Florida fishing species
Below are the most comon soecies we target. I am not a "seasonal guide. I did not become a guide to learn to fish on your dime. Having said that, I am not complacent. I am humble as far as long term fishing guides. Humility does keep me teachable. I am constantly tweaking my finding to offer you the best experience on the market. I am not "one demension". here are the specise of my 28 years of professional fishing expertise.

Want to see more pictures? Vist the photo page where I have over 1000 images that appear here, Florida's first fishing guide site on the Internet (1995).


Tarpon

The undisputed heavyweight of the world in flats, backcountry and nearshore fishing.

As for the giants- I am able to catch the giants starting sometime in March & ending with the first significant changes of temperature in November. Tarpon are neo-tropical, thus they are sensitive to the temperature. Each year is different. In some years I may get them earlier or later. The contingency in borderline months is the resident juvenile fish that range from 10 to 60lbs which I catch ALL YEAR. Please see the 'Tarpon Series' for an in-depth look at tarpon.

Florida tarpon fishing
Florida snook fishing

Snook

Snook are residual fish left in Florida from climate changes dating back to the 'Ice Age". In the continental United Sates, mid Florida & south are the only places where the fish are viable targets.

The name "snook" has Dutch orgins relating to pike. If you will, the are saltwater bass on steroids. They spend much of their time in & around structure which heightens the challenge of landing them. During the spawning phase of their life history, they head to the passes & beaches. They are easier targets then, but the accessibility to large females.

In my early years, snook were a person passion and a business nich. Then, the technigues and a full understand of their migration. People who mastered them were tight lipped. Small circles would form into whqt I called "The Secret Society of Snookers".

In the 1990s, the secrets became exposed in the media for the reward of self gain. The fishery underwent unprecedent pressure. I saw the writing on the wall. I conceeded to the changes and turned my attention to the tarpon. Today, Florida has reassed the fishery and its econimical impact. A series of stringent rules were made law. With these proactive rules in place now, the big fish are begining to rebound. I am down with that and I am back in the game.

Snook are prized gamefish & table fare. They are one of the "Big Three" (snook, redfish & trout) that compose a yea- round "bread and butter" fishery for gulf coast fishing guides. To learn more about snook click here.

Redfish

Redfish (red drum) were nearly wiped out from our flats in the 1980's when Louisiana's chef Paul Prudhomme' recipe for 'blackened redfish swept the United States. In 1985 we organized and through many trips to the Florida legislature, we secured gamefish status for red drum. Since 1985 & through our eternal stewardship, the reds have rebounded on our flats. In fact, our "sweat equity" has created an entire industry. We take pride in that fact.

Hard pulling & great table fair- redfish are one of the "Big Three" (snook, redfish & trout) that compose a yea- round "bread and butter" fishery for gulf coast fishing guides.

Florida red fishing
Florida trout fishing

Trout

Speckled sea trout are a member of the drum family. Their temperament is by far the most "easy going" on our flats and that is a good thing :).

Trout are one of the "Big Three" (snook, redfish & trout) that compose a yea- round "bread and butter" fishery for gulf coast fishing guides.

Permit

Outside of small permit that winter here, they tackle busters are best fished in the summer. The congregate on the nearshore wrecks and reefs in both impressive numbers and sizes.

Dubbed as "The Rock Star" of Florida gamefish, permit offer blistering runs, excellent table fair and perpetual memories.

Florida Permit fishing
Florida shark fishing

Shark

Sharks? Yep, we've got those. Blacktip/spinners, lemon, nurse, bull and hammerhead are the primary species we catch. The fish range from 30lbs to over 1000lbs!

Sharks are very popular with both the seasoned and novice angler and are especially appealing to kids. While we are likely to encounter sharks all year, they are best fished in spring, summer and fall.

"Better give em' two barrels".....duunnn dunnn... duuuunnnn duun... duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn.

King & Spanish Mackerel

Best fished in the spring and fall months when the fish are following the bait migration in the gulf-both north and south.

While targeting Spanish mackerel, I find the best over the deep grass flats that extend 10 miles into the gulf in what is known as "St. Martin's Reef". The water is gin clear and teeming with life. The plush sea grasses become abundant with shrimp during the seasonal changes. During those periods, the largest of the gulf's Spanish mackerel convey on the shrimp and become frenzied. The phenomenon often results in "muds" created by feeding frenzies of macks up to 8lbs.

For big smoker kingfish, they are best fished in the fall when the large females come shallow to hunt as opposed to often being offshore in the spring when they are following the bait migration north in deeper water.

Spring can offer the big girls too, but if the water conditions and winds are not right, the main body of fish will pass offshore.

Florida kingfishi ng
Florida goliath grouper

Goliath Grouper

There is not necessarily a lot of sport in Goliath grouper fishing, unless you consider
hooking up a Volkswagen Beetle sporting!

We have taken them to 600lbs. Best fishing is spring, summer and fall. Goliath grouper
are strictly catch and release per state rule.

Cobia

Cobia begin to migrate into the area following the bait going north. Most often we start to fish them off the nearshore wrecks. As the fish move towards the shoreline, their next stop is the deeper channel markers and just off the beach.

My favorite fishing occurs when the fish move into the shallow grass and limestone flats. It is then when we find the fish following giant southern stingrays in water less than 5 feet. The fish scatter in the summer and then come together in the fall again.

The image is the boat record caught in 1997. The monster cobia way following a 6 foot southern stingray and was sight-casted on the flats in just 4 feet of water off of Green Key, New Port Richey, Florida. The fish weighed 78lbs! --------------------------------------------»

Florida Cobia
Florida Grouper Fishing

Grouper & Reef Fish

Grouper and reef fishing is best in spring and fall when the fish are close to shore while gorging around periods of spawning activity. Most recently, with stringent regulations in place, we have been doing exceptionally well on them in the eat of summer.

Particularly to the north, we live chum the fish off the shallow rock piles where they can be taken on spinning gear. To the south, the fishing is primarily bottom fishing There is no comparison between the two styles of fishing.

The shallow water fishery was taught to me by my mentor, legendary Jimmy Bradley who originally founded the techniques of shallow grouper fishing.

Jacks

Tuna of flats! Freight trains with an "easy temperament". Available all year.

Florida jack Cravelle
Florida Sailfish

Sailfish

For a period of 10 years in the late 80s into the 90s, I guided sailfish along Florida's "sailfish alley" on the east coast. While I have continued to fish the migration of sails in the winter exclusively for leisure, it is a high portability that I will start guiding for them again with an acquisition of a offshore express in late 2015.

I special ize in live bait fishing. While I will troll natural bits and a dredge, I limit that for locating them. Once located, I set up with live bait using a pair of kites, flatlines and pitch rods to cast at curious fish in the spread or slicing the crest of a wave. There a few things more exciting that kite fishing for sails on "the edge" of the Gulfstream.

Winter is the best time to fish sails and double digit hook-ups are typical.

Pompano

Pompano are a highly prized gamefish that requires some finesse in catching them with lures. For the novice, a live shrimp will suffice.

Typical of jacks, they are fast moving and often are "here today-gone tomorrow". In today's era, we fish them when I see them. Having depending on them as a commercial hook and line fisherman, pomps hold a special place inside of me and are the most expensive fish you will find in a local seafood restaurant.

Florida pompano
Florid  Black Drum

Big Black Drum

While I find black drum all year, I personally enjoy finding large schools of over-sized fish massed together. Most often I find them in February, but too, as late as May on the first flats just inside the passes, inside the bays and harbors. I then sight fish them on light spinning tackle. While the larger fish are not great table fair, they offer great sport and make great lifetime photograph.

 

Email Capt. Robert McCueSend E-MAIL to Capt.RobertMcCue@Gmail.com

Call or Text (727) 597-0957
Office (941) 404-6566


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Florida fishing on the saltwater flats of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay,Clearwater,orlando and Disney area, using lite tackle and fly fishing for tarpon snnok redfish and trout

Last Update 29JAN17
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