Florida Fishing Report: Florida Fishing Charters

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Florida Fishing Report

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October Grand Slams

Mike McGibben settled for this micro tarpon when just minutes before he jumped off a 40 lber to start off a grand slam 
taken with his dad, Mike McGibben on a recent trip (remaining and selected images to follow).

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We got an early jump on fall flats fishing the past 6 weeks. I tried desperately to keep things under my hat, but sooner rather than later, the cat found its way out of the bag. Despite early water temperatures hovering around 87 degrees, the fish did (and do) not seem to mind. The bait has been thick and the water temperature has dropped down to a comfortable 81 degrees during the latter part of the week. Grand slams (tarpon, snook, redfish, and trout) have been taken on several trips the past few weeks and viable feats on each and every trip.

The snook have been going ballistic in a manner we have not seen in several falls past. The fish are in transition now between their summer haunts in the Gulf to their winter haunts inside the creeks and rivers. I have not found the fish stacked in any one location. Since the fish are moving, what was productive yesterday may be barren today. By working the tides and moving form spot to spot, guests aboard the Bounty Hunter have put up snook catches in the double digits for some time now. Most of the fish have been in the 26 to 34 inch slot range.

Dad McGibben with a gator trout taken in the ultra skinny.

Redfish have been spotty. Reds are normally our bread and butter species at this time of year. In late summer and early fall the fish usually mass in big numbers on our grass flats. For whatever the reason, this has not been the case this year. The fish have been in loose pods of just a pair to a dozen on the hard-bottom sand, flat rock, and creek points. A few mangrove snapper have been crashing the party in the same areas. For the fall of 2005, it seems the snook will make up the difference in the absence of the large schools of reds.

A few “gator” trout are making their way back to the skinny and have been caught while targeting redfish. For these large trout, it is too early to see any real numbers or establish a pattern for them. I am expecting that to change as the month progresses. The deeper grassflats are producing the numbers.

We caught a few scattered reds in the morning and then spent the better part of the day
looking for some over-sized reds. On the top of the ebb, perseverance paid off with a hot bite.

Some jumbo jacks have been terrorizing the flats. While “jack” gets no respect, some of the fish have been large and keeping some anglers on board bent 10 minutes at a time.

Nearshore the Spanish mackerel migration has begun. Last week we fished the 2005 Big Mack Attack out of Tierra Verde and took first place with a 4.44 # mack. I had not fished the competition since 2001 when I won the event with a 6.25 # fish. The water was still too warm for a good push of world-class mackerel, but they are definitely on their way. During a reconnaissance mission the day before the tournament and during the tournament, we caught several sharks, kingfish, grouper, sea bass and cobia all on the same spot.

We had a hot snook bite the day before so we spent little effort at the end of the day
capturing the snook. Rarely are snook a "given", but in the past 6 weeks, they have been
the easiest of the "big four" to capture.

 The water remains slightly warmer than in years past. A significant front has yet to pass over the state. We are getting a small cooling from the days shortening, a little bit of rain and cloud cover. These are exactly the conditions we hope for in fall. All things being the same, we can expect excellent fall fishing well into November. Now is the time to getcha sum!

Screaming Drags and Tired Arms!

Robert McCue



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Florida Fishing Report

Last Update 9OCT05
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