Florida Fishing Report

Florida Fishing Report: Florida Fishing Charters

Our Florida fishing report page offers up to date information on fishing in the Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Orlando and Boca Grande area of Florida's West Coast.For more information on our Florida fishing charters and tarpon fishing charters, please click the link below

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Let's Get it On (already)!

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Water and air temperatures are still above our normal. The days are definitely getting shorter and the morning temperatures are trying cool, but will still stand in limbo waiting for just little cool air from the north to slide our way. On the flats the 3 glamour species (snook, redfish and trout) remain scattered and difficult to rack up in numbers.

Fran Baltmiskis proudly displays one of two tarpon he landed one day this week. Juvenile tarpon have been the cat's meow of the day several times the past few weeks.

Covering great distances and many anchor drops make up typical bags of a few reds, snook, trout, jacks and cobia. Since the passing of Lili we have been plagued with blue birds skies, easterly winds (east is the least), and warm winds. Not exactly prime fall conditions for temperamental gamefish of the flats.

Snook are starting to stack up in typical fall hangouts in both decent numbers and sizes. Last week after the immediate passing of Lili, we got a hot bite going with 11 of 15 upper slot fish making the day. As the skies cleared and barometer went high and steady, the bite turned off to what looked like the first hot bite of fall.

Grant  Karnes with a nice red  he caught this week while enjoying the Florida backwaters, plush golf courses and great company.

In between the two major storms-reds were schooled up in the area only to move on since. Fish from the mid slot to oversize have made the bag everyday this past week, but no two have come off the same drop of the anchor.

A few spawn-sized trout remain showing up in the backwater on the bars, but it will take some cool air to get the fish to come in off the Gulf in the numbers.

We have taken several juvenile tarpon the past week and luckily, they have made the "highlight of the day" film on days when it was trying just to get something else going. I will always be a snook fisherman by heart and reputation, but by some sort of karma, tarpon have been very good to me the length of my career. I have been fortunate to be blessed with an ability to find them near all year in many uncharted waters of this area. For a species so prized as a tarpon to have saved my trophy days so many times, Megalops Atlanticus---this Bud is for you.

Nearshore-the bite has been hot with Spanish mackerel and bonita. Trolling either one alive over the nearshore wrecks and reefs are getting hammered by giant barracuda in water as shallow as 18 feet. A few kings have been reported both along the beaches and well offshore. In addition, reports are trickling in on what we all hope is the start of a consistent nearshore grouper bite. We did not take any cobia on the flats this past week, though many have swam by the boat in the classic “hey—look at that shark” call from the bow.As usual the same nearshore wrecks and reefs that are producing macks, kings, cuda, and bonita too are yielding cobia on their fall migration south.

Newlyweds Denise and Scott Engleson caught a fast rising barometer after the passing of hurricane Lili and went 11 for 15 on a hot upper slot snook bite last week. In addition, Scott fulfilled his dream with his first tarpon on the same day.

As the saying goes “be careful for what you wish for---you might just get it”, I am a bit reserved in asking for a cold front to gel fall fishing (its been a long wait) but---I like my chances at this point. Let’s get it on (already)!

Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!

Robert McCue


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Last Update 10OCT02
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