Florida Fishing Report: Florida Fishing Charters

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Florida fishing charters

Florida Fishing Report




Sails Calling


CEO deckhand Brian Timmons prepares to release 1 of 8 sailfish on a recent two day hiatus.

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Winter patterns have set in along the Gulf Coast. Inshore, trout and redfish are the bread and butter species of winter. Warm afternoons on the flooded points, cul-de-sacs, bars, and creek mouths are the theaters of probability for these species. On low flood tides, redfish can be sight-fished as they reveal their tails while their heads are rooting the bottom for forage. The larger “gator” trout will be mixed among them as well. School sized trout can be found on the edges of the Intercoastal and just off the bars on the barrier islands. Soft jerkbaits get the nod in the shallows while jigs work best in the deeper water. When all else fails, a live select shrimp rarely gets snubbed.

On cooler days, pompano, permit, cobia, bluefish, ladyfish and jacks can be found along the edges of the warm water runoffs of the area’s power plants. During warming trends these fish will cruise the open flats and will sometimes move as far as the passes and beaches. It has been an excellent winter for pompano. Considered a rare catch and a fine delicacy, pompano require some angling finesse, fight hard and are second to none on the dinner table.

L to R: Greg Childress and colleagues Charlie and Steve show a few pompano taken on a recent trip. 
The day's end bag included pompano, permit, gator trout, bluefish, cobia, sheepshead, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel.

Nearshore, if you can get out to the more productive reefs, bottom fishermen in 30 to 50 feet of water are taking grouper and a few snapper.  The larger ledges and rocks have been well picked at this point in December. Savvy reef fishermen are working smaller areas of live bottom that are harder to find for the average angler to make ends meet (pun intended).

For the first hour we could not get a second bait out on the kite. Sails were balling, slashing, slicing and free jumping in the heavy surf all around us. It was the Bounty Hunter shuffle (V. 9.0 east coast), all over again. Above: Brian lost his billfish virginity to this sail. Dreams are best when lived. Bring it!

It has been a long winter tradition of mine to take some time off and head over to Florida’s Southeast Coast to fish the edges of the Gulf Stream for sailfish. Perhaps it is the serenity of royal-cobalt bluewater, the sublime company I keep, or maybe the mystique of what is swimming below my baited kites in the world’s largest river that offers my soul peace, solitude and rapture. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” It is during this time where I do not fish for my livelihood, but for me, and it takes me back to a place in time before I was a fishing guide. These furloughs offer me self-therapy and counter-balance my mind between making other’s dreams a reality and realizing my own. The sorties have been exceptional this year with the added bonus of exuberant billfish. However, it is not about the fish. Like Hemmingway’s character “Santiago” in the Old Man of the Sea, I too find myself “dreaming about lions”.


To my family, my small circle of loyal and dedicated friends, CEO deckhand Brian, old time clients that are closely held members of my extended family and new faces alike, I would not be where or who I am without you. Thank you! Fortunately for us… God does not subtract our allotted time on earth, those hours spent fishing.

I wish you all the warmest wishes for a happy holiday and all the best in 2006!

Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!

Robert McCue

Right: Brian takes the "sailfish dunk" which is a form of traditional hazing initiating him into the society of billfishers. Don't fib-we know it was freezing (or we hope it was ;-o)!




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Last Update 17DEC05
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