Tim reacted to gulfscuba in Surprise On A Jig!
Yesterday I was jigging for pompano with a goofy jig when it got slammed hard! The fish made a run that nearly emptied the spool of my little 3000 series reel. I could feel the fish shake its head as he went. I finally started to regain some of my line and the fish made a couple more runs. After 3 or 4 minutes I got the fish to the boat and saw a roughly 24 inch snook! My personal largest snook and the best catch ever on a goofy jig!
Tim reacted to Josh in Southshore Tb 5/13
Headed out for the first trip of the year "been busy with the new job". Wasn't expecting too much as I wasn't even sure where to make bait, but the pressure was on as my 11-year old had been eagerly awaiting this trip and I didn't want to let him down. After launching from Macdill, I stopped by a marker to see if I could net some baits in the deeper water. I am not a great net thrower and I end up throwing 6 bananas to every 3/4 pancake. I was not having much luck trying to get my small mesh net down but was picking up a few baits here and there. Another boat pulled up and he was throwing a larger net and whacking the baits. It's never happened to me before, but I was almost embarrassed when he called me over and handed me his net full of baits. Such a nice gesture and I was very humbled and appreciative that someone took the time to do that for me. After a hearty thank you and a handshake we were off. I started working the deeper flats 3-5 foot right where the grass started patching up to get the boy on some fish before he lost interest. We ended up catching dinner there with trout ranging from 16-19 inches. A few schools of little jacks prowling through kept it fun. After the bite slowed down I decided to move in closer to the cuts/mangroves to hopefully find a red or two. I didn't expect there to be much of a bit with the tide being almost slack. After working some very shallow inlets, we found the snook to be stacked up on the backside of the passes and it was one after another on free lined bait. For a bonus catch my son caught his first bonnet head and any of you with kids know how much fun kids have catching sharks. At any rate, on the way home I thanked the man upstairs for such a great day with my son. Despite catching fish with my son the thing I will remember about this trip the most is the generosity of a guy in a boat surely wanting to get fishing himself, stopping and helping a random guy out.
Tim reacted to lostmans1 in Poons
whats up people.....been focusing on work and haven't been fishing much during the colder months but nothing gets my blood boiling like tarpon season. Ill be out there this weekend and Monday and every other week after that. Im sure ill sprinkle in some weaker tide trips but boy am I ready to fly some poons. Saw a few around the skyway and a few around Egmont. Hoping more fish have moved in this week. Any old friends on here wanna get out there and hit em just give me a ring, you know im always down.
ps: If you are new to poon fishing don't anchor at Egmont, keep an eye out for anchor balls and its corresponding line at the bridges, and when making runs to the back of the pack make a wide loop around everyone and don't run through the middle of everyone. Also make sure your lights are in working order. Be safe out there peeps and be respectful to your peers. For the record it is TOTALLY acceptable to blast the radio when you are hooked up to your favorite fight song.
Tim reacted to pickgrin in Nice Red 4/20
I went out Wednesday for the 1st time in awhile. Beautiful day on the water.
I lost a big snook.
But caught a big Redfish.
It was quite the beast redfish - fat, chunky and a very strong fighter - I thought it was over 30" for sure before measuring. But was just under.
Tried taking a picture but the glare was really bad and I couldn't see what I was doing. Wound up hitting the video button instead so all I have is a couple short little vids that don't even really show the whole fish. Oh well. Was by myself so its just a pic on the bump board anyway...
Tim reacted to rkotinsky in Epic Wind - Epic Bite - Snookzilla Strikes
Launched early in the morning into light winds which picked up steadily throughout the morning. After a quarter mile peddle I make it safely in between some islands. The winds steadily pushed a lot of water into the North edges of the mangroves creating a lot of tidal like movement. From prior experience I knew that snook and reds would be waiting along the edges for an easy meal. Not long after I began catching snook after snook within a foot or so of the edges. Casting became very challenging as the wind picked up and took my lure into mangroves which required some complicated recoveries. After adjusting for the wind, my accuracy improved as I placed a cast within inches of the mangrove edges. One or two twitches, and the lure stops cold and a solid fish takes off towards a larger mangrove patch. I palmed the reel a bit and changed the direction of the fish towards open water. After safely manuevering my yak away from the hazards I stood up and began the fight. The fish stayed low and pulled hard with multiple runs, the sign of a good sized red. After a nice fight I measured the fish out to a little under 29" with a pinched tail.
Safely revived and released I moved on to find more fish. I continued to catch small to medium sized snook for the next few hours and a small red. Continually inspired by the great bite I headed over to a previous waypoint where I had caught a lot of red fish in the past. This particular point always has a high concentration of mullet and large snook have been spotted along the edges. As I worked the general area my lure continually had short strikes and a I landed a few more small snook. The mullet and other small bait continued to surface in a flight for their lives. Knowing that something large must be chasing them I placed a cast within a foot of the mangrove point and the bait pods. I twich the lure 2 or 3 times and it stops cold, as if I snagged a log. The log starts moving and I know the next few seconds will determine if I land a trophy or talk about the one that got away. Instinctively, the fish heads toward the mangroves and I immediately drop the rod tip into the water and begin palming the reel as my finger tips accidentallly come in contact with the braided fishing line. The violence and speed of the first run literally burned my finger tips as she ripped line from the reel in a mad dash to the safety of the mangroves. After surviving the first run and avoiding snag land she heads towards open water. She surfaces and I see a massive head and huge dorsal fins as she circles my kayak. I loosen the drag so as not to lose the fish to a warn leader. She runs again and jumps fully out of the water, which is not very common for a snook this size. Afterwards she heads to the opposite side towards the safety of the mangroves. I apply a lot of pressure and know I must seal the deal quickly. I grab my Frabill net and within 2 feet of the mangroves I manage to net her much to my relief. I stake up, pull out the GoPro and capture the moment. After a quick revival, she swims off to grow into the 40" club. Needless to say I am smiling all the way back to the launch site
Effective Lures - * 3" and 3.5" Livetarget Scaled Sardine
* 38" Snook
* 28.5" Red
* 12+ or more small to mid-size snook
* 1 small red
Tim reacted to andys in Making The Best Of It.
I went pan fishing yesterday and caught three good size bass on my little pan fish tube bait. I think one of the bass might have been 5 lb. I got them back in the water real fast. They were full of eggs/roe. Sure would like to be in FL. right now, but I will make the best of what I have now. Hi everyone, still reading all your reports.
Tim reacted to PalmHarborPaul in New To This Forum
Hi all, my name is Paul. I am an inventor, artist, writer, and angler. I recently moved from South St Pete to Palm Harbor. Flats boat and kayak fishing used to be my passion, due to a disability I am reduced to land based and wade fishing. If anyone from the Palm Harbor/Dunedin area ever wants to do some wade fishing (always happy to help "newbies") just drop me a line.
Tim reacted to southshoreslayer in Been Awhile. Fri/sat Inshore/offshore
It's been awhile since I posted. Between getting married in 3 weeks and tournaments I have just been too busy. I recently got the offer to be 1st mate for Captain John Gunter with Off the Hook charters on the 33' Hydrasports he is running out of St Petersburg.
My 1st trip was Saturday. So Friday night I took my boat out to get some fresh bait for the charter the next day. It was so easy with 2 throws I had my 94qt cooler filled to the top. Since it was so easy I decided to hit the flats out of Cockroach. The Snook bite was just flat out stupid. Every bait for 2 hours was fish on and ended up leaving them biting because of the long day ahead on Saturday.
I was at the marina at 6 AM and proceeded to prep the boat and rig the rods. Our 6 clients got there at 7 and we let them know there was a front coming in and only had a short window. Without hesitation they said let's roll. We stopped at a marker where I threw the net for some live bait. About 5 throws and we were set on bait and the Capt hammered down on the 700hp Yamahas and made our way 20 miles.
1st stop was for grouper on Swiss cheese bottom but it was to choppy to drift like we needed to. Anchoring is not too effective but we still managed some shorts. We see the front heading our way so we ran 9 miles South to one of my Snapper spots.
We get anchored up and start chumming and the machine is lit up. The fish were picky and finally got them to chew on freelined whitebait going with our chum on 20lb fluro. As soon as they turned on we had 7 fish in the boat and the front hit. Unfortunately we had to call the trip but the clients were thrilled with the size of the Snapper including one that hit 24".
All in all a good day for what we were dealt with weather wise and I am looking forward to this new venture. The Capt and I work well together and it doesn't get better than that.
Tim reacted to pickgrin in Palma Sola Trip
Glad to hear you caught a few.
Regarding the tides, the more the water is "moving" - the better the chance of a "good bite" as a general rule. Fish typically feed better when the tide is moving (and sweeping things to eat past the predator fish's "hiding" spot).
When you see a slooow steady incline or decline looking at the tide chart (or worse a relative flat line) - then you can usually expect the bite to be slower than if you see a dramatic shift from low to high or high to low on that day's tide chart.
The more dramatic the incline or decline - the "faster" the water is moving - and theoretically, the better the bite.
You should have a 7-8' stick pin (anchor) that doubles as a push pole. If you don't - get one. It's an easy way to accurately judge your depth.
Regarding looking for Reds - they are most prevalently found (and easiest to see)in water that is 12-30" deep. Best areas to look for reds are those that are "patchy" with grass. Equalish amounts of grass and sand (potholes). If there is deeper water (like a shallow channel for instance) fairly nearby - all the better.
The obvious and sure sign you are close to Redfish is when you see the fish and/or see them "tailing". But that is not so often the case - so you usually have to look for other signs. Splashes, swirls, surface water disturbances - etc.
A good strategy in "searching" for Reds since you are still learning to interpret these signs is to drift a flat and keep a close eye ahead of your drift. If there are reds present - then sooner or later you will drift over them and they will "spook". Sometimes you will actually see one or more redfish take off away from you. More often you will see what I call "spook clouds" which is where a redfish was just sitting but took off when it saw your vessel approaching leaving a puff of stirred up sand in the spot just vacated. So although you just spooked your desired prey - there are probably more closeby - and even spooked fish will frequently enough work their way back to whatever drew them there in the 1st place if you camp out and are quiet.
So when you have good or positive evidence that there are reds around - pin up and hang out there for at least 10 or 15 minutes fan casting your lure all around. And better yet - if you can land a ladyfish in the deeper water, keep one, cut it up into 1 - 1 1/2" wide chunks and put a nice piece on a 3/0 circle hook - throw it out and stick the rod in the rod holder and then keep casting your lure. If you don't get any bites or hits within 15 minutes, re-start your drift or just quietly pole around and keep looking for them.
There's also a useful saying that I have heard repeated many times and have personally had some success with. "Find the mullet - and you will found the reds". Look for schools of mullet and get close enough to cast all around the schools. It's not a 100% thing but if you pull up to a flat and see lots of mullet activity - you can definitely consider that a very good "sign".
Hope some of that is helpful to you...
Tim reacted to snwbird fisher in Palma Sola Trip
With the wind finally dropping to something under 30 knots, did my 5th trip with the "Big Rig" today (Tuesday) and thought I'd give a quick outline on how it went.
First, I have to say I am still learning after making the switch this season from "Gas Power" to "Arm Power". Am starting to get organized a little better both for launching and recovering as well as the actual fishing bits. Can now load and unload without any help, which I was concerned would be an issue due to age (over the big 65 mark) and the actual weight of the Big Rig (92 lbs minus seat). But after some thought and experimenting have worked out that portion . Am still working on getting properly organized on the water however. As I'm sure most of you know, going from a 4 or 5 foot beam to 37" inches requires some getting use to, but that part is coming as well. Am loving it. As an Old Chief I worked for way back when use to say, "Can't be a bad day if you learn something, especially if your enjoying the experience."
After spending a couple of days reading everything I could find about Palma Sola and studying Google Earth and Bing Maps (as suggested by members here) launched at about 10:15. Decided to fish the sand flats around the piers on the north side of 64 almost directly across from the bridge. Wind was from the SW at probably 5 Knots to start, increasing to probably 8 - 10 knots when I recovered at about 13:45. Virtually no chop. Tide was coming in but as there is only 1 tide today over a 16 hour period, it was very slow, and I`m guessing had little affect of the fishing, I could be wrong however.
Have no idea idea of depth as don't have depth finder, but spent most of the time over the grass flats and guessing I was fishing between 3 and 6 feet. Did try in close around the piers and mangroves early on, but did not spend a lot of time at it, as did not look very promising. (Still trying to learn the sight fishing bits and what to look for in close for Reds.)
Did a combo of drifting and anchoring using plastics on a jig-head, Lil`Johns and 4`` Shad, a DOA Shrimp on a popping cork, and a Unfair Lure, Rip and Slash. I have previously used all of those with the exception of the Unfair Lure which I picked up Saturday. To my surprise I ended up using the Unfair Lure the most however, as it was producing exceptionally well (for me anyway). Up to this point my "go-to" has always been the DOA but after today may have to rethink that . Ended up with two nice trout (17.5"and 16") as well as quite a few undersized ones (12-14") and some feisty Ladyfish to practice with and of course lost a couple. Not an outstanding day, but a good one overall for me.
Hope that isn't to long and someone gets some useful info from it.
As always comments/suggestions are always welcome, stay safe all.
Tim reacted to fishinchick in Bass On A Gold Spoon
So, RG Schmidt, a local outdoor writer, came and spoke to our club last week and talked about the effectiveness of gold spoons. Anne, one of our new ladies promptly went out and bought one and then hooked into her first fish (a bass) the following weekend at Ft. Island Trail Park (Crystal River) Pretty proud of that woman!
Tim reacted to bcday11 in Friday Night - Boys Night Out
Had an opportunity to get my boys (5 & 7 yrs old) out for some night fishing on Friday. They love this sort of adventure and have been begging me for the better part of the last 12 months. They're just now getting to the age where they can tolerate staying up until midnight and have enough skill and patience to cast and slow retrieve a jig or dead stick some cut bait. So, it was time for this Dad to follow through!
In speaking with SouthShoreAngler recently, I was reminded that it is important to share these moments with the community because kids catching the fishing bug is, well, a good thing.
We fished one of our favorite spots in the Apollo Beach area from about 8:00 pm to midnight. The bite was not often, but it was enough. We called this night the "Night of One Last Time" because each time the boys were getting exhausted, I'd say to them, "Ok, one last cast." What followed always seemed to be a fish, so it worked apparently.
I missed on a few lady fish early on and then around 9 I told myself the next hit I feel like that I'm going to stick the jig in the fish's head. Well, I did, and that fish turned out not to be a ladyfish but a nice 26" red cruising near the bottom of the channel we were fishing. Boom. Boys were pumped.
About 30 minutes later I had to do "one last cast" over near a mangrove mini-island and boom - fish on. 24" red that my 7 year old landed (proudly, of course).
Then about 45 minutes later, right as we were about to head home we saw some activity on top of the water, started throwing at it and "one last time" let my 5 year old land his first snook ever - a nice 20" fish.
It really is great watching these guys catch fish this size because it is the equivalent of a grown man fighting a 200 lb tarpon! So great.
Here's some photos: