Florida Fishing Report

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Florida fishing report

Florida Fishing Report

Florida Fishing Report -No Bull

Our Florida fishing report page offers up to date information on fishing in the Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Orlando, Bradenton, Sarasota, Port Charlotte 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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Record setting Arctic air swept through the state up until last week. The record cold put a screeching, but temporary, halt to the fishing. The freeze snap lasted 10 days where daytime temperatures did not reach 60 degrees. Across the wire, doom and gloom reports saturated the media. Many who claim a lifetime of fishing experience in Florida reported they had never seen such devastation. Actually, the Christmas freeze of 1989 resulted in a similar situation and in that case, our fish rebounded just fine. Most recently, the daytime temperatures have crept back into the 70s and nighttime temperatures resumed to the average low for January.

Inshore fishing will consist of fishing the hardiest cold-water species that include, redfish, trout, sheepshead and black drum. A freshly dead or live shrimp pinned to the bottom will be the most effective means of fishing in deep creek and river pockets, under docks and around submerged riprap.  On the edges of flats, trout and reds will respond to slowly twitched jigs and tube lures. Winter fishing will likely not be up to par of the last decade. With patience, however, it will be successful.

The best news, based on my experience, is that cold winters make the best spring fishing. All of the inshore species have retreated as far as they can into the backwaters. The fish concentrate together. Their primary instinct is to survive, and right now they will spend the better part of the day soaking in as much of the sun’s rays as they can for warmth. Their metabolism slows in the colder weather and they rely on stored body fat for nourishment. In the coming weeks, the waters will warm, the days will become longer, and the tides will become higher. The fish will then explore the flats with a vengeance looking to restore lost body fat. Protein and oil will become a biological necessity to restore lost energy reserves for some and to prepare for the rigors of spawning for others. All will be well.

A mid week trip produced over 20 trout between 18 and 25 inches, a dozen reds between 24 and 30 inches and 3 jumped juvenile tarpon. If there is a problem with the fish, someone needs to tell them! The long range forecast has us in the 70s all week and I expect the action to only improve.

In the coming months, 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 experience.

For me, the intrigue of tarpon is found within the theater of serenity, euphoric consciousness’  and the tarpon’s sovereignty that I can share with many who have the same common ambitions as myself. In today's modern era, we my not have the tarpon to ourselves, but for that moment in time we find solitude and nothing else matters. 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 sub-surface to air ballistic missile are bonuses of my profession.  The sounds of the ferocious rattle of the gill rakers, the sights of the majestic, tail-walking dance of the silver king, the 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".  

In sports, tarpon fishing is equivalent to 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 and 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. Now is the time to book for the best of the best in 2010.

Behind the scenes: we’ve been working on a Facebook and Twitter presence. We’re really excited about doing live feeds from the boat that will include real time reports, still shots and video this spring. For those of you that are new to micro-blogging/social sites, there is nothing to fear concerning your privacy. When you join, you may set your settings as tight or as loose as you wish.
In Facebook, you must register to view our pages.You can become a “friend” of mine by request at

We are doing random drawings for free giveaways on my “fan” site at www.facebook.com/FloridaFishingCharters.GiantTarponFishingFlorida.

Join the “fan” site today for a free chance to win a guided GiantTarpon fishing trip.

You can also receive our text micro-blogs by “following” us at www.Twitter.com/GiantTarpon on your phone or use just the web.

Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!
Robert McCue

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Florida Fishing Report

Last Update 23JAN10
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Florida Fishing Report