Florida Fishing Report: Florida Fishing Charters

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Florida fishing charters

Florida Fishing Report


Deja vu All Over Again 

Left to Right: "Jungle Jim" and Adam Bresovits with a pair of jumbo reds. Having a 50 redfish afternoon fellas?
In a subsequent trip, "Jungle" went wading (in the same trademarked trousers as a decade ago) to save Adam's snook that was wrapped in a dock line. 
As in Yogi Berra-ism, "it was daja vu all over again".

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Mother Nature has had her way with us the past few weeks. We've had it all. Fog, rain, chilly and gusty winds form the northern quadrant and even smoke from a forest fire burning in Georgia have paid us a visit at one point or another. The most experienced and "best" fishing guides are only one thing, consistent. In virtually any condition, they make it work by the day's end. And so we did.

I have always been a firm believer in "cycles" of fish. Each year there seems to be one species that stands out in front of every other species. The cycle of redfish we have seen the past 12 months has brought back memories of the 80s when large bulls roamed the open flats in herds. Boat traffic and fishing pressure has put an end to those days for the most part, despite a great come back of the reds that were virtually wiped out by commercial harvest 20 years ago. I ran great distances to find fish that were not being fished. I spent many days spending extra hours in the wee hours of the morning trying to stuff my livewell to maximum capacity. I used pounds of staple scaled sardines to help me find these fish that change locations from a 100 feet to 2 miles each day. For virtually 12 weeks and on near a daily basis, it was game on. I cannot recall any year in the past 20 with so many days with bull redfish catches exceeding 50 fish per day. We'll never completely understand the "cycles" of fish. Then again, why ask why? These are the days of our lives.


Young angling extraordinaire, Steven Caines, did not let some inclement weather stop him from his first several encounters with the silver king.

The fog was thick, but that did not break the will of Brandon Balzano. Brandon's Florida fishing pinnacle came to a head a few days prior when he was fishing off a Pinellas beach with a shrimp. End result? A 38 inch, 20lb snook. Truly a catch of lifetime in today's modern era! Nice job Brandon! 

That was then and this is now. It has been 122 years since Forest and Stream publicized the first giant tarpon catch on a rod and reel. The angling world would never be the same. From that day, the sportsman has become infatuated with the beast of silver proportions and his desire to test his mettle against the king.

They come from all walks of life and all corners of the globe. As they were back then, they are fished from canoes (now modern sea kayaks) to contemporary Kevlar skiffs that exceed 70K in cost.

Hebert Hoover once said, "All men are equal before fish". They are fished by cigarette smoking "blue collar working men" to cigar aficionados waving spaghetti thin fly rods with a wireless "Bluetooth" giving them live feeds from Wall Street in their ear. Tarpon have no prejudice, but they are peerless in creating one.

Tarpon still serve as catalyst in defining social groups. They bond families, men, women and children together for life and beyond. Just as well, they separate them in some of the most unique levels of jealousy, strife and conflict. The more things change, the more things stay the same. While native to the tropical waters of central and South America, when it comes to fishing them for sport, they are American built.


I will now shift my mindset from the ultra skinny flats and get in that unorthodox tarpon frame of mind. This is our calling.

It appears we'll be off to a cool and windy start. The past two weeks have seemed more like March than late April. Nonetheless, there have been good showings of fish. Bait is abundant and the weather has not seemed to move the fish much at all. Eventually Father Time will gain the upper hand on Mother Nature. The winds will calm, the air and water will be warm and silver ballistic missiles will launch surface to air. Welcome to "Tarpon Country", USA.

Enjoy the images (please continue to scroll down and my apologizes for a long download for the dial up users).

Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!

Robert McCue

Above: Bob Greenwald (left) and now a young man, grandson Bobby "Mr. Jones", with a pair of bull reds. I have been privileged throughout my career to see young tykes grow to fine young men. Keep at it Bobby!

Above left: Don Thomas and sons, Wesley (top right) and Brent (bottom left) with tarpon and reds taken on the Bounty Hunter while fishing a spring break tour of Florida. Bottom Right: Bruce Insonia was "all jacked up" with this jumbo crevelle. Bruce was fishing with his nephew Bill Devito. The duo took many reds and Bill actually had a jumbo jack strip 160 yards of 14 lb test line that left him (and me!) with an empty spool. Poor "jack" does not get a lot of respect, with exception of fish this caliber. Pound for pound, the strongest fish on Florida's flats.

Long time friend Rich Hansen was back in town this week. Rich lost two sets of trips last year and a half to a hurricane and a tropical depression. A significant and atypical cold front blew in for day one and that kept us at port. It was deja vu all over again! We grinned and bared it the rest of the week. Despite high pressure, cold water and blustery winds, we pulled it off. A reinforcing front sent that day's bag to the week's low. 3 of the 4 days saw 50 redfish afternoons, trout, snook and tarpon.

Top Left: Rich's fishing partner "Moto". Top Right: Rich's dad, Bob. Lower Left: Rich.

Good times! Good times!


Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!

Robert McCue

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