Florida Sportsman Blog

Sea Hunt Ultra 235 SE

Responding to request for a boat that the entire family can enjoy, you will find large insulated fish boxes, a live baitwell, a T-top with fiberglass hard top and a salt water washdown for the fisherman. For the family, there’s room enough in the console for a potty, bow cushions with forward facing backrest, a vapor mist cooling system and a stern lounge. The high freeboard will give you a secure feeling with the kids on board or when you run into rough seas miles offshore. A unique feature not seen on many boats in this size range is a side entry door that will make it easier to get in and out of the water at the sandbar, while diving or when you are towing a water toy. Anglers will like the benefit of not having to haul that prize catch up and over the gunnel when they can simply slide their fish through the open door.

Sea Hunt Boats
2348 Shop Road
Columbia, SC 29201
803-755-6539
www.seahuntboats.com

Sea Hunt Ultra 235 SE Specifications
LOA: 23 feet, 5 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Max HP: 250
Hull Weight: 2,650lbs
MSRP: See dealer

HD – The Fourth of July on America’s Waters

The Fourth of July on America’s Waters, photo by Drew Wickstrom.The Fourth of July on America’s Waters, photo by Drew Wickstrom.

Sportsman HD Gallery

Summertime Offshore Bite

Recent offshore fishing reports from the West Central region.


Summertime Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Our Florida is now one of the most populated states in the entire country. And, for very good reasons! Our climate is second to none, Our beaches are among the finest in the world, southern cooking is tops, and, never to be forgotten, our fishing. Florida is widely known as the Fishing Capital of the World.

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Open Season

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

For the first time in years both American red snapper and gag grouper season will open June first. The Florida Fisherman ll, Hubbard’s Marina, will be leaving on a 39 hour Middle Grounds and vicinity trip Tuesday, May 31, in search of American reds, gags, and a lot more.

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West Central Deep Dropping

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

3:00 P.M. sixteen serious, dedicated, anglers are ready for a 63 hour ‘Deep Drop Florida Style’ trip deep into the very heart of our Gulf of Mexico.

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Catching in Rough Seas

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Last weekend’s weather forecast called for 5 to 6 foot waves Saturday morning, then calming down some later on. Early Saturday saw 6 to 7 footers. Absolutely no danger for a boat as big as the Florida Fisherman ll. I decided to set this one out, but, Thanks to Mr. John Martin & Mr. Dylan Hubbard, we have some excellent pictures to share.

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Running West

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

Out we went to 110 feet and loaded up on red snapper, gags, vermillion and almaco jacks for a few hours. We ended up keeping three vermillions, everything else was released to fight another day.

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Wrestling with Aj’s

Florida Sportsman member: ericf

A 6/0 Mustad Big Gun assist hook, crimped on with 125 pound mono on the spot got straightened out like a pencil. These dang fish have some brutal strength, it would be a struggle to bend that hook with two pairs of vice grips that way.

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Grouper Hunting

Florida Sportsman member: Mako224

We cleared the Pass at 7AM and tried to locate bait. Nothing around the pass so off we went to 30 feet and caught pins, grunts and sardines. Then off we went to 100 plus feet.

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Mangrove Mission

Florida Sportsman member: clarosa

We got the chum flowing and mangroves stated hitting the deck. Nothing crazy but steady, most in the 14 to 18 inch range, with a few around 21 inches. We worked and worked and got near our four man limit of forty with a lot of keeper throwback gags and even a 24 inch red grouper and 16 inch hogfish.

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Middle Grounds Action

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

On the way out we troll for kings and bonito. Bonito are excellent bait. After a Chef Tammy meat balls and pasta dinner it’s bunk time. We want to be ready for the many fights sure to come. First up, the hard to fool mangrove snapper.

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West Central Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: therobertbrooks

Ran about three miles to a wreck in 58 feet, although it’s only about 45 feet on top of the wreck. Noticed some suspended fish showing, so when letting my pinfish down I stopped it midway, and within about three seconds my rod doubles over.

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Anclote Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: BryanC

Went looking for gags with my buddies Chad and Conrad yesterday and we found them in 60 foot. We got our limit at the first stop, with one at 26 inches and the rest from 29.5 to 33. I even caught a 29 incher on an inshore rod later on while targeting mangos, but we already our six in the box so back it went.

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Mangroves and More

Florida Sportsman member: clarosa

Slowly but surely the mango’s started coming over the rail. Got a few in the 6 to 7 pound range but the bite was kinda slow. Every once in awhile the flatline I leave out for tuna would get nailed and ended up being AJ’s just about every time, got a couple in the 25 to 30 pound range.

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Middle Grounds Mayhem

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Last week’s full moon Florida Fisherman’s over night trip deep into the heart of our Gulf of Mexico returned Sunday morning with the entire boat completely limited out, two day limit 20 each, of Middle Ground’s sized mangrove snapper.

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Deep Dwellers

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

We fought stronger than predicted winds and monster currents. Regardless, this, like all deep-drop trips, resulted in huge trophy fish never to be forgotten.

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Catching in the Gulf

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

That new outfit really worked out well for Dan. His ‘in the money’ jackpot winning snowy grouper hit the scales at a whopping 40 pounds. Not to be outdone, Dan’s very good friend, Ed, is ever so proud of his 55 pound wahoo.

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Awesome Day Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: clarosa

We got to our spot around 8:45 in 85 feet of water. Started to chum and then sent down a few big baits and immediately hooked up with a 30 inch gag. Not a minute later my buddy starts hollering and it’s fighting a little different, it starts running out instead of down and we get it closer and it’s a nice 45 pound cobia.

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West Central Grouper Success

Florida Sportsman member: Thumper363

I got my dad, buddy, and my oldest little boy out for a late day start. One of those days where you get started way later than expected and don’t really have a plan. I decided to sip on some cold beer and spend time with the family and hit a couple gag spots, it paid off.

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Fishing the Deep Water

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Forum member harbison shared a recent trip aboard the Florida Fisherman II, as they headed out to the deep water to chase big fish.

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Catching off of Clearwater

Florida Sportsman member: Matt822

We headed west and watched the sun start to peek over the horizon as the anchor hit the bottom in 120 feet. The first stop produced a few mangos in the four pound range, three yellow tail and four gags in the 10 to 15 pound range. then the Aj’s came to play after catching more then enough of them we boxed three for some smoked fish dip.

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Mangrove Madness

Florida Sportsman member: Mako224

At 1:30 I chose to run out to 95 feet on some natural ledges. Once we dropped the hook and I allowed the Snapper Up chum to work the bite was on for the next three hours. We put 30 fish in the box with about 15 more thrown back, ranging from 2 two to eight pounds.

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Fishing the Deep

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Today’s gags are darker in color; they have not migrate to much deeper water. They stay very close to their rocky homes. They are not too happy with the idea of joining us for dinner.

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Pulley Ridge Trip

Florida Sportsman member: _norm

As dawn began to break, the captain signaled for us to bring our lines up so we could make the 3-hour trek to the deeper water in the 550 foot depth. Everyone prepped their electric gear and returned to the bunks for some more rest.

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West Central Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

Forum member harbison and the whole crew aboard the Florida Fisherman II got into a mess of fish recently. Including big groupers, snappers, and more!

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West Central Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Double Action

We went 40 miles out and my first drop with 50 pound tackle was a break off. Stepped up to the 80 pound setup and got a 25 inch gag. Threw back a couple 22 inchers and then got a personal best red grouper at 29 inches.

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Back on the Water

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

I haven’t been fishing in several months and was itching to go. The reports have said mangrove snapper fishing has been good so the plan was to try for those. Jim, and Scott and I left my house around 6:30 and made a quick stop at the bait boat for a big scoop of whitebait.

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Snapper on the Brain

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

One very good thing about Florida fishing is that there is always plenty of fish to fish for. When one season closes, another opens. Gags & amberjack are now closed; so what? We will be, ‘Targeting snapper.’ Red snapper, for head boats, is open until July 14.

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


West Central Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: clarosa

I made a quick statement, after the bite slowed down “if we get a nice tuna now, we can just go in and forget the last two snapper”. Not 5 mins later, the big freelined pinfish rod’s baitrunner went zinging! After a 30 minute battle, a big blackfin is circling the boat ready for the gaff!

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Targeting the Big Boys

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

After a great Chef Tammy dinner, it’s bunk time. After all, we will be challenging the big boys for three days. OK! We are well rested and ready to go. So are the fish

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Tuna, Snapper and More

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Running the Bay Boat Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: SouthshoreSlayer

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

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Full Moon Snapper and More

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 


West Central Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

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

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Hog Huntin’

Florida Sportsman member: slper

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

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Fish for All

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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West Central Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

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

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Red Grouper Rampage

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Catch and Release Gags

Florida Sportsman member: OU-Pilot

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

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Finding the Honey Hole

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

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

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Starting the Year Right

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 


West Central Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

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

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Full Moon Mangrove Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Harbison

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

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Trolling for Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

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

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Grouper Grand Slam

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Clearwater Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

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

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Veterans Day Fun

Florida Sportsman member: OneLandOneSea

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

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Trolling for Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

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

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Fishing with an Old Friend

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

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

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Fun for All

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

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

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West Central Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Catching a Mountain of Fish

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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West Central Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Jerseygirl

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

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Shallow Sailfish off St. Pete

Florida Sportsman member: Jcclark

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

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West Central Offshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Hook and Line Hogfish

Florida Sportsman member: spanishsardine

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

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Making the Run for Red Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: anglingarchitect

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

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Monster from the Depths

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Mangrove Madness

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Middle Ground Mayhem in the Rain

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Sharks and Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

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

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Grouper on the Rocks

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

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

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Taking Out The Kids

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

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

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Grouper Limit Out Of Longboat Key

Florida Sportsman member: ericf

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

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First Foreign Kingfish

Florida Sportsman member: guifri

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

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100 Miles Off Madeira Beach

Florida Sportsman member: Harbison

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

Click here for full forum report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


a Long Trip Equals a lot of Fish

Florida Sportsman member: TennesseeDave

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

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Gags, Red Grouper & Rough Seas

Florida Sportsman member: flatsrunna

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

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

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St. Pete Red Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: GASeminole

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

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

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

Click here for full forum report.


Fort Drum Gag Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: glihon

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

Click here for full forum report.


Shallow Water Grouper off Anclote

Florida Sportsman member: Juicebucket

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

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

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Mixed Bag out of Bean Point

Florida Sportsman member: JEIBE

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

Click here for full forum report.


Rough Conditions and Worthy Catches

Florida Sportsman member: Jayzilla

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

Click here for full forum report.


Sarasota Mixed Bag

Florida Sportsman member: srqmynatt

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

Click here for full forum report.


Way Offshore – Grouper & Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member: Jerseygirl

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

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Longboat Pass Gags, Kings and More

Florida Sportsman member: rreed

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

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

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St.Pete Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: 06powerstroke

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

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Snapper and Blackfin Tuna Action

Florida Sportsman member: Navy_Fishing

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

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Prefront Bite

Florida Sportsman member: srchn4salmon

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

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[...]


An All Florida Week to Remember

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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MLK Day Snapper Trip

Florida Sportsman member: sagory

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

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Hogs, Snapper, and Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Navy_Fishing

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

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Foggy Snapper, Grouper, & More

Florida Sportsman member: Navy_Fishing

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

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Kings in the Fog

Florida Sportsman member: rreed

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

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Middle Grounds Action

Florida Sportsman member: JerseyGril

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

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Clearwater Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

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

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Plenty of Scamp out of Egmont

Florida Sportsman member: perlmman1234

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

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Plenty of Bait, Plenty of Action.

Florida Sportsman member: releasegear

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

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Pass-A-Grille Offshore Variety

Florida Sportsman member: yelladevil17

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

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Box of Red Grouper, King for the smoker

Florida Sportsman member: CaptainBly

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

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

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Spooktacular Mahi and Mangro Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: indabox.bc

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

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Girl Power on the Grounds

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Fishing the Forty Fathom Break

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Hogfish on Artificial

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

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

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ARS Pay Back Time

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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Gag Reflex

Florida Sportsman member: flatsrunna

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

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Giant Cobia in Clearwater

Florida Sportsman member: ericj359

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

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Full Moon Mango Madness

Florida Sportsman member: Navy_Fishing

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

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Offshore AMI

Florida Sportsman member: JEIBE

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

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Cobia’s out of Clearwater

Florida Sportsman member: ericj359

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

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Middle Grounds Trip

Florida Sportsman member: harbison

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

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75 Miles

Florida Sportsman member: electricblue

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

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First Cobia- and much more!

Florida Sportsman member: timbo615

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

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Kingfish out of Hubbard’s

Florida Sportsman member: TennesseeDave

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

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Cobia!

Florida Sportsman member: GEO

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

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Gags, a Mango, and a Porgy

Florida Sportsman member: Navy_Fishing

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

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Big Gags and a Frisky Shark

Florida Sportsman member: jewfish7

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

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The Bottom Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Gordo35

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

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Can You Say Tuna!

Florida Sportsman Member: timbo615

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

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Early Morning Reds

Recent inshore fishing reports from the Big Bend region.


Early Morning Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

So off we go to Billy’s Creek. It was full of reds with some with their backs out of the water. The problem was they wouldn’t bite anything we threw at them. After a frustrating period of time, and for once wishing (sort of), that we should have had bait Duane says let’s move.

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Big Bend Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

Fished a bit for a few trout, caught maybe three or four, to wait for water. That didn’t last long, just needed one for the box anyway, and Duane says let’s go for the reds. They were around, even saw one with it’s fins out of the water, but they were reluctant to feed. We kept trying and eventually put eight keepers in the boat all around the 22 inch size.

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Getting Revenge

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

It made a loooong run of probably 100 yards and we ran it down. When it came to the net, it was a “slob”, very similar to mine from the other day, in fact we measured it at 39″, same as mine, but a different place.

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Incoming Bite

Florida Sportsman member: permit_me

As I was re-rigging a spare rod, I put my rod in the holder and slam, Jack grabbed the rod was on with a 26 inch red. A couple minutes later we resume, I am just finishing my knot from earlier and slam, Jack takes my rod and lands another upper slot slob.

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Fishing with Grampa

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

My grandpa was able to catch a couple which was cool because they are pretty much his favorite fish to catch, and this was his last trip he had before heading back to New York.

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A Trip to Crystal River

Florida Sportsman member: badonskybuccaneers

As the day progressed, the wind seemed to die down some, so we hunted some crab pot floats for tripletail on the way out but didn’t find anything legal. We tried working another bar along the spoils further out and picked up a couple more trout, some jacks, a redfish, and I finished my inshore slam with a decent snook.

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Steinhatchee Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Cole321

We went out the next afternoon into the Gulf and fished on the grass banks north of Steinhatchee. Found spots where there was thin grass and adjacent oyster bars/rock piles. The first spot we could see reds and drum tailing all over the place, the reds were also rubbing in the grass.

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Crystal River Slam

Florida Sportsman member:Blkmnstr

Finally had a nice enough day to head out to long point. We got a later start than what we wanted too but were still at the ramp in time to get to the banks before the tide changed. I hooked up with the first trout then my girlfriend landed the next three back to back.

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Short Trip, Hot Bite Florida Sportsman member: Jim311 The first stop was a creek that had produced well for me on Thursday, but it generally holds smaller fish. It was about two hours from the bottom of the low tide but we made the call to get skinny and risk getting stuck in the creek in hopes of finding a good bite and it paid off. Click here to read the full forum report


Fun on the Chaz Florida Sportsman member: Ruff One Duane uses that Chaz finesse and this snook is caught! But, he swallowed the lure completely and there was no way this one would go back. The damage was to great. At 28 1/2 inches he was legal and will give up some delicious fillets. Click here to read the full forum report


Fishing Both Sides Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown From Yankeetown to Cedar Key to Horseshoe and both Palm Coast and Matanzas on the east coast. The east coast has had vary clear water for sight fishing and we have been getting 10 or so a trip. The west side, well let’s just say it’s been catching, not fishing. Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Trout and Sheepshead Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286 After reading Super D’s post about catching trout in the days inn canal figured we’d start there since we launch there on every trip and was surprised to catch a 17 inch trout on my first cast with a gold lil john. Caught a few more on every other cast then got one more in the mullet hole before heading to the creeks. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Trip Florida Sportsman member: Flat Nuts I made an excuse to come back up your way with my daughter. We were sneaking up to Ocala to pick up a new pup for my wife for Valentines day under the guise of a quick father daughter fishing trip. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching in the River Florida Sportsman member: 4WARD We stayed in the river on Sunday and jumped around here and there. Snapper were not very active but a couple reds decided to play. We ended up with two reds (23 and 26 3/4 inches), one drum and a couple snappers. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching on the New boat Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 I saw a fish tailing so I told mom where to look and she saw the fish and made the shot. Without me telling her where and boom, fish on! A solid fish at 27 inches and was her first real fish that she has sight fished. Click here to read the full forum report


Low Tide Action Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 The water came in a little bit so I started working a shoreline next to a creek mouth. This turned out to be the best decision. We saw several fish, and some absolute studs, on the outside along the shoreline. Ended up picking up a couple fish this way. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching on Topwater Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown I got blasted three more times by giants here but they were over hitting the plug, literally coming out of the water. My co-worker had enough and went to top water as well. Did not take long and he was crushed by a giant. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching in the Creeks Florida Sportsman member: kingkong954 On our way out of the creek I managed to get my lure stuck in some grass. After much yanking and pulling and cursing the lure pops out into the water and wraps around my rod tip. After some cursing and untangling I find out the action had somehow attracted a redfish, who had eaten the lure while I untangled the line! Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Variety Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Tripletail fishing has been great along the channel markers, crab trap buoys, and floating grass mats. Live shrimp under a float is a sure bet when targeting these fish. Look for them as you run from spot to spot. They hide just below the floating structure or nose up to channel markers. Click here to read the full forum report


December Big Bend Action Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown We had a negative low mid morning which I like to fish up there, well it did not disappoint. The trout and reds were laid up in the pot holes just like they should be in spring weather. Caught well over 40 nice trout up to 23 inches and 20 reds up to 30 inches. Click here to read the full forum report


Topwater Action Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed I hear a big snook hit Robbie’s lure with that telltale giant suction slurp they do and the battle was on. Fish was in good current and was a multiple jumper of five or six times. After a good battle the 31 inch fish came to the net. Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Reds and Trout Florida Sportsman member:StandOutI2 We ran out to a pretty low tide, so we started trout fishing. Boy were they on fire, they were eating everything, topwater, flukes, jigs, whatever we threw. Most of them being 19 to 23 inches with a few smaller ones mixed in. After about two hours of that we went to go find some reds. Click here to read the full forum report


Patience pays Florida Sportsman member:shuterkng Not a great day as it was starting to get late and the tide was about full. Then surprise, monster red invasion. Almost everyone got a big red as we were fighting for position on the boat, girls won. We kept four that were just under 27 inches and released a bunch more. Click here to read the full forum report


No Water No Problem Florida Sportsman member:barhopperAD Catching mullet paid off, first cast was a 26 inch red. Little bro was catching rat reds left and right. The water got higher and action got slower. So we moved around explored a little to find a fishy looking cove with lots of activity and that REALLY paid off. Click here to read the full forum report


Cedar Key Action Florida Sportsman member:Big Bend Brian We were without a bottomfinder as I just sent my Furuno in for repair so our plan was to just troll a shallow broad area of intermittent hard bottom we used to stone crab on. Stopping in 19 feet we deployed some grouper plugs despite a fair amount of grass on the surface and within 10 minutes had our first fish. Click here to read the full forum report


First Trip Success Florida Sportsman member:Gman27 30 minutes later I found a nice creek and a few lagoons and began working the banks with a paddle tail. I could see reds pushing bait on to the banks and lots of activity. Couple casts in and landed my first cedar key redfish of 19 inches. After the activity slowed down, I moved to a new lagoon and found more activity, landed another redfish of 29 inches. Click here to read the full forum report        


A Trip Down South Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown Friday, we decided to trailer up to Flamingo and sight fish way back up in the glades. Made about a 25 mile run north of Flamingo to some super skinny creeks. Ended up sight fishing around 10 nice reds up to 30 inches and 4 snook up to 28 inches. All fish being caught in less than 12 inches of water. Click here to read the full forum report


Fishing with the Girls Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz Being the two girls have never caught redfish I thought this would be a good chance to put them on some fish. Didn’t really matter most were under slot, just catching was a blast for them. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching in Cedar Key Florida Sportsman member: barhopperAD We started off two keeper reds back to back. My little brother then hooked into a “redfish” which was screaming drag, pulled up to boat and it was a giant trout probably 25-27 inches, but the hook pulled right there and watched him swim away. Click here to read the full forum report


Waccasassa Reds Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz Headed out early even though it was a pretty early low tide. Took out a buddy that has not caught a lot of reds and was hoping to get him into some quality fish. He was not disappointed as we got into them pretty good. Click here to read the full forum report


Slot Slam Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286 Bob stuck to topwater like I’m sure Ted does because they want that one fish, which I understand but I wanted to catch my share of reds and wanted to see if it worked for him before doing so. All my redfish didn’t change his mind then he landed a top of the slot redfish that inhaled his plug! I stuck with the spoon then hooked the first snook! Click here to read the full forum report


From Tripletail to Tarpon Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown We head to where the third and final trap is, hopefully and sure enough it’s still there. We did not see any fish on it but made casts at it any way. My second cast and the cork goes under and drag starts screaming, another 10 pounder jumps. We get him netted and in the box. My kids both agreed that I needed to put my rod down. Click here to read the full forum report


Father and Son Fishing Florida Sportsman member: huntentails With the youngest son off of work and a favorable tide we settled on yesterday morning and it wasn’t a disappointment. We fished out of Crystal River and were on fish all morning with a strong outgoing tide. Robbie caught his best snook to date at 39 & 1/4 inches and I caught a 30 incher. Click here to read the full forum report


New Spot Producing Florida Sportsman member: Billy We went to an area that I’ve never been before, Duane hadn’t been in years, and we spent most of the trip fishing the same area. We put twelve keeper reds in the boat and Duane managed a snook after another one got off earlier. Click here to read the full forum report


Cedar Key Reds Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz Mid-morning the tide was moving pretty good so we hit up into some creeks and found what we were looking for. We got 14 reds on rattletraps, spoons and jerk baits. A couple of oversize, a few under, with the majority in the slot. Click here to read the full forum report


Muddy Water, Big Drum Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown I told myself that when I hit this one bar, if there is a drum on it, I was going to get him. It was protected from the wind and would allow me to make a perfect cast. Sure enough, I round the corner and the tail was a waving. Click here to read the full forum report


Backwater Snook and Reds Florida Sportsman member: Ruff One With the tide getting lower every second, Duane say “Lets hit some redfish spots closer to home base”. Off we go on another wild ride and before you know it we are sitting on some rocks with redfish swirls looking us in the face. Pitch a spoon and a nice redfish is going home for dinner. Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Drummin’ Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286 The fishing really picked up with the incoming tide, as we released a few slot reds and one over slot. We also caught three black drum, all were great fights in the kayak. All fish were caught less than a mile from the ramp and on live shrimp. Click here to read the full forum report


Grinding it Out Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed Robbie went out with me for some topwater casting practice. Low outgoing to start and the incoming the rest of the morning. Robbie must of practiced ahead, because he hit a nice 36 inch snook at the first stop. Click here to read the full forum report


Cedar Key Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown Well with in three casts with the skitter walk, I get smashed and a school stands the water up. Josh throws in and we are doubled up. Mine came in at 29 inches and his was 26 1/2, that set the tone for the day. We hit five or six spots and every spot had a school on it. Click here to read the full forum report


Snook and Scallops Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed We went to Sandy Hook yesterday so we decided to go Scalloping again on this beautiful day. After a late start, we motored out to the boat pack and found all the scallops I care to clean in a reasonable time. There are still plenty out there and they were big! Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Mixed Bag Florida Sportsman member: huntentails We started with an outgoing tide and a slight east wind. First cast was a great snook, but was lost before it was boated for a photo session. We had to make a move a few hundred yards to get away from the bluefish as they were just tearing up anything we threw. Click here to read the full forum report


Cedar Key Reds and Trout Florida Sportsman member: me3260 Live shrimp and cut ladyfish were the bait of the day. We caught a few on Gold Spoons, but the water is so dark, the only hits we got on spoons were throwing over a white sand bar, and reeling back across. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Snook Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed By now I am fishing spots where I’ve never fished before. Paid off with this massive 39 inch snook that was the toughest I’ve ever caught. 3 jumps and 3 long runs and somehow she didn’t wrap herself up in the sargasm. Missed another big one a few casts later and left early with the grandkids visiting at home. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Giant Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16 I called Pete (Snookspanker) to try for some snooks with the morning high tide. He liked the tide today too so we went out for a quick trip. He stuck a giant one within the 1st half hour. The shoulders and the girth of this 40 plus incher was unreal. Click here to read the full forum report


First Snook Florida Sportsman member: Lake13 We both were looking for our first snook and just pounded till we both got one. 14 hours of fishing for one fish apiece. Couldn’t be happier though. What a beautiful area and we will both be back. Click here to read the full forum report


Jumbo Drum Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16 We had some gulps so we messed around with some big drum pulling us around for a while. The last one that I caught was a behemoth and that was enough for me. We got out of there before the storm and made it home still dry. Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Reds and Scallops Florida Sportsman member: T-Bonefc After 15-20 minutes we shot further south and joined a small community between the C.R. crowd and Homosassa . The scallops were much better here in numbers. Still small for the most part but it is what it is in the beginning of the season. Click here to read the full forum report


Poling to the Reds Florida Sportsman member: Dveres95 We started the day out in Mason Creek and worked south toward Chassahowitzka, with a high morning tide we got deep into the back country to a flat that is very active and holds big redfish. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching in the Creeks Florida Sportsman member: Billy We managed a few reds and maybe a half dozen snook that actually made it to the boat. We kept hooking up the snook but a bunch simply either cut us off or came unbuttoned before we could get them to the boat. Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Variety Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16 My brother was in town so we hit Yankeetown early. Got a nice snook on topwater that started the day out great. Had a couple other snook blow ups. Then went looking for reds. Click here to read the full forum report


Early Morning Snookin’ Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed Robbie had the big fish of the day on first and after a good battle, it gill plated the line, but we saw enough to know it was a big one. Then I got a fat 32 inch fish, which was a welcome relief. Click here to read the full forum report


Low Water, Big Snook Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 I heard drag screaming and saw a wake that looked like a torpedo going through the water. Had to pull the powerpole up and chase it for a little bit then finally it stopped making the long run and came close enough for me to realize it wasn’t the big red I thought it was. Click here to read the full forum report


On the Reds Florida Sportsman member: bigkahuna Forum member bigkahuna and wife got into the redfish in the big bend region, as well as a few bonus snook. Nice! Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Redfish Bite Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 My step dad picked up a couple more shorts. Well, the school died down and we started working to another area. My mom was real quiet in the back of the boat and said she sees something. So she throws to it and sure enough, it’s a nice 27″ red! Her biggest to date. Click here to read the full forum report


Calling in “Sick” Florida Sportsman member: hausw Not more than 5 minutes later I hooked into a much larger one and battled him for almost an hour. Hoisted him in the boat for a few pics and released him. After that I was exhausted and called it a day. Click here to read the full forum report


Mason Creek Reds Florida Sportsman member: Dveres95 We caught all our Reds on gold spoons, the fish were concentrated in the deeper mud troughs between the islands, which still held 2 to 3 feet on the dead low. It has been a great past month in the creek and it’s only looking better. Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Redfish Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 Well, got back to our normal spots on the incoming and noticed there wasn’t a whole lot of water moving. Turned around and went back out the way we came still on the incoming and boom, started seeing reds everywhere. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Inshore Bite Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Forum member and the Big Bend’s weekend 4caster ripnlips has been on the fish. Catching snook, trout, redfish and more. Click here to read the full forum report


Windy Day Success Florida Sportsman member: Billy It was windy. Even in the creeks it was a chore to have any kind of boat control but we stuck it out for a few hours. Tide was rushing in heavy and flooded a bunch of areas we usually fish. We had to change up a bit but it all worked out. Click here to read the full forum report


Working the Docks Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin Switched to the smoke/gold halo color and was slowly swimming my lure near the bottom in the front of a dock, it got blasted. Set the hook on a solid fish. Got it away from the dock. After a nice aerial display and some good runs, Pat got her in the net. She measured 28 inches. Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Snook Bite Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16 Hammerhead Ted and I got out there early to catch the outgoing tide. Ted is the king of topwater snookin and he hooked a giant one on his 3rd or 4th cast. He fought it for a long time but it scraped his 40 pound leader up and broke off. Click here to read the full forum report


Fun with Friends Florida Sportsman member: Billy A great day on the water with a couple excellent fisherman and lots of laughs. Almost all fish came on top water and a Redfish Magic type lure. We’ll definitely do this again. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Mixed Bag Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Forum members ripnlips and Swampthing07 got into a nice mixed bag of fish from triple tail to black drum. Swampthing07 wife Kayla got in on the action too. Click here to read the full forum report


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


Big Bend, Big Reds Florida Sportsman member: Jim311 I pushed in further into the creek. I spooked one nice red which I didn’t even see until he’d spooked. Then I hooked up again, and again it was another super hard fight. This fish was bigger though, over 32 inches. It had a head on it the size of a football, a real stud fish. Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Snookin’ Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed We caught fish everywhere we went including some places that haven’t produced the last couple years. Robbie got 4 lower slot and under slot reds and several jacks. I missed a big snook early, but disappointment didn’t last too long when i got a 31 inch snook at the next place. Click here to read the full forum report


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


Big Bend Bruisers Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown We hit the first spot, the water was clear and they were schooled up. Watched a school of over slots swim down the bank. Then got to watch the whole school fight over my fluke, simply awesome to watch. Click here to read the full forum report


Homosassa Redfish Florida Sportsman member: floridafan Pulled in about 60 mostly undersized reds but managed 4 keepers between 20 to 24 inches. We each had a run 10 fish in 10 casts for me and 11 fish in 11 casts for my son, both at the same time! 21 fish in less than 10 minutes! Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Inshore Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Sheepshead are starting to show up in their normal wintertime spots. We’re still getting a by-catch of gag grouper too. All on 8 pound braid and live shrimp. Click here to read the full forum report


Afternoon Redfish Bite Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown Once the tide came in enough we headed out front to fish the outer bars. Was slow for an hour or so but the last hour and a half of daylight they turned on. Had a couple of doubles then switched out to topwater and got a few good ones on top. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching the Bulls Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown Well Jacobs first blind cast was inhaled by a 20 pound stud. I was thinking this is a good way to start. Jacob, my youngest son, and I were on one boat and moved out to another cut to the gulf. Took a while for another bite and I finally got on the board with another 25 pounder on topwater. Click here to read the full forum report


December Inshore Fishing Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips My son Jeremy came home for Christmas so we went out and fished for a few hours for trout around some creeks. Caught our limit of trout and released about 20 more by 11:30. Also caught these on jig and DOA Cals and some with live shrimp on a jig. Click here to read the full forum report


Nice Weather, Hungry Fish Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown As I get within casting distance I see a pack of about 5 reds milling around so I post up and tell the boys to throw up there. Jacobs cast was right in the middle of them and he hooks up instantly. Click here to read the full forum report


Hiding From the Wind, Catching the Fish Florida Sportsman member: Billy Moving to some areas that were sheltered from the wind we caught jacks, more ladyfish than we cared to, mangroves with some keepers in the bunch, a red, and lots of snook. We managed to put twelve snook in the boat losing more than that before touching the leader. Click here to read the full forum report


Catching with the Kids Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown We headed to the first spot and started throwing topwater over some oyster bars. Got one 25 inch red and a stud trout right off the bat. Pulled the hooks on two over slot reds and had several misses before making a move. I then jumped up on the platform and turned the front of the boat over to the boys. Click here to read the full forum report


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


Catching in the Transition Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips For the past few weeks we have been seeing fish transition from Summer patterns to Fall patterns and this means that they are in the mood to eat. Now is the time to get out on the water and take advantage of it. Click here to read the full forum report


Seeing Red Florida Sportsman member: G8trbait Then the girls got a double hook up. It must have been a small school that swam by because they were hooked up back to back! April’s was a keeper, but Sophie’s had to grow up a little. It was legal, but we could afford to be picky and I don’t usually keep them unless they’re over 20 inches. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Redfish Action Florida Sportsman member: cthurow Drew’s first cast with his Zara Spook and boom, fish on! Nice drag screamer. I already had a piece of lady fish rig on a larger rod so I went ahead and threw it out while Drew played his fish. As soon as I netted Drew’s 26 inch red, he yells, Dad that rod is bowed to the water! Click here to read the full forum report


Suwannee River Tripletail and More Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown As we trolling motor up to the first pole, a 10 pounder sky rockets 6 feet in the air about 75 yards out in the open. First time I have seen one free jump. My brother makes a cast at the pole and hooks up instantly. The fish gave two amazing jumps and spits the hook. Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Fishing and Fun Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Forum member ripnlips and friends had a great weekend, catching a slew of fish. They also loaded on scallops, making for a nice meal! Click here to read the full forum report


Waccasassa Reds Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz About the time the tides were getting right the heat was kicking into gear. After a couple of decent Reds a storm started brewing up towards Cedar Key so it was time to cut it short. Click here to read the full forum report


Tearing Up the Tripletails Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown The chop made it a slow boat ride out but busted one on the very first pole. The fishing was hard due to waves coming over the bow and only being able to see down 3 to 4 inches but we made the most of it and put 5 in the box and called it after about 4 hours. Click here to read the full forum report


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


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


Waccasassa Reds Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz So after the skies cleared up we were able to get up to where we wanted to fish. Strong tide and the breeze made for some tough fishing at first but we stuck with it and hit some quality fish. Five reds from 16 to 34 inches with two right at 27 inches that went home for dinner. Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Black Drum Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16 Forum member Biggary16 got into some nice black drum! Only fishing for a few hours he caught 6 “big uglies” and a nice flounder. Tight work! Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Snook Bite Florida Sportsman member: Snook Spanker These fish weren’t just slobs, they were smart slobs just like all the big snook I’ve encountered. In fact the first 6 or 7 I hooked were on topwater lures and either threw the hooks, ran me into and around rocks and snags or had me on so long they wore through the 50 pound leader! Click here to read the full forum report


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


Tarpon and Scallops in the Big Bend Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew Started off the day at my honey hole. Caught several jacks and runners. Then Jen hooked a nice little Tarpon that burned off lots of line and gave us several great jumps for the camera. Later we headed out for scallops and quickly got out limit. Click here to read the full forum report


Yankeetown Slam Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2 5 minutes after we came off plane I get a little 16 inch red on a topwater plug to start the day off. My step brother threw right behind me and picked up another one about the same size. It was starting out as a promising morning. Just around the corner I threw into a spot I knew I was gonna hook up with a fish. I didn’t expect a 27 inch red to go into the box. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Inshore Bite Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown My brother said he was tired of catching jack so he declined to throw into the madness. I got hit three times before getting buttoned up. This was a better class of fish. Thought it was one of the 12 to 15 pound jacks but after a good battle a 10 pound permit pops up next to the boat. Click here to read the full forum report


Crystal River Opening Day Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips If I was to guess how many boats we saw out of Crystal River I would say maybe 1000. Even with all of the crowds we still got a boat limit of scallops in a decent amount of time. We had time today to even get some fishing done. Click here to read the full forum report


Scouting the Crystal River Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips After seeing the scallops we decide to see if the fish were biting. Jeremy got a quick slam and I got a decent snook. Jacks seem to be everywhere as always. Everything was caught on the same bait, DOA Cal shad tail on a jig. Click here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Slammin’ Florida Sportsman member: Billy Initially we stopped for some fishing and I hook up a decent snook but lose it, I hook up a red, yep, and lose it. Duane hooks a red and he too loses it. We’re thinking maybe we are getting rusty. Click here to read the full forum report


Father’s Day Fun Florida Sportsman member: huntentails Its not always about the fish You catch, it’s about the memories made and the things passed on from one who loves to fish to another! All I can say is thanks son for a great day on the water! Click here to read the full forum report


Getting to the Point Florida Sportsman member: shuterkng Forum member shuterkng got out this weekend and got into the fish! Fishing Long Point with live shrimp produced some nice fish, including black drum and flounder. Click here to read the full forum report.


Cedar Key Catching Florida Sportsman member: Flash Picked one of the islands out and moved down the shoreline. Saw some reds but got no action. Finally I eased us up along a bar, gave it a cast and fish on! Took me under the boat a couple of times but managed to bring him to the net girl. Click here to read the full forum report.


Shired Island Monster and More Florida Sportsman member: jwroe I started throwing my top water at it, but no luck, and a few minutes later , the tail pops up again. My wife casts a shrimp to it, and off to the races. She nails a nice 35 inch plus drum. about 10 to 15 minutes of fighting and we had it boat side. I reached down to get the lippers on it and it turned and broke line right at the boat. Click here to read the full forum report.


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


Reds, Over and Under Florida Sportsman member: Billy No fish dinner tonight. Two over slots that were fat and healthy, plus eight under slots. I did catch a trout but no snook. All fish came on spoons, redfish magic, and soft jerkbaits. Click here to read the full forum report.


Busting Reds on Both Coasts Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown I then jump up on the poling platform and start poling the boys around this big mud flat that has some scattered fish on it to see if we could sight fish some. We see a few and miss a few, then I see one headed down the bank and tell josh to cast a 11 o’clock and he nails the cast and the red jumps on the fluke. Another nice upper slot fish joins the party. Click here to read the full forum report.


Birds to the Bay

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails “We hit the water at the crack of noon. It wasn’t long before we had trout on almost every cast. Most were just underslot but we did manage to sort thru them for a nice bunch for dinner along with a nice pompano…” Want to catch trout like this? Click here for how-to videos, feature stories, and more!



Slammin’ the Big Bend Backcountry Florida Sportsman member: Billy Still looking for reds and trying to avoid the trout we pulled up on a point and a 33 inch snook hits my lure. After a long fight on trout and redfish gear I got it in the boat. The area we fish has some nice snook but they aren’t easy to catch until it warms up a bit. Click here to read the full forum report.


Light Tackle, Low Tides and Keeper Trout Florida Sportsman member: PONCE I finished today around noon and took off to Waccasassa. Short and Sweet, here it is guys I`m not going to hide where , what bait and everything. Got on the water at 2:30 this afternoon and headed in around 5:30. Fished the outgoing tide back in the creeks and caught Trout up to 18.5 inches and a small Red around 16 inches. Click here to read the full forum report.


Seein’ Red in Cedar Key Florida Sportsman member: GatoRella The contrast of a dark fish on a light colored bottom made them real easy targets for sight fishing. For the next hour or so we took turns netting and releasing big over slot reds, high-fiving, and generally having an awesome time. We ended up with 3 keeper reds including 2 bookend 27 inch tourney winners, a handful trout, and a bunch of 30 plus inch over slots. Click here to read the full forum report.


Rainy Day Trout Florida Sportsman member: huntentails Liking what I was seeing, but with little or no bait action we decided to fish a few of the points with deep water. It didn’t take long as the fish were there and hungry, we made short order of putting some in the box for a couple dinners until this weather cleans up. Click here to read the full forum report.


MidDay Trout Bite Florida Sportsman member: dakilmartin1 We worked the edges of deeper cuts during the outgoing tide and the shallow flats on the incoming. Every fish was taken on a MirroDine and several were sight fished. Long light leaders and longer casts were the trick today. Both Rob and I caught our personal best trout today on hard baits but I was more excited for rob as this was his first trip down the river! We easily put a limit of upper slot trout in the boat today but only kept a dozen. Click here to read the full forum report.


Steinhatchee Bulls Florida Sportsman member: JC_UF_ITK Outside of a handful of trout, 3 being keepers, we managed two monster redfish on a double hook up. The first fish ate a jerkbait and was followed by two others. A quick cast of a spinnerbait managed the second fish. One weighed 26 pounds and the other was 20 pounds. Click here to read the full forum report.


Catching A Little Bit of Everything Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 The first stop Jake says “Look at that gag”. I told him it looked like a trout to me and caught it to prove it. Seems like those trout just like me! It was so smooth I could read good structure from a half mile away by the surface boil from the tide moving over the rocks. Knocker rigs with 2/0 worm hooks 1/8 to 3/16 oz bullet weights tipped with shrimp did the job for us. Click here to read the full forum report.


Big Bend, Big Reds Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown Had a good bit of time of over the holidays. Unfortunately the weather was bad for a good part of it. Was able to fish in several locations including Wacasassa/Cedar Key, Suwannee, and Palm Coast on the east coast. We managed to get good numbers of trout on the lower tides, but once the tide came in it was all about reds! Caught reds from 8 inches to 34 inches. Click here to read the full forum report.


Winter Time Trout Florida Sportsman member: kingkong954 Then with about an hour left before we were due at the marina, headed off to the flats in search of the trout, which I thought were supposed to be tucked into their creeks. To our surprise, we found them! In about an hour of fishing we landed 4 keeper trout, Nia catching two 18 inch trout and I found a much smaller pair. Click here to read the full forum report.


Steinhatchee Reds Florida Sportsman member: JC_UF_ITK While we didn’t find fish at the same spot I’ve been seeing them, we did manage two nice reds while working our way to the spot. The largest was well over 36 inches (biggest ruler I have) and weighted 18.5 pounds on the boga grip. Click here to read the full forum report.


Homosassa Inshore Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 The larger trout were in the skinny stuff along with a few reds but not real thick or active. The shallow flat north of the channel up to Homosassa point had a decent number of big trout. Ladyfish were in front of the river along with some big mackerel. Another good day to be on the water with friends! Click here to read the full forum report.


Creeping The Creeks Florida Sportsman member: PONCE We fished some nice deep creeks right behind our Red spots. The big Trout were loaded up in the deep cuts. There was a double hook-up mixed in there that were keepers. We lost some nice ones but Brandon had a real nice couple hours with his limit and I had a big one in the boat. Click here to read the full forum report.


Homosassa Reds and Trout Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 The largest trout of the season so far made it into the boat. Along with the trout were a pair of upper slot redfish and a pile of rat reds. We worked the channel edges waiting for the tide and moved in close as soon as we could. Several of the trout were between 23 and 26 inches with most of the big girls released. The reds were in all the usual places and feisty. Click here to read the full forum report.


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


Windy Weather, Nice Fish Florida Sportsman member: shuterkng She got a nice over slot red, I got a little sheepy. After that the waves were getting to all of us so I figured I could maybe find some action in the crystal river. We anchored up inside of shell island near some bars and the rat reds were eating! We all proceeded to catch and release numerous little reds. Click here to read the full forum report.


Shallow Creek Reds Florida Sportsman member: PONCE The water temperature was running about 59 degrees today and had a slight breeze to keep us comfortable. We got out to a dead low tide and as the tide turned there was even very little tide on the high. All the bars we fished were out of the water at High Tide. Click here to read the full forum report.


Homosassa Gator Trout Florida Sportsman member: Troutman57 Trout, ladyfish, and bluefish were all over our Mirrodines. For a couple hours we circled a small area and took a bunch of fat trout all pushing the top of the slot to over 23 inches. We did find a few smaller reds but stayed on the trout since they were pulling more drag. We kept a few for Mikes freezer and one for Bill and his better half’s dinner. Click Here to read the full forum report


Big Bend Snook Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew I saw huge swirl and quickly cast on it. Instantly the fight was on making plenty of exciting runs. After what seem like an eternity, this beautiful linesider broke the surface and was quickly scooped into the net. She measured in at 35 inches and I am happy to say swam off to fight another day. Click here to read the full forum report.


Great Homosassa Inshore Bite Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 We hit several islands and took a total of 8 reds with 3 being between 30 and 32 inches. As a bonus we caught fat 24 inch trout up with the reds on bait. Yes we fished bait as this was Eric’s first time targeting redfish and it was going to be an easy day Click here to read the full forum report.


Seeing Red Solo Florida Sportsman member: PONCE Immediately started throwing Mikes Aqua Dream Gold Spoons and landed a 20 inch Red within 30 minutes and got my 27 inch Red on a Zoom Super Fluke about a hour later on a weedy point to finish my limit. Click here to read the full forum report.


Kayaking Kings Bay Florida Sportsman member: NoQuarterNoMercy He heads away from the docks and is all tuckered out. I feel him give up and now it’s just a matter of hauling him in. As he nears the yak, he heads underneath it and somehow I managed to pull a ninja spin around the stern of the kayak and get him to the other side. That’s no tarpon, it’s a monster snook! Click here to read the full forum report.


Cedar Key Smorgasbord Florida Sportsman member: Flash Her personal best Flounder to date at 19 inches. I saw some action also and tossed a rattle trap. Hooked up and had a good fight going until it came free. Turned out it broke one of the hooks on the trap. Looking at them, it needs a new one for sure. Click here to read the full forum report.


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


Crystal River Reds and Scallops Florida Sportsman member: tekmunki We had a great time, went for a dip with a few scallops, didn’t get too crazy or gung-ho about limiting, just wanted a nice day and something to nibble on… it should be noted, my scallop location skills pale in comparison to Marrio’s. LOL We didn’t spend all day on the scallops by any means, we managed to sneak in some fishing, which I’m sure was a welcome refreshing change to the nonstop scalloping Marrio has been busy with. With Marrio’s help, I caught my first mangrove snapper and the kids each got to reel one in, then we moved into the red-fishing where Marrio got a taste of my redfish curse for a bit- that is until— BAM big hit, big fish, 30-inch red. I caught my first overslot red! Click here to read the full forum report.


Holiday in Hudson Florida Sportsman member:Jim311 A friend of mine has a small house on a canal in Hudson. I hadn’t ever been to the area and she is out of town and asked me to mow the lawn so I figured I might as well make a weekend out of it. Adam met me down there Friday night. We fished in the canal for a few minutes but got run off by the rain. Got up at a decent hour Saturday and hit the nearest boat ramp. The wind was blowing a fair bit, and we were in my gheenoe and seeking protected water. We fished some grass flats right near the ramp and deep cuts on the outside of a little private bayou with no luck. We ran into some creeks south of a big residential canal and knocked around in there too. The water looked great, lots of deep cuts, grass, good amounts of bait.. but nothing was biting. We got tired of that after a while and ran back towards the marina and had lunch at the restaurant right near the marina. Lunch was pretty good, and after chilling there for a while we went to the marina and got some frozen shrimp, and then headed north to try that area on a suggestion from a forum member here. The area there looked similar to the last place. We beached the Gheenoe near a shack and wade fished for a bit. After a while I had a blowup on a topwater plug, and landed an upper slot trout. That was the only fish caught wade fishing in that spot, so we shoved off and drifted a deep cut between islands, casting topwater plugs, paddle tails, and Mirrodines. Good size trout were just blasting my topwater plug and we took home 4 for a fish fry… Click here to read the full forum report.


Crystal River Mixed Bag Florida Sportsman member:nick We went out Saturday and got rained on a bit, but that’s what rain gear is for. Cruised in the shallows basically spooking reds with the trolling motor down, alternating between; the gulp shrimp, pumpkin spice zoom super fluke, gold spoon, mirrominnow, and a top dog. Released 6 slot reds and one overslot. I lost a 30 inch plus red that went airborne after my top dog. After 3 attempts at the bait he finally got it but pulled the hook after a few runs. Big trout were busting the mullet schools and this made easy pickings with at mirrominnow. Released 8 trout that were all over 20 inches except one that was 18. Pops also got spooled by a tarpon after it made two jumps. Fish was probably 80 pound’s but he didn’t stand a chance with a 2500 stradic. Lots of juvenile sharks swimming in the shallows. Water temp 79-84. Sunday-Only went out for a few hours throwing gold spoons we released 5 lower slot reds and one 25 inches. I did manage to successfully sight fish a 42 inch black drum with a gulp that put up a good 15 minute fight. After the tide got up high it was over and we decided to try for triple tail on the way back even though I had no shrimp. Saw 7 tripletail, hooked 4 and put 2 on ice. One that wouldn’t eat I attempted to throw the cast net on Water temp 81-85


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


Chassahowitzka Trout & Reds Florida Sportsman member: Billy Ran to my trout spot and I put a decent trout in the boat. We both said nope, “we want reds”, so back it went. After a couple more fish that didn’t make it into the boat we went hunting for reds. To say Duane knows the area is an understatement. I thought I had a pretty good feel for fishing spots but he took it to another level. The skies were clear as a bell and the sun was beating down but he had a few spots to try. First nice fish was a 21 inch red, then I got a 23 incher, we lost a couple more, Duane hooks a decent snook but it gets off at the boat. He hooks another and it gets off. He then hooked a touney winning red…right under the mark. I hook up on a snook, hoping for some sort of slam[...] Click here for full forum report.


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


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


Crystal River Trout Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286 Jake and I headed towards the channel out of Ozcello this morning looking for trout. Saw overcast skies so we thought it would be a good day for topwater! Started off with some nice trout on the spooks, the bites were a bit spread out and the tide was moving out so I didn’t want to get stuck so we moved out a bit. We started thinking when we hit 5 keepers we would limit easy so we were letting go anything in the 15 inch range and not bother measure anything unless it looked pretty big. Got a couple 20 inchers to add to the cooler and limit around 12. Jake’s went 22 inches and mine went 20 inches. Then came the tide change an wanted to get in the water and dive to change pace. Feels good to jump in once in a while to look at the inshore rocks and see all the spade fish, snapper, small sheephead and the ocassional gag in 3-8 feet of water. Caught and released some more trout, not many more keepers but we released a good 5-10 keeper trout and several under sized trout on the lil johns. Click here for full forum report.


Homosassa Reds and Trout Florida Sportsman member: Dogdoc2011 Went with two buddies of mine out of crystal river and ran south at first light. Got on a school of nice slot reds at first spot and had a double and triple hook ups on topwater. Limited out on reds in about 20 minutes and turned a few back before moving onto trout. Found the trout in 2-3 feet spotted bottom and all they wanted was topwater as well. Caught 3 limits of nice trout with the biggest being 24 inches by 11:30 and called it a day. Click here for full forum report.


Crystal River Trout Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286 Jake and I headed towards the channel out of Ozcello this morning looking for trout. Saw overcast skies so we thought it would be a good day for topwater! Started off with some nice trout on the spooks, the bites were a bit spread out and the tide was moving out so I didn’t want to get stuck so we moved out a bit. We started thinking when we hit 5 keepers we would limit easy so we were letting go anything in the 15 inch range and not bother measure anything unless it looked pretty big. Got a couple 20 inchers to add to the cooler and limit around 12. Jake’s went 22 inches and mine went 20 inches. Then came the tide change an wanted to get in the water and dive to change pace. Feels good to jump in once in a while to look at the inshore rocks and see all the spade fish, snapper, small sheephead and the ocassional gag in 3-8 feet of water. Caught and released some more trout, not many more keepers but we released a good 5-10 keeper trout and several under sized trout on the lil johns. Click here for full forum report.


Homosassa Reds and Trout Florida Sportsman member: Dogdoc2011 Went with two buddies of mine out of crystal river and ran south at first light. Got on a school of nice slot reds at first spot and had a double and triple hook ups on topwater. Limited out on reds in about 20 minutes and turned a few back before moving onto trout. Found the trout in 2-3 feet spotted bottom and all they wanted was topwater as well. Caught 3 limits of nice trout with the biggest being 24 inches by 11:30 and called it a day. Click here for full forum report.


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


Homosassa Nearshore Trout Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 We took off at 7:15 and headed out about 6 miles to a 5 foot flat I call the bombing range. Nothing military just the area we break out the bombers and pitch them at anything that would bite. This being my 1st trip there this season I really didn’t know what to expect. Ladyfish, blue runners seabass mackerel shark and of course trout. Lots of everything but plenty of trout to fill our limit with 16 to 22 inchers. The only slow period was on the tide change for about a half hour. Had a live pinfish out for any big guys that wanted to play but only shark today. The trout pushing offshore right on time and seemed to really like chartruse in the morning and green backs in the late morning and afternoon. Click here for full forum report.


Waccasassa Reds Florida Sportsman member: G8trbait When the wife is away the men will FISH! Wife headed to California for her spring break so I took a planned mental health day this Monday with a coworker of mine. Hit the water around 8:30 in the morning to high cold winds The bite was too quick, caught two nice ones at 24 inches and 25.5 inches, and that was it. The water was coming out of the creeks so fast it reminded me of trout fishing in N.C. I was actually trying to get hung on the bottom. Once hung the fish would come by and pick up my shrimp. This did make for two very good fights. They would turn sideways and just pull drag! Unfortunately the catching was done within the first hour. The wind pushed the tide in so fast I don’t even think the fish noticed it. Click here for full forum report.


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


Windy Post Front Trout Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Forum member Roger was heaqding to Homosassa for a visit and asked me if I would take them out fishing for a day during thier visit. I rarely say no to a forum brother and we chose Wednesday to chase some trou. We took off at 11 and found scasttered slot trout while we waited for the tide to get right. There were pockets of small trout to be caught on every cast but we avoided those to find larger fish. As the tide turned to incoming the wind picked up to 20 from the NW making our drifts faster than ideal. Racheal had the hot stick this day catching several overslot trout. They took a dozen trout for a fish fry and released the rest. The water was clear and 62 degrees with small pockets of 64 degrees. Click here for full forum report.


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


Rainy and Cold with a Hot Bite Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Kevin Joined me again today to see if we coulld get some big trout to pose for the camera (I lost the shots Monday). His brother Tom joined us as well. The forecast said light breeze and 30 percent chance of showers. Well it rained from the time we tossed our first lure till I was finished cleaning fish. Kevin used to -fish with me up in Rochester NY trolling for salmon but his brother has not spent that much time on the water. Despite the conditions the trout were really chewing. Another 50+ fish day with several solid 3 and 4 pounders. Click here for full forum report.


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


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


Homosassa Trout’n Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Don and I spent a few hours on the flats today doing what we love to do. The day started off a bit slow while we killed time waiting for the tide to shift to incoming. Working the edges of cuts with Mirrolures we picked away at mid to under slot trout. When the tide got right we started picking up quality trout on a regular basis. We released several over slot fish and kept a limit of smaller 17-20 inch trout for the table. Click here for full forum report.


Homosassa Gator Trout Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Don and I chose today to jead out for the day on the bay. It looked like Thursday was to be the best day for us so off we went. The water temp started out at a chilly 58 degrees and very low tide. We worked the shallow stuff exclusively looking for some big girls. Today they were on but not in any real big numbers. The quality more than made up for it. We picked away for 4 hours and bagged 4 over slot trout from 21 to 26 inches. the 26 incher was my best in a year and she was fat and fought like a redfish despite the cool water temps[...] Click here for full forum report.


Playing Around in the Backcountry Florida Sportsman member: river1 My wife and I fished up around the Salt River today. What a great day in the back country. We casted plastic on 1/8 oz jigs. My wife does not like treble hooks so that was an easy fix. We only got one under size trout but oh boy we landed some nice trout over slot and a Spanish mackerel all in the skinny water. We did have to bring a couple fish home for dinner only because they were eating so hard they swallowed the bait deep. [...] Click here for full forum report.


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


Homosassa Reds & Trout Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 We started in an area along a series of islands casting spoons for reds with no luck. We saw very little life there so we decided to head inside to look for trout. With the 68 degree clear water we were unsure where the larger trout might be. We tossed mirrodines from the barrier islands out to about a half mile onto the flats with some success but nothing fast. I decided that we should move inside a good bit and that did the trick with trout coming to the boat often. Don hooked a nice red and landed it for a quick photo and back it went. Then we hit a deeper cut that put a trout on our lines on almost every cast. when that bite slowed we started drifting along a shoreline and I hooked and landed a 27 inch red that we took a photo and released [...] Click here for full forum report.


Still Catching  Fish on a Rough Day Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286 We couldn’t wait to even put the fish away we were tossing them on the floor trying to get a bait in the water asap! After about 15-20 minutes of this bite we brought in 5 nice sea bass with two around 12 inches and a nice sheepshead a little short of 16 inches. Bite slowed down we looked at the floor and was like I guess we can put the fish away now . Moved around a bit in this nice hole, picked up a keeper here and there and then I got another sheepshead pushing 17 inches [...] Click here for full forum report.


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


Good Day in King’s Bay/Crystal River/Salt River Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips Got out today with Adam (LineDrive) and my son Jeremy for a day of fishing. Got out to Kings Bay early this morning to see if we could jump some tarpon before the dive boats show up. Got a bunch of ladyfish early on. Fun to catch but we wanted to see the pooners. Each of us ended up with one hitting our baits but no connection. The dive boats show up in full force and put the pooners on edge so we decide to hit the salt river for some trout and redfish action[...] Click here for full forum report.


Homosassa; Staying Busy. Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Today’s forecast was looking like a winner so we shoved off at around 11AM. The sun was shining bright but the wind was blowing a bit stiff from the north. As we hit the rivermouth well into the long outgoing tide, we picked an area that would allow us to cover productive areas casting with the wind. We worked the edges of cuts adjacent to the shallow flats with slow sinking twitchbaits and shallow diving crankbaits. The action wasn’t fast and furious but I managed half a dozen trout all right at 20 inches with one being 22 inches[...] Click here for full forum report.


Homosassa Trout Florida Sportsman member: angler18 Since I was there and had a few hours to play Sunday morning, me and Mitchell left the dock at 8 am to see if we could find him a few trout to take home for dinner. The water was 64-65 everywhere we went, and the wind was lighter than forecasted for a change. We threw mirrodines and soft jerk baits for about 3 hours and picked up about a dozen trout with 2 just over 18″ and 6 keepers in all. Also had about a dozen ladyfish to keep us busy between the tide change. A better than expected quick trip and a good time[...] Click here for full forum report.


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


34 Inch Snook caught at Blind Pass Florida Sportsman member: PONCE The fish were more active down there with average size 20-to 24-inch snook being caught along with some black drum off the bridge along with a assortment of other fish. There were a ton of mullet and white bait running the shoreline at Blind Pass so the cast net came in very handy [...] Click here for full forum report.


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


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


Trout, Reds, and Flounder Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Don and I took a short trip today to work the inshore flats with plugs. I packed a light tackle bag with just (what I thought) I needed. The trout were taking Rapala Flat Raps but right off the surface. With my topwater plugs at home I made it work twitching that flat rap along the surface. Before long we had a couple trout each in the box for dinner and released a few more most pushing 19 inches [...] Click here for full forum report.


Hot Homosassa Redfishing Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 So, when the bite is good, it’s hard to stay home. Plus, it’s always fun to put some friends on the hot bite, so I had Don and Lee join me today. We finally found a few ladyfish and some decent trout so the bait was in the box by noon and it was off to the islands. A strong high tide along with overcast skys and rain on the way put the reds on the bite even better than yesterday [...] Click here for full forum report.


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


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


Spoon Fed Reds Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Both reds were in the mid-slot and returned to fight another day. A first for me was seeing two reds casting at both and actually catching both. I usually blind cast to areas that I know hold fish but this time was a bit different tossing spoons past and infront of fish I spotted. It certainly is a ton of fun to see a the fish smash a spoon (or any other bait). A short but sweet trip with my neighbor and friend Don. Click here for full forum report.


Nature Coast Reds and Trout Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Don and I got up early this morning to hit the daybreak tide to get after some reds with spoons and then head out to drift for some trout. We hit the 1st half of the outgoing and the reds had started moving out off the banks a bit. But for an hour the bite was hot with 3 reds boated all in the upper and over slot [...] Click here for full forum report.


Homosassa Scalloping Report Florida Sportsman member: Catalyst We headed to the Camp and Water Outdoor Resort for our first family scalloping adventure. I have always wanted to give scalloping a try and finally got a chance to make it over to Homosassa. We started our trip with very little knowledge of the area other than head out the river and look for boats. We quickly found the boats and also got a few scallops. We started kind of deep in 6-8 feet and didn’t really know what to look for but we still got a few dozen [...] Click here for full forum report.


Inshore with New Neighbors Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Mike contacted me from Coneticut by reading our fishing reports. His Mom and dad bought a place in my neighborhood and love to fish but are new to saltwater fishing. Mike and his wife are here on a visit and asked if I would take His wife Laura, his Mom Patty, His dad Eric and himself out and show them the ropes [...] Click here for full forum report.


Homosassa Trout Bite Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Had to shake the cobb webs off after the storm so I decided to head out and work the shoreline for ladyfish with Pete. The water temp was a comfy 80 degrees and stained. We worked the cut infront of the Homosassa River and picked away at ladyfish and trout all morning. The trout came near structure at the ends of the tides and the ladyfish were everywhere. I believe I limited on slot trout, keeping only one for dinner [...] Click here for full forum report.


Father’s Day Trout Driftin’ Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips We decided to give the redfish a break today and do a little Carolina drifting for trout. We first started the day around the oyster bars and the mangrove shorelines for a little top water action. Got a few to cooperate [...] Click here for full forum report.


Fishing with the Reel McCoy’s Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Forum Member Brent (Reel McCoy) has fished with me a few times before this trip and it is always fun to have him and his family aboard. Today both of his sons Colby (the younger guy) and Dallas joined dad for a day drifting up some trout. We hit the water at 7:45 and ran out to 9′ to begin our drift with the outgoing tide [...] Click here for full forum report.


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


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


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


Spoon Fed Reds Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Mike and Rye wanted to get on some redfish on artificials. Like myself that means no bait no gulp just spoons, spinnerbaits and plugs. we took off at 3:30 to catch the late afternoon high tide. The skys were high so I concentrsated in areas that I knew would have some colored water. The reds were fiesty right from the start. They were chasing the spoons and we could see them miss often. A few found thier mark and inhaled the spoon. We moved around points with good flow and deep water near by and picked away finding a great late afternoon redfish bite. All the reds we caught were in the slot. Click here for full forum report.


Super Moon Slammin’ Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 The CCBA tourney is a family fishing tournament that I have fish the past 5 years.The format is simple and fun for all. It’s main prize money is for trout and redfish and includes cobia and catfish as secondary categories. The past couple years Joe and Billy joined me as the team on my boat. It seems to be a rare thing when 3 guys can spend 3 days aboard a boat and not get on each others needs. It’s even better when my two guests are superb fisherman with the drive necessary to fish hard all day while keeping it fun and focused [...] Click here for full forum report.


Crystal River Reds Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips I finally got back on the water after 2 weeks. I end up getting a chance to fish with my old friends Dennis and Mike. We haven’t fished together since Christmas because our work schedules do not match but he took off today to fish with me [...] Click here for full forum report.


Inshore Red Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Don and I hit the water for a short afternoon trip on the inshore flats. The water temp was 69 degrees out near Marker 22 and clear. We drifted over the skinny flats on the incoming tide and the large trout and redfish were hungry! Mirrodines fished slow over the flats and along the shorelines produced lots of trout most over slot to 24″ and four reds to 32″. The fish are scattered all around the flats including some out to 6′ that I heard of today. Another fine productive day on the bay here in the Big Bend. Click here for full forum report.


Lesson One and Nice Snook Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Mike, A neighbor on our street had moved here a few months ago and is getting into the swing of saltwater fishing. He has spent lots of time here in Florida mostly bass fishing and has chartered a few times on the flats. He hooked up with a guide here and also a few neighbors that to him over complicated the flats fishing here and wouldn’t really show him the here and why of Homosassa. His friend who rewards our forum talked him into approaching me to teach him the ins and outs of Homosassa. Of course i agreed ’cause it’s what I truly enjoy doing. Click here for full forum report.


Homosassa Inshore with Don Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Well the family is all back to work and home now so it’s time to get back into my routine. Well the same game but the names have changed to protect! Don and I hit the water at a leisurely 9:00 and headed out onto the flats looking for some trout for dinner. We took a few in tight on mirrodines but decided to look around for some other areas. We did find some trout around the outer St. Martins Keys and once we had enough for 3 households dinner we moved inside looking for reds [...] Click here for full forum report.


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


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


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


Reds with Joe and Billy Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 There are always a few guys that just seem to click when together on the water and today I had the pleasure of fishing with two of the best. Joe and Billy (both forum members) joined me this afternoon for a day pounding the banks for reds. With the strong high pressure and strong winds I figured we would go through the motions but really didn’t expect too much. We hit the incoming tide for it’s duration and found what shelter from the wind we could manage. Click here for full forum report.


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


FS TV Nature Coast Shoot Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Blair contacted me a couple weeks ago and asked if I would help out by doing an inshore segment for thier television series “Destinations” Our part was the Nature coast area. I agreed figuring it would be relatively easy to put together some inshore action this time of year. Well a couple of curve balls were toosed my way. Mother nature decided to blow 20 out of the east for a solid week having me worried about having enough water to even get near my fish. The other part was a real challenge [...] Click here for full forum report.


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


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


Homosassa Trout and Reds Florida Sportsman member: troutman57 Mark contacted me and asked if I would take him and a couple friends out on the flats fishing during thier stay here in Homosassa. I offered to show them around at the begining of thier trip so they would have an idea where to start when they set out on thier own. We settled on a Friday afternoon trip with Bob and his friends Steve and Craig. They met me dockside at 12:30 ready to fish. All of them were able fisherman so I planed a day of chasing trout with artificials (mirrodines) and maybe a redfish or two Click here for full forum report.


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

On the Spot

Feel the urge to hunt? Now’s the time to give standup redfishing a shot.

Height is invaluable for spotting redfish in clear water.

When kayakers ask about sight-fishing for giant Indian River Lagoon spotted seatrout, I generally recommend they stay seated and content themselves with casting to likely lairs such as sand potholes and dropoffs. The sharp-eyed, upward-looking, wary old beasts usually lie buried in the grass or on a pothole edge, and are just too adept at noticing high-profile anglers and the more-pronounced pressure waves that emanate from a vertical fisherman casting from a shaky platform.

Redfish may be another story. They can’t match the camouflage of trout, and frequently reveal their presence with wakes as they hunt on the move, their tails or backs often exposed. Because a red’s mouth and pharyngeal crushers are best suited to catching and crunching crustaceans, attention is focused downward, rather than on approaching surface threats.

Their comparative youth may also contribute to the relative ease of stalking and feeding them; a 27-inch redfish, around four years old, is probably half the age of a comparable-size trout. In fish years, that makes them teenagers; parents of middle or high school age adolescents can relate to reckless feeding frenzies. Fishermen new to kayaking will catch more fish—and stay dry—if they remain seated. But a cautious, experienced fisherman who knows what to look for may approach unnoticed and fire off a targeted cast.

Jerry Coleman is the best I know at finding redfish in the southern Indian River Lagoon. That’s an often tough task, since reds are not a common commodity here. To make it even tougher, Coleman does it from a 28.5-inch-wide kayak designed for paddling and fishing, not standing on. The ex-surfer performs his balancing act in the fall and winter—tarpon and snook occupy the warm months—from Sebastian to Stuart.

“After the fall mullet run ends, I start hunting for redfish. I get bored blind casting,” Coleman told me on our last outing, when he left me sitting on a Fort Pierce flat, catching trout and snook, when no redfish wakes or tails materialized. “I have to have a target to throw at.”

Coleman adapts his sightfishing approach to conditions.

“If I’m in an area where I normally see fish, I stand up at first light. I watch for anything–swirls, tails, humps—any visual clues. I might stand off a flat for 5 to 10 minutes just looking,” he said. “Even if I don’t see fish, I still go up on the flat if I think the fish are there. If I spook something, I come back later.”

Coleman finds IRL fish easier to spot in the winter. Algae-killing temperatures and lack of rain create clear water conditions, and the seagrass recedes with the colder water and shorter light periods. But unlike many winter fishermen, Coleman doesn’t wait until the water warms up in the afternoon.

“Snook and trout feed better when the water warms up,” he says. “But redfish don’t seem to care how cold it gets. So I go out early before the wind kicks up, and before anyone spooks the fish.”

Standup kayak fishing presents logistical problems different than those facing skiff anglers fishing in pairs, according to Coleman.

“The trick is to stop the kayak and get rid of the pushpole, quickly and quietly, without running over the fish,” he said. “I used to put the pole through the scupper holes, but that’s too noisy and spooks the fish. Trailing a short loop of rope behind the kayak works better.

Redfish like this one caught by Jerry Coleman can be sight fished via kayak by standing and poling.

“Ideally, if the tide and wind cooperate, I position myself where I can forget the pole and drift with my rod in hand, ready to pull the trigger. If not, I often just stand up and use my paddle. When I see a fish, I very quietly put my paddle down, drop my anchor [two dive weights in a padded bag] and pick up my rod in one motion without taking my eyes off the fish.”

Coleman prefers the outgoing tide on most of the flats he fishes—contrary to conventional wisdom on many redfish flats in other parts of the state. On a dedicated redfish mission, his lone rod is generally adorned with a 3-inch D.O.A. Gold Glitter paddletail, rigged weedless on a 3/0 1/16 -ounce Powerlock hook.

Pushing Off

Standup kayakers can simply drift across a flat at the mercy of the tide and wind, perhaps quietly influencing the direction left or right by dragging the paddle blade on that side of the boat. In areas lacking tidal flow, such as Mosquito Lagoon or the Banana River No Motor Zone, a pushpole is generally the preferred propulsion method. In the past, it might have been constructed from PVC or the broken remnants of a longer flats-boat pole. Kayak shops now offer dedicated kayak models, or they can be ordered online.

Native Watercraft’s Paddle Pole ($299, www.nativewatercraft.com) is 9½ feet long and weighs 2½ pounds. The 4-piece sectional pole breaks down for easy transport inside a car trunk or a kayak hatch. In addition to the typical pointed end used for poling or staking out, it features a long, narrow paddle blade rather than the traditional duckfoot, to aid in steering as well as pushing off.

Stiffy (www.stiffypushpoles.com) offers one-piece fiberglass canoe/kayak poles in lengths of 5, 8, 10, 12 and 14 feet. The 1¼-inch-diameter poles feature a high-strength nylon spike and duckfoot. The ends are sleeved in graphite for added strength. Prices range from $100 & up.

The telescoping SuperStick, although designed for powerboats, is small and light enough for kayak use. It features a positive locking device that allows extension from 6 to 12 feet (longer version available), and weighs 3¼ pounds. Retail price is $220.00. The duckfoot can be removed with the click of a button and replaced with a gig or paddle blade, or a dozen other accessories. Visit www.thesuperstick.com. FS

By Jerry McBride

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Public Comment on Changes to Hogfish Regulations in Federal Waters of the South Atlantic Region

Hogfish can be caught on hook and line, as seen here, and also caught by spear.

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on proposals to change the regulations for hogfish in federal Atlantic waters (Amendment 37 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region).

Comment Period Ends on August 1, 2016

According to the Key West Citizen newspaper, in one possible alternative, “Recreational fishermen could be limited to a four-month season harvest season, with a one-hogfish-per-day limit, under a preferred alternative crafted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.”

“For the Florida Keys-East Florida population, assessment results showed the [hogfish] population is undergoing overfishing and is overfished, and therefore is in need of a rebuilding plan,” says a council fact sheet.

At its June meeting, the federal council voted to seek public comment on the slate of proposals, known as Amendment 37 to the agency’s Snapper-Grouper Fishery plan. A 16-inch minimum size limit is recommended, along with a recreational season limited to July through August.

Additionally, one alternative for commercial hogfish includes a 25-pound commercial trip limit for hogfish in federal waters off the Keys and East Florida. According to the Citizen, this alternative has been recommended by federal staff. In the federal council’s report, the preferred alternative could include a Florida quota of 36,449 pounds of hogfish before a harvest closure.

NOAA Fisheries is proposing to manage hogfish in the South Atlantic as two populations: Georgia through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida. A population assessment determined that the Florida Keys/East Florida population is undergoing overfishing and is overfished and, therefore, in need of a rebuilding plan. The overfishing and overfished status of the Georgia/North Carolina population is unknown, and that population of fish will be managed differently.

The draft environmental impact statement for Amendment 37 analyzes a range of alternatives for actions, which include:

* Modifying the management unit for hogfish.

* Establishing a rebuilding plan for the Florida Keys/East Florida population to increase hogfish biomass to sustainable levels.

* Specifying commercial and recreational annual catch limits and accountability measures for the Georgia/North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida populations of hogfish.

* Modifying or establishing fishing regulations for both populations of hogfish, including minimum size limits, commercial trip limits, recreational bag limits, and a recreational fishing season.

You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0068, by either of the following methods:

ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. 1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0068.

2. Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields.

3. Enter or attach your comments.

MAIL: Submit written comments to Nikhil Mehta, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

INSTRUCTIONS: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries.

For more information, please see the frequently asked questions section at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2015/am37/index.html

Gag Grouper Recreational Harvest Closing in 4-County Gulf Region

Gag grouper recreational harvest will close in state waters off the coasts of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties July 1, with the last day of harvest June 30.

The gag grouper recreational harvest season in Gulf of Mexico state waters, not including Franklin, Jefferson, Wakulla and Taylor counties, opened June 1 and will remain open through Dec. 31, closing Jan. 1, 2017. Monroe County is also excluded from this season because it follows the Atlantic season for gag grouper.

The four-county region includes all waters of Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass, including those in Gulf County, and all waters of the Steinhatchee River, including those in Dixie County.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manages marine fish from the shore to 9 nautical miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gag grouper caught in federal waters during the federal season and in state waters outside the four-county region may be taken ashore in Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties, but boats with gag grouper aboard may not stop and must have gear stowed while traveling through state waters in that region.

Florida Leads the Nation in Family Fishing and Boating Spots

Press release FWC

Florida swept the Take Me Fishing™ 2016 “Top 100 Family Friendly Places to Boat and Fish in the U.S.” list, hosting the top four locations with nine locations on the list in total—more than any other state. Recreational boating plus saltwater and freshwater fishing contribute more than $20 billion annually to Florida’s economy.

The top four locations on the list are: No. 1 Everglades National Park; No. 2 Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys; No. 3 Blue Springs State Park, St. Johns River; and No. 4 Lake Kissimmee State Park. The additional five Florida locations on the list are: No. 12 Suwannee River; No. 21 Hickory Point, the Harris Chain of Lakes; No. 44 Lake Osborne, Lake Worth; No. 52 Lake Okeeheelee, West Palm Beach; and No. 92 Katheryn Abbey Hanna Park, Jacksonville.

“Fishing and boating are dynamic activities that bring families together and get more people active and outdoors,” said Tom Champeau, director of FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries. “Our state’s ranking on this list further proves that Florida truly is the Fishing Capital of the World. The FWC is dedicated to and will continue to provide great fishing and boating opportunities.”

More than 100 state parks offer fishing as a family-friendly activity. To find one in your area, visit FloridaStateParks.org. Some parks also offer fishing piers along the coasts, rivers, lakes and springs.

“Florida State Parks are an outstanding resource for Floridians and visitors,” said Florida Park Service Director Donald Forgione. “Fishing and boating opportunities are abundant in many of our 174 state parks, trails and historic sites, and I am thrilled to see that three of our parks are considered among the best in the nation.”

The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing™ campaign initiated a nationwide vote to provide families and outdoor enthusiasts with a recommended list of the best family-friendly places to experience the joys of boating and fishing. Criteria for the top places to fish and boat included having a public body of water within driving distance of a major city, good fishing opportunities and family friendly amenities. Approximately 35,000 different anglers and boaters cast nearly 650,000 votes to support their favorite fishing and boating locations.

“The best way to enjoy fishing and boating is to find a special place to fish with family and friends, so we’re thrilled that so many people shared their favorite place to engage in this national pastime,” said RBFF President and CEO, Frank Peterson. “If you and your family haven’t tried fishing, we hope you’re nearby one of the Top 100 spots to cast away. It’s a great way to enjoy, conserve and restore our nation’s aquatic natural resources.”

View the entire “Top 100 Family Friendly Places to Boat and Fish in the U.S.” list at www.takemefishing.org/blog by clicking on the featured article. Access regional and species-specific lists of great locations to fish in Florida by visiting MyFWC.com/fishing and clicking on “Freshwater,” “Fishing Sites and Forecasts.”

Beach Walk Success

Recent fly fishing reports from all around the state.


Beach Walk Success

Florida Sportsman member: pazozausf

Decided to go mess around with the seven weight and see if I could put a hook into some of the small snook in the surf. Hooked into this girl, she was a little bigger than I was expecting.

For Full Report Click Here


10,000 Islands Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

We spent the first five hours in the backcountry but we did not see many Snook, we did however see a good number of Redfish and had a lot of good shots at them. We also saw a good number of Tarpon and jumped four but came up empty. They are impressive fish, I can see why people become addicted to them.

For Full Report Click Here


Solo Mission

Florida Sportsman member: RG Air

The current was ripping and the fly is swept into the grass line outside the creek. Second cast is placed further upstream and halfway through the slower paced retrieval, the fly is hammered. Set the hook, raise the rod tip and the fish takes off down current and immediately deep into the backing.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 


Sanibel Action

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

The next fish was a big girl cruising up the beach and I watched it eat the fly. I was lucky to have two people from the UK walking the beach who were nice enough to take this picture. This fish was hook solid in the corner of the mouth, it measured 38 inches.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 

 


Beachside Black Drum

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

I had a really good day on Sanibel with some black drum. Walking the beach we spotted a very large mud that was a very long cast away. It could be reached but when the school moved in then it was a much better hookup ratio, going four for eight.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 

 


Ding Darling Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

I decide to give Ding Darling a try before the rain came in the afternoon. It was the first morning we had early cloud cover and i was finally able to find a few small tarpon up and feeding.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sanibel Beach Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

It was a very interesting day, I had two fish on that were similar in size to the one my friend caught, the first one was on 20 seconds before we parted ways the second one 20 minutes ending with the same results, a lost fish.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

 


Charlotte Harbor Reds

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type and friends have been on the redfish in Charlotte Harbor. Wading seems to be the ticket for these fish. Awesome!

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 


Hitting the Sweet Water

Florida Sportsman member: FowlMouth824

Almost immediately I was seeing strikes on the surface around the thicker vegetation. After a few missed strikes, and avoiding the small alligators that were also interested in my offering, I was finally able to connect and land a decent sized bass.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


March Action

Florida Sportsman member: ethankiburz

Fly fishing for tarpon is only going to get better and better as the temperatures rise into the mid to upper 70′s. Our resident tarpon will stage up and feed in preparation for their annual migration. They can be targeted in our area at night or during the day using flies that push water. This is especially critical as our water clarity diminishes with the algae bloom in the warmer water temperatures.

For Full Report Click Here


Foolin’ the Reds

Florida Sportsman member: RG Air

My third cast to the previously populated redfish oyster bed did the trick. It was sweet victory on the early side of my day. The cherry on top was she ate my own tie.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 

 


Big Bend Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Shallow Sightings

An inshore slam can likely be caught in under 20 inches of water. It doesn’t get much better than that. Almost all winter I’ve been throwing crab and shrimp patterns but i just started to throw a baitfish pattern more often(pictured below).

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Slam on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

This time things were a little better, although no big fish, I did get a slam of snook, trout, and a red all on a brown bend back with gold and dark green flash. Ended the day with three trout to 21″, two snook to 23″, one dink red, one little mangrove snappy, and a bait size lady fish.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 

 


Palm Valley Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Black Clouser

It turned out to be a beautiful morning once the sun came up. Calm as could be and 65 glorious degrees. Poled a couple of miles back in a remote creek I haven’t hit in a while and was greeted by quite a few happy reds showing themselves.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 


Hiding from the Wind

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

Went and hid from the wind yesterday around Wabasso and found a few fish. Ended up running into a bunch of baby tarpon and ended up playing with them until we had enough. Caught a bunch of snook and a redfish while casting at the tarpon, which was a nice surprise.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 


A Trip to the Lagoon

Florida Sportsman member: irlyriser

When it was my turn to fish, we saw something a little strange swimming down a prop scar. Turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. A nice trout, made more special by catching it on a 5 weight I had brought more as an afterthought.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 

 


Getting in on the Action

Florida Sportsman member: Black Clouser

Forum member Black Clouser has got in on the shad action the St. Johns has to offer. “These fish are a real hoot on the 5 weight.”

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 


Shad on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Docked Wages

We got on the spot around 10:00am to find no crowd and no one fishing, surprising for a Saturday. This enabled us to drift versus anchor up and each drift we picked up a fish.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

 


Good Luck in the Valley

Florida Sportsman member: Black Clouser

Had some sick fly fishing lately down my neck of the woods in Palm Valley. Last several trips have been true sight fishing bliss with double digit catching with some crazy good takes on the trusty seven weight.

For Full Report Click Here

 

 

 

 


Chassahowitzka on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Shallow Sightings

his is my favorite time of year to target red drum and gator trout. The east winds and low/weak winter tides create a perfect scenario for fly fishing. Two things happen, it compacts the fish and the tides are so minimal it allows the sediments to sink and the water to get crystal clear.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 


RedFly Results

Florida Sportsman member: Shadowcast

RedFly #10 is in the books and it was a huge success. We had more participants than ever and raised $1100 for CCA Florida.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 


Banana River Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

The wind was a little more than expected, but we still got it done. Was able to catch snook, trout, redfish and tarpon, majority being sight fished. Highlight for me was I ended up cane poling a redfish (leader still in my guides) four feet from the boat that was belly crawling in the mud with his back out.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 


A Fly Weekend

Florida Sportsman member: Black Clouser

Sunday was just plain Insane, we had fish backing, tailing and coming down the bank one school after another. I would tell you how many were caught but you may not believe me.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sheepshead on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Was trying out a new spoonful pattern I tied. I was casting under the mangroves and had caught a few little snook. Then this guy grabbed it and wanted to go deep for the mangrove roots.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 


Breaking the Curse

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

It has been four years since I caught a Redfish on Sanibel and I think if you’re going to break the redfish drought it is always good to do it with a 31 inch red. This fish ate a size 2 white deceiver.

For Full Report Click Here.

 

 

 

 

 


Taking a Walk

Florida Sportsman member: Black Clouser

I decided to fish the flood grass up north this morning and what a beautiful fall wake up it was. The flood lasted a manageable 2 and a half hours and I was able to land three, two of which were epic takes.

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Sanibel on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

After my trout I was able to hook and get one great jump out of a snook that just tossed the fly, The fish had to be an easy 30 inches or better, It was fun while it lasted for the five seconds.

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Tailers in the Grass

Florida Sportsman member: Black Clouser

We had huge tides to begin with and that coupled with screaming North East winds turned the flood grass into a Lake real quick. Got out Sunday and the water was still a little high for me but nothing like it had been. Saw quite a few quick tails, some slurpers and one hard tailing fish. Managed to get a few small guys and enjoyed every minute of it.

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Albies from the Beach

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

It has been a long time, 8 years I believe since I was able to get an albie from Shore. This year has been a good one and in the last 2 weeks I was able to land 16 with my best day being yesterday when I went 8 for 10.

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Reds in the Grass

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

Forum member FlyFishJax shared a recent video he put together of the flood tide fishing in Jacksonville. Stealthy approaches and accurate casts often pay off with a red in hand. Nice work!

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Fishing the Floods

Florida Sportsman member: Black Clouser

My trusty BC Critter Fly has always worked well for me in the flood grass and I also do equally well spoon feeding them with the Dupree Spoon. Lately I’ve been changing it up a little and throwing a small topwater Slurpee Gurgler in the mix. Pretty cool watching them take topwater in the grass.

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Tangling with Tripletail

Florida Sportsman member: ifitswims

Never seen fish come up and kiss the bait, sometimes pressing their closed mouth to the fly for several seconds. Of course sometimes they scream over and bite immediately. The bigger fish were more wary for sure and a few I could not get to react.

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First Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: FlatsFrenzy

I stripped it twice, he took a swipe at it and missed, I stripped it again and he inhaled it, I felt weight and crossed his eyes with a hard strip strike. Hilarity ensued for the next 30 seconds as I tried to clear my line and keep him hooked up until I had him on the reel and could fight him. As I was doing this, my partner on the poling platform was screaming “Strip it! Set it!”.

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It’s all About Speed

Florida Sportsman member: Beto_Matheus

Found a couple of peacocks sitting in the shallows in a canal in Boca and had a chance to pass three different flies by them. The same fly on a slow strip did nothing. Exact same cast but moved the fly as fast as I could and it got pounded.

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Close Call

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

Forum member E-type got some awesome footage of juvie tarpon action on the fly, with a close call, almost losing part of the fly rod.

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A Trip to Mexico

Florida Sportsman member: Carl Blackledge

he next day we maybe got a dozen each, the second to the last day we landed over 25, and the last day we only landed eight. The best trick was to spot or hook a dorado, get a sardine in front of the new group and your fly at the same time, and when everything lined up, you caught lots of dorado.

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Snook in the Surf

Florida Sportsman member: Shadowcast

A little action from the beach today. I saw hundreds today shadowing bait pods. Most were males in the 20-30 inch class. I saw a few big girls but no takers.

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Juvies on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

The juvie tarpon fishing around the treasure coast has been the best i’ve seen it in years. With most fish holding in deeper bays and residential canals. I have found a few bigger fish hanging around channel edges though. My go to fly has been a white bunny strip tail with 5 or so wraps of orange palmering chenille up front.

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Sanibel Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

My friends and I spent a week at Sanibel and even with the wind and murky water we had very good week. In addition to these we had a fair amount of smaller fish all on the fly.

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Buggy Whip Blackfin

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Scott

Went out solo in the late afternoon after day trip finished and the result was this. Surprised I was able to pull this off solo, especially the landing/boating part. Easily bottomed out my 30 poind Boga Grip.

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Snapper on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: mrl0004

I was totally unprepared for how hard these fish fight. I was using a 12wt, and I thought that fish was going to snap it in two. We had snapper and triggers swimming around, and after I caught several snapper, I tried to get one of the triggers to bite. I had to actually start snatching the fly away from snapper to give the triggers a chance.

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First Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: RG Air

Hadn’t seen many fish but it was only a matter of time as the setup was legit. First cast was directed to the dock’s southernmost pillar, couple of strips, water wallows and battle began. Few minutes later and I had my first snook on fly.

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Night Time Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: sparse grey

It was high tide around 9P.M. at a local bridge. We could not hear or see much action due to the wind but I went 1 for 2 & John P. caught his first. Great privilege to help with this.

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Biscayne Bay Permit

Florida Sportsman member: jnrosenthal

Forum member jnrosenthal caught and released this beautiful Biscayne Bay permit, fishing with captain Joe Gonzalez. His next goal is to take one of these fish on fly from his kayak.

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A First on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: westpalmspearo

I ended up finding some monster reds after throwing at them at least 12 times with not even a look I headed home completely frustrated with plans to comeback asap. two days later I was back and still couldn’t get the reds to eat but did manage my first 3 bones.

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Beach Side Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

Forum member Tgrass recently had some good success fishing the beaches of Sanibel for snook. Clear water means light leader and accurate presentations are necessary to fool these linesiders. “The Snook fishing on the beach although difficult can be very rewarding”, says Tgrass.

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Sight Fished Bruiser

Florida Sportsman member: snookslayer

Forum member snookslayer sight fished this 40 inch snook recently with the fly rod. This fish was caught in Indian River Lagoon.

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Brackish Water Fun

Florida Sportsman member: dogman58

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

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Peacock Bass on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Prhea36

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

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A Different Type of Flats

Florida Sportsman member: remo_5_0

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

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Brackish Water Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

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

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Fresh and Salt with the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

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

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Fly Fishing the Glades

Florida Sportsman member: Native21

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

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Offshore with the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Slamaholic

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

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First on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: NSByak

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

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Sinking a Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Scott

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

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Backwater Poons

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

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

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North Florida Reds on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: lost1317

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

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Jacksonville Reds on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

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

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Backcountry Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: heavychevy15

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

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Cold Weather Trout

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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

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Tripletail on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: OutdoorAddict

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

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A Trip to the Lowcountry

Florida Sportsman member: greenie-slayer

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

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Making it Happen

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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

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Hitting the Lights

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

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

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False Albacore and More on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

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

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Tampa Bay Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Shadowcast

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

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Hitting the Streams

Florida Sportsman member: remo_5_0

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

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Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

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

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Freshwater Action on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: chasinfins

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

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First Tailer of the Season

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

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

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First Redfish on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: staysalty

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

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A Juvenile Summer

Florida Sportsman member: redjim

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

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A Belize Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: DogDoc

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

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Fishing the Dream Stream

Florida Sportsman member: greenie-slayer

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

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Sanibel Snook

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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

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Putting Them in the Air

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

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

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Light Leader Peacock Bass

Florida Sportsman member: Beto_Matheus

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

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Flood Tide Reds

Florida Sportsman member: T-Shirt Bob

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

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Bonito Blitz

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

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

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Big Blackfin on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Scott

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

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Baby Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

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

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Summertime Trip to the North

Florida Sportsman member: Ol’DirtyCaster

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

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Bahamas Bonefish

Florida Sportsman member: Prhea36

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

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Gorge Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: remo_5_0

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

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

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West Coast Snook

Florida Sportsman member: Slamaholic

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

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Summer Snook

Florida Sportsman member: twobbles

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

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Sanibel Snookin’

Florida Sportsman member: Tgrass

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

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Withlacoochee Slam

Florida Sportsman member: capt louie

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

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New Personal Best

Florida Sportsman member: Pmoconnor89

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

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First on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: HenrySRQ

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

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Big Trout Out Back

Florida Sportsman member: ShallowPersonality

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

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Hitting the Ditches

Florida Sportsman member: weetza

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

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First Snook on Sand

Florida Sportsman member: pjstevko

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

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Matlacha on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

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

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A Change of Pace

Florida Sportsman member: remo_5_0

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

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Fighting the Wind, Catching Fish

Florida Sportsman member: DKT

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

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Smashing the Docklights

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

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

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Busting Them on Top, The Fly Way

Florida Sportsman member: redjim

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

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Night Time Fly Fishing in Boca

Florida Sportsman member: fishfullthinking

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

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Keeping the Rod Bent

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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

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The Best By-Catch

Florida Sportsman member: Docked Wages

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

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Red on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

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

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Charlotte Harbor Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: E-type

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

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Guides Day Off

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

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

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First Snook On Fly

Florida Sportsman member: LilJim

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

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Pompano On The Buggy Whip

Florida Sportsman member: sunflower

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

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Only One Fish, But Made It Count

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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

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Always Will Remember Your First Fish

Florida Sportsman member: JonathanT305

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

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Tampa Bay Reds On Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Icatcher22

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

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D.I.Y. Louisiana

Florida Sportsman member: Chief_Osceola

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

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Good Outcome On A New Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Snookslayer772

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

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Docklight Trout

Florida Sportsman member: bubujimbo

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

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Two Days of Action : Tarpon & Reds

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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

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Trip to the Black Canyon of Gunnison

Florida Sportsman member: razorreilly09

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

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

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Boca Peacock Action

Florida Sportsman member: Prhea36

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

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Sebastian Offshore Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Flyguy1

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

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A Day in the Park

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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

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

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Battling Bonito

Florida Sportsman member:Capt. Scott

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

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Daytona Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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

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Biscayne Evening Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: mbowers

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

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Miami Peacocks and Bones

Florida Sportsman member: paint it black

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

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Peacock Bass, Bonefish, and Snook, Oh My!

Florida Sportsman member: paint it black

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

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

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Stuart Evening Snook

Florida Sportsman member: snook87

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

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Flamingo, It’s That Good

Florida Sportsman member: paint it black

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

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First Black Drum on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

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

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Fishing High and Low

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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

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Backyard Tarpon

Florida Sportsman member: Joupdog1

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

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Flipping the Coin

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

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

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Chunk Bass on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: ShallowExpectations

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

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Red Races

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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

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Happy Days on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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

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Son’s First Fish on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: sunflower

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

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Yankeetown Reds

Florida Sportsman member: deerfly

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

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Dorado Gone Wild

Florida Sportsman member: Carl Blackledge

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

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

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Banana River Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Flyguy1

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

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Carolina Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Bullshark

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

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Back in No Man’s Land

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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

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Merry “Carpmas”!

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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

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The “Gold” Mining Continues

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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

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Fly Fishing Tampa Bay

Florida Sportsman member: Shadowcast

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

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Kentucky Carp

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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

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Fly Times in the Everglades

Florida Sportsman member: mangohunter11

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

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Everglades City on the Fly

Florida Sportsman member: miket1515

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

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Bass and Bream on Fly

Florida Sportman member: Pmoconnor89

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

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Crystal River Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: sparse grey

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

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Fly Fishing in the Summertime

Florida Sportsman member: Dj Dan Decibel

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

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Jupiter Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: ABayne

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

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Big Linesider on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Capt.Dino

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

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False Albies on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: ABayne

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

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First Snook on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: saltybum

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

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Biscayne Bay Nights

Florida Sportsman member: lemaymiami

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

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Independence Day Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: sunflower

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

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Multi-Fish Mojo

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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

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Canada Northerns & Walleye on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Docked Wages

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

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Past Month on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: FLA_tony

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

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Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: Tight Loops

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

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Black Drum Redemption

Florida Sportsman member: freshfromthesalt

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

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Carp-O-licious!

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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

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Fly Fishing Tailing Reds

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

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

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Big Peacocks on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: kahmad

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

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Fly Fishing Carp in the Bluegrass State

Florida Sportsman member: KyTrkyHntr

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

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Up The Creeks

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Gregg McKee

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

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Jacksonville Surf Report

Florida Sportsman member: FlyFishJax

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

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First Albies of the Year in Jupiter

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Scott

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

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Sight Casting Snook at Night on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

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

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Solid Day Fly Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: SUPER D

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

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Banana River Red

Florida Sportsman member: Ol’DirtyCaster

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

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St. Lucie River to the Indian River

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

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

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St. Lucie River Dock Lights

Florida Sportsman member: snookcook

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

 

 

 


Shad Running in the St. Johns River

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

Here’s what duke6543 had to say:

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

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

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

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One Fly Reds and Trout

Florida Sportsman member: Super D

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

 

 

 

 


Juvenile Tarpon on Fly

Florida Sportsman member: jkayakfly

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

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Making the Run

Recent offshore fishing reports from the Southwest region.


Making the Run

Florida Sportsman member: Strippedmyclutch!

Headed to a grouper spot we found last year and it was pretty steady. We drifted with two-speed conventionals with 60 pound braid to a 150 pound swivel to 80 pound flouro, 10 ounce weight and a 10/0 circle hook. The current and wind were great and made the drifts slow and easy. Caught four cookie cutter gags at 33 inches, as well as scamps 23 to 29 inches.

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Season Finale

Florida Sportsman member: Strippedmyclutch!

Snapper season extended two days meant we were itching to get back out. Friday had some decent rain storms and we were hoping for better weather on Saturday 6/11. After watching the radar we said go, go, go at 3 am, glad we didn’t call it.

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Overnight in the Gulf

Florida Sportsman member: Strippedmyclutch!

Once on the hook, we cut chunks and set the chum block out while we ate some food before the mayhem began. Shortly after midnight we had two red snapper on board that were caught on the way down. I threw down a vertical jig and had a nice 12 pounder to the boat.

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Southwest Variety

Florida Sportsman member: dccheek2112

Captain Kyle put us on the fish, wind was brutal and cut our fishing time way down. Highlights were a 20 pound mahi that swam up to the boat all lit up, a fat double header of yellow edge, 25 pound black, and a pretty nice queen.

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Runnin’ and Gunnin’

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

As we rolled out to our number we find two boats already anchored up. Moved a few miles to the north and began picking away at nice ARS and red grouper. Average grouper was 13 to 15 pounds. Also pulled up two gags with the larger one being 18 pounds, a decent scamp and couple porgies were also added to the box.

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Mangrove Madness

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We setup immediately and began catching some quality mangrove snapper. 20 pound flouro on knocker rigs as well as chunking thread-fin and free lining squid worked well for us. The largest Mangrove I pulled up weighed 7 pounds on the scale with the majority in the 4 to 5 pound range with a few smaller.

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Southwest Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

It was a bit sporty in the morning and calmed down as the day went on. We had about 25 mangos, 3 sheepshead, 3 tripletail, and 3 nice hogfish. The fish all preferred shrimp presented on a jig head or fishfinder rig. The knocker rig did not fare as well.

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Fort Myers Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

I had a trip offshore this past Monday, with following seas we made it out to 115 feet. Five people aboard, we caught their limit of grouper up to 17 pounds. Made two stops for the grouper, did stop on a wreck to try and get the snapper biting but to no avail the tide switched and ran against the wind.

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Deep Water, Big Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

Around 75 feet was where we found nice blue water and headed out right to the edge of the 20 fathom mark. Current running against wind and the full moon we kept one decent AJ for the smoker. Made three stops for red grouper pulling in all 27″ plus fish, biggest one weighed in at 18 pounds

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Southwest Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We have had a solid bite on amberjack in nearshore on the artificial public numbers, the largest we landed was right in the 40 pound range. Mangrove snapper have also been hot, we landed about a dozen up to 18 inches nearshore. The kings have been hit or miss throw a free line out there and you may get a straggler!

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Fishing with Family

Florida Sportsman member: Angler22

With a few tips from Larry, some cut threads, and live shrimp we were able to have an exciting day. We caught a variety of fish including keeper size red grouper, short red grouper, short gags, flounder, nice lane snappers, mangos, too many blue runners, and a cool looking fish that I have never seen before.

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Fort Myers Offshore Fun

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

I took the wire off and the AJ’s began biting, the bigger ones have made a big push in closer and there is an abundance of them offshore. Some of the bigger ones may have been in the 80 to 90 pound range. Live chumming fired everything up out there, before we left the wreck about a 100 yards back there was a big school of 50 to 75 pound AJ’s cruising the waves which was pretty spectacular.

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Sarasota Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: jbsrq

We ended up anchoring on a spot in about 30 feet of water and as soon as we got situated a big school of cobia cruised by the boat. My buddy threw a bucktail jig which was quickly eaten and it was game on. We ended the day with 12 cobia to the boat and kept a 4 person limit of 4.

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Southwest Snapper Bite

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Dropped a marker at the first number Med. spin rods 14 pound flouro leader, small no 2 circle hooks, squid for bait, grunt bite was instant. Most were small and sent back. After chum had been out for about 30 minutes or so I decide to drifted a shrimp back (keys style) just a small split shot , open bail just feeding the line out with the slick.

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Southwest Hogs

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

We used our structure scan to find some nice ledges and rocky areas. Our first spot we landed a few beautiful shallow water gags that were absolute monsters for being within sight of land. We then switched over to hoggin’ and had a banner day, getting 20 keepers to the boat.

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A Trip to West End

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

Sunday morning we woke up and a strong breeze had kicked up from the south west, packed our things and went out to do some more high speed trolling on the outgoing tide. Worked our way north to Memory Rock to do a little deep dropping, found some nice bottom in 550′ and started catching yellow eyes!

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Southwest Bottom Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Angler22

Once we had our fill of that we headed back west and settle in 125 or so feet. We worked around but never really found anything much. After a few stops I did boat a nice 31 inch red grouper. We worked the area some more and picked up another red at 21 inches, a stout 28 inch red, and a few shorts.

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Tangling with Triple Tail

Florida Sportsman member: voltman

I got up early today and decided to target some tripletail, I caught one last week so thought I might find one this week ,started off losing a bruiser and snapping a fishing rod in the process, but all in all the wife and I caught 4.

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Deep Water Giants

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Ross

We hit some of my numbers that I try to fish during red snapper season and hoped for the best. Light seas, winds and current allowed us to drift fish the entire day.

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Due West for Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

The winds laid down so a slow drift was in order. It was fish on, first three over the sides were all keepers. The bite was steady and in no time we had our limit of reds of two each up to 25 inches. in fact we had to release 2 more to 24 inches as we were pulling our lines in.

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Long Runs and Big Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We left that spot and continued in, not more then two miles we found another spike. Very similar and could see the hard rocky bottom down 150 feet. Did a few more drifts and produced some more nice red grouper and massive scamps.

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Southwest Grouper Bite

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

We moved and anchored on a different show and this spot was absolutely on fire with red grouper. We were trying to target mangos, but we could not get a bait past the red grouper. They were so aggressive that we had our limit in probably 30 minutes or less.

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Plan B Pays Off

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Lines were dropped to the bottom and there were instant hits but no fish ever made to the surface. You could get it four to ten feet off the bottom and then the rod was almost ripped from your hands till the line would break. We were using 60 pound main line and 80 to 100 pound leader.

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Fishing the Ledges

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

The bite was relatively slow, we fished with 20lb fluorocarbon using a 1/2-1 oz knocker rig on a #2 mutu light hook. Live pilchards were the go to bait, we had bought a some shrimp to try for any hogfish as well. The bite picked up after we put in a chum block, with smaller fish around 13 to 14 inches. The larger ones starting biting as soon as we brought out the grill and cooked some hot dogs!

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Catching While You Can

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

First spot was only 7 miles out where i have had a good lane snapper bite plus some nice flounder in the mix. We set up on the spot the bite was constant grunts, porgys, mangrove snapper, and the first black sea bass I have ever seen caught on this coast.

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Night Time Snapper Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We used 5000 sized spinning gear with 15 feet of 20 pound flourocarbon leader. We used knocker rigs in the beginning and then switched over to 1/0 mutu light circle hooks free-lined with pilchards and squid. We had some quality yellowtails for only being in 55 feet.

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Grouper Prospecting

Florida Sportsman member: Angler22

We ended up working our way back south due west of Doctors and began drifting around 1:00 in 75 feet of water. The red grouper were active but a lot of shorts. We finally put a keeper in the boat. Slowly we started adding more keepers. At around 2:00 they turned on with us ending the day with 8 keepers and 40 to 50 shorts.

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Grouper Grapple Win

Florida Sportsman member: PigskinCapt

We managed a 79 pound black to take first place. Also weighed a 23 pound gag and a 17 pound red grouper. The gag fishing this summer has been a little slow in the deeper water. We only managed to catch 2 gags in some areas that generally hold some nice fish. Weighed one 12 pound mutton snapper, the winning fish was just under 18 pounds.

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Nearshore Mangrove Snapper

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

Found a nice little mango spot in 70 feet of water. The fish were pretty selective today. A few mangos were picked up on chicken rigs, but the majority of fish landed were caught on a 3/8 ounce jig head tipped with live shrimp. We also caught a handful of nice lanes, grunts, and porgies. The prize of the day was a fat hogfish.

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Venice Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: perlman1234

Forum member perlman123 got into some nice fish off of Venice recently. prospecting his new home water, he brought home the filets! Nice work.

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Groupers out of Redfish Pass

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Very fast drift, 8 ounces minimum to stay near bottom. First 6 fish were keepers, 21 to 24 inches so we worked the area till the tide stopped as did the bite. Found some good bottom set out the hook and broke out the chum. Took 10 to 15 minutes to turn the bite back on. Never did go deeper as planned. oh well always a next time. Final tally 12 in the box to 25 inches.

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Hitting the Deep Water

Florida Sportsman member: ThePigskinCaptain

Made one night spot where we picked some nice yellowtails and a few muttons. The barracudas were ferocious and, as it’s been for the last few months, the amberjacks and almacos were a real pest. Caught a 60 pound jack in 900 feet of water deep dropping.

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Fort Myers Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: GDM Phil

We got about 25 miles out and setup. It was non stop action all day! Between huge gags, that had to be thrown back and the red grouper. We managed 3 keepers grouper, a bunch of Grover’s, lanes and grunts.

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Full Moon Grouper in the Southwest

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

He also brought some cat fish that he had for tarpon season on one rod for quite awhile no takers so he took it off threw it over board . Puts on a pin fish and it gets slammed! We get it on deck and what does it spit out? the cat fish we had thrown overboard. Go figure!

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Deep Trip : Swords, Sails and Black Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Feeding Frenzy

We recently did a long range trip from Venice, Fl to Orange Beach, Alabama to fish around the oil rigs and did fairly well. The fishing in Orange Beach was horrible as all of the run-off from the mid-West’s springtime heavy rains finally made their way down the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf. We fished the rigs 100-125 nm out and found the water to be a coffee color and very warm. While our target quarry was yellowfin tuna and marlin, it did not work out. The rigs however were very impressive to see.

We fished three rods at varying depths; all rigged with large squid baits from Baitmaster’s of Florida. At about 11:30 pm we got a bite on the far right rod and had a pretty decent fish on the line. After about a 45 minute fight, we had a nice swordfish on the leader. Turns out, the silly fish ate all three baits in the spread and certainly wasn’t going anywhere.

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Punta Rassa Red Grouper & Yellowtail

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We headed out right before dawn, the thunderstorms surrounded us at Punta Rassa and made it out there regardless. Needless to say we did not get wet at all after breaking out the rain gear. We made a pitstop in 50 feet to load up on some pins and headed straight to the stoney. We immediately set up and got the chum working, in about 2-3 minutes, Joe Isley hooks up to a big fish. All of us are laughing right now as we think it is a big blue runner or a almaco jack. Fish comes into sight and it is a TRUE flag!! We land that sucker and it measured in at 28.5 inches the biggest one i’ve seen on our coast. My record tail was 27 inches so my record was beat.. We caught two more tails, regarding bait, they were all caught on live shrimp tipped on 1/2 oz jig heads with 30 pound yozuri flouro. We booked it to some red grouper grounds where we managed a couple red’s nothing too big, just barely keepers at 21-23 inches.

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New Pass : Gags, Red Grouper & Amberjack

Florida Sportsman member:capeangler

Fished somewhere around 60 miles out of New Pass today on a Gag specific trip. Plan was to fish a handful of ledges in the 26.** line. All bait caught the night before died, so we got out pretty late, after refilling the well with big baits. Caught a limit of Gags and even 2 Reds. All fish were in the 30 inch + range. Fishing was slow but consistent until the AJ’s showed up and seemed to follow us everywhere. Released a dozen or so AJ’s. Lost some monster gags to the ledges today. 65/60 was just a little too light.

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Armed Forces Grouper fishing

Florida Sportsman member:larrywitt

Had the privilege of fishing with Brooke and her dad Keith, she just finished basic and is going to her first posting.We wanted to get an early start targeting grouper. We met at Tight Loops boat at 6am and began to prepare for the day. I put in the numbers on his GPS for our first stop. As we were still preparing his boat we could see and hear the thunder and lightning in the gulf towards the south west, the exact direction we were heading. My hopes were that it would be heading away from us WRONG!! As we were heading out the front was moving closer so I decided to detour the Edison drop a line and see what the weather was going to give us. Drift was really fast because of the wind requiring six to 8 ounce weights to even get close to the bottom.In no time Brooke was pulling fish over the gunnels, she even caught a stone crab.Wind, waves, and dark clouds Brooke never flinched. We could see a slight clearing in the clouds so we made the run for it. Arrived at the first number and dropped in our lines still 3 to 4 mile south drift porgys,grunts,lanes and red shorts were caught. seas were laying down a little I put in another line and made a move. Brooke got hammered on a white jig head Tight Loops put on for her. It was fun to watch.

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Wild Moon Red Grouper

Florida Sportsman member:Bluefin

The target was red grouper yesterday, and the day did not start out very promising. Rounding up live pinfish is usually pretty easy. Not this time. After chewing up quite a bit of time at three different spots, we only managed half a dozen live baits. I was starting to worry that the super full moon was going to somehow shut down the fishing. We ran out of New Pass to about 100 feet anyway and started our drifts using live bait on one rig, and a jig and squid combo on another.

Almost immediately, Peter had a fish on, and a minute later I was into a fish. We had a double red grouper hook up, except both fish were shorts. Again I started fussing that the full moon was going to screw up the fishing and that it’s not a lot of fun to run out to 100 feet for a bunch of shorts. Well the action was pretty steady over the next few hours. We ended up with 6 nice keepers ranging from 22 inches to 26 inches, with a bunch of shorts thrown into the mix. The type of bait used made no difference…

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Boca Grande Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member:SJC

Headed 20 miles west of Boca Grande member Ptrshenry as a buddy boat. With another false forecast from NOAA it was a manageable but, not a very fun ride out in a 20 ft bay boat, thankfully the seas died down through the day and turned into a beautiful day for fishing.
We stoped and an artificial reef and after a couple drifts found where the fish were holding and dropped anchor. It was lane Snapper after lane, porgy after porgy. Then the red grouper woke up and it was non stop for about 2 hours. A lot of shorts I bet we threw back 20 that were 18 inches or smaller than that. We did end up with a keeper from the group…

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Successful Red Snapper Trip

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Systems

It was a solid day on the water today and a great start to Red Snapper season. On the way out we did try trolling for an hour in 100 feet but without any action we continued out to our first spot in 158 feet. First two lines down brought up two keeper fish a Red Snapper and Scamp. The bite continued for about an hour but then slowed significantly. With keeper fish consisting of three Red Snapper, three Scamp and two Red Grouper we began to worry. We moved around and fished in 156 feet to 162 feet marking a mess but catching only a few. We fished the next two hours only putting two more fish on the box. Then like it often does all craziness broke loose and we achieved our goal for a Red Snapper limit. We caught 16 Grouper up to 30 inches, three Scamps, a nice Mango Snapper and a 24 inch gator porgy.

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A Busy Day Offshore/strong>

Florida Sportsman member: Gamekilla

Headed out of Weeks around 7. Tried Big carlos for bait but there was no current, so we headed off to the tripod and loaded up with a few casts of the net. Cruised past the group of boats off Knapps point and headed out to some wrecks about 12 miles offshore. It was a nasty ride out on the pathfinder but worth it. Constant action all day with some big kings, released gags, bonita and amberjack. We probably lost 30-40 fish (probably kings) but some took us in the wreck so you never know. We used white bait all day and had times when we had three rods going off all at once! It was a great day.

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Grouper : Southwest of Sanibel

Florida Sportsman member: conch50

Took my son and some of his high school buddies out Sunday. Started in 80 feet and picked up a few reds in the 22 to 24 range. Bite was not bad but still a lot of barely 20 or just under that went back. Was too busy venting to get many pictures and the ones I did get had my thumb in the middle lol. Decided to try a couple of ledges out in about 100. Dropped down a couple of good sized pins and rods bent. Couple of nice gags about 26 inches.They were vented and sent back down to hopefully be seen again in a couple of months. I put down a light rig with live shrimp and get slammed. After a few minutes of battling up comes the biggest porgy I have ever caught. One of the boys hooks up on a goliath. These guys play football and are always bragging about how much they can bench or squat. By the time he finally got him up-five good runs and about 30 minutes he had 2 of his buddies on the rod lifting to reel in. In the picture I’m not sure if he is smiling because of the fish or just that it was over with[...]

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Starting Off Grouper Season the Right Way

Florida Sportsman member: jocofi

We hit our usual producing grouper grounds but didn’t get much. On Sunday we caught lots of bait, then we headed to our usual grounds again. We picked up a few small fish and then decided to head out a bit further to search for new grounds. In 70 feet of water we drifted over a magical spot, surrounded by mackerel and broom stick bending grouper. We continued to run the same drift with similar results. Heavy leadheaded jigs tipped with various types of fish did the trick. We also had a dolphin hanging around us for a few spots. Most of the undersized fish made it safely back down but one grouper hung around the surface too long and was captured.

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Venice Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: nfairbank

After a rather late start due to the fog, managed to catch a few baits and then off to 140 feet. First fish in the boat was an African Pompano about 27 inches.The AJ fishing was good with lots of decent size fish, 45 – 70 pounds, for all on board. After boxing our limit of AJs, it was off to grouper fish.

The gag grouper were biting and of course returned to live until opening day. The juvenile red grouper were biting but could not find any decent fish. We went to some spots we fished last Friday where caught some really nice reds up to about 18 pounds.

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Sarasota Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: Captain_Tim

Went offshore Superbowl Sunday with the intentions of catching a mako, but like always the weather man was wrong again, was suppose to be 10 to 15 knots with 2 to 3 foot seas but after hitting the 20 mile mark it was easy 4 to 5 feet with a few 6 footers mixed in. So changed plans on the way out and decided to opt out of targeting a 200-to 400-pound high jumping shark and go for some snapper and amberjack.

Ended up with a 20-pound cobia, some nice 4-to 5-pound mango snapper, some yellowtail snapper, beeliners, porgies, AJ’s in the 30-to 40-pound class, oh and an African pompano.

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Limiting out on Red Grouper

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Systems

Mission accomplished for us yesterday. The plan was to limit out on Red Grouper before the season closes at the end of the month. We had an older boat wishing to follow us (some history of motor issues) so we wanted to stay as close as possible but still get into some keeper fish. We left the dock at 7:45, broke the pass by 8:30 and were fishing by 9:10 in 75 to 80 feet[...]

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Grouper off Ft. Myers

Florida Sportsman member: nuclearfishn

Headed out past the 240 ledge. Saw too many boat out there so went another 8 miles. Picked up a few grouper and snapper in the 70-75 foot range. Grouper are real spread out. Not one fish broke the surface all day. Caught this fat 27 inch grouper dropping a jig. Fattest grouper I have ever caught for this size. had to go close to 20 pounds [...]

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Grouper Southwest of Sanibel

Florida Sportsman member: conch50

Went out yesterday with my 15 year old. Fishing 65-70 feet of water. Bite was pretty decent and conditions were just about perfect. Kept 4 reds with the largest 27 inches, couple of nice mangroves around 17 inches. Sometimes when things are breaking down or a trip doesn’t go right, I start complaining to myself about the money it takes to keep a boat. Then you get a day like yesterday, beautiful water with just you and your son (and best friend) and it all makes sense why it’s worth it.[...]

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Sarasota Trolling Bite

Florida Sportsman member: FlatzBroke

Headed offshore Wednesday in search of a trolling bite, mainly looking for wahoo and tuna. Stopped in 140 feet and found plenty of bonito. Not quite what we were looking for so we headed out to 160 feet again, more bonito. But, we did find a decent dolphin. So we headed to our last spot in 180 feet that drops off to over 200 feet. As soon as we got in the area we spot a frigate bird. Ok, things are looking up. I steer the boat right under him and he leads me right to the ledge, as soon as my arrival alarm sounds BAM! Tripled header of blackfins! Alright things are looking much better. Anyway, we troll around for the next couple of hours or so and end up with at least 2 triple headers multiple doubles and singles. And plenty of lost fish too. Total for the day was 14 blackfins, 2 red grouper and a dolphin [...]

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Tripletail Hunting

Florida Sportsman member: InshoreSlam

Headed out this morning with a good buddy of mine for tripletail. With the livewell full of shrimp, we headed out off the lighthouse offshore to find a nice string of crab pots. In about 25-30 feet of water we found a nice string and followed it all the way to redfish pass. During the run we wound up seeing a trip around every 5 to 6 pots down. Most of the ones we caught were small…around 10-12 inches, but managed 2 keepers, a 15 inch and a 23 inch. We wound up catching around 7 or 8 total. It was a great day, the seas were calm and the sun was out![...]

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More Triple Tail Action

Florida Sportsman member: Feeding Frenzy

The tripletail fishing this past week has been phenomenal !! I have fished in SW Florida for a long time and this is the best season, by far. The trips have been holding on the deeper (30ft plus) trap balls. Today, we caught 18 and saw well over 30 fish, with some trap balls holding multiple fish. If they weren’t bigger ones, we did not even turn around on them. Some have been pushing the 10 lb mark over the past 7 days or so[...]

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Monster Triple Tail off SRQ

Florida Sportsman member: Captain_Tim

Went out for a few hours today with one of the mates that I work with to target some triple tail, since he told me he has never caught or eaten one. So we left the dock around 12:30pm with a few dozen hand pick shrimp in search of some triple tail. We started running the crab pots and with in minutes we had our first tail in the box, only about 16 inches but a good way to start the day. For the next half hour or so we probably caught 7-10 shorts between 12-15 inches and then I see the beast of triple tail hanging on a buoy. We throw the biggest shrimp we had on a circle hook, put it right in front of his nose and he sucked it down! Ended up fighting that fish for almost 15 min but we finally got him in the boat and we put him on the scale to see what he weighed 18 POUNDS![...]

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Southwest Offshore; Red Grouper,Permit

Florida Sportsman member: Veikx

We managed to make it to some red grouper grounds out 40 miles. The early morning was brutal with the thick fog close to shore. Thank god for radar, as one boat came within 70 feet of us buzzing by. Around 7am we were out looking for bait, the closer bait spots of mine had been wiped clean from this past red tide we had. We trekked out further to about 50′ and found a nice new spot. We Loaded the well with hardtails and made our way to 80′ of water. Headed to some ledges with 4-5′ of relief and bagged 4 red grouper. Marked some new bottom and then decided to head to our red grouper grounds 11 miles further out. [...]

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Action Packed Two Day Adventure

Florida Sportsman member: Captain_Tim

Around the end of September I get a call from a buddy of mine that is a camera guy for a new fishing show that will be on NBC Sports in January 2013 called Gaff Life. He calls me and said they were going to shoot a show in North Carolina but there was some bad weather so it got canceled and would I be able to put a offshore trip together for the show? So of course I said hell yeah, called my boss who owns the Flying Fish Fleet and I tell him what we want to do and we quickly put a trip together [...]

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Venice Bottom Bite on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: RMD

We left New Pass at around 7 a.m. and headed out to about 160 feet. Spent a few hours trolling and picked up a few bonita for bait, but the pelagic bite was slow. Decided to switch gears and do some bottom fishing which was very productive. The seas were smooth and winds were calm, which provided perfect conditions for drifting [...]

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Summer Gags

Florida Sportsman member: YoungRx

A buddy and I reluctantly decided to give it a try on Saturday even though all the “regulars” were otherwise occupied and the surf was pretty loud from my place north of the Jetties (a good indication that the seas are to be reckoned with). I just had the engines serviced and wanted to give them some exercise prior to a deep run, so we decided to check out the conditions and stay inside 15 to 20 miles, depending. We picked up 6 dozen handpicks and a few chum blocks, then stopped outside the jetties for the obligatory sabiki dip [...]

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Naples Grouper and Hogs

Florida Sportsman member: Naples Spearo

Went out this past Saturday for the 4th weekend in a row with Dan (Dcheek2112) and our normal grouper diggin’ crew, along with 2 other guys which was there first trip on my boat. The plan was to do some diving/spearing and some hook and line in between dives. We had some new spots we found in around 120 feet of water a few weeks ago that we wanted to dive and see what was down there [...]

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The Dark Night

Florida Sportsman member: Anzuelo

As the weekend approached we made plans to leave Friday after work. We knew that it would be a pitch black night with the moon setting at the same time as the sun, but hoped that the so-called minor/minor would produce a hot bite [...]

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ARS, Gags, Wahoo, Dolphin and Mangs

Florida Sportsman member: Feeding Frenzy

The past two days offshore have been fantastic. If you have the ability to run deep while the seasons are open, do it. As other reports have indicated, the Gulf has been extremely flat and waves nonexistent. That being said, it has also been very hot due to the lack of any wind. Drink plenty of water. We have been running just past the 160′ mark to our usual marks and found the bottom bite to be fantastic. Ars on the first 5 drops, then the RG’s and chunky gags chimed in. We found some large AJ’s down on the bottom as well [...]

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Red Grouper on the Troll

Florida Sportsman member: nuclearfishn

Headed out looking for gags. Was thinking about the 240 ledge area, but saw way to many boats headed that way. Started trolling about 5 miles north of the ledge in 65 feet. trolled NW out to 80 feet. Did not mark any new spots, but did manage 4 keeper reds, biggest one around 26 inches caught in 75 feet. The woman out fished me again! Lost a big kingfish at the boat, and lost something big that pulled the hook on the troll. Next time I will go deeper [...]

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Mangroves and Kings

Florida Sportsman member: Tight Loops

I am a new offshore guy. Normally spend my time with a fly rod in the backcountry but I heard the near shore mangrove snapper bite was going off and wanted to try it.  Hooked up with Larrywit and took off with the only “intel” we had which was 50 feet off of Sanibel. Hit a spot and chummed with some home-made nuclear chum but not much action [...]

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American Red Snapper Run

Florida Sportsman member: Angler Systems

Mission accomplished today, left the dock at 5:45AM (back by 6:00 PM), ran 54 miles out to 155 – 160 feet.. Got our limit today on American Red Snapper (12) to about 10 lbs, 8 Mahi Mahi, 7 Red Grouper to 18 lbs, 3 Scamp to 10 lbs and a variety of other good stuff. Just finished having some Mahi on the grill…excellent!!! Can’t wait to run off again.

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Out of Redfish Pass

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Decided to not run way out to grouper spots. Stopped at 7 miles set the hook ,no chum slick set out not too active red shorts real short. Decided to run out to catch one of Marys favorite eating fish porgys and snapper 16 miles out, circled to find the right bottom, set the hook. Let out the chum, down sized the leader line to 20 lb floro. small 2or 3 size hook lite to med spin rods took about 30 min for the fish to show [...]

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Opening Day out of Venice

Florida Sportsman member: chico

I was waiting for one of the guys who made it out with Joe Miller to post something, until then, I got this message from one of the guys: ” All in all it was good. Joe did his usual and put us on the fish. We limited out on the grouper and caught a bunch of nice mangrove’s and lane’s. I hooked and fought about a 5-6 foot spinner shark off the back on a free line that jumped twice completely out of the water before breaking me off about 3 minutes later [...]

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Excellent Kingfishing

Florida Sportsman member: Feeding Frenzy

Fished in the Venice Indians Grand Slam Fishing Tournament today and based on the weather and marine forecast decided to strictly target Kings. Other categories included inshore (redfish and trout), snapper and Wildcard, but decided our best bet would be kings. After spending the better part of 4 hours yesterday cast-netting mullet, we had a few decent baits in the baitwell for the ride out. My buddy Kirk did an outstanding job on the rod when the fish hit, landing this 37.2 lb King to secure our first place win in the kingfish division [...]

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Looking for Dinner?

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Well as you know it was not 2 footers, more like 2-4′s. Mary and I ran out to a spot we were last week, I had the guys catching porgy’s and grunts and nice lanes. It was kind of hard to anchor up just right, set the hook and this time I mixed some chum in an old salt container put it in a chum bag to it I attached a 5 pound weight so I could lower it to the bottom, I used some old red line I had laying around (mistake) it took about a half an hour for the bite to start [...]

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Cobia and Mangs

Florida Sportsman member: Feeding Frenzy

Got this decent cobia today while snapper fishing on the county reefs just off Sarasota. 20 lb test fluorocarbon leader, 1/0 circle hook and a big fat shrimp right on the bottom. The fish fought for 45 minutes on light tackle. Managed about 15 or so really nice mangs (sorry no pics) and some porgy as well. Needed to chum really heavy to get the bite started, most likely because of the big moon. Even managed a decent tripletail yesterday on the ride along the beach [...]

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Offshore from Redfish Pass

Florida Sportsman member: larrywitt

Got a late start with a crew of two from Naples. Did not leave the dock till 10AM planned for a short run to catch some nice grunt for a fish fry. Stopped at about 7 miles out started catching grunts at first drop and grouper gags and reds..at around 12:30 it really laid down i suggested we run another 10 miles to where i have had a good bite lately [...]

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Fishing on the Wrecks

Florida Sportsman member: Captain Scott

The past week the wreck fishing has been amazing. The choice of bait is frozen shrimp on a 3/8 jighead. The sheepies have been in the 3 to 5 pound range. Off these wrecks my clients have been pulling in some nice snapper,flounder and grouper. Inshore fishing has been hit or miss. Back in the creeks has been good for reds and snook. Make sure you chum them up. The reds are around 15″to 25″ and the snook are on the small side [...]

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