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Captains Log

Tampa Florida Fishing Charters and Guide Service

August 4th - Hello Everyone.
  This summer has been very hot with water temperatures as high as 89 degrees.  Redfish have been my most targeted fish with a few Snook mixed in.  Tarpon have been busting bait all along the beach from Clearwater to Indian Rocks. I would suggest free lining Tread-fin Herring or Pinfish down current where Tarpon are seen rolling. While Tarpon fishing be ready to tussle with a few large Black tip sharks.  On July 26th. Josh landed a large 27in. Spotted Sea Trout on a cut Pinfish head drifted with the current. Not a bad catch considering the hot summer time water. If you are visiting the Tampa Bay or Clearwater Beach area this August try your fishing skills against a large beach cruising Tarpon or Shark.  
February remained almost as cold as January.  The best fishing days were the second or third day after a cold front had past through.  We found the Spotted Sea Trout bite was best in the afternoon after the moon started to rise.  Mike and Stacey, visiting from up north, caught several nice fish on artificial jigs near the small Islands lining the coast of Clearwater and Dunedin.  Clear, clean water was the key to finding trout as the cloudy water near the passes did not produce fish.  On February 23rd, Scott W. went fishing for his 60th Birthday.  Although, weather was not ideal - we managed to keep eight nice trout for a family fish fry.  Residential canals have been productive this month offering some protection from the cold windy days.  Steve’s friend caught a large 34 inch Redfish under a boat dock in Clearwater. He was using shrimp for bait.  March should offer warmer days and water temperatures that make fishing more pleasant.  Come on Spring!

July 18th.  Spotted Sea Trout remains a decent catch throughout June and July with several large fish being landed.  Miss Lydia, visiting with her father, from Alabama caught a 25-inch fish using a Scaled Sardine for bait. Lydia also had a blast catching several Black-Tip sharks.  While several sharks were swimming around the boat, she would just lower her sardine to the nearest one and the fight would begin.  Many Tarpon were seen on this fishing trip in a deep cut near the Islands of Tampa Bay.  We had a few bites but no solid Tarpon hookups on this trip.

     Shark fishing should be excellent all summer long.  Late afternoon trips ending around 9 or 10 pm can be scheduled in order to avoid the heat of the day.  Rock piles along the beaches will hold Redfish, Black Drum, and Flounder through-out August and September. Tarpon were feeding mostly on Threadfin Hearing and Pass Crabs, drifting with the current, near the bridge structure.  The strong tides during the new moon phase had the best bite for Tarpon.  When the current slacked up a bit, the Grouper came up to feed.  Pulling the Grouper off the bottom and out of their rocky holes was a bit of a challenge when using spinning gear.  Therefore, give the fish a little slack line, within a few minutes the fish will swim out of the rocks and the fight will resume.  Sharks were also out in abundance on the shallow flats of Clearwater Harbor.  If you would enjoy catching sharks and watching them take your bait near the boat, reserve a fishing trip this summer.

Oct. 15th was a great day for fishing the shallow waters of Clearwater FL.  Bait was plentiful on the grass flats just inside of the barrier islands passes.  I was targeting Redfish on the edges of the flats in 1 to 2 feet of water.  The fish were not schooled up but scattered about the edge waiting for the incoming water. All three anglers today caught Redfish: the largest at 29 inches.  Mike, from Tampa, got the Inshore Slam consisting of a large Snook, Redfish and several Speckled Trout. With the lower water temps. the Snook have been migrating further inshore away from the beaches.  A few Spanish Mackerel were also mixed in with today’s catch.  This month and through November should bring excellent catches of these fast swimmers.

 February 27th - Spotted Sea Trout remains my main target fish throughout February.  The shallow grass flats from Clearwater north to Tarpon Springs have been abundant with Speckled Trout this month.  My favorite artificial bait has been the Mister Twister Exude Dart or Gulp’s three inch shrimp on 1/8th. oz. Mission jigs. Although trout love live shrimp, you can out fish someone using shrimp with one of these jigs. You can cover more water and find more fish fan casting as you slowly drift the near shore flats.  Speckled Trout is my favorite inshore fish to take home for a fish fry.

Next month I will be turning my attention back to Redfish. The deeper residential docks with oysters and shells underneath will be a gathering place for larger fish.  I have done entire fishing trips around a few docks in the Clearwater area.

The Scaled Sardines will also be showing up inshore in March. It’s been several months since I’ve thrown the net and I am ready to get started.  See you on the water. 

Hello, Everyone.  This April was a great month for fishing in Clearwater Florida.  We had a mild winter and a warm spring break which resulted in water temperatures a little warmer than usual.

   Pelagics, Spanish Mackerel and Kingfish, arrived in early March and have been around all April. Although I rarely target Kingfish, because of the flats boat, I was able to get offshore on a few calm mornings with great success.  Using a chum block and throwing live Sardines out the back of the boat was the secret to get a good bite going. Kingfish and Mackerel fillets make a great fish spread.

   Large Snook are showing up at their summertime homes near the passes and sandy beaches. A few large fish, up to 37 inches, were caught this month using Threadfin Herring for bait. Some days the Snook had a severe case of lockjaw.

   Redfish have been biting well all month using cut bait along the mangrove islands at higher water levels. Also, I am looking for Redfish near small oyster bars and fresh water run-offs.  Residential docks have also produced some nice fish this month. 

   The most abundant fish this April has been Spotted Sea Trout.  On a recent trip out of  St. Petersburg the two anglers caught and released over 80 fish. Trout were schooled up in a small sandy cut, near the grass flats, that had a good tidal water flow.

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