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

Florida fishing charters

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The ambience of fall is fading fast with the persistent procession of cold fronts. It was just four weeks ago that I was reserved in asking for some cooler air. Bada bing. It was short lived. Mother Nature is back up to her promiscuous ways. As always, Father Time will make it right. Progressively, it will take just a short time for the fins to acclimate to the changes. No worries.

Morning at the office.
 Every so often the water offers me a sanctuary and serene setting I reflect in. A November high pressure sunrise does it to me every time. 

We have experienced some adverse weather conditions/systems the past few weeks. Snook, redfish, trout, juvenile tarpon and jacks tried to get into some type of pattern, but never really did. With the run and shoot offense, we were able to come up with the bounty by the days end, despite the fact they remained “loose”. I suppose to some, long time guides sometimes seem as wizards with an inside line to the fish gods. While we may get some of the best sashimi available, we are no more than glorified farmers subject to the variables of the weather. At the end of the day, it is “all good” on the water after pulling it off (somehow). On behalf of myself and long time/ loyal friends---thank you fish gods for the good karma!

Rich Hansen shows off a 40 inch cobia taken last week. Cobia are migrating through the area south now for winter.
Nearshore was on fire with jumbo Spanish mackerel, cobia, and a few kingfish. Grouper fishing was just starting to fire up prior to this current blow. We expect the gags (grouper) to be on the bite nearshore just after the full moon has waxed this week. With decent winds and water quality-traditionally this will be the peak of the shallow water bite.

That was then, this is now....

On the flats, trout and redfish will be the primary targets. If the weather is cool, the fish will retreat to warm and insulated confines of deeper water. On warm afternoons and during Indian summer patterns, they will move to the very skinny to sun and perhaps find something to eat. Winter reds and trout are often best found by casting jerk baits and jigs. Once located, we rack them up with a fresh lively shrimp. 

Chris Delarm with a recent  fall snook. Snook are on the shoreline and inside their winter haunts now.

Bob Hansen with a "yellow mouth" gator trout. Big trout and redfish will be the staple species on the flats in the upcoming winter pattern.
Snook will be available, but much more of a challenge as their neo-tropical bodies become very temperamental in cool water. Juvenile tarpon will now become more active for longer periods of daylight.

Cobia will be the big gangbusters as we await winter’s bread n’ butter species to set up winter patterns. They are notorious for hanging out on the warm water flats outside of the power plant discharges. They languidly ride the wings and tails of oversized stingrays and manatees. Cobia are vultures of opportunity in the dust of these hosting animals (when they can find one) by waiting for an easy meal to be kicked up off the bottom.

They can be taken by throwing jerk worms at the rays and by blind drifting these particular flats while throwing jigs for trout, pompano, small permit, jacks and bluefish. Anchoring up and chumming on these warm flats with palm-sized live bait gets the nod for those with some patience and that are “on fish”. Pound for pound they are one of most powerful fish available to us (not to mention their value over an open fire and along side a fresh lemon, some wasabi and an ice cold amber!).

Plenty of opportunities await us now, weather or not.

Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!

Robert McCue


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Last Update 16NOV02
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