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

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Florida Fishing Report

Fall Fire Ablaze

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A much needed cold front slid across the state last week. While we roughed out the first 48 hours of it’s passing, the kindling we needed has been sparked. Since, the water temperatures have leveled out in the mid 70s and the conditions are optimum for the blaze of peak fall fishing.

Tammy Werner (R) gets a little help from her nephew Rob (L) in getting this 43.5 inch snook to strike a pose on Thursday. Tammy hooked and landed the jumbo fish in shallow gin clear water making the rare catch even rarer.

Snook have made the most notable showing. The fish are being found in all the traditional hotspots and all throughout their range. In addition—many have been taken in open water in some unsuspecting areas. The fish are migrating to the shoreline across open water now to their winter retreats of the backcountry. When found in these areas-the bite has been hot. Meanwhile and in more traditional/ pressured areas, the fish have been very weary and slow to bite.

A rare catch of the 21st century was made on the boat last Thursday when Tammy Werner drove over from her home in Ft. Lauderdale to spend some time with her brother Michael and nephew Rob who were visiting from Indiana. Tammy tied into a 43.5-inch snook in gin clear and shallow water. For near 10 minutes, she battled the oversized gladiator to boat side on wimpy 8 lb. class tackle. She accomplished what many long time Florida and seasoned snook anglers only dream about (their whole lives!). Each year fish of this size are becoming fewer and farther between on the flats. Trophy snook have been completely protected from harvest for several years now. However, they have become increasingly spooky and do not visit the flats as the often did in the past. Now preferring a deep and heavily structured habitat, the trophies are being hooked in the deep rip raff, but too, being landed far less often. A fine job Tammy and congratulations!

Jim Caposey and Adam Bresovits show a portion of their catch this week and too a Gulf Coast Slam of snook, redfish, and trout.
Reds have been spotty and for the most part are being caught in the mixed bags of snook, trout, jacks and mango snapper on the bars located over plush grass. A large school was spotted inside a creek mouth about midweek. Just one fish was taken from it as the school was on the move in a big time way. 

Several slams were taken over the last week (snook, redfish, trout). Last Sunday, a grandslam (snook, redfish, trout, tarpon) eluded ol’ time favorite, Bob Greenwald when his tarpon threw the hook back to him in mid air. Gotta love them tarpon Bob!

Large gator trout have been showing up in good numbers immediately after the front. The yellow-mouthed specks are being found in shallow water at the creek mouths, sawgrass points and oyster bars. As the water warmed during the week and the full moon phased away, they had slowed considerably ----but this is a very temporary situation.

The nearshore fall bite is continuing. Bonita, king and Spanish mackerel, cobia and barracuda are all being taken close to the barrier islands in strong/consistent numbers.

There have been some decent reports of grouper being taken now inside of 30 feet. I have a short break early in the week and with the moon going dark----I will round up the horse minnows and will confirm or deny the reports.

Bruce Ogle and Bob Greenwald show off a nice pair of speckled trout taken last weekend. The duo took snook, redfish, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, shark, jacks,cobia and jumped a tarpon as well.

We are on a nice warming trend now. This ying and yang with the fronts and the warming periods in-between offers a perfect weather scenario to keep the fish in a good fall pattern for some time. A break that is much appreciated and welcome (not to mention deserved!).

Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!

Robert McCue


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Last Update 26OCT02
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