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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Old Man Winter Pays a Visit

Recreational trips to the east side of the state are continuing to produce exceptional bill fishing not seen in recent history.

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Old Man Winter and his sidekick Jack Frost paid a rare visit to the area last weekend. It was a tough week of fishing while the waters struggled to reach 60 degrees by the end of the week, only to drop again with the passing of a reinforcing system this weekend. Significant cold snaps put a damper on the fishing at this time of year. However, every cloud has a silver lining.

High pressure brings brilliant blue skies and the warm-ups come quickly with recent daytime high temperatures reaching near 80 last week.

Spotted sea trout are the bread and butter of winter fishing on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Larger fish can be found in the ultra skinny water around oyster bars, creek mouths, and adjacent shoreline cul-de-sacs. School-sized fish are found on the edges of the Intercoastal in 4 to 6 feet of water, particularly around the barrier islands. Live shrimp, jigs, and soft plastic jerkbaits get the nod for trout wherever you find them. We took a few silver trout working the grassflats east of the barrier island last week. This likely means they are abundant over hard bottom area just off the beaches, though I have not targeted them.

A fishing kite, top quality reels loaded with 15lb test hi-vis line, and predawn big eye scad catching are staple to winter bill fishing along the edges of the Gulf Stream, Florida Straights, USA.

Docks, bridges and oyster bars are producing redfish, black drum and the ever so present sheepshead. A piece of shrimp fished on a jig head just heavy enough to hold on the bottom is all that is needed to take these species.

Warmer periods are finding pompano on the channel edges and along the shoreline of the passes. Juvenile tarpon and catch and release snook fishing is available in the deeper backwaters. These are two of the most temperature sensitive species we have. Warming trends and southerly winds preceding the cold fronts is when your effort is best applied.

Giant tarpon will be the quest of those who hail from all parts of the world wishing to test their mettle against the greatest, big game fish on earth. Each year tens of thousands of tarpon congregate along our coast in numbers second to none in the world. The beauty of this fascinating species is its character traits of purity and non-discrimination.   They will eat anything and grace anyone with their company regardless of their race, creed, color, or income. 

For me, the intrigue of tarpon is found within the theater of serenity, euphoric desertion and sovereignty that I can share with many who have the same common ambitions as myself.  The joy of being able to take someone tarpon fishing and to watch their reaction as that first tap turns wild and the hard pull from the depths suddenly turns into a spectacle above the water – yes, above – are bonuses of my profession.  The sounds of the ferocious rattle of the gill rakers, the sight of the majestic tail walk dance of the silver king or 360 degree back flips, and the stamina needed for the fight by man and beast is a spectacle for all senses. These are the experiences of a lifetime and for many of my clients a challenge we refer to as “our annual calling”.   Newcomers are always welcome and no experience is necessary, but be prepared…it may well become your annual calling too.

In sports, tarpon fishing is equivalent of the Daytona 500 of NASCAR, the World Series of baseball, or the Tour de France of cycling. Tarpon are the crown jewel of Florida flats fishing; the apex of light tackle fishing experienced anywhere in the world.  I invite you as a serious contender in this championship game to join me in this experience for 2006. 

Call your personal trainer, start your weight training today, and bring plenty of Ben Gay as the zenith of 2006 Florida fishing is now just weeks away. Book now to ensure availability.

Screaming Drags And Tired Arms!

Robert McCue


A silver king launches in a rage of fury off the Bounty Hunter on a typical spring morning. 



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Last Update 14JAN06
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