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Florida Sportsman Blog

Turkey Down


Turkey Down

Florida Sportsman member: down4dacount

Forum member down4dacount put together a great video of his son taking a turkey this season. That’s the way to do it! Nice Bird.

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Big Hog Down

Florida Sportsman member: CatchDog

Forum member CatchDog got ahold of a big barred hog recently, with 3 inch cutters on him!The video shows how it went down. Nice Pig!

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Giggin’ For Dinner

Florida Sportsman member: roachbuster

Forum member roachbuster got a chance to get out and do some gigging recently, loading up on some big frogs. Great fun and a good meal! Nice work.

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Team “Spur Me” in Missouri

Florida Sportsman member: Ruff One

Opening morning found me sitting in a small food plot down from the ridge. No gobbling! No sounds any where. Really an unusual morning. Decided to just sit back, make a yelp here and there. Just enjoy the morning. Right at seven o’clock I hear that familiar sound that you just love to hear. A drumming gobbler!! He’s behind me and working his way right by me headed to my brand new Avain decoy. He didn’t make it.

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Night Time Pig and Recipe

Florida Sportsman member: Big Bend Brian

After sunset I heard a deer snorting in the distance and about 30 minutes later I heard a pig “woof”. Ten minutes and a few hog grunts later, a single black hog works through the palmettoes. Turning on the green hog light I see her moving through the palmettoes and with a clear shot she drops. It’s more pork chops to play with!

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Like Father, Like Son

Florida Sportsman member: cetchdawg

Forum member cetchdawg shared some great photos of him and his son with some nice hogs. There’s nothing better than being in the outdoors and making memories that will last a lifetime!

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A Turkey Surprise

Florida Sportsman member: Iggy7

I was out hog hunting right near the end of turkey season. I knew the property I was hunting had a good number of turkeys but I was simply trying to get some hog sausage for the freezer.

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Pork Chops, it’s what’s for Dinner

Florida Sportsman member: Big Bend Brian

We sat for almost 3 hours in light rain when four piggies came out of the palmettos. By then we couldn’t really see them well enough for a good shot so Casey turned on the hog light. The green light didn’t even phase them. While Casey was turning on the lighted red reticle on the red dot I asked him not to shoot the largest one, as I was pretty certain it was a boar hog. One shot and the second largest hog dropped and the three others tore out of there.

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A Solid Season

Florida Sportsman member: hooksetter

Forum member hooksetter has had a great turkey season this year. Not only hunting in Florida, But throughout Georgia and South Carolina as well. Great Work!

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Laying Down Her First Bird

Florida Sportsman member: Longhaul

Forum member Longhaul put his 8 year old daughter on this beautiful bird the opening weekend of youth turkey season. She took the bird with her 410, Congrats to both of you!

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Turkey Season Recap

Florida Sportsman member: triplehelix

A week later after two more unsuccessful hunts in this area I had an exciting day. Spooked two gobblers off the roost walking in, and sat down immediately. Heard hens fly down minutes later and talked with them for an hour. Cackling back and forth, yelping, cutting…it was pretty awesome and lent me some confidence in my calling. But I never saw a bird.

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Central Florida Osceola Down

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

Five minutes later Linda let the air out of the gobble bag and sent the ole boy into a final dirt nap. Some how its not just about a dead bird, its spending time with good friends and people you love chasing birds in fields and woods all over this beautiful country!

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Wrapping Up the Season

Florida Sportsman member: Larry Mac

It is an area where because of neighboring fences, you are forced to walk very close to roosted birds. Fortunately it was dark, especially with tree cover, very dark. We walked in again trying to simulate a cow under the birds. As we set up the decoys we could hear some very quiet clucks and tree yelps so we knew turkeys were nearby. Once we were seated , it didn’t take long to hear gobbling in response to coyotes yipping.

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First Bird Down

Florida Sportsman member: anglingarchitect

I kill deer and pigs, regularly but though I have been Turkey hunting each spring for at least a couple of hunts, I had never been close enough to a Gobbler to bag one. Last year I even went with a professional guide at the invitation of a Turkey Hunting Client. Of course I have seen birds, especially out of season, and had birds respond to calls, but never in range.

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Great Turkey Season

Florida Sportsman member: chainsawcity

Single bird is 11.5 inch beard with 1.5 inch spurs taken on a WMA hunt and the double birds both have 13 inch beards one has 1.2 inch spurs the other has 1.35 inch spurs.

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Working for Your Bird

Florida Sportsman member: james 14

It’s at this point where it gets blurry because I had him in range but needed his head up and over the palmettos as he started to walk straight away. Finally he stops with his head up but it’s behind a dead palm frond, oh well, BOOM! He rolled, I ran up a few steps and, having already resolved myself to the action, shot him again.

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Nice Bird Down

Florida Sportsman member: redfishrob

Forum member redfishrob scored his personal best bird coming in at 20 pounds with a 9.75 inch beard. Congrats!

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Doubling Up, Turkey Style

Florida Sportsman member: wildrooter

For thirty minutes we were calling back and forth and they would respond right away. Finally one of the birds began closing the distance and got within 20 yards and stopped to see what we were. Eric shot the first bird and rolled him right there and right away the next one came running at the dead bird and jumped on it like you see on tv. Quickly I shot the second one and down he went.

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Big Barred Hog

Florida Sportsman member: Big Bend Brian

Walking up to it I couldn’t believe how large it was. It had to be between 275 and 300 pounds. With my time running out I put a rope on it and tried moving it. It barely budged and there was no way in heck I was getting it back to the truck.

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Night Hunting, Pig Down

Florida Sportsman member: Big Bend Brian

By now it’s getting light and they stayed bedded down for about 30 minutes until a shot off in the distance startled them and they stood up. The largest one walked away with the second following it and I thought I had blown it but the smaller one worked its way out of the palmettoes. This time I didn’t wait and took the shot as soon as it presented a chance. At the shot it dropped.

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Recapping the Season

Florida Sportsman member: DropTine797

I was then invited to hunt with my buddy and his dad and brother on a management area I’ve never been to. They gave me one rule. If it’s legal, shoot it. So when two sows busted out of the palmettos in front of us, I greeted them with 3 volleys of 00 buck.

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Big Buck With the Bow

Florida Sportsman member: Lc-hunter86

Forum member Lc-hunter86 took this beautiful buck with his bow recently, this deer weighed 150 pounds and scored 105 and 3/8th.

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Buck Down

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Woke up at 4 am this morning and it was pouring down rain. Really wanted to roll back over, but I showered up and figured I’d sit in truck until it eased a little bit. With a little light in the sky the rain eased, so I a silently made my way over wet leaves to a lane that essentially parallels my food plot; the two actually almost come together where I was sitting and then diverge at about a 30 degree angle.

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Snipin’ While the Water’s High

Florida Sportsman member: rrbgtt

Forum member rrbgtt used the recent downpour to his advantage, Limiting out on these awesome birds. Despite the lack of meat due to small size, the snipe makes up for it in taste! Not to forget how much fun targeting these guys are.

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Running Dogs and Catching Hogs

Florida Sportsman member: dukhuntr1991

Hit the marsh hard for the short season since it was open for dog hunting. Went 8 times in the 14 days it was open. Ended up catching 8 with my 2 dogs. No big ones but still had a good time.

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Polk County 11 Point

Florida Sportsman member: jbeam863

Forum member jbeam863 took this beautiful 11 point buck with his 30-30 in Fort Meade.

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Fine Swine

Florida Sportsman member: UCF HUNTER

I get about 50 yards from the stand and hear a faint splash behind me. As I turn around dead in the middle of the trail there are four pigs following me looking dead at me and continuing to walk straight at me just loafing along at about 80 yards. So I got down on a knee picked out the biggest Sow and laid the hammer down. She went 190 pounds on the scale.

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The Wife’s First Buck

Florida Sportsman member: Catalina26

Getting nearly dark and on the verge of being too dark for camera light. She squeezed the trigger and a solid hit. In the camera I watched it go down about 30 yards into the thick brush. I didn’t say anything and watched her squirm in her seat still wondering if she hit it or not. I played the I don’t know if you did I couldn’t tell in the camera. Made her wait patiently for a half hour and we got down.

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When You’re On You’re On

Florida Sportsman member: flydown

Forum member Snookslayer has been on the deer, with this beautiful buck being the most recent.

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Bucks And Ducks

Florida Sportsman member: Git-R-Dunn

We spotted some bucks cruising but had no shot. Ended up getting down and making a beeline towards them. Cut the distance down to 150-200 yards and picked out what I thought was the biggest. I was wrong, but it was still a doozy. Put the crosshairs on him and let my super six bark.

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Nice 9 Point Hernando County Buck

Florida Sportsman member: drgibby

The last picture I had of him was from the first week in October. Having not seen him in almost two months I had assumed he had been killed. This being said I was surprised to see him trotting across a hay field at about 180 yards last Friday shortly after first light. After my third grunt he finally stopped and the Hornady .270 Super Performance did the rest.

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Slingin’ Steel, Ducks Downs

Florida Sportsman member: slayer 52

Florida Sportsman member slayer 52 has been on the ducks his past few times out and decided share.

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Solid WMA Buck

Florida Sportsman member: luv2kildeer

I grunted twice and he started coming. He got inside 200 yards and I pulled the trigger. Oops. I forgot to take the safety off. I tried to calm myself and lined up for a shot again. He stopped broad side 180 yards out and I shot. I could see that I hit him.

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For The Love Of The Hunt

Florida Sportsman member: PalmettoKid

My boots sunk deep into the ancient peat soil. For a moment, there came a sudden realization of the perceived futility of what it was that I was attempting to do. I began tugging on my legs to break the grip of the swamp. The only branch within arms reach was lifeless, suspended in the air only by the strength of some small vines. A few small vines which my right arm, seemingly by its own volition, had become entangled with. So there I am with a heavy slug gun in my left hand, a right arm elbow deep into a knot of vines and both feet held snug in the muck.

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Little Guy, Big Hog

Florida Sportsman member: Mojito

Friday afternoon started slowly in the blind, until a couple of coons showed up to entertain him till the feeder went off. The dinner bell rang and we had only one guest show up. This bad boy turned broadside at 30 yards. and my son aimed his shooter and proclaimed he was ready. As a precaution I drew down on him with my .308 to make certain of a clean, humane kill. It turned out my rifle would not be needed. My boy dropped the hammer and I watched in awe as the pig stumbled spraying blood for about 25 yds. till he fell dead.

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Hungryland Buck

Florida Sportsman member: Marx Man

He slowly turned to leave and gave me the front quarter shot and I took it. He made it about 5 yards and was down dead. Perfect heart shot. There was absolutely no blood so he would have been real hard to track. When my buddy came over he said “There’s no hole. He’s not dead”. Funny thing is the day before We sat for 13 hours straight and didn’t see squat.

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Solid Central Florida Buck

Florida Sportsman member: PinkIndian321

We backed out with our climbers and tried a different approach to the same area. First sit after the adjustment yesterday evening and this bad boy popped out. Filled our tag nicely. Took this picture of him with his buck right where we found him. 113 2/8 10 point. His first good buck and our first public land registry buck hunting together.

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Great Gun Season So Far

Florida Sportsman member: Lc-hunter86

Well I have already started things off with a bang, managed to harvest this 4 point while dog hunting with some buddies in Ocala and I was also able to harvest a nice 8 point as well.

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Georgia Buck

Florida Sportsman member: bone

Finally after passing numerous 2 and a half and a couple nice 3 and a half year olds I watched this guy follow a doe on to a food plot . Never been seen before and never on any of our cams. And I never had to think about shooting him.

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Big Buck in The Swamp

Florida Sportsman member: flydown

Well, I managed to weed one of the dumb ones out of the shallow end of the gene pool. Not much to the story, early Saturday morning he came in through the swamp eating submerged acorns. The .50 caliber did it’s job.

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Something You Don’t See Everyday

Florida Sportsman member: Gone_Fishing

My son took this piebald 5 point this morning during a youth hunt. Could not believe what I was seeing when he shot it. I have only ever seen 1 piebald deer and that was at the Joe Budd check station. Really cool deer. We are having the whole hide tanned.

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Nice Quota Buck

Florida Sportsman member: Lc-hunter86

Busted this buck this morning at first light running the heck out of a doe! Unique looking buck! My dad and I were sitting together so he got to watch the whole thing unfold.

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First Buck

Florida Sportsman member: if_it_flies_it_dies

So after sitting for about an hour at 7:30 I see a big bodied deer crossing a shooting lane at 50 yards. Antlers! I was just a little too high to have a perfectly clear shot so I made an awful noise that was supposed to sound like a grunt and stopped him in his tracks. I had a shot at the rear part of his vitals so I took it quickly and in a weird position. When the smoke cleared I saw no deer.

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Tracking Down the First Buck of the Season

Florida Sportsman member: tarpontamer2007

Sunday morning I almost slept in, but finally got motivated to go. Really nice morning but no activity for a while. At 7:45 a.m. I look to my right and spot a deer at 30 yards that had just came out from behind a bush. He ate for a few minutes and finally gave me a 27 yd shot.The hit was a hair back but it still got his lungs. The deer took off around a corner and out of sight. I decide to trail immediately because of approaching rain. I Got on a decent blood trail and made it 150 yards then the rain started to hit hard. I lost all the blood in the middle of a ankle high grass field. I decided to walk in a grid to search the field. I finally found him after a 45 minute search and walking right by him 2 times. So happy I found him.

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Gator Hunting with a First Timer

Florida Sportsman member: bswiv

Made a trip to the lake this morning with the wife, daughter and her boy friend ( His first time on a gator hunt. ). Caught this guy ( 11′ 8″ ). Kind of odd in that we heard them bellowing just like in the spring and then this guys swims out all bowed up a few hundred yards away.

Got lucky in that he was in some thick stuff when he went down. He settled instead of swimming off as they usually do. Gently set a big hook in him and slowly raised him to the surface, rod in one hand and harpoon in the other. Soon as he came into sight hurled the harpoon and from there it got wild as he was green. Pulled the boat all over for a while before we could get another harpoon in him.

Where we got lucky was in that if he had bolted when the hook was the only thing in him we’d of lost him.

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Big 9-Point Down

Florida Sportsman member: floridacrackr

Well after watching this buck all summer and following his every move around the ranch I finally caught up to him. A long story short the hunt Saturday night in the pouring rain, on the ground because my wife wanted to go, and a panther at 10 yds was my most memorable hunt ever. With the lightening cracking all around us I never thought we would have much action. Well at about 7:30 the rain let up and this guy decided to show up…very cautiously. He came in at 110 & 3/8 pounds.

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First Buck of the Season

Florida Sportsman member: eorlando

Well deer season officially kicked off for us this morning here in FL. It started off a little rocky but ended with sweet success. My Alarm went off at 4 o’clock this morning. I was out of the house by 4:30 and out to my hunting spot by 5:15. I got to the tree I was going to climb and put my climber up against it and realized something wasn’t right with my new hazamore seat. I fiddled around with it for about 15 minutes and couldn’t get it figured out and decided it was time to climb the tree and that I would just have to stand for the morning. I was all ready and set up when the sun came up, except I had no where to sit. Right at daylight I catch movement… it’s 2 does. They were at 25 yards and stopped. They knew something was up and kind of wandered off in the other direction.

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Last Bird of the Season

Florida Sportsman member: Fish Addict

Last day of the hunt decided to leave them alone and hunt another bird we thought would cooperate. Well that didn’t pan out either. Right at daylight he gobbled and gobbled his head off but quickly flew down to a group of hens. Around 7:45am we decided to move over to the pasture again where we knew those birds were working through. Thought what the heck.. last day of hunt dont have anything to lose. Get setup around 8 in this cow pen on the edge of the field and put out the Dave Smith gobbler with a hen decoy. Waited about 20 minutes and made a few light calls. All of sudden we see hens working to the right of us. They don’t seem interested at all in calls or decoys, but all of sudden things changed. A gobbler was tailing the hens and once he saw the decoys it was full strut mode. He ran to the gobbler decoy and preceded to beat the living crap out of it. Man i wish i had the camera with me because for the next few minutes (which felt like eternity) he put on quite the show. He jumped on top of the decoy, ripped the tail off.. spitting, drumming, mad as hell trying to kill the decoy. Waited until he broke strut and got a few feet away from the decoy and let the lead fly. What a hunt. What a decoy. What a way to end the season.

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Gobbler Down

Florida Sportsman member: down4dacount

Well, after guiding for my boy and a friends wife and (3 for 3), It’s my turn now. Got setup at dark in a spot I usually see turkeys work the area. I started moving further in , called a couple of times in one spot. Nothing. Moved a 100 yards away a made a few hard cuts and a few yelps. Bam! A hen fired off 60 yards away. I quickly scrambled to find where to sit. Got settled and 2 minutes later she showed up. Yelping,purring,cuttin’, and looking for me. She passed 12 yards by me and went in the woods still calling non stop[...]

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Doubling Up

Florida Sportsman member: BnT

Saturday and Sunday Chief Osceola and I got worked over pretty good by this one bird we called “long gobble” He had the longest gobble we have ever heard. Anyway he was a smart one. Saturday morning we set out the decoy and he gobbled at least 40 times off the roost and flew down and was on a beeline to our decoy. We both thought well, this is gonna be easy. That was until he stopped at about 65 yards and stayed that distance for about an hour til his hens came and then they dragged him to the other side of the field.

[...]Well after 15 minutes of watching I catch something out of the corner of my eye and its a gobbler only 30 yards away walking towards them! I wait for Joe to get the camera on him and Joe clucks to get his head up and boom..I missed! he started running and I popped him on the run… My bird is there flopping and i hear Joe say “dont go get him yet and hand me the gun” the other bird “long gobble” sprinted from 200 yards across the field to spur my bird.Once he got a lick in Joe nailed him.

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Great Weekend of Hunting

Florida Sportsman member: BCSAILS

Made camp too late to Turkey hunt Saturday afternoon so I set out to roost a bird while walking with my rifle for a hog. Had a nice Boar pop up and used my new VXR red dot scope on my old Browning 30-06 A-Bolt to drop him. Great scope for low light hog hunting as I always had problems with low light and a black cross hair on a black hog. Got a couple pics then had to clean him on the ground as best I could in the Jeeps headlights as I could not lift him alone. About half way through cleaning had Yotes all around me howling. Kinda cool but also makes the hair on the back of your neck rase. Sunday am heard gobbling way off and made some calls but then had two barking dogs running all over! That killed that hunt. Sunday afternoon set up on a dry slew and had a hen and her boyfriend come in. I let him do his dance with her then I cut in. Boom, nice bird. Great weekend of hunting.

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First Turkey

Florida Sportsman member: down4dacount

We got to our spot and went in with 45 minutes left of daylight. On the way I heard a gobble bout 200 yards out, then 3 more. I knew where he was going so we circled him. We got 150 yards from where I thought he would be and yep ,there he was. Big longbeard hanging down . It was a long night that’s all can say. We setup on him 80 yards from him. I could see him through the branches. Sunwas coming up and hawks and crows calling. First gobble from him sparked 4 other birds in the area. Christopher was getting excited and shaking. I made some soft purrs and clucks, and that bird gobbled at everything I threw at him. The only thing I overlooked was a old trail in between the pines. I kinda knew he would flydown and maybe go down that trail. He flew down and landed 65 yards from the hen decoy. Then right from above us, 2 other birds flew behind us[...]

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Youth Waterfowl Hunt

Florida Sportsman member: down4dacount

I want to give thanks to all the guys in UWF for doing 2013 Jack Bylsma III Youth Hunt at STA 1 and everyone who helped and donated . Every kid won something in the raffle and the food was awesome. Thanks to both Bill’s for cooking , Big Thanks to Milan , Ryan , Newton and everybody else who made this event possible . This is Christopher’s 3rd Youth Waterfowl Hunt , but this one he was doing all the loading and aiming on his own . Still waterwhacking but doing the job . I told him next season it’s time to shoot flying ducks .

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Another Buck Down

Florida Sportsman member: huntmstr

Spent the weekend with some buddies hunting their club on the Bama border near Blackwater and busted this 175 pound 11-point buck chasing a doe across a cut bean field. Shot him trotting at 350 yards. Have yet to score him.

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Alabama First Buck

Florida Sportsman member: maq attaq

We extended our deer season this year and hunted in Alabama this past weekend. My oldest son Michael killed his first buck. The rut was supposed to be in full swing there, it wasn’t quite on yet, there were definitely signs though. We put in some serious hours in the stand and he was able to kill a 7 point. Both my boys got there first bucks this year.

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Last Chance Buck

Florida Sportsman member: ScreaminSeamen

I wanted to share this with you guys, an east central Florida public land buck! My brother saw this buck as we were walking around but could only see horns over the tail grass. We got within 60 yards, the wind was good and the buck made two steps my way. I had a clear shot! By far my biggest buck! What do you guys think he will score?

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Scoters in South Florida

Florida Sportsman member: dukhuntr1991

Haven’t posted any duck reports from this year so far but we’ve been having a pretty good season. Quite a few limits of ringers/teal, a couple redheads, a few pintails, ruddys, mottled ducks, blue bills, etc.
I shot something this morning I never would have imagined could make it this far south, a pair of black scoters. We were hunting blue bills when I had a group of 20 large divers come in, I peeled out 2, a drake and a hen [...]

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Tennessee Christmas

Florida Sportsman member: KBG

The wife and I made the Christmas trip to Tennessee to visit Mom and Dad this year. They usally come down here. It was definatly the right choice. Got there Friday night (21st) and temp was already 25 degrees. While unpacking I realized I forgot extra ammo for the rifle! I only had three rounds for the trip. Woke up Saturday morning to 18* on the top of the mountain the bottom was even colder. Yeah, ummm I think I’ll go back to bed and scout later. So later that day I’m sitting in a old barn in a “holler” where I had seen a huge buck about 5 years ago. Right before dark two little wrens fly in the barn and start taking a dust bath two feet from me. “Pretty cool” [...]

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A Ocala Buck

Florida Sportsman member: snowman

Shot this one today ahead of dogs in Ocala. He was trying to slip across the road when the 30-06 bar caught him. He weighed 114 pounds. Dogs trailed him for over an hour and a half before they jumped him.

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A Look Back at 2012

Florida Sportsman member: bluefieldbowhunter

My season has been pretty slow until a few weeks ago when things started to take a turn for the better. Up until early Dec I had only seen one good shooter buck, probably a 120-inch 10 point that came into a food plot at 1 p.m. on a full moon on Sept 29th and stayed behind a pile of grapevine and some palmettos until he was 12 yards away. I was drawn on him for a minute but could not find a window to shoot before the wind swirled and he got nervous and trotted off. I was pretty down after that because I usually only get one or two chances a year at a good mature deer with the bow and for the remainder of the first part of our chopped up season I hardly saw a thing. Meanwhile 3 friends came out and each killed an 8 point on their first sits of the year [...]


Unbelievable Hunting Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: Iggy7

First morning out last week and within a minute of being in my stand (and with my gun still on the ground at the end of my pull rope) two deer walk in. I am somehow able to pull the gun up without spooking them and the buck walks into a clearing and stops with just enough of his body showing for me to get a 60 yard broadside shot. Just under 20 minutes later, another buck walks in and gives me a quartering to shot at 25 yards. And with that, I have 2 bucks on the ground less than 30 minutes after getting in my stand. Three days later, I’m sitting with my 16 year old son who has been shutout for 4 hunting seasons straight. We see a couple deer and he finally is able to put his first deer on the ground! [...]

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Thanksgiving Weekend Doe

Florida Sportsman member: Gone_Fishing

My son and I were invited to hunt some private land outside of Tallahassee. He took a 80 pound doe at 80 yards through both shoulders with his .243 Rem 700 Youth. Actually, Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. We saw 8 deer including a buck harassing does. It was a beautiful morning.

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Dawson’s First Buck

Florida Sportsman member: rrbgtt

If you’ve followed any of my threads, you’ve probably seen pictures of Dawson (my friends 12 year old son). Whenever I go to GA to hunt, I sit in the stand with him so his Dad can sit with his little brother. I hunted with him this past weekend when my daughter, Toni, killed her first buck. Dawson didn’t get to hunt again until this morning. He just called me as excited as he could be. He said, “Mr. Rusty, I got him!”

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Successful Weekend; Hogs, Deer

Florida Sportsman member: down4dacount

This was another successful weekend, even if I hadn’t killed anything . I managed to pickup a return on Wednesday. I Called my buddy he couldn’t make so I called another friend . Friday we left and got there 3:00pm . Had several options on where I had seen bucks, so we did a little stalk hunting / scouting. Wind was blowing 15-20 mph which was good for stalking . Walked up to 2 does within 25 yards . Saw very little sign of deer , lot’s of rottin , and none of who made them . On the way out decided to check out several oaks and saw a hog that was easily 250+[...]

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Georgia No Longer On My Mind!

Florida Sportsman member: hooksetter

My dad and I made it to our place in Georgia for our yearly deer hunting trip. Had a great time. Checked the cameras the night we got there and we did not have any monsters or anything. Had one decent buck that had some pretty good browtines. Everyone around us had pictures of him and I tried thinking of what stand I could catch him at the next morning. I decided that I might be able to catch him a few hundred yards from the water hole as he was going back to bed. I was right [...]

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Turkey Season; Deer Scouting Pays Off

Florida Sportsman member: huntmstr

While glassing the edge of the island at 9:30, I caught a little movement and lifted the glasses to see the 3 gobblers feeding about 90 yards away. Just then, out of the corner of my left eye, I saw a streak of brown. I dropped the glasses and saw a doe coming right down the logging trail with a buck on her butt. He was grunting and had his head down to where I could only see he was tall but not count points. I picked an opening in brush about 60 yards in front of me and trained my scope on it, keeping both eyes open to make a quick judgement on the buck. As the doe entered the opening, the buck slowed and I could tell he was legal by club standards. As soon as his chest hit the edge of the scope, I centered and pulled the trigger. He didn’t even twitch. I figured he was an 8 and was pretty tickled to get him.[...]

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Muzzleloader Buck, Big Buck Contest Continues

Florida Sportsman member: Lc-hunter86

As you guys know, it has been windy as heck, but I couldn’t resist swaying back and forth for a few hours! Right about 7:30 a.m. this morning after hitting the grunt call a few times, this bad boy slipped in behind me in the nasty cypress swamp I was sitting in. One shot to the neck was all she wrote. The good thing about the wind was that the smoke cleared pretty quick and I could see him hit the dirt! Quick hunt!

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Enter your big buck for the Florida Sportsman Forum Big Buck Contest here!

 

 

 


Successful Weekend of Hog Hunting

Florida Sportsman member: FloridaBoy

I knew it was going to be an action packed weekend so I waited until today to post it all in one report, so here it goes. Thursday I went out with a buddy to my favorite WMA to set up my tree stand and check my camera for the last time. I have been getting some good bucks on my camera but it was only taking a few pics of them so I decided to set it to the most sensitive setting. So when we checked the cam there was 2,700 plus pics [...]

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Great Buck, Great Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: down4dacount

Another great weekend, but this one had lots of events from the start. A few miles from the entrance to the WMA, in the middle of my lane were two big hogs, luckily I saw them and swerved and avoided ramming and damaging my truck. We checked in a headed to our spot. The plan was to wait until daylight in an area we were last weekend where I had seen a big buck with a doe right at daylight. We waited for an hour and nothing. Well, since in my usual spot I hunt not much action happened the weekend before, it was time for a new game plan [...]

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Awesome Archery Buck with Grandpa

Florida Sportsman member: BowtechGen3

Well this year I had the fortune of picking a quality Archery Quote Permit in the 2nd Phase of the redraws. We did manage to get out and get a little scouting done and set some trail cameras out. My guest for the hunt was my Grandpa, who turned 83 this year, but still gets around remarkably well for his age. Once the hunt started it was extremely slow compared to our prior outings in this area. But we hung with it and were seeing a few deer here and there [...]

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Great Archery Buck

Florida Sportsman member: ReelAffair23

I shot this buck on Saturday morning at 7:40 a.m. on my lease in Fargo, Georgia near the Okeefenokee. I had one those mornings you dream about. I had a nice 8 come in from an overgrown clear cut with dog fennels head high. He caught me in my stand, and after a 5 minute stare down, he finally relaxed and when he went behind a bush, I was able to stand and get my bow. At that point he started to stare down an abandoned road, and here comes a 6, a smaller 8 and this deer [...]

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A “Florida Sportsman” Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: onICE

I was lucky to have pulled a gator permit for STA 1 phase 2 and my buddy Jeremy (fishaddict) knew a few honey holes so we (me, jeremy, my dad) headed out saturday and Sunday mornings to try to fill our tags. Got an 8 foot right off the bat Saturday, a good eater, and cleaned him. Had a blast. Wanted to head back out Sunday morning and be “picky”, only going for a 10 foot plus [...]

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8 Point Down

Florida Sportsman member: gator4ever

Last year I shot an 8 point on the last day. Fast forward to ml opener this year. Here is my story:

Finally I used the new hunting season dates to my advantage and was able to kill me a rutting South Florida buck.

Saturday was opening day for our black powder season down south. First morning was beautiful, not a lick of wind. One of them mornings you dream about during the off season. Only problem was you didn’t need a flashlight to get to your stand the dang moon as bright as can be. I sat at my favorite for sure thing stand and didnt see a thing. Was I surprised, NO, been there done that too many times [...]

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Opening Weekend Success

Florida Sportsman member: BCSAILS

The plan was to get my older brother his first deer/Buck this opening weekend. He can’t shoot a traditional bow due to his Rotator Cuff tears in his shoulder so he would be using his cross bow which he had yet to take any game with. His son, my nephew, always comes out to the lease with me and helps me so I always give him one of my two allotted Bucks, which he decided to give to his dad this year. So, the mission was on [...]

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Deep Camp Photos

Florida Sportsman member: jrb651

With a lull in-between seasons, Florida Sportsman member jrb651 thought it would be a fun idea for everyone to share some photos of their deer camps made while the season was in full swing. Check em’ out, you may get some great ideas for when it’s time to set up camp once again this year!

“Hey everyone, I saw a post like this on another forum recently Im not sure if a simliar thread has been started on FS but I had a great time scrolling through the picutures of every one’s hunting camps. It’s kind of a “lull” time of year so its fun to at least see photos of deer camp. Could be old or new, matter of fact the old time camp pics are fun to look at.”

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Hunting Collaboration Video

Florida Sportsman member: eorlando

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Nebraska Spring Turkey Trip

Florida Sportsman member: BCSAILS

As a “Florida Sportsman” sometimes you need to prolong your season so a trip out of state is required. This was our third year going to Nebraska to chase big Eastern Gobbler’s. My brother, his two sons and I hunted west and south of Lincoln on public WMA’s and private farms. We stayed at my nephews friends little hunting “shack” as you can see and had to rough it [...]

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Missouri Hunt

Florida Sportsman member: flydown

Well, my good string of bad luck continues, as I went birdless for 2012, but I won’t complain too much after getting 6 days of great hunting weather, while chasing turkeys in my favorite part of the country.

Pictured are a few of the birds taken, as well as a 174″ gross buck shot in Iowa last fall, by a friend.

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A Great Bird

Florida Sportsman member: trotsky

Headed up to my buddies lease for some fun on the last weekend. The plan was to do some calling for 1 of my buddies since I had already limited out. Well the boys stayed up to late, and enjoyed themselves a tad to much. When I got out of bed it was already light, and over cast with rain threatening. My friend who was supposed to go was sawing logs so well I opted out, and took my other buddy. I was not real optimistic. Since I killed my bird on opening weekend at his place the birds had been scare I think mainly do to a dog problem [...]

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Bird Down! Bird Down!

Florida Sportsman member: relicshunter

My first Osceola turkey, a 12 lb, 9in bearded, 3/4&7/8 in. spurred turkey. I have been pursuing the elusive wild turkey for two seasons now, and today it finally work out. I have had many sits with Jay calling and toms responding but just could not bring them into the decoys or gun range. Some of my closer calls were ended by someone else’s gun shot. This season started out promising, I saw lots of birds just could not get them in range. I was hunting a local WMA with 30-40 other hunters and they were just too stirred up. This place has too many roads and drive by callers [...]

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“Hog of my Dreams”

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

One of my all time favorite sports is the challenge of hog hunting. The wild hog, recognized as one of the smartest animals in the woods, is also a gourmet’s delight. No wonder hogs are one of the most sought after animals in the woods. Florida is a tropical paradise. A paradise offering some of the most exciting hunting this great country has to offer. At the top of the list is the big bad Florida wild boar. The Florida wild boar, a cunning, dangerous, adversary, the beast with an attitude, all bad. Who could ask for anything more? [...]

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Big Central Florida Buck

Florida Sportsman member: catchusifyoucan

Great shot of a big buck taken in Central Florida. “Finally killed him,” he reported. “I have 15 pictures of him on game camera since bow season. He finally made a mistake. 106 5/8 gross score and 104 3/8. Another Florida Registry buck.”

See the thread here.

Cortland Unveils ‘Next 100 Years’ Initiative

Press Release Cortland Lines

For nearly a century, Cortland Line Company has stood as an innovative leader not just in its core business of fishing line, but also in fisheries conservation. To mark the company’s centennial in 2015, Cortland announces it is partnering with four of America’s most respected conservation and education organizations to help ensure that great fishing remains a part of our nation’s heritage for another century and more.

“The future of fishing depends on concerted effort to improve fisheries, recruit new anglers and create products that help anglers feel the pull of this great sport,” says Randy Brown, president and CEO of Cortland Line Company. “With this initiative we are dedicating ourselves to another 100 years of conservation, education and innovation.”

Through its Next 100 Years of Fishing program, Cortland will donate a percentage of every line sale to specific, hallmark projects led by America’s premier advocates for saltwater and freshwater conservation: Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Coastal Conservation Association and Trout Unlimited. Through in-store materials, social media and other channels, Cortland will also work to build awareness and membership for these organizations.

“The visionary support of anglers and conservationists as well as companies like Cortland have helped us restore many threatened fisheries in recent decades; but significant challenges remain as we look ahead to the next hundred years,” says Chris Wood, Trout Unlimited president and CEO. “We are excited to partner with Cortland to confront those challenges head-on.”

To help ensure that young anglers continue to discover the joys of fishing, Cortland will provide cash and in-kind support to the National Fishing in Schools Program.

“It is poetically appropriate that America’s oldest line company is helping to connect young people with fishing — not just through great products, but also through support of our projects across the United States,” says Katie Cole, program manager of the National Fishing in Schools Program.

To complement these efforts, Cortland has redoubled its commitment to remain at the forefront of fishing line innovation. For 2015, Cortland introduces revolutionary heat-tempered HTx coatings on premium fly lines. This proprietary technology produces a one-of-a-kind slick finish with an extremely low coefficient of friction. The result is that anglers can shoot longer casts while producing minimal surface disturbance during line pickup. The HTx coating also repels dirt and debris, significantly extending peak fly line performance.

That won’t be the last innovation from Cortland. Already, the company’s Pro Staff and engineers are working on easier-casting Spey lines, small-diameter mono core running lines, lines for distance and lines tweaked to pair perfectly with specific ultra-premium rods.

All in all, the Next 100 Years of Fishing is about ensuring that the good old days of fishing are still ahead of us, says Cortland’s Brown. “There was a time not so long ago when many of today’s finest American fisheries were depleted and polluted, and when fly fishing was considered an elitist activity,” Brown continues. “We know, because we were there working to clean up those streams, improve fisheries and attract new anglers through product innovation. We will be there tomorrow and long into the future, helping to make sure that fishing remains an enjoyable, accessible and enriching part of American life.”

TideWater 2200 Carolina Bay

Idle speed for the Tidewater 2200 Carolina Bay, as the 22-foot bay boat heads toward an area inlet. Plenty of bow flare has this unique vessel gaining attention from anglers in Florida waters.

 

The TideWater 2200 Carolina Bay 22-footer has a transom deadrise of 15 degrees and more-than-you’d-expect bow flare for a smooth, dry ride. The South Carolina company includes plenty of fishing features to complement its hand-laid fiberglass hull.

A self-bailing cockpit features 30- and 12- gallon aerated livewells, bow and rear casting decks, fish box, and lockable storage for up to 10 rods. The center console incorporates a Plexiglas windshield, aluminum gauge panel, cup holders and room for electronics and gauges. All hardware throughout the bay boat is stainless steel to deter corrosion from salt water. A flip-flop helm seat complements two rear flip-up seats for passengers.

Florida Sportsman’s Rick Ryals met up with TideWater Boats in North Florida to photograph the 2200 Carolina Bay. The crews had fun in some “spitty” inlet chop. Check out the exclusive photos below.

TideWater Boats

www.tidewaterboats.net
PO Box 3696, Irmo, South Carolina 29063
803.732.7300

TideWater 2200 Carolina Bay Specifications:

Length Overall: 22 feet, 4 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Fuel capacity: 60 gallons
Draft: 9 inches
Maximum horsepower: 250 hp
Transom Deadrise: 15 degrees
Transom Height: 25 inches
Weight: 2,250 pounds
Base price: $45,585

 

Snook and Tarpon Action In July

Recent inshore fishing reports from the Southwest region.


Snook and Tarpon Action In July

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

Most tarpon have been in the 40 to 80 pound range and we’ve been averaging 2 to 5 tarpon in the air per night for our effort. While it’s not the out of control excitement that late April, May and June offered, one can’t simply give up on tarpon fishing when it gets a bit more difficult.

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Pine Island Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: RichieUF

About 11am we found a nice school of about 40 fish in a location about 10 miles from where we had seen the other schools. We managed to pull 3 out of it before we lost it. 2 of the 3 were well over the slot, but one would have been close enough to take a ride to the scales and let the measure man decide.

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Pine Island Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: RichieUF

About 11am we found a nice school of about 40 fish in a location about 10 miles from where we had seen the other schools. We managed to pull 3 out of it before we lost it. 2 of the 3 were well over the slot, but one would have been close enough to take a ride to the scales and let the measure man decide.

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Southwest Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: gumgator

Forum member gumgator shared some pictures of recent trips with a nice variety of inshore fish.

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Early Morning Inshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: cptjoshua420

I took my grandfather out last week before the super moon. we had pretty good luck early in the morning on the incoming tides. the whitebait was all over the mouth of the Caloosahatchee, and if you could find any island sheltering the bait from the strong tides you’ll more than likely hook up.

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Tearin’ Up the Reds

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

This week we decided to return to the flats and see what we could do for a few hours. At the end of the outgoing we had a tremendous school of reds absolutely smash a pinfish and rip the leader off. I have no idea how big those fish were but they had to be well over 30 inches.

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Little Girl, Big Snook

Florida Sportsman member: kmagnuss

Next one on was bigger, but didn’t feel like anything special as I was handing the rod to her. As soon as she started to reel it was like the switch went off in the fish’s head that he was hooked and he started pulling drag. I held the pole while she struggled to reel. It took a few minutes but we got it in the boat and it went 31 inches!

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Tarpon Time!

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

It’s no secret tarpon fishing is excellent right now. Big groups of tarpon are moving along the beaches and through the sound. I still don’t have much time to fish during the day, but night fishing is becoming very productive.

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Fort Myers Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Bill Curtis

After the first 2 baits got stolen, the third was the charm when the large threadfin got hammered and a giant snook broke the water when the circle hook came tight. My angler did a stellar job of leaning on the fish, with the 20 pound braid, as it raced to the mangrove roots hoping to escape. The slob snook barely fit in the net, and we gently cradled her for a couple of pictures before I spent the time to revive her, and she swam away strong.

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Bull Red and More

Florida Sportsman member: Flats Blue 96

On Sunday we went to Estero Bay. We were fishing along the edges of the mangroves catching a lot of sheepshead and a couple small snook. Then out of no where a huge red cruised by, so I tossed my greenie off the back of the boat and put out some slack line. I started to reel it in thinking he had swam by when my drag started screaming. Got my personal best red in the boat after a couple minutes and he measured 38 inches.

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Night Time Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

It was a special fish for the angler, his first tarpon and largest fish to date. It’s also the smallest one landed so far this season, right around 60 pounds. It made for a short, exciting fish full of leaps and head shakes. A perfect, manageable show for our angler.

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Windy Southwest Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

Hit the red school and was hooked up within 2 minutes of the first cast. Hooked about 20 fish and landed 13 in an hour or so, then headed back for the ramp. An excellent day with captain Mike catching a ton of fish in a short amount of time in bad weather.

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Southwest Reds on Artificials

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

A few days ago a buddy and I decided to work some silver and gold spoons as well as some gulps on jig heads. We focused on deep sandy drop offs from bars as well as some mangrove shorelines that were flooded with the incoming tide.

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Shallow Water Trout and Pompano

Florida Sportsman member: aaron

Hit the flats after school for a bit today, and did really good. I caught 2 keeper sized trout on fly and a keeper pompano on fly. My buddy was on fire. He caught 4 trout, going 18 to 22 inches and a whopper at 25 inches! He also got a 17 inch pompano. All of his fish were caught on a mirrodine. The fly I was using was a greenback looking streamer.

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Lady Lovin’ Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

I’ve been using cut mullet but today I was able to grab a few ladyfish on a spoon first thing in the morning. I was excited to see if they would be equally effective. I tried a few spots and with a low, low tide and it seemed like forever before the tide began to fill up some places that I like to fish.

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Pine Island Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Capt JohnZ

Finally had a chance to take the neighbor out for a trip. Fish have been biting on cut pins and shrimp. Getting a lot of oversize ones. Spend most of my time in the Pine Island Sound.

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Sanibel Sharkin’

Florida Sportsman member: Reelinrudy

After I determined it had the bait long enough I pushed the drag up into the “strike” setting and maneuvered the rod up and rested it on my shoulder. As I felt the line begin to come tight, I ran forward away from the water to take the stretch out of the springy monofilament and pumped the rod to set the hook. After 20 feet I could feel the fish on the other end and turned around and wound tight as I made my way back to the water. I Worked the fish a bit and everyone watching did not believe there was a fish on the end. I knew it was there however, not a huge fish, but there was definitely a shark there.

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Keeping The Rod Bent In Pine Island

Florida Sportsman member: nitelite08

Using live shrimp on a jighead, outgoing tide by some old pilings and a small drop off. Sorted through the usual short sheepshead, mangrove snapper, a lot of spanish mackerel and jacks. Got a good bite about 30 minutes in a few minutes later pulled in a very nice black drum.

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December Southwest Inshore

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

The number of bites has decreased, but the quality is still there if you manage to hook up. Adult Tarpon have been feeding well on Hogy 10 inch Original Series Soft Baits rigged weightless and fished very slowly across the surface. Black has been the best producing color.

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You Will Always Remember Your First Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: fishdish

My 8 year can’t quite cast far enough for flats fishing yet so she casted out as far as she could and let the line go out as we drifted. It wasn’t but a minute later when I heard “Daddy, Daddy, I got one”. I thought she may have been snagged on the bottom but her screaming drag said redfish! She tried to pass the rod to me but I told her it wasn’t happening. The only help I gave her was I tightened up her drag a little and held the boat still with the pole. 5 minutes later we had a 25 inch red on board!

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Low Tide Fishing In The Southwest

Florida Sportsman member: Tight Loops

Bottom of the full moon low tide, just as it started to flood back in. I had a couple of folks I wanted to show tailing red fish to on a flat in less than a foot of water. Saturday was the better of the two days as it stayed overcast for most of the morning. We managed to find some redfish and a few nice single trout hanging out as well.

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Beach Sharkin’

Florida Sportsman member: Shore Catch Fishing

15 minutes later the first Bull hit the beach. We stayed for 4 hours and had 10 or so runs, Caught some Bt’s and Spinners as well.

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Whitebaiting The Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Inshoreslam

Bite was slow at first but quickly fired up and stayed pretty consistent for a few hours. As soon as the wind picked up and the bite died we headed in. Wound up with around 15 reds for the day ranging from 22 to 27 inch all looking thick and healthy.

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Captiva Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Traveled over to Captiva Island this weekend from Stuart for the Floridians for clean water rally to stop the dumping from lake O. I Wanted to try to squeeze in some fishing while over there. Talked to some local guides and asked them what they thought about some good wading spots and a few tipped me off. Woke up sunday morning at 6:30 to hit the first light bite and it paid off. Found a beautiful Mangrove pocket and decided to give it a shot. No more than 10 casts later did this healthy 36 inch snook come up and smash my top water. In less than a foot of water which made it an awesome visual bite and a great fight on a 2000 sized reel. I ended up catching seven snook and one nice trout to end the morning.

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August Reds

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

August has been a pretty nice month so far. My boat was down for a bit but I have been able to run a few trips as of late. Ive been getting out with family, church brethren, and friends. The pot holes are holding fish at the bottom of the tide and the oyster bars and bushes have been good on the high water. The fishing looks like it will be just fine out there and the bait is looking like it is getting better. The shiners are almost full grown now. The reds are eating both of em and pinfish are nothing to sneeze at, they get it done as well.

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Another One for the Records

Florida Sportsman member: former bluefishinny

Tonight I slipped out with forum member Fatsnook. We entered the water around 4:30, only to be greeting with a good thunder boomer. We took shelter in the sticks, waited 10 minutes and the storm passed over. Bait everywhere, just a lack of predators. End result was not too bad, just not as good as I had anticipated. We caught 6 snook with 2 going over 28 inches, 1 fat bluefish, 1 flounder, and a few trout. Tonight (I try to keep records) was my 75th snook on artificial this year at this particular location (76th according to record keeping).

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Rough Weather Reds & More

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

Yes, I have been crazy enough to venture out into the weather the past few days. I started out trying to catch bait and had what has been consistently a tough time doing it. Pinfish just swarm my chum but I have not been able to get a net on them. I ended up getting a good couple of dozen over sized pins and a ton of them about the size of your thumb. I never get too caught up in bait and just use what I catch. So, with that in mind we continued on through a storm with lightening and thunder and bee sting like rain in the face to our first destination…..

The fish were ready from the get go and I think we ended up catching around 20 drum. The mullet were swarming the shorelines and it always seems like the reds are not far behind, just gotta be patient. There were bites when we had to wait em out and then there were some that hit like we threw it into their mouth[...]

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Fresh and Salt Water Success

Florida Sportsman member:RollerToaster

My buddy Ben came into town from England to do some fishing, he was an avid fisherman so we went out in search of some snook. The day started out slow, when we got to one of my favorite creeks on the Caloosahatchee but due to weak tides it was too risky to go in all the way. As we worked some new shorelines Ben managed this nice 20 inch flounder on live shrimp. After that the fishing died down again until a man with a boat wrap for Lobster Lady Seafood in Cape Coral gave us some extremely nice whitebait. After that it was game on with the snook, we managed a 31 inch, a 33 inch and a 36 inch snook in the span of about 30 minutes before it died down again. Once the snook bite died down the wind picked up, so we decided with his limited time here we should go try and catch him a nice largemouth bass, so we were off to the North Cape Canals with a bucket of live shiners. We caught at least 15 bass Ben managed quite a few small-medium sized bass and I managed to pick up this nice bucket mouth. All in all it was an awesome day, it’s not everywhere you can catch huge snook and bass all in one day. It makes me glad I’ve gotten to grow up and live down here in SWFL…

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Tarpon Beach Snook

Florida Sportsman member: cpr

Went to the Sanibel pier and netted finger mullet and mohara 2-4 inch. The pier was dead so I took the bait to the condo near Tarpon beach. Soaked the mohara (sp) from 12:30-3 pm and got nothing. Went out to eat and left the mullet in a flo-thru. Got back at the dead end of the out going. Within 10 minutes pulled in a 22 inch snook that once hooked pulled line for a short distance then headed for the beach, the little guy beached himself. It was an easy release. Hooked up anther mullet through the nose and after 15 minutes got into a fight with a big boy, he pulled line out mid way on the sandbar and was a blast to catch and release. A nice woman on the beach took a photo. Equipment used, 4000 symetry with 20# PP and 20-pound fluro leader, owner lite-wire circle hook and a small split shot.

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Sarasota Snook

Florida Sportsman member: former bluefishinny

Three members hit the flats last night in search of some picture worthy snook. The evening overall started off slow, very slow. Three of us were throwing soft plastics in dark colors, black and gold – as this is our confidence bait in this area. A few flounder here and there, some short trout, and Matt finally hooks up on a drag screamer. Nice little fight, and this healthy snook comes to grips. Overall slow night…Matt also banged out a very nice trout.

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Sanibel Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: ColeJennette

Me and my buddy took his 17 foot flats boat out this past Friday to try our luck at some tarpon action off of Sanibel. Being complete newbies, we had talked to just about everyone we knew who fished for these guys and felt like we had a rough idea of what we were doing.

Hit up blind pass for bait early, then cruised the beaches. Nothing but spanish mackerel. Went out off of Knapps next. Nothing but sharks. Ran into the causeway to grab bait and fuel up around lunch then decided we’d cruise the beach back north then head out. Tons of spanish on the way back and then suddenly we saw a hugh concentration of birds. Up closer discovered they were diving on some bait they had gotten to ball up. Ten minutes after we arrived, the tarpon showed up and were free jumping from the middle off the ball and rolling all around us[...]

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Plan B Pays Off

Florida Sportsman member: Ptsrhenry

Well last week we tried to go offshore fishing, we picked up bait easy outside Jug creek and headed west. Wind was blowing pretty good, seas easy 2 feet. Our first stop was at 42 feet over a wreck, picked up one spanish mackerel. This is were we made the decision to come back in as one of my crew started chumming. Came in through Captiva pass and went south looking for a few new spots. The area down there has some big snook under the bushes. We will be back. We managed to do well fishing inshore. We caught two reds, several snook and nine keeper trout. Plan B payed off, pics are of my son Sean. This kid can fish, he can soak a hook all day, tie his own knots, and loves to wade.

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Turning High Expectations into High Fives

Florida Sportsman member: former bluefishinny

John and I hit a flat just South of Tampa Sunday evening with high expectations. Good tide, good water temperature. The high expectations turned into many many high fives. All of our fish tonight were caught on Mirrolure Lil Johns in dark colors. We entered the water at around 3, and left around 8. Final tally: 9 snook, anywhere from 14 to 29/30 inches. 8 redfish from rats, to around 26inches, 5 decent flounder, a black drum (good eating size) and a few decent trout. Last hour of sunlights was simply spectacular! It was like watching Discovery Channel. Imagine a 30 minute segment on snook leaping all around…That is what we experienced!

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Sarasota Bay Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Flat_Top

Got out with my buddy Jeff today. He found some Reds over the weekend, but couldn’t get them to eat and wanted to see if we could find them. We hit the area and there was a ton of mullet, but no Reds. After about an hour of looking we were about to give up when they came cruising across a white sand pothole. First cast in produced a nice 26″ Red. For the next hour or so the school of Reds would cruise between a couple big potholes allowing us to preform CPR, Catch, Photo, Release, on them. We had a big 55 inch Redfish double with Jeff and a 26 inch Red and me with a nice 29 inch pig.

Eventually the Reds got tired of us and moved on so we went looking for others. Next flat we hit was also loaded with mullet and there were Reds mixed in with them. Next thing you know we are both hooked up with what we think are Reds. But no, we have a 53 inch double of Gator Trout[...]

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Sarasota Inshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

Its been a long cold winter up north, and we’ve been looking forward to some deep offshore trips to combat the depression. We arrived Saturday and the week’s forecast looked pretty dismal. Our first “offshore” trip was scheduled for Monday, but the weather was not cooperative as there were 5-8 foot seas projected in the Gulf. Any day fishing is still better than working, so we decided to settle for an inshore trip.

We fished rock piles, docks, and any structure, hoping it would hold something for the dinner table. The high winds and rough waters were helpful in that we had no competition, as we saw less than 5 other boats all day. We had a very productive day, bringing home 10 sheepshead, 2 black drum, 3 flounder. We used live shrimp for bait.

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Estero Bay Reds & More

Florida Sportsman member: dtobias

Fished with an old friend and his girl in Estero bay on Wednesday and Thursday. It was tough with the dip in temp and the wind howling. You really had to fish the lee of islands and such. Caught some jacks, ladys and cats….trashcan slam. Only trout were underslot. Finally, my buddy got this slot redfish at 19 1/2″. His girlfriend had never had redfish, so they came over after the charter and I cooked it up on my grill for them. Next day, more of the same. Only put one sheepie in the cooler[...]

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Bulls, Pompano, & Gator Trout

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

Had an outstanding day with Redfish57 yesterday. We used handpicked shrimp and were into some really good fish.We came across some reds early on the incoming. All but one were over the slot with the only keeper at 26 3/4 inches.We were able to score some real nice upper and overslot trout as well.

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Pine Island Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

I had a very good weekend with snook on artificials in the northern part of PI Sound. Bokeelia angler Mike Craig and his buddy Dr. Russell from NC did all the catching using topwaters, Gulp Shrimp, and white paddletails.This was the best snook fishing I’ve had all year. We caught them in a lot of surprising places when I wasn’t really looking for snook. We also pulled in a handful of upper-slot trout.

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Sheeps at the Wall

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Every year i have the privilege of running a fishing tournament for the Waters Edge Motel and Apartments out of their marina in St James city on Pine Island..It is a fun event to be sure. It is a team event for the sheepshead ,5 largest fish from each boat are weighed..There are two places for sheepshead. Two boats had the same weight 17 pounds 15 ounces the tie is broken by the the longest fish from the five that were weighed.. More important where were they fishing The wall at redfish pass. Fresh and frozen shrimp were both being used. Both boats had (4) fishermen that were on a constant hook up. The fish were stacked at the wall.

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Hog Island Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Real V

My wife and I went out to try for trout, sheephead. Stopped at the El Jobean bridge tried for sheephead but no one home so we ran to the south end of Hog Island for some trout. Fishing in 3 feet of water we caught a few small trout and ladyfish. I was throwing a twitch bait black/silver about 10 feet from the boat was a big flash on my bait. At first I said damn shark, but after about 15 minutes I got it near the boat an saw it was a cobia. Another 1/2 hour we landed it. 47 inches.

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Estero Bay Morning Bite

Florida Sportsman member: JSTickum

Went out Wednesday morning with fellow member Dave O. We knew the forecast was horrible , but we needed to wet some lines. The plan was to fish the morning out-going tide while the winds were light and find some clean water. Well that was actually very easy. The winds were somewhat light at 6:45 am and we took advantage of it. We ran to our first spot , which was our only spot tucked in close to the mangroves.The tide was heading out and we had great water clarity.We set up facing the current with the wind on our back and started pulling in Trout and Jacks one after the other. The trout were feeding ,eating every color plastic we threw at them. The trout were between 15 to 18 inches and fat.

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Matlacha Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

I was lucky enough to have the day free last Friday. Weather was perfect with some light winds and clear skys. My intentions were to sight fish some mud flats on the -.8 tide around 10am. A buddy and I put in at the Matlacha ramp with our kayaks and made a 2 mile trek to a spot, I hoped would have some tailing redfish. Trying to approach the spot, we actually had to drag the kayaks across the mud for about 30 yards. We sure didn’t have to worry about somebody in a boat blowing by us, at least for awhile. Made it to the top of the hole and found fish pushing bait all over the place. Made 3 or 4 casts and it was game on with a nice over slot redfish. We ended up picking up 6 more nice redfish, a pair of decent snook and a few trout to give us a slam.

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Sarasota Bay Slam

Florida Sportsman member: ANDROS18

Took my dad out again on saturday. He proceeded to catch a slam! I could only manage reds but that’s ok with me! All reds where upper slot or over slot. Kept one smaller one for dinner. The trout and snook where caught on a mirrodine and one red on a gold spoon. We cheated on the rest using cut ladyfish! Also one of the redfish had no spots!

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Sarasota Bay Redfish

Florida Sportsman member: Makomenuts

It was my dads bday yesterday and I wanted to get him out on the water. I met up with forum member flatzbroke and we decided to do a little inshore trip to target redfish and trout. We arrived at 10th street boat ramp around 9 a.m. and headed to our first spot. We fished potholes for about an hour catching a lot of trout (most trout were 13-18 inches) but one was 4-5 pounds. and a couple reds here and there. We drifted off the flat and made a move across the bay and it was on. Oversize redfish were everywhere[...]

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Placida Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Makomenuts

We fished the incoming tide started off sight fishing in shallow and as the tide creeped in we started fan casting in the mullet schools in 1-2 feet of water with salt and pepper bottom. We caught 30 reds a dozen trout and 1 small snook in about 4 hours. Most reds were between 24-27 inches with a few rats and oversized fish mixed in.[...]

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Redfish Bite is On!

Florida Sportsman member: InshoreSlam

Headed out this morning around 9 with one of my best friends and longtime fishing buddy Captain Russ. With the skys grey and cloudy and thunderstorms in the distance, what we thought was going to be a horrible day turned out to be the best I have had this month! We fished a strong incoming tide untill about 1330, catching red after red, after red. The bite would not stop and was consistant the whole day. Wound up catching around 20 or so reds ranging from 20 to 27 inches with most being around the 24 inch slot.[...]

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Nearshore Triple Tail and Gags

Florida Sportsman member: Shore Catch Fishing

Ran out of Fort Myers on Sunday with Michael on a 6 hr Near shore trip. Picked up a few dozen shrimp and netted spent a half hour netting a few pilchards to bolster our success chances. Anchored on some rubble 4 miles out and starting hammering the gags in various sizes. Nothing special. Used large gulp and pilchards. Once the sun came up we set out on our target species. Ran to about 11 miles in search of the oddball. Caught 15 or so and probably saw over 50 fish. Caught them on both pilchards and live shrimps [...]

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Sanibel Night Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

Hit the lights last night looking for snook and left over tarpon. Not many to be found in the first couple spots. Did find a new technique for grouper though, bouncing a 10-inch Hogy on a 1-ounce jighead. The technique out fished live bait all night. Too bad they are not in season. We did manage one good snook [...]

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Windy, Snook Biting

Florida Sportsman member: Joupdog1

Went out after school to test out some new lures that Treasure Coast Tackle is now carrying. They are “Unfair Lures”. My first 2 casts resulted in 2 baby snook! The wind was blowing 15 out of the north, but I was hiding in the mangroves. One snook after another on the Unfair Lures Mullet. All around 20 inches until my buddy shows up and hooks up to a much better one. Pulls some drag then I go down and land it.[...]

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Trying to Avoid the Wind

Florida Sportsman member: InshoreSlam

Headed out this morning around 0930 with a good friend of mine and fellow capt. looking for the allusive tripletail. After venturing off the beaches we figured out it was too windy and the water that was hitting us over the sides was just too damn cold!! Long story short, the tripletail trip was cut short, and we fell back on what we do best…catch redfish in the shallows. After running around some of the local keys, dodging the wind and the low tide that was even too shallow at times for my ranger flats boat..we found some very large mullet schools that we figured would be holding some reds.[...]

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Pine Island Trout

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

Today I decided to hit the water as the wind finally decided to die down. Today was a perfect day on the water. No wind, cool weather, crystal clear water and BIG trout[...]

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Redfish Fury

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

We’ve had some pretty good trips the last few times out. Yesterday, amid tournament boats zooming all over, we were able to catch 24 redfish out of some pot holes. We used light tackle to land the fish from 20 to 27 inches [...]

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Sunday Slam in the Harbor

Florida Sportsman member: GitchaPull

Took the girlfriend out Sunday. We slept in and got a late start, on the water at 11 a.m. to catch the last bit of the outgoing tide. This was her second time on a boat in saltwater. She wanted to catch a “big fish” and I said “hmm, o.k.” She got her wish. This was her first fish she’s ever caught [...]

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An Evening Spent Wading

Florida Sportsman member: former bluefishinny

This beauty was the first of 5 snook caught this evening. All fish came on Zoom Flukes rigged with modified EWG weighted hooks (lead was painted gold/gold flake, its the OCD in me).

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Beach Shark Fishing Recap

Florida Sportsman member: J_WaRd_29

We obviously have kind of fallen off the face of the earth for a while. Nothing to do with the site, but instead just because we had such a horrible start to the season that the frustration took over until we got things going again. What a weird year for sharking so far . . . well, at least that we’ve seen here in SWFL.

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Pine Island Sound Redfishing

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Brent

Had a great day with the redfish on friday fishing with my brother (Capt. Dave), finally breaking the 24 inch mark. Had 2 perfect tournament fish weighing in just under 14 pounds, 1 is pictured below. Also caught tons of mid-slot size reds and about 50 big trout. Action was non stop all day even with the late afternoon high tide and the boiling water.

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Pine Island Tarpon Action

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

We’re right in the middle of our second tarpon season here in SW FL. The really big fish have migrated north but the resident juveniles are coming out of the woodwork right now. Here’s some shots of the fish my anglers have landed over the last few days.

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Reds on Fire!

Florida Sportsman member: backwater boy

Headed out today with one of my good fishing buddies around 9 a.m. We headed out to my favorite white bait spot and absolutely blacked out the livewell. We ran about 30 minutes north into PI in search of some bronze warriors in a few old spots of mine, oh boy we found them alright. Within the first hour we already had nine [...]

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Back in the Sunny Southwest

Florida Sportsman member: SWFLFisher

After calling my good friend and forum member Trey (swsnookred) the day before, I decided redfish would be the target for the morning since they’d been chewing close to home recently and the tides were right. We loaded up on the usual bait for this time of year (small threads and white bait), and started our search for the bronzed beauties who always change colors as the river water begins to mix with the surrounding waters [...]

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Reds on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: swsnookred

Summertime can be some of the best fishing if you get out there early and beat the heat. I hit the water with a couple buddies at 3:30 and was back on the trailer at 10. Redfish were on fire, as were some nice trout. Final tally for the day: 7 reds boated with probably 6 lost, and 6 nice trout boated (smallest going 17 in). Was a great day on the water! [...]

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Old Friend and a True Warrior

Florida Sportsman member: SWFLFisher

We began our day with the normal hour long cruise or so out of the river and into San Carlos Bay. Two casts of the net at the causeway and we were loaded down with bait and ready to wreck some fish! Our first thought was it would be awesome if we could bring some fish home for lunch or dinner, so redfish was obviously our first targeted species of the day [...]

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Snook You Want to Hook

Florida Sportsman member: Doodidle

Yesterday I was at work when by the hand of God Almighty, my power went out! Awesome for me cause I work on a computer. So I decided to make a mini fishing trip with a couple of buddies. Stopped at Lehrs to pick up a couple reels I had getting serviced and bought a New St.Croix fly reel. We headed out the river around 1:30 p.m. Chased big threadies for a while out by picnic island and caught about a hundred hand size threads [...]

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A Trip Down Memory Lane

Florida Sportsman member: cubs83

Came down with my girlfriend memorial day weekend and fished with some friends. Netted some mullet and chummed an Estero Bay grass flat with chunk mullet. We caught 4 or 5 lower slot redfish in about an hour. Went offshore for tarpon and only saw one off Knapps. My buddy caught a 3′ blacktip shark on the new Shimano Tranx on a Terez rod…sweet combo. The blacktip came up and smacked a 10″ mullet so that was fun to watch. Sure beats bass fishing. Hope everyone is doing okay in my hometown!

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Beach Sharkin’ Double Header

Florida Sportsman member: Shore Catch Fishing

The night was fading slowly when I decided to call two friends, Drew and Mark. Plan was to rendevouz at the beach at 10 p.m. and catch the last few hours of the incoming tide. I loaded my SUV with my Penn 133LH (4/0 wide) and 50TW international. Both loaded with PowerPro. Upon set-up, a blue-streaked meteor flew by and knew it was time to paddle out the spread. I paddled the 50TW and 4/0 out while Drew paddled his Senator 6/0 out. We had a few smaller runs and landed a 7 foot nurse shark and were debating on whether to stay [...]

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Estero Bay Trout Action

Florida Sportsman member: JSTickum

Fished with buddies Dave O and Derrick on Tuesday in overcast conditons and wind on Tuesday in Estero Bay. We started out the morning with the incoming tide in the back of the bay stalking Reds and Snook, we caught 2 Reds, 4 Snook and a bunch of mangos. We changed gears and went after trout and did real well on the trout, lots of trout, 20 or more using soft plastics and shrimp under corks [...]

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Matlacha/Pine Island Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

Thought I’d make a quick post to confirm what a few other folks here are reporting. There is definitely some excellent snook action going on in the Pass and PI Sound right now. I’m spending most mornings chasing tarpon right now but they have a habit of calling it quits around 10AM and that’s when I go after the linesiders. The miles of shoreline around Burnt Store has been really productive this last week. The best catch was my neighbor’s son Sam who was in town from Montana and landed this slob on a white Zoom.

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The Tarpon Report

Florida Sportsman member: Tarponator

We took our first trip down south last week to Boca Grande. It’s always nice to get away, and this trip was no different. We arrived at Palm Island on Wednesday night, and got prepared to fish with my long time friend and guide Phil Dugger the next morning. Woke up before dawn, met Phil at the dock, and we were off to Boca Grande Pass. The west wind would have made fishing on the beach impossible, and the reports were the fish hadn’t been on the beach in any event [...]

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Estero Bay Report

Florida Sportsman member: binder077

Got out on the water and got bait at the bridge about 10 a.m. Headed over to the shoreline with downed tree stumps at Big Carlos Pass expecting to catch some snook. We found no snook but plenty of average sized trout [...]

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Shoot for Goliaths

Florida Sportsman member: Shore Catch Fishing

Bait was thick. Threads and pilchards were getting mauled by 18 inch spanish macs. Dropped a few live Spanish down and you know the rest. Also, messing around with a white jig produced a 30 pound cobia to follow. No commitment on that fish. After we caught a few goliaths I played around with the cudas on my 4000 size reel which never gets old.

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Estero Bay Action

Florida Sportsman member: binder077

The plan was to get bait and head to Knapps point for tarpon but we got a later start than I wanted and had a hard time getting bait so we decided to fish around Mound Key. The bait that we got at the bridge was fairly big (8 inches) so we knew the smaller reds and snook wouldn’t be interested. We lost 2 big snook and a bruiser red 5 feet from the boat. For the day we caught reds and snook at mound key and heres the 2 that were worth taking pics of. My bubby Billy caught the snook and it was 34 1/2″ inches and I caught the red.

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Estero Area Island Report

Florida Sportsman member: Shore Catch Fishing

While in the market for a new vessel I decided to return to my roots for a few days and do some land based fishing. Dispite the wind and dodging sporadic rain I went out on two evenings back to back. The 30th and 1st.

Pilchards are around but not thick. The ones ive netted are nice (4 inches) The lady’s, macks, and mullet are a different story.(All over) Snook are patrolling the beaches and pass and becoming very active at dusk. Didn’t see any tarpon but there food source is definetly around. Both these fish were caught on mid outgoing tide around sunset. Snook on lady. Lemon on bft. Also got a 22inch trout but didnt care to photograph him.

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Redfish and Gator Trout Months

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

The last few times out we netted some pretty decent fish. Over the past 2 weeks the bait has really just exploded on the flats and it is nothing to see big trout busting while you are netting it up. I’ve been spending most of my time near oyster bars on the flood tides and shorelines with good tidal flows. The gator trout are still around and will eat a shiner and now the snook are wandering into the keys [...]

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Sanibel/Ding Darling Report

Florida Sportsman member: pjstevko

I spent all of last week doing some work on Sanibel at the Ding Darling Refuge and spent my evenings fishing the wildlife drive and several other spots around the island and did really well. My weeks total was 6 trout and 2 nice snook and my friend Wes caught 4 trout, 1 redfish, and a couple snook. ALL the fish were caught using DOA shrimp of varying colors.

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Pine Island

Florida Sportsman member: simeoncoleman

Fished with the kids this weekend while they were on spring break and had a real good time. We probably caught 50-60 trout through a day and a half and 3 under slot reds. I caught 2 big trout 21 and a 24 incher. My son had a ladyfish magnet and caught a mess of them but he didn’t mind as long as he was catching(so he said). The kids had an awesome time as did the adults, thanks to my friend who invited me to come along [...]

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Screamin’ Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

I got the chance to get out with two friends from church this weekend. Friday my bud JH came out with me to see if we could locate the Gator Trout. JH is a veteran of WW II having fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa so you can imagine how interesting the day became outside of fishing. He also won some Commendation Medals. We were able to catch bait in the Sound and tried many different places [...]

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Sunset Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Flat_Top

It’s the time of the year when I like to do a sunset trip. Topwater is preferred, but not always the way to go. As was the case the last couple of nights. We fished the afternoon high tide on a protected shoreline and the water was mirror smooth and clean. Mullet everywhere with the occasional Redfish tail. The bite would turn on about 30 minutes before the top of the tide and last until sunset. Stick Shadd, spoon, and soft plastics were the ticket. Can wait for the time change so I can fish longer [...]

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Mixed Bag Inshore

Florida Sportsman Member: Feeding Frenzy

Spent a lazy day drowning shrimp in 30 ft of water just the other day and found the fishing to be fantastic. Nothing exotic, but a bunch of fresh flounder that made for an excellent dinner on very light tackle.

We found what seemed to be an endless supply of flounder situated just on the perimeter of the articicial reefs, with the occasional sheepshead mixed in. The flounder were eating both live shrimp and small strips of cut bait, and were in the sand, not the actual rubble itself. One of the flounder actually had color on what would normally be the white, under side [...]

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Estero Bay on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: JSTickum

Been a great couple of weeks in Estero Bay going back for 4 weeks it has just been on fire . The Reds have been feeding on the mud and sand , on the flats and by the groves , its been odd , their every where latly feeding slow , real slow (like you feel like your hooked up on grass and then the line starts to move on you) eating cut bait , shrimp , and mostly on soft plastics , here are a couple of pics starting 4 weeks ago to yesterday.

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Ret Hot January Snook Bite

Florida Sportsman member: flyinhawaiian

The snook have been going crazy seems like they have been eating everything that swims past their face.

Everywhere I have been fishing has been loaded with snook and a lot of them are BIG fish. During the day the snook have been feeding on the Sebile Stick shad and Sebile Flat shad in the hollow mullet color. Also been getting alot of fish on the mirrolure little john in just about any color with a 1/4oz jig head when the fish arent that active. But once that sun sets they have been feeding in full force [...]

 

 

 


Inshore and Windy

Florida Sportsman member: GatorInPISound

I braved the wind yesterday afternoon not realizing just how much it would blow. I figured we might get a pretty good incoming but the N wind had another idea. Anyways, I took a bro from church along and we fished 2-3 spots on in the afternoon looking for trout or redfish and we ended up catching both along with a nice shark….we were using handpicked shrimp [...]

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Destin Bottom Fishing


Destin Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Sea Monkey Too

We quickly started catching some really nice Red Snapper. Too bad we were in Federal Waters and had to release them. We caught about 6 all in the 15 pound range.

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Tuna Time in Venice

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

The larger of the two fish hit first (crashed a slow trolled live bait) and then a second rod went off fishing the same thing. I hopped on the smaller fish and boated it fairly quickly. We were then sitting on 6 fish. After a good fight (and a little bit of embarrassing rod-passing) we boated another real nice fish. This made 7 nice tunas and bonus fish number 2. We messed around for another 35 minutes or so and headed home.

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A Little Ling Success

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Fish just eased counter clockwise and the big one stayed with him. I hollered to buddy 2 to come ahead and to starboard. He did, and the before you knew it within casting distance was my lazy fish with hook in mouth and the big one. Buddy on bow flipped his eel out, and the big one dove on it. Bam! We’re both hooked up. Somehow, lines got crossed a couple times but I was able to get them unwrapped once we both got down on deck. Finally! Two fish on.

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Panhandle Lings

Florida Sportsman member: 85okhai

Went 2 for 7 yesterday. First fish ate a grunt and second fish was pulled off of a school of 4. It ended up being the smallest of the school. Fish went 46 pounds gutted.

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Big Panhandle Aj’s

Florida Sportsman member: 85okhai

Could’ve moved around to a few more spots to try and catch the rest of our Aj limit but out backs were already hurting and the big one was more than enough so decided to call it a early day. Only picture worth taking the camera out for was the Amberjack so that was the only picture taken all day.

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Nice Snapper off Destin

Florida Sportsman member:janderson

Checked a spot about a mile off the beach and Megan managed to box her first fish on the new boat. She landed a few small fish that we tossed back and a couple of 28 inch amberjack that she swore must have weighed 100 pounds before she got them to the boat. The wind layed down beautifully around 10:30 and the gulf went slick. We moved further east and set up on a good sized wreck that had VERY cooperative snapper on it.

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“Red hot” Panhandle Bite

Florida Sportsman member:crcattypc

Once on the spot, it was on fire. Fish were big and biting well. As we had seven guys on the boat we had a fourteen boat limit. Got those with no problem. Also picked up two gags. One was the longest skinny guy your ever saw. After getting to the grounds, the ride was fine from there and it even laid down during the day for a very pleasant ride home.

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Panhandle Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member:85okhai

We got a late start this morning didn’t leave til about 9. Found some cigars and pilchards then we were on our way, we headed 20 miles south east. Got to the spot and the bottom was lit up. Started catching small snappers on bottom and all of a sudden big snappers started coming over from our flat line rods. So I take my weight off and started pulling 10-15 pound snappers from 50 to 70 feet down. Left that spot with fish still biting. Second spot and we pulled up a few fish and decided to move to a third spot to try for some red grouper and finish our limit off. Got there and the fish finder screen lit up. No red grouper there, but there sure was some nice snappers. Even had two snapper follow my snapper up and the other guys started catching them on buck tails.
Total for the day: 22 snappers,3 or 4 kings, and had to watch 4 or 5 gags swim back to the bottom…

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Birthday Bites

Florida Sportsman member: Split Shot

Surprise party!

We were blessed Sat morning by great friends and a fun trip delivered by Seminole Wind Billy Archer. Dave was the guest of honor as we celebrated his 60th birthday. Dave you a one lucky man is all I have to say! Conditions were a bit tough with the winds and currents but we managed just fine even if we didn’t catch a fish it was a time etched into memories!

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Reds: Slow and Lethargic

Florida Sportsman member: Redhunter

Got to fish Sunday Morning. Still a little windy and choppy right off the bat. Wife hooked this one within fifteen minutes of fishing and I had 3 of the same caliber follow mine right to the boat. I just could not get the transaction completed. So I got skunked by the wife again. Wind laid down some then the wife got cold, so back to the landing. Kind of glad to because once I got everything cleaned up the bottom dropped out. This one was 29 inches and around 9 pounds.

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Tails, Schools and Low-water Lock-jaw

Florida Sportsman member: BottomLine25

Dunked the boat around 7:30, light WNW wind and still cold. About an hour and a half, 6 rounds of heave-ho and 4 numb feet later we got our lines wet. Low water would be an understatement. The area we were headed to had No-water, I mean birds feet were dry. We had no choice but to fish short of our destination. To our great pleasure we started to spot some reds. Some singles, some groups, some tails and some schools. The fish were skiddish and seemed to have lock jaw. We changed tactics a few times and finally got em hooked up. We boated 2 bottom of the slot fish and broke off 2 nicer ones. All in all we saw somewhere between 50-60 fish by noon. We were pleased.

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Pensacola Bay Reds

Florida Sportsman member: lighttackle2fun

Pensacola bay has been on fire. I love this time of year. Big schools of monster red fish, fun and gun fishing. Fun times with over 30 fish to the boat on this trip. Flat worn out after a day of some serious battles[...]

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Reds at the Pass

Florida Sportsman member: 85okhai

I got bored so I decided to go fish the pass. I was planning on going out there to just mess with the blue fish, so all I had was two live baits and a bag full of artificials. As soon as I got out there I went towards the channel to see what I could pick up on those two live baits drifting and instantly hooked up to two reds [...]

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Grouper Troopers

Florida Sportsman member: upinthewater

As the sun rose, we began to load the bait well, but we lost two comrades. High expectations, but they found the beanbags more favorable than an awesome bite! After finishing up with about 100 baits, we headed offshore for some deep water fishing. We left them there a few weeks ago penned up and wanted to make sure there were no holes in the fencing! As we rolled up on the first stop, nothing but a smile rolled over my face [...]

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Quality PCB Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Whalercrazy

Planned a trip down to PCB for this past weekend. The trip was planned over a month ago to take my new boss. He has fished backwater but has never been deep sea fishing. Day one we started out trolling but we were only able to troll up one small king. Decided to head west and fish some numbers that did very well last month. We managed lots of small red snapper, but managed to come home with a nice triggerfish, a porgy, and the one king. The next day I wanted to prospect some new hard bottom [...]

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Panama City Offshore Report

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Well, the plan was to leave the dock around 1:00 p.m. so that we’d have enough daylight to hit a couple spots before anchoring up on a big area where I like to spend the night and catch black snapper, kings, tuna, wahoo and who knows, maybe even a billfish. On our last trip we left around 1:00 and stopped at one spot about 49nm from the pass as the sun set. In a matter of about 90 minutes we had 12 very nice gags and three or four red grouper in the boat [...]

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Panhandle Bottom Fishing on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: Reeltight9

Went out with some buddies, my son and one newbie to offshore fishing on Friday. Left the dock at 6:00 a.m. with one baitwell full of chofers and stopped by the bait barge and filled the other with cigar minnows. Headed on out the pass and it was smooth as glass, ran 40 m.p.h. the entire 52 miles [...]

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Panama Beach Offshore Success

Florida Sportsman member: KayakMacGyver

My girlfriend caught this fish yesterday out of Panama City in about 110 feet of water. She baited her hook, cast the line and reeled the fish in all on her own, so she was pretty proud (as was I). The fish hit a live sardine flat lined about 50 feet behind the boat. Got kind of lucky because when I first saw color, about 50 feet down, I said “aw darn, it’s a jack” and put the gaff away [...]

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Panhandle Grouper Haul

Florida Sportsman member: upinthewater

It started with a clear radar for a change, and a crew that was pumped to go. First order of buisness – bait, and lots of it. Spent about hour catching it, great mix of rubies and some deep water choffers, then headed off to bounce around and see if we couldn’t get a repeat of last weekend. What a better way then to start then to try one on the way [...]

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Going the Distance out of PC

Florida Sportsman member: LilOrange

Although I’ve been following the forum and reading the posts for a few months now, I just registered and got a username a few days ago. So, this is my first post. Living in Tennessee, I only get to come down to fish 6 or 7 times a year. I fish with my buddy who lives in Opelika, AL. We go out of PC. We’ve been saltwater fishing for several years now and just get more and more into it every year. It’s really addictive. Until this year we’ve only fished public numbers of popular wrecks and reefs [...]

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Seagrove Beach Sailfish

Florida Sportsman member: CHM

My 12 year old son, CJ, caught a 7-8 foot long sailfish this week during a family vacation to Seagrove Beach. The attached pic shows the fish. He and I were pulling a needlefish om 80# fluoro leader behind our kayaks about 3/4 mile offshore of Seagrove beach when the fish hit. After fighting it for about 20 minutes out of the kayak, we paddled back to the beach to land it [...]

Check out the YouTube video here.

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Panama City Bottom Bouncin’

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Kind of a late report, but it’s darn sure a good one. I know the folks that bailed (including my dad) last minute wish they’d kept their spots on the boat. No big deal, though. We had a very competent crew and everybody fished hard, which I love to see! [...]

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PC Offshore Trip Success

Florida Sportsman member: brentsum

This is our annual trip with Capt. Leveral on the the Best Bet. It was an awesome day, we limited out in about two hours stopping at about four spots. Also a nice dual cobia hookup at one spot (my 14 year old son and 16 year old daughter had them hooked up at the same time on light spiining gear – a sight to see!). We also got a nice Wahoo on the way out [...]

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Two Days of Bottom Droppin’

Florida Sportsman member: stingwray

After Tropical Storm Debbie was looking forward to getting back on the water. Had a group that wanted to go and do a little fishing. Seas were good and ran off the hill for a day of fishing. Everybody was looking forward to catching a few red snapper.Went to one area and spent the day and then finished off the trip and ran back to the hill in time to have dinner with my mom and dad [...]

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Stingwray Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: stingwray

So waited for the best opportunity to carry them out. Forecast for the day was 2 to 4 foot seas with 10 to 15 mph SE winds. Met up with everybody at the dock around 6:30 and headed out. Seas were a little better than anticipated but still a little bumpy. Got to the first spot made a few drops and picked up some fish. At that point seas began to build so decided to run back to the 25 mile mark and finished off the day. The young crew hung in tight with the bumpy seas and managed to have a good time.

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Panama City Reds

Florida Sportsman member: jdubb247

Took a day off from work hoping the Gulf would cooperate. We fought solid 3-4′ seas all day. Couldn’t get out to the better spots until later in the day. Once were able to get to a good spot, the dolphins ran us off. We threw back several legal snapper hoping we could find bigger fish. We ended up with 5 snapper, 1 shy of our limit. Could have been much worse given the sea conditions.

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Opening Weekend Report

Florida Sportsman member: Hutch316

Hit the water early and the boys were itching to catch a fish. Seas were tollerable but knew we would be sore buy the end of the day. Went out to an area that produced good numbers of fish last year but the fish didn’t want to cooperate. Fish marked well but just didn’t seem to be interested.  Still caught a mess but had to work to get em’ [...]

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Panama City – Offshore Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Well, we did pretty good. The grouper gods were not as kind to us this past Saturday as they were a week ago. We fished the same area where we boated our 20 grouper in less than an hour, but we did not have as much luck. The bottom marked well, but the fish did not want chew…like at all. Full moon maybe? I don’t know [...]

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Serious Offshore Haul

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Went ahead and made a sizable move offshore to the area that I thought would be holding red grouper. We didn’t mark a whole lot, but the trigger rigs produced quickly, and the machine came to life so we decided to get situated on that spot and soak some baits. Probably 45 minutes later we’d boated 14 addtional red gropuper, a pair of kings, probably ten schoolie+ sized dolphin (for in close of NW Florida), 4 or 5 more triggers and a beeliner or two.

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Hometown Crew

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Mickey Locke

Took a crew out from the hometown and boy did they have a good day. Made short work of 25 hardtails and 50 cigar minnows and headed out a midst the chop. Got to the first spot, 2 rods down, 2 jacks on this went on for about 30 minutes and we had a decent limit of jacks from 21 to 26 lbs. Headed over and beat up some hard bottom areas I haven’t fished in a while. Lots of short gags, reds and triggers [...]

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Panhandle Dolphin Catching

Florida Sportsman member: crcattypc

About that time, a nice sized cow fin swims up to the boat by herself. She was smelling the chum but not eating it. I tossed her a chunck of fresh threadfin and she turned her nose. (probably the 60 lb leader) Then take out the light spinner with 17 flouro and a yellow bucktail. After several casts to get pissed she ate the jig and was on. Took a little doing to get her boatside with the light tackle, but was a very fun fight. She was about a 12 lb-er, very large for this area in close (90 feet) [...]

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Broke in the New Rig

Florida Sportsman member: Hutch316

Came down for spring break with the wife and kids and was able to take the new rig out a few of they days we were there. Doubling my horsepower also doubled the fuel consumption. Ouchh, but thats not going to slow me down, yet!! We found Beeliners less than 8 miles from the beach the first day but they dissapeared that close in all the other days [...]

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Personal Best Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: KayakMacGyver

The turkeys have kicked my butt this year. Between the birds and trespassing 4 wheel riders on my lease, my post-deer season success has been null. Decided to forgo the last day of my quota hunt and try hunting for a Cobia along the beach. It was forecast to be flat calm, so I figured I might be able to rig something for height and not have to worry about the waves knocking me off. Saturday was spent building our ‘tower;’ A 6 foot fiberglass ladder zip tied to the deck of the boat. Deck space is very limited on our small 19 footer, but we made do.

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Panama City Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Mickey Locke

Headed west out of PC with a crew. Made it a little past Grayton Beach with no fish insight. Turned around and made it just shy of Pier Parks Pier and spotted one right on the color change. Got turned on him and pitched an eel and he slammed it. Went 1-1 with a 45 pounder.

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A Better Fisherman

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Yesterday morning – we get somewhat of a late start yesterday. At around 9:30 we pull away form the dock and we were headed to the marina for some live shrimp. Our plan was to sheepshead fish for a little while for some guaranteed dinner, and then go look for a cobia while casting to spanish and tossing them in a brine. Well, we get our shrimp and head to a spot on the rocks for some sheepies. As we’re trying to find a spot to anchor we watch a couple come over the rail and I figure that this won’t take long [...]

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Big BlueGill and Carp

Recent freshwater fishing reports from all around the state.


Big Blue Gill and Carp

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

Rather than waste a promising morning of fishing we decided to hit some nearby ponds for a Big Carp. Little Joey had never caught one before so we made it happen. The boys got around 15 or so large bluegill,over a pound,and 4 big grass carp.

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Flip Fest Fatties

Florida Sportsman member: Bass2bucks

The key is to find the cleaner water with minimal current. After pre-fishing with minimal success my partner and I got lucky on tournament day and found the mother load. We burned up some gas running over 40 miles before we got lucky and stumbled on these fish.

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Freshwater Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Fishin Rod

Forum member Fishin Rod and grandson were able to get out and enjoy some great bream fishing, ending with a fish fry! Nice work!

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Bluegill, the Fly Way

Florida Sportsman member: Pmoconnor89

Made a trip to a new area I have been meaning to get out to for nearly a year now. Shell Creek is a freshwater creek system off of the Peace River in Punta Gorda. I had heard good reports of panfish and bass in the past from this location and put it up on my list of places to try out.

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Summertime in South Florida

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Shane Procell

The Peacock bite is as strong as ever. We have been catching them on a live shiners, x-raps and top water prop baits. One morning we caught a snook and a tarpon on my hand poured buzz frog.

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Freshwater Warfare

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

We dragged the kayaks over to our trusty lake and set out. Jay had a very productive morning, 2 big Bass around 6 pounds, 2 around 4 pounds and a bunch in the 3 pound range. I on the other hand, not so much.

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Big Urban Bass

Florida Sportsman member: Morocco_madness

Here’s a solid Bass i picked up this morning fishing a pond near my home. Picked up several other good fish but this one was my best. I think it’s my personal best. All fish were caught on Zoom, U-Tails in Junebug color pattern. The fish once again, were in either deeper water or underneath low lying tree limbs keeping in the shade.

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Big Bags Out of Holiday Park

Florida Sportsman member: Bass2bucks

With the falling water levels the big fish are in the canals and feeding on Snakes, freshwater eels, Frogs and Bluegill. This has made for one heck of a good time and I have taken full advantage of this time of year. In the last three weeks I have weighed in two bags over thirty and at this weeks King of the Glades Championship round I weighed in 26.86 which got me nothing more than a pat on the back. The top 5 teams all had bags over 30 pounds.

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Mixed Bag Down South

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Shane Procell

Forum member Captain Shane Procell has been on the fish this past week! Not only catching big largemouth and peacock bass, but also catching some freshwater snook and tarpon.

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Busting the Bass

Florida Sportsman member: Morrocco_madness

Once the bait made it’s touch down, fish were on it nearly every cast. Many casts didn’t require a retrieve as fish were picking it up on the drop. The bite was very aggressive. We had a great day with a lot of solid fish being caught including my personal best, a stout 6 pound Bass with a mouth big enough to put my fist in.

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Peacock Bite Heating Up

Florida Sportsman member: aladro

Forum member aladro got into some peacock action down south in Miami, fishing crystal clear lakes that produced nice fish to 4 pounds! Nice work.

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Miami Peacocks

Florida Sportsman member: COBRA

These two anglers were hardcore! We fished and fished even while the rain was falling. The bite was slow but we had action in the deeper waters while fishing live baits. Brandon also got to fight a fresh water tarpon in the 30 pound class for a few jumps before it wore through the leader and swam away. They managed to land a couple of largemouth bass, and a couple of different cichlid species as well.

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Lake Griffin Bass

Florida Sportsman member: capt louie

High stuck a fish and when I finally caught up to it I realized it was a nice one. I backed off my drag and it made a pretty good run before I netted it. If this was the tournament it would have got off,but of course that wasn’t going to happen.

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Fishing the River

Florida Sportsman member: jvanpelt

After about hour or so of throwing the worm and nearly giving up on it I pitched it up under a rock ledge and was met with an almost instantaneous thump. As the fish started to fight and pull drag I immediately knew I had something other than a bass on. Finally after a few laps around the boat and nearly losing her in the prop I was able to boat a respectable 33 inch snook, my first on a bass worm!

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Busting the Bass

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Shane Procell

The water has come off the flats and concentrated the bass in the canals. Holiday Park seems to be offering the most exciting fishing. Bass anglers are taking monster bass to 9 pounds. One of the latest Holiday Park tournaments was won with an astounding 5 fish sack at over 37 pounds.

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Spring Fishing at its Finest

Florida Sportsman member: chut03

Forum member chut03 has been tearing up the South Florida canals and ponds, catching some quality bass with a few stud snakeheads in the mix. Nice work!

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Kayakin’ for Largemouth

Florida Sportsman member: syd7792

“The bass were on fire last weekend here in Valrico Lake. Bass fishing out of a boat is awesome but nothing compares to fishing out of a kayak. When you hook a bass that gives you the fight and the ride of a lifetime, it is just epic!”

 

Want to catch lunker largemouth’s like this? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.



Backcountry Bass Bite

Florida Sportsman member: COBRA

I had the pleasure to take a father and son team out for a day of chasing these beautiful, and ferocious gamefish. Steve and his dad came down from Ohio and wanted to scratch Peacock Bass off their bucket list’s. Being that the Peacock bass is one of, if not the hardest fighting freshwater fish. It’s always great seeing the looks of amazement of someone when they hook into their first Peacock bass.

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Busting Bass on Rousseau

Florida Sportsman member: capt louie

The bass were on this flat last month and I hammered them in a tournament but got no big females.
Same was true today. Fun fish but no biggies.

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Afternoon Peacocks

Florida Sportsman member: USNavy_Angler

Forum member USNavy_Angler enjoyed some awesome south Florida peacock bass yesterday afternoon. He also took his Gopro camera and got some video and killer underwater shots.

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Lake Tarpon Specks

Florida Sportsman member: kmander3

We flipped minnows under corks for a couple hours and picked up 8 Crappie the biggest went 14 inches, and 1 Warmouth. We certainly didn’t crush it but Dad had been wanting some crappie which is what we got him.

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Down South Action

Florida Sportsman member: TLUV

I took my son out for about an hour and put him on a couple nice peacocks and a decent largemouth. He had a blast! I hope to get the boat back Tuesday and get out in the ocean this week and get some bigger fish!

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Wintertime Backyard Bass

Florida Sportsman member: chut03

“The fish have mostly been hitting soft plastics, and the Zoom Trick Worm really is a bass magnet! I landed the largest one, a 5 pound’r, on a black Trick Worm last week. All fish were released safely and will live to fight another day!…”

Want to catch big bass like this? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more.



Cold Weather Peacocks

Florida Sportsman member: PeacockFever

I fished a familiar spot armed with my fly rod and got exactly what I came for, a 3 pound peacock was hanging by a pipe and the second my fly hit the water he went bonkers for it, he had a pretty good sized hump on him considering it was very late in the spawn season.

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Fishing the Blue Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: aladro

It didn’t take long for my buddy to hook up the first hog bass of the day! We got a few more then it slowed down big time till the sun came out and warmed up the lake, then the peacock bass came out to play.

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Winter Time Peacocks

Florida Sportsman member: COBRA

We’re catching some real brutes in the systems we fish. Water levels are dropping and the forage fish are a little bit bigger. Which translates into awesome days of fishing for those who prefer throwing artificial lures. On one of my first trips out this year we landed a beautiful 7+ pound Peacock bass that absolutely crushed a DOA swimbait that was tossed his way.

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Down South “P’s”

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Shane Procell

December at the Miami Airport Lakes was excellent for the Peacock Bass. Last week we got into the P’s pretty good on top water plugs, X-raps and shiners. The weather was too windy for the main lake so we ventured into the residential canals and found the P’s ready to chomp on our offerings

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A Change Of Pace

Florida Sportsman member: heavychevy15

I primarily fish saltwater down south. My nephew has been asking me to go fishing with him in the local lakes around his house. After work yesterday I swung by and bent the rod with him for a couple hours. He ended up catching 4 and I got 2. Was a nice change of pace from my usual fishing.

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Lake Okeechobee Bassin’

Florida Sportsman member: Bass2bucks

From what I’ve heard and seen, the lakes starting to turn back around however for me, it fished a little tough this weekend. There’s no doubt those bigger fish are staging and about to move into spawn, it’s just a matter of time before the lake pops off and those big 30 plus pound bags are brought to the scales. We did manage to catch probably 20 to 30 fish and only one bigger fish at 5 pounds.

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Solid Everglades Bass Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Shane Procell

The water in the glades has come down a little lately and the bite has picked up considerably. Me and Johnny fished last week way back in the center of the glades. We started at first light with Spro frogs and Rapala Skitter Props in the lily pads. The first hour was non stop with the top water baits. As the sun came up the top water bite died. We changed out the top water baits for some diving Rapala baits. It was a steady bite all day…no monsters but good fun. I’m really looking forward to the next several months. It should be an incredible bass bite.

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Miami Slam

Florida Sportsman member: COBRA

“LET’S GOR FOR IT!!” Is the reply I received when suggestion was made for the Slam. It was music to my ears! Now we’re on a mission, and we headed off for the Tarpon bite. After setting up current of the tarpon and a quick talk about their fighting habits. We start the drift into the hot spot. Within a couple of minutes we get a hit,but it popped loose at the surface. A few minutes later Tim hooks up with a nice Sword Spine Snook!…Species #2 down. Not to be out done Jess” reel starts singing and a typical Miami fresh water Tarpon comes flying out of the water. Seven acrobatic jumps later it comes aboard for a quick pic,and release…. Speicies #3 Slam achieved, and it’s only 8:30 in the morning.

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Stickmarsh & Lake Blue Cypress Bass

Florida Sportsman member: flranger

Hit up the Stickmarsh, for the first time since I think 1992 today. Long dirt road wasn’t bad, put in and headed to the SW corner of Farm 13. Ended up with two nice fish around 3 pounds or so. Went to spillway, no water running. Went to ditch in middle of Farm 13, nothing. Went to buggywhip patches on south side of Stickmarsh and caught 3 around 2-3 pounds. Decided to hit the ramp around 12p. Total bass fisherman with trailers at ramp around 8.

Since we pulled off the marsh early, stopped by Lake Blue Cypress since I’ve never fished it. Really a beautiful place, probably what most Florida lakes looked like once upon a time. Fished it for about 90 minutes and rode around the whole lake. Awesome looking cypress trees. Stumbled into this little 9-pounder in some Kissimmee grass on the north side.

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Night Fishing for Largemouth Bass

Florida Sportsman member: Bass2bucks

I recently went night fishing in one of our canals down here in south florida. I have found the night bite in the summer time down here to be pretty awesome. I don’t know why but for some reason those big fish will cruise at night and you can catch some absolute giant bass. I put together a short video of some of the action I hope you all enjoy it.

Click here for the full forum report.


NW Florida Cats

Florida Sportsman member: CatHunter

Hit the River tonight for about 3 hours and managed some really nice cats. Big fish was 45 pounds. We had a few double and triple hook ups. What a night. The big flathead was released to fight another day.

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Bucket List Kind of Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: USNavy_Angler

My buddy Anthony and I headed out on Saturday after deciding it would be best to hit the urban waters and leave the boat on the trailer. Shortly after getting out there, our goal became to get him a nice fish on fly. After a few hours of fending for ourselves, we get a hold of Adam Rizzi from Reel Deal Adventures, and he invites us out for some Snakehead hunting. Who could every say no to fishing with RDA? He found out Anthony had never caught a Peacock and it was on! Then he reminded me, that I still did not have a Snakehead off my list, and the very first spot he took us to, SNAP! That jaw closed, my hook was set and he leaped out of the water.

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Lake O Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Shane Procell

Caught my personal best on Lake Okeechobee yesterday using a Gambler Big EZ. It was a hair under 10-3/4 pounds. My client had just boated a fish close to seven pounds when it started to get stormy and bolts of lightening started striking the lake. We ran in and waited out the storm. Eventually we ran back out to the school of bass we had found and this girl exploded on the Gambler Big EZ. I was using a Shimano Chronarch 200e7 with a Hawg Tech Hawg Handle mounted on a Fitzgerald Rod.

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Blue Lagoon Peacock Bass

Florida Sportsman member:COBRA

Ok, folks here goes. I had a chance to guide one of my best clients in the Blue Lagoon system here in Miami for a day of Peacock bass fishing…Oh what a day!!Seeing that Peacock bass are in their summer pattern down here. It only makes sense to start off the day a little later than the usual sunrise start. The peacock bass are a fish that loves bright sunshine and hot days, usually the hotter, the day the better the bite. We left the ramp at around 11′ish and headed straight into the canals systems in search of some bigguns.
Right away I had my client on fish that were full of fight and beautiful to look at, very colorful. After a quick lunch break we decided to head off into some canals that I’ve seen monsters in before. We didn’t hook up with any big one’s there,but she did land a very respectable freshwater snook that inhaled a very well placed lure…

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Fathers Day Weekend Peacock Bass

Florida Sportsman member: Joupdog1

We woke up early Sunday and drove south to fish some peacock bass. Pulled up to a spot on a canal that we had done good on before and were able to sight fish right away. Most of the fish were in pairs, but we got 6 nice peacocks, 3 on fly from the first spot alone. We hopped around to a few spots the rest of the day and got 3 more before it got too hot for us and we headed home. All around great weekend!

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Big Bites on Lake Okeechobee

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Shane Procell

I was fishing on Lake Okeechobee a few weeks ago with some fellas from Ohio. They had told me that the everglades bass were too easy and they did not care to catch a 100 normal sized bass but would like to catch a few good hawgs. I suggested Lake Okeechobee for some chubby chaseing, which turned out to be a great idea. A week prior to this trip I had found a school with some pretty good sized fish, so I was hoping they were still around. They started off with three some small fish and then then it was on like donkey kong. Bruce was working a BoohYah spinnerbait, clacking it on the surface and making a heck of a fuss. But it did trigger the first chubby of the morning. Then Bruce followed that one with a ten pounder on the same bait, same technique. I made a cast and was looking around to see what was happening in the back of the boat, when I looked back at my frog it was gone. I set up just in case and was rewarded with a heck of a fight from a beautiful nine plus pounder. We fished for 6 hours and got 12 fish. All released to fight another day. I love days like this.

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Miami Peacock Action

Florida Sportsman member: UrbanAnglerMiami

Got a phone call late last night after leaving the IGFA for the 10th Annual World Records Achievement Awards, my old friend Rey wanted to get out for a couple of hours this morning and chase some peas. That we did, after watching a band of rain cruise right by as the sun was just peaking out. It wasn’t too long before we started to get hits, bumps, and super aggressive charges. The water is almost back up to normal levels in most parts, the sun was shinning, winds laid down finally and the peas were out for blood today. Bass thumb was an understatement!

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A Crappie Day on Lake Talquin

Florida Sportsman member: skiff89_jr

Headed over to Talquin bright and early Thursday morning. My girlfriends grandpa has really been wanting to go over there and see how trolling is done. Also had a friend from Tallahassee meet us at the ramp to tag along. With little wind it was a very nice day to be long-lining. I was worried that with the fish we caught 2 weeks being full of eggs and the full moon would have them on bed, but they were not. All our fish came out of deep water in the channels. We probably boated over 150 specks, but with Talquin having a 10 inch limit, we only ended up with 33 keeper specks, a striper, and an aggressive bream.

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Relentless Bass

Florida Sportsman member: syd7792

This girl put up a fight! I was flipping a KVD perfect plastic caffeine shad rigged weightless around trees that had fallen in the water. I twitched the bait twice, let it sink, then when I went to reel in the slack POW! She hit that bait hard! I set the hook and she came jumping out of the water and thats when I knew she was a hog! She did not come easy though! I reeled her up to the left side of my boat where my aunt went to net her but the bass dove right back down under the boat! I took some tension off her and got her back up to the surface but as soon as she saw that net coming down she dove again but towards the front of the boat all the way around to the right side! I thought she was going to break off several times in these few minutes that felt like forever! Finally my aunt was able to net her and I was stoked! My adrenaline was going and my heart was beating like crazy! I went home a very happy girl!

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Stud Peacock on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: UrbanAnglerMiami

Went out with a mission this morning. I wanted to get a decent pea on fly and caught this 23 inch stud male butterfly peacock. He came out of nowhere and crushed my clouser like it owed him money. He swirled on the fly and missed it twice before he tore off some line. My biggest peacock on fly to date in Miami, FL. I almost broke my rod landing this guy.

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Cold Front Peacocks

Florida Sportsman member: UrbanAnglerMiami

Hooked up with a father & son team from Jersey today. It was pretty cold in the am but the winds laid down a bit with clear blue skies all day. The waters are low again and the bite was very slow but picked up after lunch. We caught many largemouth bass, nothing crazy…a bunch of peas and a spotted tilapia to complete a lil’ freshwater slam. Always a pleasure to put people on a new species and cross it off their “bucket list”. We started off the day with a very nice largemouth bass in the a.m. Great way to start the day!

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Hot Bass Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Reel Tease

Saturday went out with my dad to do a little fresh water fishing. Its amazing how lucky we are to live in South Florida. There is such a big variety of fish here in our very own backyard. Anyways we ended up fishing lakes and canals all over Miami Dade and what a great day it was. We caught too many bass to count, and many “Lunkers” as well as the aggressive Peacock Bass. These fish are beautiful. I encourage anyone who has never caught one to go out and catch your self some.

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Action-Packed Lake

Florida Sportsman member: former bluefishinny

John (new member) and I met up and Lake BankerLunker. I lost a SLOB, just as nice as the previous 3 I had landed. After that, John gets this beauty! Same bait…Same technique…

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Rainy Day Bass

Florida Sportsman member: syd7792

The day started out beautiful so my aunt and I decided to hit the water. Once we put the boat in the wind picked up immediately and became very cloudy. To get out of the wind, I went down one of the canals in the pond we were fishing which ends in a big bowl type area. I was flipping up to the bank under some tree limbs that were hanging down, two twitches out of the rod and BAM! There she was!

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Nice Bass at New Spot

Florida Sportsman member: former bluefishinny

Found a new lake! A bag of watermelon seed flukes in pocket, extra EWG weighted hook…bam! I did not weigh it but it was definitely over 8-pounds!

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Peacocks are Plentiful

Florida Sportsman member: lowe-boy

There really is no science to peacocking. Peacocks are territorial and aggressive and will strike at anything you throw at them. My favorite lure for peacocks is the good ol’ rattle-trap. live bait is way to easy and provides zero challenge. Went out Sunday afternoon with Juanito and we got into some great action. Caught 15-20 fish between us in a couple of hours.

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Plethora of Peacocks

Florida Sportsman member: HialeahAngler

Had some time to kill recently so I decided I’d head out to some of the local peacock canals. I was tossing flies and small hardbaits. I lost count of how many I caught, and had a heck of a time! I got a few more pics but they’re all peacock. You get the picture. There’s nothing to it. No special live bait needed. Just get your favorite hardbait or fly and walk the canals. Some of these are from Kendall, and the others are a little further north.

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Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: Catalyst

My 8 year old caught a nice bass on a super fluke this weekend. His biggest yet. Bass fishing was real good all weekend in western Palm Beach County. Fish were hitting flukes and crankbaits fished slow.

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Sizeable Topwater Bass

Florida Sportsman member: Bob1sh

Hooked a pig tonight on a topwater water Rapala popper. I was working the outside edges of the vegetation and the fish slammed my lure! Thank God for braid[...]

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Some Monster Peacocks

Florida Sportsman member: bigzee20

Florida Sportsman memeber bigzee20 and friends made a little video of them catching some nice sized peacock bass using live striped tilapia for bait.

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Cool Water Peacocks

Florida Sportsman member: UrbanAnglerMiami

Went out yesterday with a buddy of mine to hit up some peacocks. The county is still doing some weed pulling in Miami-Dade at certain canals still…causing the waters to become milky and shuts the fishing down but turns it up in other areas. We rode around for a bit or what I like to call, “urban run ‘n gun”, looking for some December peacocks in Miami, Fl. I sighted three very decent peas in a run off, end plug [...]

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Lake Okeechobee Video Report

Florida Sportsman member: Bass2bucks

I had the pleasure of fishing with an old fishing buddy I hadn’t seen since I moved away for college this weekend. Now that I graduated and finally moved back home to South Florida I will be able to fish my old honey holes and enjoy some of this awesome south florida bass fishing. This particular buddy of mine is this years Florida Bass Federation Champion and taught me a lot about bass fishing I had no clue about. We went out to Lake Okeechobee and tore the bass up. We didn’t have a real pattern we just runned and gunned around the lake fishing different spots a long the way [...]

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December Peacocks in South Florida

Florida Sportsman member: Reel-Deal

Fishing here in Broward has been great lately, even for December. We have been catching tons of peacocks, putting up 10 to 20 fish per trip, with some nice 3 to 6 pound fish mixed in.I can go on and on about each day of fishing but being too much to write about so I’m simply going to post some pics. Hope you all enjoy [...]

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Freshwater Snookin’, Say What?

Florida Sportsman member: Joupdog1

Recently, FS member Joupdog1 stumbled upon an interesting fishery in the Southeast region of the forums. Big bass, pig snook, and rolling tarpon, all living in harmony in the freshwater ecosystem of a local neighborhood lake. Sounds too good to be true! Check out the first post, here.

Hit our new found secret pond and got 3 bass up to 4 pounds, but the highlight of the day came when Chris stuck an upper/over slot snook! This pond is a wonderful thing [...]

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Lake Bassin’ Heating Up

Florida Sportsman member: Brooksrobinson9

“Talked the parents into letting us get out of school early Friday before Thanksgiving Break and man it was a good decision! Saw a pretty sweet sunset while we were out there too!” Fish caught on Little Bear Lake.

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Urban Peacock Bass; November Bite

Florida Sportsman member: UrbanAnglerMiami

Target species; butterfly peacock in late fall, November in Miami, FL. The water is about a foot or so low, the levies are closed, the waters are still and scouting for peacocks the day before a guide wasn’t too promising. I always scout for targeted species a day or two prior to any guide. We had an early shower around 8 am and a light shower a bit later with overcast skies all day, making it very difficult to sight peas. The winds picked up and dropped throughout our 3/4 day guide. Upon calling to inform my client from Miami Lakes about the conditions yesterday afternoon, he gave me the thumbs up and we headed out despite my scouting report and mother nature. This guide was his birthday gift to his 19 yr. old son and the pressure was definitely on [...]

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Targeting Schooling Bass on the St. Johns River

Florida Sportsman member: Bass2bucks

We had an awesome day on the St. Johns River today despite the 20 mph plus winds and 65 degree temperature this morning. To be honest my expectations for today weren’t that great considering this storm we had, the moon phase and the blue bird skies but we still managed to lay the smack down on these bass [...]

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Peacock Paradise

Florida Sportsman member: Reel-Deal

Had the opportunity to take a repeat client and his son out for some peacocks this past weekend. Skies were overcast, and rain occasionally came down, but we pushed through and managed some nice fish. The first two spots didn’t produce very many, but nonetheless, fish were caught. Since the bite wasn’t consistent, we headed to a lake system I’ve nicknamed “The Falls”. Within a single hour, Sehoon and his son tallied 23 peacocks and 6 largemouth bass [...]

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2012 Bass Club “Classic” – Big Toho

Florida Sportsman member: capt louie

The club stayed at Richardson’s Fish Camp for this years end of year tournament. Nice place, VERY quaint, but OK. My father-in-law and I arrived Thursday and got to pre-fish that afternoon and Friday prior to the Saturday/Sunday event. I found some schooling bass and located an area in Goblits Cove that had some current flow, it looked promising Thursday but the next day was a bust. I checked the schoolers and got a decent fish quick so called it a day at noon Friday [...

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Peacock Paradise

Florida Sportsman member: Reel-Deal

Had the opportunity this past Saturday to take my friend and snakehead guide Chris Licato on a Reel-Deal Adventure to Peacock Paradise. After his 30 minute drive down from Coral Springs to Pembroke Pines, I wasted little time, as the first spot produced 8 peacocks, including 3 bulldozers (4+ lbs). Here is just a sample [...]

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Miami Exotics and More

Florida Sportsman member: miket1515

I was awaken by the sound of my alarm so I looked at it and said the hell with this and went back to bed. Way to start my fishing adventure, so I woke up at 8 and thought what now. It’s too late to make the 2 hour trip to Flamingo so I did the next best thing, go freshwater. I had to put away all my saltwater gear and grab my freshwater equipment and off I went. I arrived at Blue Lagoon at around 9 and off I paddled [...]

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Birthday Bassin’

Florida Sportsman member: kodiakzack

Spent my birthday weekend with 5 hours fishing on Friday with a co-worker, and 6 hours Saturday with my son Josh. Co-worker was stoked because he got his biggest bass ever. Josh was stoked because he got his biggest fish this year [...]

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A Summer in Canada

Florida Sportsman member: Docked Wages

Last month LOB and I returned to Northern Saskatchewan Canada for a 10 day extreme fishing excursion. I focused on fly fishing and therefore found myself fishing solo quite a bit. Sunsets at 10:30 p.m. and sunrises at 3:30 a.m. gave us plenty of time to fish. We targeted walleyes, lake trout and northern pike [...]

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Miami Urban Fishing Report

Florida Sportsman member: COBRA

The peacock bass fishing here in Miami is going steady. Good fishing is to be had early and later in the day. The afternoon rain showers are cooling off the temps and creating a good amount of current, which is always a good thing while fishing for peacock bass. They seem to be keying in on the huge hatch of minnows we’ve had this year [...]

 

The weather and the bite are a couple of things I cannot control. Just like the rest of the country, the everglades is experiencing the dog days of summer. It just get’s plain miserable from mid-morning untill the late afternoon. But even in these unbearable temperatures I have been on a Zara Spook bite all day, everyday for the past month. It’s has been a magical time of fishing.

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Gheenoe Bassin’

Florida Sportsman member: bass-buster

Dropped my Gheenoe in the old neighborhood lake this morning. Fished 2 hours and caught 3 fish, missed 2 others. This one here was the biggest at around 3.5 to 4 pounds, trying again tomorrow [...]

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Big Bass of 2012

Florida Sportsman member: Bass2bucks

Decided to put together a little video of some of the bigger fish we have caught on film this year. I fish a lot of the different lakes around central Florida and have brought friends along with me for a lot of the trips. Here are some of their bass from this year so far. Hope ya’ like the video [...]

Check out the video on YouTube.

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Bassin’ Before the Storm

Florida Sportsman member: jasonstadnik

Went out to a private lake Saturday just before the storm moved in to the Ocala area. Fished for about 4 hours, the fish were turned on. There was a giant school of 1/2 to 1 1/2 pound bass chasing shinners in deep water. Followed them around for half an hour before they went down. We also caught a good number of fish off the weed pockets in about 4 foot of water [...]

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Trip to the Rodman Reservoir

Florida Sportsman member: Bass2bucks

I decided to fish the Rodman Reservoir for the first time ever this weekend. I have always heard what an awesome place to fish it is as well as all the big bass stories that come out of this place so I had to make the trip. Game plan was to leave the house by 4 AM and make the 1hr 30 minute drive to the Kenwood boat ramp in Interlachen, Florida. The boat ramp is a nice two lane ramp with plenty of places to park. I met up with my buddy Matt who like me, has never fished the reservoir either [...]

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Grass Carp Fishin’

Florida Sportsman member: chut03

Here’s my little brother’s first grass carp. Caught on some bread with 10lb test line. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to weigh it as I didn’t have my scale with me and I didn’t want to stress the fish too much. This fish was caught in a medium sized pond in Broward County.

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Okeechobee Bassin’

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Shane Procell

My youth league football and basketball coach came from La. to fish with me in the everglades and on lake Okeechobee. The Lake was tough as a storm with 55 mph wind came through just before dawn but we did manage some fish and a good one to boot. We went into the glades the next day and the fishing was much better [...]

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Backyard Topwater Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Ol’DirtyCaster

This afternoon I did a little messing around with the 7wt in the backyard pond with some sliders I’d cranked out earlier this week. Probably caught somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-12bass in the 1-3.5lb range all on deer hair bugs. No monsters, but still lots of fun.

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Apalachicola Catfish Tournament Report

Florida Sportsman member: CatHunter

We fished The Apalachicola Catfish Tournament on April 28th with some pretty good results, but not enough to win. Unfortunately I chose a bad section of river to fish that was about dried up even still we caught some good fish our biggest was about 12 lbs but I had a buddy on another section of the river that got some good fish his largest was 15 lbs. A 33.5 lb Flathead won the first place prize for largest fish, and 177 lbs took the 1st place for most poundage.

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One for the Wall

Florida Sportsman member: tampaspicer

“I’m going to get it mounted for his birthday. Weighed 7-8 pounds and caught on a topwater. We caught a total of 7 bass in about a hour.”

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Canal Bass Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: bonitabob

It’s not very often I get to spend some time with my son Eric. Like a typical 18 year old, he has better thing things to do then hang out with me. If he’s not working he’s out with the ladies. We both happened to be off work on Monday and decided to hit some canals around the area, specifically the 10 mile canal off of Alico Rd. We have caught some very nice snook there in the past. We started out a little late in the morning and when we arrived we found there was no water coming over the water control dam [...]

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John’s Lake TOAD!

Florida Sportsman member: Bass2bucks

Took my buddy Conner fishing with me today on Johns lake in Clermont Florida. He had a blast and I was able to put him on some bass. The biggest one of the day was actually the first one of the day and we caught him after a few minutes of pulling up on our first spot! I love it when a plan comes together!

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Big Bass!

Florida Sportsman member: Bass2bucks

Next month I have a tournament on Johns Lake in Clermont Florida against a group of guys who are GOOD. When I mean good I mean that if you don’t have at least 5 bass weighing 20 lbs or more than you need not waste your time weighing in. That being said, I know I have my work cut out for me; especially since I have only fished this lake a total of two times before today. My plan of attack today was to look at Navionics charts and find where all the major spawning flats in the lake may be [...]

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Miami Backcountry Report

Florida Sportsman member: COBRA

Well folks it looks like the Peacock Bass in Miami have fared very well through the “winter” months. I took my older son out this morning in some of the southern canals to do some scouting. Turns out not to have been a bad idea. We caught a fresh water slam and some really decent Peacock Bass too. The fish are now in a post spawn mode so their feeding heavily on shad and wild shiners. So you have to make sure the lures or flies your throwing match the hatch. Or you’ll be chunking lures all day with no takes.

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Everglades Bassin’

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Shane Procell

The water has been high and the bite has been hit and miss this winter down south , but the bite is just about to go off in the southern most parts of the everglades. I had Keith and Brandi down from Alabama and they tore up some bass on a combination of Yamamoto wacky rigged senkos, and Heddon torpedos. The largest bass of the day came from a 12″ black and blue Bass Pro Shops worm. The hot bite down south should be just a few days away.

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They Have Been Biting!

Florida Sportsman member: Reaper

Florida Sportsman member Reaper has been having quite the impressive bass bite, check out his forum post to review the pictures!

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Snakehead!

Congratulations to South Florida angler and my friend, Corey Nowakowski for a pending new world record snakehead catch. The fish was caught here in South Florida on a buzz frog. The fished weighed in at 12 pounds, eclipseing the current I.G.F.A. record of 11.8 pounds which was caught Asia.

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Peacock Bass and Snake Head Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Shane Procell

I had some really great guys down for some snake head and peacock bass fishing. Trude and his father, Jason were fishing one last time together as Trude will be leaving the country for two years. Jason had fished for the peacocks a few years ago with another guide and the trip made quiet an impression on him. We loaded the livewell with shiners and headed south to the motherland of peacock bass. The peacocks were easy to find and more than willing to fight. They boated somehwere around twenty-five with the biggest one tipping the boga at six pounds.

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South Florida Bassin’

Exciting fishing report from a Florida Sportsman Member who took his girlfriend and two nieces fishing along a canal near Holiday Park. Using live shiners, they caught and released over 50 bass. After the girls left for a break, Bass2bucks fished alone for a while.

“I caught the majority of my bass on a watermelon seed Zoom Super Fluke and a june bug colored worm. Also quite a few on a Swimmin Senko (Christmas colored) and a few on a horny toad. I didnt see any bass on the beds which is what I hoped for but we still did manage to catch quite a few decent fish. All in all it was a great trip. My girlfriend caught her personal biggest (6 pounds) and my niece caught her biggest as well (5 lbs). Cant wait to get back down south and do it all over again. Until then I’m back in Orlando with a bass boat.”

 

 

 


Miami Peacock Bass and More

Florida Sportsman Member: COBRA

Today I had the opportunity to guide a younger angler in the canal systems for some Peacock bass. His birthday was recently and his parents chartered me for a half day trip for his present. The morning started off a lil slow due to the colder temps we’ve been having lately, but it sure picked up after the sun came up a bit. My angler Chris had his hands full trying to battle the P’s in close quarters. But he came out great landing about a dozen and missing a few more. The surprise of the trip was a real nice freshie Snook that beat the Peacock bass to a well placed lure by Chris. Boy was he HAPPY!! Anyways it was a great trip and I hope we can do it again sometime. We took some pics of the day for yous to check out. Thanks for reading our report.


Click here for the full forum report.

Rookie Team Wins 2014 Blue Marlin Grand Championship

Press Release

New boat owner Cramer Pierce made the most of his opportunity. Pierce saw his first blue marlin ever come up on a pink Marlin Magic lure Friday, hooked the fish and finally landed it after a three-hour battle. Weighing in at 595 pounds, that fish turned out to be the largest recorded in the 2014 Blue Marlin Grand Championship and earned Pierce and the Dirt Pit team Grand Champion honors and $175,875 in prize money. Dirt Pit, a 55 Hatteras, is run by Capt. Travis Holzburn with mates Clay Holzburn and Brian Beason. It was only the second time the Union, Mississippi-based team had fished together.

George Kendrick and Up To It came in second place based on a weighed 442-pound blue marlin and one marlin release. Weighed fish earn two points per pound or a minimum 910 points, whichever is greater, and released marlin score 405 points. With optional cash entries and the second-place tournament prize, owner Tripp Tolbert and his team are taking home a check for $162,925.

Sea Mixer, a 66 Spencer owned by Ronald Davis and run by Capt. Devin Potts, was declared the third-place winner. Chris Davis caught a 368.2-pound blue marlin and Tyler Davis released another one. With optional marlin jackpots, Sea Mixer is taking home $73,450 in prize money. Sea Mixer also won the coveted Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship based on top finishes in all five qualifying events in the series.

Angler Steve Brown and Team Reel Worthless made a valiant run at both Championship titles only to fall just a little short. The team, competing aboard Reel Fuelish, a 60 Sculley, landed a 562.4-pound blue marlin but had no releases for additional points. Reel Worthless owner Johnny Johnson, Capt. Myles Colley and the team settled for fourth place and consolation money totaling $168,350. Chip Steinburg, fishing on Relentless Pursuit, a 95 Jim Smith owned by Dennis Pastentine, recorded the other blue marlin brought to the scales, a 298.4-pounder.

Reel Fire, the 2013 Grand Champion, was the top release boat this year. Connor Ferrara and William Duke combined for two blue marlin catches to earn owner Chris Ferrara, Capt. Mike Roberto and the team $112,050 in overall winnings. Plumb Crazy, Rebel and Rise Up also earned payouts for released billfish. A total of 15 blue and 10 white marlin were released by the 57-boat fleet during 2.5 days of fishing.

The optional game fish categories were hotly contested throughout Saturday night’s televised weigh-in at the host Wharf Marina and Entertainment Complex. In the tuna division angler Shelby Johnson scored the biggest yellowfin at 133.2 pounds (worth $114,840), while fishing aboard Quick Time. Jane Soloman had the second-heaviest tuna (130.8 pounds, $72.090) on One More, while Justin Cullifer captured third place with a 126.4-pounder, worth $28,890 to the Traders Hill team. Blue Smoker and Buyin Time also cashed in with optional tuna jackpots.

Luanne Bozeman landed the largest wahoo, a 75.4-pounder, on Restitution III, winning $5,850. Mark Leto, on Double J, earned $50,985 for his 47.4 wahoo, and Mitchell Reilly on Wynsong scored $53,325 for a 39.2-pound fish, plus a dolphin optional. Controlled Chaos, Three Chiefs and Get Reel also won cash for their wahoo bets.

The tournament’s top three dolphin were separated by less than one pound. Rick Olsen’s 39-pounder led the pack and earned $47,250 for the Breathe Easy team. Buell Polk on Share-E won $34,875 for a 38.8-pound fish, and Eric Hayles on Mollie took home $22,815 for a 38.4-pound dolphin. Rebel, Get Reel and CE scored in dolphin jackpots as well.

The 2014 Top Lady Angler award went to Brenda Dedrick on Black Tip. Dedrick won for her blue marlin release based on time. Marshall Powell, on Traders Hill, was named the Top Junior Angler.

“It’s been another fantastic week with some really spirited competition among the top boats in the Gulf,” said Tournament Co-Director Scott Burt. “But that’s why it’s called the Blue Marlin Grand Championship. I’d like to thank all 57 teams for entering and our wonderful partners for making it all possible. We look forward to seeing everyone again next July 7-12, 2015, for the Greatest Show in Sportfishing.”

West Central Florida Weekend Fishing 4Cast


Aripeka to Longboat Key
Includes Hudson, New Port Richey, Anclote Key, Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Clearwater, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Anna Maria Island and Bradenton


July 25-27

The dark moon this weekend will have tides running hard. A temperature drop into the negatives, after sunset, will follow the big high tide in the afternoons. Look for light winds with a chance of rain in the forecast.

OFFSHORE/NEARSHORE

Action offshore was varied this week. A few reports of cobia around wrecks along with barracudas and sharks have been noted. But grouper fishing took the spotlight all around. Both red and gag grouper were hauled in from depths ranging from 55-to 150-feet of water.

Capt. Steve Papen, of Seminole, reported catching a variety of fish including mangrove snapper, gag and red grouper, scamp, tuna, cobia, margate, red snapper, and amberjacks. AJ’s are closed through the remainder of this month, and red snapper are closed beyond the end of this year.

Capt. Dave Mistretta of the Jaws Too was tarpon fishing just off the beaches. An angler hooked up with a big tarpon only to have a giant hammerhead shark eat the fish. The summer run of tarpon brings a variety of big sharks into the area, and many of these sharks follow schools of tarpon and prey on them. It’s not uncommon for sharks to chase down fatigued tarpon, spent from being caught, and eat them. Even healthy fresh tarpon meet this unfortunate death. But the bottom line is that anglers should match the tackle to the fish targeted, and with tarpon averaging 125-pounds and many times hitting 200-pounds or more, heavier tackle will allow the anglers to put more pressure on the fish to land it in a reasonable amount of time. A fight lasting longer than a half-hour wears the fish down and reduces its ability to flee from an attacking shark.

INSHORE

Jim Green of Wesley Chapel with a backwater snook caught on a MirrOlure Lil' John in lower Tampa Bay while fishing aboard the Flat Back II out of Terra Ceia with Capt. Ray Markham.

Tarpon fishing continues to be good along the coast. Capt. Rick Grassett out of CB Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key reported his fly anglers getting numerous shots at tarpon and jumping or landing several over the course of the week. Capt. Bryon Chamberlin of Tampa has been hitting numerous tarpon over the past several weeks. Chamberlin consistently finds good numbers of fish off Anna Maria and almost exclusively catches them on flies. Fly fishing for tarpon is an extreme art and skillful anglers may have the best shot at fooling these big fish since flies can imitate live bait as well as any lure, and a skillful caster who can lay a fly in front of a silver king stands a good chance of a hooking up. Winds with a south westerly flow, as predicted for the weekend in the Tampa Bay area, will be light. But the direction of the winds coming off the Gulf will create some wave action that sometimes makes the fishing more difficult. The fact that winds will be light will be the saving grace here.

A good chance for showers on Saturday should make anglers mindful of thunderstorms that can pop up at most any time. Three people walking the beaches on Ft. Myers during a thunderstorm this week were struck by lightning resulting in one dead and the others seriously injured. You don’t want to be the tallest point anywhere, and particularly on the water during a thunderstorm.

The new moon Friday will produce some exceptionally high afternoon tides followed by a rapid dropping level that should create some heavy feeding zones for ambush feeding fish. You can expect snook to feed around these periods. Areas nearest passes and beaches where snook will be spawning will have some of the largest fish, but backwater snook will be mostly smaller male fish. This has been evident in many of the backcountry areas we fished this week. In fact, trout were smaller as well. Look for the morning incoming tides to make up a strong bite for larger trout. Some big gator trout are being caught on the flats near Bunces Pass, at Pinellas Point, in St. Joseph’s Sound around Dunedin, and south of Sister’s Key in Sarasota Bay. Topwater lures fished early should be productive. The DOA Deadly Combo fished around potholes near Tidy Island and Long Bar in Sarasota Bay will produce some action. Drifting either the 3-inch or 4-inch DOA Shrimp with the tide in the passes and along the beaches should produce some big snook. Catch-and-release is required for these closed-season fish.

Watch for cobia on any kind of structure like crab trap buoys and range or channel markers inside the bays. Any kind of artificial reef or hard bottom can be holding mangrove snapper right now. Good numbers of fish are being caught on MirrOlure Lil’ Johns and DOA Shrimp. Live-baiters are catching them on small-scaled sardines and live shrimp.

Scalloping north of the Pasco/ Hernando county line has been excellent this year, with limits being reported by nearly all who take the time to collect these tasty mollusks. Fishing the incoming tide for trout and redfish off Homosassa and Chassahowitzka Rivers is good for anglers using CAL Jigs with Shad tails, 5.5 CAL Jerk baits and the MirrOlure Lil’ John. When the tide turns to go out and temperatures soar, it’s time to hit the water for some scallops. Remember, if you are required to have a fishing license to fish, you will also need that license for scalloping. Don’t forget your dive flag!

FRESHWATER

Heavy rains wash insects off the banks and overhanging trees around lakes and on rivers. Small worms, crickets, and spiders spilling into the water make easy forage for bluegill and other panfish. Fly rodders have an excellent shot at some fast action during and after rainstorms with flies that imitate these insects. 3-to 5 wt. fly rods are good all-around sizes for bream and bass. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMAIL Ray {941-228-3474} www.CaptainRayMarkham.com

South Florida Weekend Fishing 4Cast


Deerfield Beach to Key Largo & Flamingo to Cape Sable
Includes Pompano Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Homestead


July 25-27

Once again high-pressure overhead of South Florida will bring light winds and calm seas. Winds are predicted to be variable from the east during the day and west at night. There will be a new moon on Sunday.

Pompano Beach, Port Everglades, Haulover, Government Cut to Ocean Reef

Quality size baitfish continues to be tough to come by for offshore fishermen. On the incoming tides large threadfin herring can be chummed to the boat around the ocean inlets. Once they appear you can catch enough for a full day of fishing with a Sabiki rig. Expect the bait fishing to take an hour or so. Live baits can be purchased around all of the ocean inlets if the bait boats were able to catch some themselves. Once out past the third reef lots of bonitos, a few large kingfish, an occasional sailfish and a few blackfin tuna have been biting. Most of this action is taking place deep in 120 to 300 feet of water. Outside of 400 and all the way to 18 miles offshore schools of schoolie size dolphins are feeding under birds and along large mats of Sargasso weeds. Some larger dolphins have been free swimming in the same areas. Wahoo are holding under many of the bigger pieces of floating debris. A few blue and white marlin are feeding on the smaller dolphins. Swordfish both day and night has been fair with some real big fish being caught. Wreck fishing has been producing groupers, jacks and mutton snappers. Nighttime bottom fishing continues to be good for an assortment of snappers. High tide at Government Cut Friday night will be at 8:49.

North Biscayne Bay Inshore

Small baitfish schools in North Bay continue to attract the attention of jacks, ladyfish, snook, tarpon, snappers, seatrout and an occasional mackerel and bluefish. Nighttime snook and small tarpon fishing has been good on the moving tides. There was a small shrimp run at night recently.

South Biscayne Bay

Captain Mo Estevez reported that the best bonefishing and permit fishing has been on the Oceanside flats south of Key Biscayne. Early mornings and late afternoons are providing the best action. Expect the permits to be feeding on the beginning of the outgoing tide. A silver dollar size blue crab is your best bet for the permits. Plenty of sharks have been feeding on the flats and these sharks won’t shy away from a piece of fresh barracuda. High tide at Soldier Key on Saturday will be at 9:26 in the morning.

Flamingo in Everglades National Park

Fishing out of Flamingo continues to be excellent. Most days when Miami is getting bombarded by rainstorms Flamingo is sunny and dry. Over the shallow grass and mud flats in Florida Bay plenty of redfish, snook, sharks and tarpon are working big schools of mullet. The channels that have shallow flats next to them continue to provide good action from seatrout; catch and release snook and redfish. A live pinfish hooked to a jighead has been getting plenty of strikes. Snook, redfish and sea trout are feeding along the mangrove shorelines and along the sandy beaches. Over the grass flats in three to five feet of water seatrout, tarpon, large mangrove snappers, jacks and ladyfish can be caught with live pinfish fished under a float. Low tide at Flamingo in Florida Bay on Saturday will be at 10:41 AM and at the mouth of Shark River low tide is at 8:21 AM.

shermana@bellsouth.net

{786-436-2064}

www.getemsportfishing.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Field Editor of the Florida Sportsman Magazines Action Spotter Report South Region
  • Field Editor of the Florida Sportsman Magazines Internet Fishing Forecast South Region

Sage Salt Series

Jesse Robins of Sage introduces their new line of fly rods, the Salt Series at ICAST 2014. For more information visit www.sageflyfish.com.