed to get this one to the boat. Took me about an hour to get him in. Circle hook caught him right in the corner of the mouth. This fish was pulling an 18 foot action craft flats boat around. Almost spooled me so we had to chase him for a little while. Estimated somewhere around 100 pounds.

Revived Tarpon and he pushed off nicely from the boat.

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Canaveral Beach Tarpon & Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Docked Wages

I got some free time this weekend and took several friends and family out on a couple trips targeting Tarpon and anything else that would bend a rod on the beach. Our summer bait run is in full swing with huge pods of pogies and mullet invading the beaches. You can target Kings, Jacks, Snook, Tarpon, Sharks in depths from 8 feet to 30 feet.

Friday started off with two big poons on back to back drifts as shown in the video below. The next day we jumped 3 more tarpon and picked up a hero snook while weeding through a few sharks.

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Brevard Red & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: blefils

You can still see into the water with limited visibility but the chocolate milk is coming on hard. I am sure there is clean water in places but a guide I am not. Started fishing both Whale Tail and the shoreline due East of the Tail. Tons of mullet and 1 big gator but no redfish. Tons of boats around Cucumber Island, but as we were rolling into the area some knucklehead blew the place out with his prop aimed at the sky. Boats cleared out after that. Ended up fishing more spots as we headed north to Tiger Shoals. We fished out in the open, close to the shoal that zigs and zags in the middle of that portion of the lagoon. That provided the cleanest water of the day which was not very clear. Saw a slow cruising 26 inch red. I tossed a chunk of mullet out in front of it. It swirled, went down, and inhaled.

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Sebastian Inlet Permit

Florida Sportsman member: Team-Rebel

As I made my way back to the end, I see three rods bent over and all hell breaking loose! I ask Mike “what the hell just happened” He said the guys were tripled up on Reds and Permit!” Oh ****! Better get to it now!” I yelled as I tied up a fresh crab onto my rod. Within minutes of deployment, I started reeling some slack out of my line, which brang my crab to the surface for a moment, and I see a fin and a boil. “Hooked up” I yelled, as a permit literally flew out of the water, and the fight was on. But this one was short lived, as it only took about 4 minutes to whoop this cute little guy and for Mike to get him into the drop net. “Cool, we are on the board, its already a success.”

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Sebastian Redfish & Trout

Florida Sportsman member: IndianRiverNole

On the water by 6:30 and headed to the first spot. In just a few cast small trout is hooked up but comes unbuttoned half way back to the boat . After that nothing for a couple of hours except to see who could get the biggest oyster rock back in the boat. About 9 decided to try and head back north to fish a spot that has always produced fish but mostly small or trash but at this point I am looking to get the skunk off the boat. Pull up and the water is very dark almost reddish in color. A few cast later and drag is screaming. After a nice fight and a couple of runs a fat 24 inch red is in the well ready for dinner tonight. Finally the skunk is off the boat and I’m feeling a little better. I got the boat back turned around and in position. A few casts later I think I have a big over slot redfish by the drag it was taking and the runs it was making. It gets a little closer and I see that its a huge trout. Measured out at 28-29 inches after it made it in the boat.

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Mosquito Lagoon Inshore Slam

Florida Sportsman member: dtm

Me and my dad fished the Lagoon toda,y for half of it anyhow. Bait is thick and the water was glassy early on and dirty. Started off with the topwaters but no one was interested. Switched up to some jerk baits and a little intrest, but not like a “I am hungry bite,” just small taps could of been pinfish I guess. Kept working around the mullet pods then finally a nice trout hits. Kept at it awhile releasing a couple small trout and a jack then thump a solid bite I put the steel to him and the fight was on but he hugged the bottom hard. I said “Great, I think I got a Ray” then bring it along the side of the boat and up pops a nice Flounder. Kept working and a casting for awhile with little to show except a few wind knots and a knot failure on a nice fish. I then make a long cast to a pothole as soon as it lands thud Hookset then screaming drag[...]

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Mosquito Lagoon Red

Florida Sportsman member: Pescatoral Pursuit

Put in at Eddy Creek. On the water by 6:30. Immediately start looking for fish. Not much there. A few singles and doubles that we couldn’t get close to. With the conditions I had expected to see some tails but there were none. About 45 minutes we get close to a decent school. As I had a friend with me I always give them first crack at it. His cast sailed wide right of the moving fish. Now it’s my turn. These guys were pretty much casting distance from the boat and I’m no sharpshooter (Theres a reason I dont fish mangrove edges, salute to those of you who do,) so I let my shrimp fly and it lands right on top of the moving red. Thinking I blew that one, I was a little surprised when it spun around and grabbed it. Fish on!

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Titusville Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: JonDubs

Went out for a quick trip today over in Titusville. First tried our trout spot but nobody was home. Went to look for something else to play with and got lucky when a blue crab floated by. Netted it up real quick and put in on the hook. Ten minutes later line starts screaming. After a 15-20 minute battle I landed a nice 39 inch fat redfish!

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Redfish Workout

Florida Sportsman member: redjim

Redfish put a hurt on my ole bod today and last night. I made the mistake of planning TWO trips for reds within 24 hours. Lucky for me (or not) the fish were hitting it hard both trips. We ended up with 15 or so nice fish. Biggest was just about 50” and they were caught drifting the Inlet with live bait while the somewhat smaller fish were caught plugging in the north Indian River Lagoon.

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Mosquito Lagoon Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: turtle83

Sunday, I had the pleasure of fishing with my 11 year old nephew. He’s an awesome kid who is constantly wanting to fish, learn knots, clean up the boat, etc. So, I figured why not take the grom out for a day on the water. Last time I had him out, I saw a major improvement in his skill level, his casts were more and more accurate and he’s beginning to learn to read the water. This time, all he could talk about was sight fishing…

So, we got over to the lagoon and started working a couple flats. We’d pole along, he’d see a trout in a sand hole but the cast just wasn’t there. It was either on top of the fish or too far left, too far right, too short. He was getting dialed in though with each presentation. At this point, I had whacked a couple of reds but our focus was on getting him a true sight fished fish. We came around a bend on a shoreline that has a few scattered sandy depressions and pot holes. Sure enough, he spots a nice trout just laying in a smaller sandhole.

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Haulover Canal Nighttime

Florida Sportsman member: JonDubs

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Have been hearing about the shrimp starting to run so wanted to get out and check it out. It was pretty gosh darn cold so we only stayed from about 6pm-11:30pm. Only saw a few shrimp but we didnt hang out long after the current switched directions. Did net up some silver sides that were attracted to the lights and put those out to see who wanted to play. Not 30 minutes after putting them out my buddy got a nice hit, he’s some what of a novice so I figured it was either a catfish or the bottom knowing him. Then the line started peeling off! Game on. I coached him through the fight, and after about 15 minutes we boated a nice 34 inch slob of a red.

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Rockledge Trout

Florida Sportsman member: redjim

Went fishing the rocks down on Rockledge Drive for small reds that I usually end up with and came up with a BIG trout (for me at least). Caught her on a 1/8 jig with a green DOA CAL with 1000 series reel and 8 lb Power Pro. So that was fun for sure. Fish measured out at 30.5″ and was sent back home to fight another day.

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IRL Nighttime Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Brentspeedgsxr

Fishing the Indian river along some docks on Wednesday night. We were fighting a south wind the whole time.. not a very bad south wind but enough that we were skeptical about catching anything. I managed to put two dink trout in the boat within the first hour or so… not a good start. So we decide to head to another spot with less wind and on our way out stopped at one last dock.

I throw a paddle tail minnow on a jig head, and boom. Fish on, it immediately runs under the dock and out the other side. Some boat maneuvering ensues, I hand my rod off to my friend who passes it under some pilings and hands it back to me. The snook takes off like a rocket and covers about 50 yards in no time, going under another dock.

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Christmas Eve Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Chuck D

Here is my first GoPro video, an early Christmas present. Edited the footage after the trip, did it quickly, any tips or suggestions on the video are welcome. As far as gear I used a Star Seagis, with a Shimano Stradic Ci4. We threw gulp shrimp on a weighted twist lock hook.

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Big Fish, Little Rod

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Tyler Vollmer

I recently got a day to myself between the cruddy weather and running trips and I was able to throw out the pink barbie rod. Knowing I was in an area holding some giant trout, this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase you don’t need to spend $500 on a rod and reel to catch the big ones. I will admit that I did cheat a little bit and spooled up 8lb braid with a 15lb flourocarbon leader rigged with a 3″ gulp shrimp. [...]

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Cold Weather has It’s Advantages

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Tyler Vollmer

With the sudden drop in temperatures, the thought of the redfish bite slowing down crossed my mind once or twice but as soon as the wind laid down, I was able to see for myself that it only improved the bite! Redfish are schooling over the flats like it’s spring and the monster trout are everywhere but not schooled up yet in the number they were last year…YET! I’ve kept the topwaters in the box and immediately start working soft plastics with instant results. Look for schooled reds in about 2′ of water and your single fish can be sighted next to land providing the water is deep enough for them to move around in. Our trout are sitting on deeper drop offs and potholes. [...]

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Busy Day: Flounder, Reds, Trout, Snook

Florida Sportsman member: duckmanJR

My very first cast is a fish on, a real fighter and a 26 1/2 inch red is in the boat. I normally don’t keep anything but flounder or pomps, except badly injured fish that won’t survive, or the odd fish here and there for my jig maker or computer tech guy. I move to my next spot and have a few short hits, then a hard thump, but no real fight as it comes straight to me. And then, holy smokes! This fish goes ballistic and in the early light I see what I would consider a “mat”. In the net it goes [...]

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NMZ Catches: Trout and Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Ta1lChas3r

Got a couple days off from work so decided to do a little fishing today following the first cool front of the season. With no set plan where to go I saw a Facebook post from a buddy of mine, Steve Brand. He was planning on hitting the No Motor Zone/KARS Park area. After texting him and inviting myself along, we made plans to meet this morning. We launched a began our trip to an area we figured would be holding some fish.[...]

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Red Hot in October

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Tyler Vollmer

Seven days into the month and I’ve put over a 100 reds in the boat. From slots to beasts, the IRL and ML is producing more fish than I’ve seen all year. The mullet run is also beginning and that means even more fish following. Look for snook following the massive schools of mullet. Use a DOA Baitbusters for these guys or a topwater can work just as well [...]

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Redfish Mania in Sebastian

Florida Sportsman member: Final Point

My father-in-law came into town for a few days and I wanted to put him on some fish! We started the day by stopping by the shop to load up on croakers (one of the many benefits of owning a bait and tackle shop). We then broke the inlet as the sun was cracking and made our way north looking for tarpon chasing the mullet schools. Made it about 5 miles before my passenger had had enough of the 3 to 4 foot, close period swell, so we headed back to the inlet to see what was chewing [...]

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IRL Breeders on Light Tackle

Florida Sportsman member: SteveB79

Got out with Tyler this morning and we headed to Titusville (10 minutes up the road) in search of some big breeder redfish. It was a nice morning with a slight 4 to 8 mph westerly breeze. On our first stop we saw absolutly nada although I landed a small trout blind casting. So we headed to a spot where there had been some recent bigguns hanging out. No luck on seeing any monsters but Tyler snatched up an upperslot beautiful tailer for the first of our targeted species of the day [...]

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Slob Redfish on Artificial

Florida Sportsman member: Wayoflife

Within 10 minutes of motoring down we spot the biggest tail I’ve ever seen on the flats. He followed the jerk bait about 5 feet then dissapeared for the rest of day…sigh. All is not lost, 5 minutes later my buddy hooks into what looks to be 35 inch red, but after getting him to boat on 10 pound braid he makes the mistake of putting a little muscle on him and he breaks off. At this point the fish goes into hidding so we decide to pickup and move a little bit [...]

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PC Smorgasbord

Florida Sportsman member: jmsnookman

Plan was to run the beach and target tarpon. Had the 24 Pathfinder loaded with tackle (big spinners, bait casters, and Avets in case we headed offshore). Headed out of the port at day break and headed south looking for pogies and poons. No pogies at the pier and water temp kept dropping the further south we went [...]

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Morning of Reds and a MONSTER Trout

Florida Sportsman member: shallowminded22

Hit the lagoon early this morning, only to find tails all over the place. Water was very low, still dirty, and tons of grass. Fish were doing a very good job at sneaking through the grass this morning but we still managed a handful. Late morning we saw a nice size tail pop up, poled towards it and my buddy makes a perfect cast and gets nailed. A couple seconds into the fight we realize it’s not a red but a monster gator trout. Caught, weighed, quick photo shoot, and a healthy release. 8.5 lbs on the boga. Enjoy.

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Big Beach Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Tyler Vollmer

Heard reports of fish patrolling the beach recently and with calm waters, I couldn’t resist taking this skiff out. Ran down to the pier and loaded up the livewell with 30 pogies. We ran about 3/4 of a mile from the beach and we seen a couple tarpon rolling. So with that we stopped, put the trolling motor in and set out our baits [...]

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Trout Bite And Brown Pants

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Tyler Vollmer

Thanks to Debby, I’ve been going a tad bit crazy just staring at the computer screen and listening to the weatherman say stay off the water so I figured I’d give a report and a story. Topwater has been off and on this month. The more overcast, the more strikes I’ve seem to be having. Skitterwalks and Chugbugs have been the hot ticket for big trout and redfish for me on the days when they’re hitting. Other days it seems I might as well have brought the kitchen sink. On those days I quickly switch up to jerkbaits [...]

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Big June Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Tyler Vollmer

As most are aware, fishing on the Indian River and Banana River is going off. Reports from other guides are showing big fish from Mosquito Lagoon as well! I’ve been scouting new areas for clients and I’ve found some fish well off the beaten path from my normal area that make a damn fine picture! Smaller redfish are smacking topwaters all day long and the STILL hot trout bite dies off around 8 a.m. [...]

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Hot Water, Hot Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Chase ‘Em Down

The fishing has been on fire in the lagoon the past few weeks. We have been catching lots of reds and trouts on Rapala skitterwalks and gulp jerk baits. The trout color has been working the best for me. Been catching the trout on the edges and drop offs fishing the bait pods. Reds have been a little tougher because the high dirty water but when you get a bait near them they will eat!

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Snook and Tarpon Bite

Florida Sportsman member: FloridaAngler

Went fishing in the Indian River down near Palm Bay yesterday. My buddy caught a nice 27 inch snook first cast, then a couple mins later I hooked up to a upper slot sized snook. As night fell the tarpon began to bite and my friend managed to catch one. We missed a bunch of tarpon but still had a lot of fun.

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Big Hungry Banana River Trout

Florida Sportsman member: jmsnookman

Decided to hit the water this morning before Memorial Day weekend boat traffic hits full swing. I’m fortunate to have a customer who is also a friend, so we can officially call it a work day. We lost more fish today than I can ever remember losing (pulled hooks, broken lines & frayed leaders from mangrove roots and docks, etc.). It’s still pretty fun getting freight trained; even when you lose.

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North IRL

Florida Sportsman member: angler18

Headed out with my buddy Bill in his boat today to look for some fish for a few hours. We started a little later than we wanted to, and made it to the spot at about 7am. Found out the trolling motor batteries took a dump, and it costed us another 30 minutes of primetime, although I managed about 10 casts with a skitter walk and boated a nice 18″ trout and had 3 blow ups on other casts.

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Mosquito Lagoon Gator!

Florida Sportsman member: Flathappy

It was a very windy day but I managed to sight cast, land and release this very healthy 33 inch gator trout. This is my personal best!

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IRL Report

Florida Sportsman member: Skinnywtrfdman

This week I had great days on the water. Got to enjoy great fishing with good friends. Got my biggest trout on top water, got some black drum, and my buddy got an oversized red. SkinnywtrfdmanWe have used top water early I the morning and soft plastic the rest of the day. Oh’ yeah except the black drum would only take shrimp. I guess I need to invest in a fly rod. I’m thinking that may work better when the fish are spooky.

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Indian River Reds and Trout, O Myyyy.

Florida Sportsman member: Panfishangler1

Put in to the ol’ Haulover Canal with light winds and glassy conditions at 8:30 a.m. Proceeded to travel West. Onto a (THE) flat 3 miles later and sighted very little surface action. We only had jerk baits, DOA’s, and a cast net for live bait. Fingering mullet were extremely HARD to find; everything was all grown up…BTW did you see that Publix now has mullet fillets in the seafood department under the glass? [...]

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Epic Mosquito Lagoon Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Cavanaugh68

All I can say is wow! Just wow! It just keeps getting better and better as time is going by here in central Florida. It is starting to look more and more for all of us here on the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River that this year is going to be epic. The weather has just been perfect along Florida’s beaches and along with this it has brought some of the best sight fishing I have seen in a few years now. The New Smyrna Beach, Oak Hill, Scottsmoor and Titusville areas are the epicenter for some of the greatest fishing on the backcountry grass flats there is.

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A Lil’ Night Action

Florida Sportsman member: Hejzabayboatworks

I was at work Thursday when my lady friend texted me saying “I miss you we need to fish!” and she talked me into it. I checked the winds and tides and once I had seen low tide at 6ish I was eager for the port. So once 4:30 came I went straight to my house and hooked up the boat. We decided it was time to see if snook found there way to the port yet. I got to her house around 5:45 in Cape Canaveral and we were off. I decided before nightfall hit I’d try the beach and jetty to no avail [...]

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36 Hours of Florida Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: jmsnookman

My half bro Alex and his buddy Jeff flew in late Thursday night for a Florida fishing adventure. Plan was to fish for dolphin on Friday on my 24′ Pathfinder, go inshore Saturday, and fish Sebastian inlet Saturday night. Wind forecast for Friday had me and my ruptured C5-C6 disc worried, so my brother John and our buddy Gray stepped it up and set up a charter on the Incentive with Bruce Alcott. I’ve bottomed fished with Bruce before and he is the man!

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Jack’s Report

Florida Sportsman member: Panfishangler1

Such a gorgeous day! Now the plan was to get lucky, find the redfish was the goal. Well I might have hooked one and lost it but chances are it was a trout, because THE Trouts back on the menu for the 4th straight week in the lagoonic waters off the space coast. All those underslot trout I caught last year must have grown up because they are big now! and super fun to catch [...]

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IRL Report

Florida Sportsman member: Skinnywtrfdman

Well after working at the FD 72 hours straight, I was able to get out on the water today. Got off to a late start around 8 a.m. Got on a school of big fish right off the bat. Lost one and then landed one. Once the wind picked up they stopped showing themselves. I don’t like to pressure them so instead of sticking around we left. We spent the rest of our day on this one flat [...]

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ML Morning Reds

Florida Sportsman member: jumboshrimp

I am on spring break as of yesterday so I was very excited to fish nonstop but the weather is starting off nice and crappy. It looks like this weekend will be terrible but luckily I was able to get out today. The bite was very hot, and very early. The wind was dead calm first thing and kicked up a little bit by around 11:00 but by then I was already working my way back to the launch. Lots of redfish schools prowling the flats and tails were everywhere [...]

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Mimms Area Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: shouldabeenworkin

Took the morning off and drove over to Mimms for few hours of fishing before going into work. I live in Mount Dora so it’s a hour and 40 minute trip one way for a few hours on the water, never mind the gas cost. Sometimes you just gotta go.
The wind was maybe 5 or 6 straight up the river from the south. Not too much of a problem in a kayak…if you don’t forget your anchor. I decided to paddle south down to the railroad tressle and drift back while looking for fish, hopefully some tailers. Drift back I did!! [...]

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The Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: jumboshrimp

Today was kind of like summer (only not 100 degrees) the water level was up and it was calm in the morning, caught a trout before sunrise and then it rained in the afternoon. Anyway, fished middle lagoon with fairly good success caught a trout and a few reds really early. The water was up by a noticeable amount and very very clear, just beautiful. Fish were tailing and I got several great shots at singles, small groups and one school [...]

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New Smyrna Beach/Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

Florida Sportsman member: Cavanaugh68

Well now that we are into the New Year of 2012 here in east central Florida and great weather is amongst us the flats fishing of the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River has taken of tremendously here in the New Smyrna Beach, Titusville and Oak Hill areas of central Florida. Sight fishing the backcountry flats of the national park and refuge has begun to improve quite a bit, with water clarity getting into the optimal range it should be for this time of year and just outstanding days to fish in [...]

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Christmas Redfish

Florida Sportsman Member: capt mike mann

Fishing has been great with sight casting for tailing reds and black drum and the upper creeks have been great for a mixed bag of reds, trout, flounder and black drum . The weather forecast for next few days is light winds and sunny skies which equal some top of the line sight casting for schooling reds and tailing reds and black drum this could be the best week of fishing in last couple of weeks . Get out on the water and catch some fish while the girls or guys are out shopping and the weather is great. Merry Christmas.

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DIY Cooler Slide

By Joe Malat

Easy fix for accessing those under-leaning post coolers.
Marine cooler under a leaning post is a commnon configuration on modern fishing boats.

For years, I struggled every time I wanted to open the lid on the big cooler under my bayboat’s leaning post. The cooler serves as a fish box and the top of it sits only a few inches below the seat support. It was impossible to lift the lid more than a few inches and difficult at best to slide the cooler far enough out to be able to open it, especially if the box was filled with enough ice to chill a catch.

A couple years ago several brands of cooler slides emerged on the boating scene, providing a cure for this dilemma which apparently was shared by a number of my fellow boaters and anglers. These slides look sharp and work like a dream but these slick commercially produced products are out of the range of my budget.

I enjoy do-it-yourself projects, especially if they can save me a few bucks so I began to shop around for something I could fabricate that would allow me to easily pull the cooler out from under the leaning post. I found what I needed at a local hardware store and a marine supply shop.

The key components are poly-type marine grade plastic slides designed to be mounted on carpeted boat trailer bunks. The style I opted for is light duty, made to support a light weight jet ski or small boat. Three of the glides are mounted on the bottom of the cooler and two are secured to my boat’s deck and spaced so they support the weight of the cooler and its contents, yet they considerably reduce the amount of contact surface area and friction between the 94 quart Igloo cooler and the non-skid deck.

Author trimmed trailer glides, applied them to the cooler.

Off the shelf, the glides measured 17 ½ inches long by 3 inches wide and are ½ inch thick. I trimmed a couple inches off the pieces intended for the cooler so they would not stick out from either side and become a trip hazard. A carpenter’s miter box and saw enabled me to make neat, square cuts. I did not trim the pieces that were secured to the deck.

The glides, which come with counter sunk, pre-drilled holes, are mounted to the boat with stainless steel screws. Pilot holes were drilled in the deck and each location for a screw hole was covered with a piece of painter’s tape to minimize chipping the fiberglass when I drilled the holes. A dab of 5200 marine sealant was squirted into each screw hole and a bead of sealant was applied around the outside edge of the glides to prevent water from working its way where it shouldn’t be. The glides were mounted to the bottom of the cooler in the same fashion, again with a liberal amount of 5200 to bond the slick plastic glides to the cooler. Be sure the screws are sized so they do not pierce the inside liner of the cooler.

And also to the deck, making it easy to pull the cooler out.

After everything was assembled and in place I realized a handle was needed to pull out the cooler, so I installed a chrome plated brass handle centered at the top of the cooler just below the lid. This handle is used to move a box full of several pounds of cooler, ice and (hopefully) fish, so I through-bolted the handle. Nylon insert stainless steel lock nuts secured the handle then the bolts were trimmed with a hack saw and dressed with a file so sharp edges are not a worry. I can pull out the box easily with one hand.

The cost of the trailer glides was only three dollars each and the total spent for all materials including the glides, a small tube of sealant, screws and a good quality handle was less than twenty five dollars. Total time on the job was about two hours and much of that time was spent measuring carefully and verifying those numbers before I drilled or cut.

I’ve been using this set up for about a year and it works very well. My boat’s livewell is located just aft of the cooler and I often use this area as a bait prep station. For convenience I added a poly knife holder to one side of the cooler and I use a short piece of ½ inch PVC pipe to prop open the cooler when needed. FS

First published Florida Sportsman February 2015

Fly Fishing for Billfish

A historical piece about fly fishing with teasers for billfish with the “Robinson System” developed by Webster Robinson and his wife Helen Robinson in the early 1960s.

Dorsal fin of a teased and eager marlin cuts through water as the fish turns toward a fly.

The ancient art of fly casting has long since shed its once-exclusive connection with salmon and trout. Democratically, it has gone on to embrace bass and bluegills and most other freshwater species, and in recent years has turned seaward to challenge everything from bonefish to huge sharks. But through it all, true devotees of the sport have maintained a lofty insistence on manual presentation of the fly-whether it be to conjure forth the illusory rise of a trout to a No. 22 dry, or the explosive lunge of a giant tarpon at a seven-inch streamer.

Size, large or small, means nothing. A present-day saltwater flyrodder would happily go after Moby Dick, if able, on his vise, to create some feathery imitation of Captain Ahab. Any avid fly caster will instantly recognize and applaud the distinction between the phrases “fishing with a fly rod” and “fly casting.” Numerous offshore fish, including an occasional sailfish, have been taken over the years by anglers trolling with fly tackle. But not until 1962, when the late Dr. Webster Robinson of Key West landed a 74½-pound Pacific sailfish aboard Capt. Louis Schmidt’s Caiman at Pinas Bay, Panama, was the first billfish officially registered to fly casting.

More than any other sports fishing specialty, fly casting is a game in which the end result is not favored with supreme satisfaction unless obtained through adherence to rather rigid rules concerning tackle and technique-foremost being that the fish must accept an artificial fly, presented and given whatever action is necessary to coax a strike only through manual efforts of the caster, and not through boat movement.

To a trout fisherman, the challenge of proper presentation lies in such things as depositing his tiny fly gently to a selected target area, and then employing further skill to drift the fly over a pre-determined course, while avoiding line drag or other unnatural motion.

The task of seducing a billfish to a fly is considerably less delicate, of course, but certainly no less difficult. On rare occasion—before and since Robinson’s efforts an offshore fly fisherman has lucked into the opportunity to toss his fly at a surfacing billfish, only to find that while the fish may exhibit passing interest in the artificial, it is extremely unlikely that he will hit it.

Obviously, you could spend a lifetime cruising the ocean, looking for a sail or marlin that would make an inviting target for a fly. And if you did find such a target and got your fly to him, your odds of being rewarded with a spontaneous strike would be somewhat less than your chance of hitting the Irish Sweepstakes.

Webster Robinson realized this, and when lie captured his landmark sailfish in 1962, it was no fluke, but the payoff of an elaborate and carefully-planned system. But one winner doesn’t prove a system, so in the next few years lie went on to catch more than a dozen Pacific sailfish, plus five striped marlin.

More important, other anglers began cashing in on the techniques, thereby demonstrating that a reliable system of fly casting for billfish had indeed been established. First to do so was J. Lee Cuddy of Miami, a close friend of Robinson’s, as well as an angling counselor who had made suggestions which Robinson incorporated into his system. Cuddy has landed several fly-caught sailfish in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Other early followers included Stu Apte, Lee Wulff and Mark Sosin, and if the ranks of successful flyrod billfishermen are still pretty exclusive, it’s no reflection on the Robinson system, but is due merely to the fact that not many folks combine the time, opportunity and determination to pursue what certainly
must be the most ambitious specialty in all light-tackle angling.

Still, a handful of fishermen, other than those already named, have taken sailfish on the fly more recently–among them Florida Sportsman’s Bob Stearns. And the newest milestone in the short history of this adventurous sport was reached last September by Billy Pate and his wife, Laura, of Islamorada, who racked up five black marlin while flycasting the famous waters off Cairns, Australia.

FEBRUARY-MARCH 1973

Pate, who earlier had taken a striped marlin in Ecuador, thus became the first fly-tosser to score on two different species of marlin; and Laura the first woman to catch any billfish on a fly.

Though the blacks were small ones, weighing between 38 and 46 pounds, Pate trimmed the edge by landing the
46-pounder on six-pound-test leader.

Pate is an expert fly fisherman whose experience covers all the major fly targets of the world, from Oregon steelhead to Iceland salmon to Argentine trout to giant Florida Keys tarpon, still, he backgrounded himself thoroughly on the Robinson techniques before chasing billfish. In these academic preparations he was luckier than most because he was able to obtain the personal counsel of Robinson’s widow, Helen, particularly as regards the all-important “teaser” techniques and timing.

We’ll see shortly that skillful handling of the teaser bait is the heart of the operation, and from the Pates’ success in Australia (and earlier in Ecuador), it’s obvious that Helen Robinson taught her lessons well.

Although the principles of the Robinson system are fairly well known by now in the fly-casting fraternity, a completely-detailed description of the entire procedure has never before been printed. It is offered here with the help and cooperation of Mrs. Helen Robinson, and based on voluminous notes left by her husband.

Where to Fish

“This whole thing is a waste of time,” Doe wrote, “unless you can fish where there are plenty of billfish and plenty of chances.”

We already have mentioned several prominent grounds: the Pacific waters of Panama, Ecuador and Mexico; even
Cairns, Australia. But close to home there are fine opportunities, in season.

From fall through spring, sailfish are usually available in attractive abundance somewhere along the Southeast Florida coast between Key West and Vero Beach.

No doubt the best bet for an Atlantic sail on fly would be at Cozumel Island, Mexico, in spring.

White marlin prospects would seem to be excellent in the Tongue of the Ocean, out of Chub Cay or North
Andros, Bahamas, in March and April. And the determined fly-caster would be almost certain to hook up in Venezuelan waters in October.

Tackle

The gutsiest flyrod available is called for, naturally, and this means one of the power models used for giant tarpon in the Florida Keys. Length of the rod is not very important, but most available are nine-foot or nine-foot, three-inch models. A No. 11 or No. 12 floatreel line is needed to match the rod. The reel should be heavy-duty single-action type with positive adjustable drag, and large enough to hold a minimum of 200 yards of 20-pound test braided Dacron backing. If you can use 30-pound backing, and still pack 200 yards or more on to the reel, so much the better.

Since this is a regulation endeavor, the leader must conform to rules. Doc Robinson used 12-pound-test tippet because that was the maximum allowed by his club. Under Salt Water Flyrodders of America regulations, which came later, a 15-pound-test class was established, along with several classes lighter than 12-pound, Presumably a first-timer would chose either 12- or 15-pound tippet.

Rules state that the light-tippet portion of the leader must measure at least 12 inches long. An additional shock tippet is allowed, and this must be no more than 12 inches long, including the knot or connection to the light tippet.

Robinson however, became convinced that the light tippet should be two feet long, or slightly more, to provide for additional stretch-cushion and to lessen punishment to the joining knots. This opinion is widely shared by flyrodders who chase any kind of large fish.

As to the 12-inch heavy tippet, Robinson chose Steelon, which he fixed to his fly and to a small swivel with crimped sleeves. Current fly fishermen would be more likely to tie the heavy tippet directly to the light, using the Albright special knot.

The simplest leader arrangement is this:

(1) A six-foot leader butt of 30-pound-test mono, tied to the fly line.

(2) A section of 12-pound mono (or whatever tippet class is chosen) measuring at least two feet. Actually, you should start with a longer length of 12-pound and double each end to obtain maximum knot strength. Elsewhere in this issue, associate editor Lefty Kreh describes a new knot, the Spider Twist, which makes
doubling the line much faster, and just as strong, as the more widely known Bimini Twist.

(3) A one-foot length of heavy tippet, tied directly to the light tippet.

One important thing to watch out for: Your 12-inch allowance of heavier tippet must include both the knot and the remaining doubled portion of the light tippet.

It takes two to tangle with a billfish when fly fishing. That’s Helen Robinson handling the teaser rig while husband Webster stands ready with flyrod.

As to the lure, if things turn out right and you tease a billfish into a striking mood near tour boat, he just might hit most any large salt-water streamer fly or popping bug you throw at him. But Robinson eventually worked out a lure which not only increased his number of strikes, but afforded a much higher percentage of positive hookups.

This was an oversized popper he built with the head of a foam popping cork, a dozen long white hackles, and a 7/0 hook with the point carefully triangulated and sharpened to a knife edge. He flattened the underside of the foam head so the hook would ride point-upright and thus tend to take hold in an exceptionally vulnerable spot in the upper jaw, right at the base of the bill.

The Fishing System

Basically, the system revolves around the use of a hookless teaser bait. This bait is trolled in normal fashion until a billfish is raised. The person handling the teaser must then manipulate the bait,
bringing it ever closer to the boat, and all the while keeping the fish interested and following.

A Pacific sailfish often will keep charging the teaser recklessly, although never catching it, and sometimes can even be teased within range of the fly by using an artificial teaser, such as a big
surface plug with hooks removed.

The Robinsons quickly found, however, that a striped marlin was a much more level-headed customer. Not only
was it necessary to use a teaser made from natural bait, but also to let the marlin get a good taste of it in order to keep him coming.

If a marlin takes the teaser bait, has it yanked away from him, and then charges again, it’s a pretty good sign he will continue to follow to within casting range. And this is a key stage, for as soon as the teaser-handler feels the fish has committed himself to the chase, he or she must holier, “Out of Gear!” so the captain can slip the engine into neutral.

This is another point necessitated by rules. By the time the cast is made, the boat must be still in the water, so that
boat motion cannot contribute to the action of the fly.

After the teaser-handler orders the boat out of gear, he continues to lure the fish closer by manual cranking on his reel while the boat is losing momentum. And if the fish shows the slightest sign of waning interest, he must be allowed to grab the bait again.

One more tricky and critical phase still awaits the operator of the teaser: getting the bait out of the water at the right time. With sailfish it usually is all right to crank the teaser to the transom and lift it out of the water. But if a marlin sees the boat, Isis usual reaction is to dive and get the heck out of there.

Therefore, when the marlin had come within a moderate cast of the stern, Helen would yank the bait out of the water-making a long sweep with her teaser rod in order to sail the bait far enough toward the bow so the fish could not see where it went.

This maneuver also should make the marlin all the more angry and confused, and all the more likely to attack the fly, which hits the water at just this time.

Now the burden of producing shifts from the shoulders of the teaser-handler to those of the fisherman.

The caster’s impulse would be to throw his fly ahead of the fish, but trial and error proved to Robinson that this wasn’t the thing to do. A billfish which follows the fly is less likely to hit it, and if he does take it, the straight-on strike seldom results in a good hookup.

Robinson would throw his fly behind the irritated fish and pop it noisily. His aim was to make the fish wheel suddenly and crash the fly at a right angle. Almost invariably, when this was accomplished, the hook locked up tight.

Another way in which sailfish and marlin differ, Robinson discovered, was in preference for lure action. Sailfish generally would hit the bug when it was retrieved in normal fashion, with sharp and steady pulls of the line to make it pop. In order to interest a marlin, though, he had to move the fly much more actively, by sweeping his rod upward as he stripped in line fast, thus making the lure skitter across the top.

So now we have teased up the billfish and cast to him and hooked him (it’s easy here on paper, isn’t it?). We’ll move on to the fight after some details about making the proper teaser.

As mentioned, a sailfish might well respond to an artificial teaser. And, of course, a live bait or a ballyhoo rigged without hooks would be likely to raise either a marlin or a sailfish. But neither
makes a satisfactory teaser bait, for the simple reason of fragility.

Since it is absolutely necessary for marlin, and very helpful for sailfish, to actually grab and taste the teaser, a strong and durable teaser bait should be used. The answer is a venerable rig which many veteran bluewater anglers know as the “Panama belly bait”. It is a long, teardrop-shaped strip cut from the belly
of a baitfish–preferably a bonito, though others can be used-then folded over a wire or cable leader, and sewn to shape. When finished it roughly resembles a slender baitfish and has great swimming action when trolled.

Naturally, this bait is rigged with a hook for regular fishing, without one for use as a teaser-some of the stitches being sewn through loops in the leader to hold the bait in place.

Fighting a Billfish

It would take a dedicated engineer many long days at the drawing board to design a set of tackle less well suited to battling billfish than a fly outfit. The reef, small diameter to start with, is stuck way down on the butt end of the rod where its most difficult to reach and to crank. Besides that, the crank must be turned four or five times for every yard of line regained, meaning four or five hundred turns to pick up 100 yards. It makes your wrist and elbow tired just to think about it. But that’s part of the game.

When the fish hits you strike hard two or three times to set the hook. Then, as in all fly fishing, you keep slight tension on the excess line with your left hand until the running fish takes out all loose line and your reel drag can take over. The drag should be pre-set at no more than three pounds.

On the first run there’s not much you can do except keep a good bend in the rod and hang on, But there’s a lot the boat operator must do! It doesn’t take long for a racing, greyhounding sail or marlin to cover 200 yards and more, and so threaten your entire line capacity very quickly. The boat must start in chase almost at once–forward, not backing down, and at a pretty fast clip.

Throughout the fight, the skipper must stand ever ready to pursue, and it’s during these chases that the angler is compelled to under go the abominable chore of cranking the reel a couple of hundred times or more to retrieve his precious line

On the other hand, the boat should not give chase any more than is necessary to keep a working supply of line on the spool. Whenever possible, the angler must fight his fish directly and fight hard pumping and pressuring just as much as he would do with light trolling tackle. Excess boat movement only helps relieve pressure on the fish

Robinson decided that best odds of victory are achieved by applying as much pressure as possible, as early as possible, while the light tippet is in good shape and has little wear on it.

Sometimes perhaps several times during a fight, a sailfish or marlin is bound to go deep. There is little percentage in staying directly over a sounding fish and attempting to pump him up with the flyrod. Instead, have the boat move away. You yield some line in the process, but the wider angle almost always coaxes the fish back to the surface.

Another important point in boat maneuvering is to keep the fish off to the side of the boat as much as possible. And when pursuing, to travel on a parallel course with that of the fish, but off to the side of him. The primary purpose of these efforts is to keep the leader and line from falling back over the body of
the fish. In other words, you try to keep the leader at right angles to the fish as much as you can. It’s a challenge that can never be achieved to perfection throughout the fight, but you keep trying.

Every thing about fly-fishing for billfish is more difficult than with other tackle and techniques, and the final step–landing the fish–is no exception.

You don’t have a long and sturdy leader that can be grabbed and handled. So you must eventually fight your prize all the way to the boat and prod him within reach of the gaff. A flying gaff is by far the best landing device, but a regular gaff with eight-foot handle (the longest permitted under angling rules),
can be successfully used.

So there’s the Robinson system, fully detailed. Easy it isn’t. But any able flyrodder, in the right waters, can hook sailfish or marlin by practicing the system with dedication.

And with a bit of luck and a lot of chances, he can add his name to one of the most exclusive clubs in all sports fishing. FS