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

Florida Fishing Report

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Whooops...There It Is

Left To Right: Danny, Victor, Greg and lil' Mario have their hand's full displaying 
part of their recent catch that included cobia, reds, trout and snook

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Fall fishing remains in full swing. Even under unfavorable blue bird skies, a general easterly wind flow, gin clear water, and monthly periods of neap tides, they just keep biting and biting.

Snook continue to take center ring. Many days are producing double digit catches with several fish pushing the 34-inch maximum size limit. The fish have been spread out over a large area and on the move. Lower and mid slot sized fish are in tight pods that have enabled my clients to come up with quantity in short order with a single drop of the anchor. The largest fish are scattered with no rhyme or reason. I have witnessed many times in the last several weeks large snook cruising the open flats on the flood tide heading for the backcountry. We have even taken some fish in the open water while fishing for reds and trout. Hurricane Wilma brought us 2 inches of rain and high winds a week ago Monday (10/24), but the area was spared the brunt of the storm. A significant push of cool air passed the state that has congregated the large fish in places that will make locating them even easier. A slow warming trend this week should have things in place by the start of next week

Redfish remain scattered about. I have been working one school of fish now for nearly 3 weeks. These fish have been so reliable; you can set your watch to them. With a significant change in the weather, it is probable these fish will change their location. However, the cooler water will shuffle the deck in all areas and new fish will be found. A quick trip to the Anclote Power Plant on Friday (10/28) revealed a large sized school of slot-sized and just under slot-sized reds in the ditch. Expect the fish to inch their way back out with Indian summer afternoons where they will be found over the flat rock and sand bottom as opposed to the grass flats. But as we move into winter minus tides, the lower tides are certain to pull the reds onto the shallow grass flats and deep, backwater holes. As a whole, it has not been the best redfish fall in these parts, but savvy anglers will find reds “tailing” in the shallow flats the next few months.

A few winter trout continue to trickle into the shallows. Those anglers that are drift-fishing the spotty bottom in 3 to 5 feet of water are doing best throwing jigs for slot-sized trout, mackerel, jacks, ladyfish and bluefish. A waxing new moon and a reinforcing high-pressure system over the weekend will likely push more trout into the shallows. It will not be uncommon to get impressive catches of reds, trout and snook off of one spot when it all pulls together


"Jungle" Jim and Adam Bresovits (Right, w/ slam) were back doing the "Bounty Hunter Tango" last week.

Cobias continue to pop up all over the place and have for the past two weeks. We have even caught them while chumming for bait in the morning. Early in the week I was snook fishing a mile inside the open gulf when a southern sting ray over 5 feet across took great curiosity in our presence. The next day the huge ray showed again, this time with a 20 lb cobia in tow. The brown bomber obliged to a hooked horse minnow reeled into its path and accepted an invitation to dinner. A couple of select rock piles in 15 feet of water have been covered with them as well. Trout fisherman drifting the open flats should keep a rod rigged with a free-lined pinfish drifting 50 feet behind the boat as the two species frequent the same bottom features.

The nearshore rock piles are producing scattered reds, bluefish galore, a few grouper, houndfish, trout, jacks and ladyfish. The rocks over salt n’ pepper bottom in 8 to 18 feet of water are producing Spanish mackerel, some gator trout, sharks, cobia, grouper (to 12 lbs), mangrove snapper, blue runners and an occasional king fish.

West Coast “slams” (snook, redfish, trout) have been everyday occurrences for several weeks now. The tarpon have been on and off. On days when the tarpon light is on, grand slams (tarpon, snook, redfish and trout) have been rewarding my guests with lifetime achievement awards. A tarpon expedition on Friday (10/28) produced 6 fish jumped and three landed. Staple has been the availability of crickets (scaled sardines). A short reconnaissance mission last Thursday (10/27) proved plenty of bait remains in the area. There is no substitution for experience.

Dr. James Lawson and dad, Jim Lawson, show off a double header of reds before release.

The cold front and subsequent-sustainable systems have sent most of the flats species on retreat. We are now experiencing a slow but certain warming trend with temperatures forecasted back into the 80s by Monday (10/31). Warmer air accompanied by next week’s dark moon may very well give anglers the experience of the pinnacle of the 2005 fall nearshore and flats fishing. Though, the last 6 weeks are going to be tough to beat with a stick.

National meteorologist posted their winter outlook forecast last week. Neither La Nina nor El Nino is expected this year and we should expect normal weather patterns throughout the winter.

I cordially accept…weather or not (pun intended).

Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!

Robert McCue



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Florida Fishing Report

Last Update 30OCT05
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