Posts Tagged ‘silver trout’
The weather here in Tampa Bay has been hot and so has the fishing. The charters I have been doing this month have been morning half day trips. This is important as the best bite is in the morning this time of year. As the son comes up and the temperature rises the fish slow down. The high temps have not stopped my clients from taking home their limits of fish. For the angler that likes catch and release its also been good as the bite has been steady.
Spotted Sea Trout have been a main stay this month with as many as 30 fish per trip being caught . Spanish Mackerel come in second and make for a fun fight on light tackle, they can also make for good table fare. We have had some bi-catch of small sharks, and snook at times. Some folks call lady fish a trash fish. Although they may not be sought after as a food source I will have to disagree! They are cousin to the mighty Tarpon and when you hook into a fish in the 5 pound class they can be very challenging and put on a great show doing acrobatic jumps!
I have said it before in my reports and I am going to say it again. TAKE A KID FISHING! Fishing is a great experience for children and its also a great time for a Father or Mother to bond with their child.
Here are a few pictures of whats been caught this month.
Thank you for stopping by to read my reports and I hope to guide you to your next fishing adventure on the beautifull waters of Tampa Bay.
What a change! Over the weekend I had back to back charters and the warmer temps and light winds were more than welcome. Clear blue skies and sunshine made the weekend fishing most enjoyable.
On Saturday I had a group of three guys from Ohio. Eric,Mike and M were a pleasure to have on the boat and there friendly banter made for some laughs. The fishing ended up being much better than it had been. I took the guys to some residential canals as I felt they would provide the best action. This first stop would produce lady fish and the guys had know problem after some short instructions casting and getting the retrieve down. I did not keep a tally but I guess they landed over 20 or so of them.
At times the action could get a little intense as the Pelicans are very hungry right now and they would try and grab the fish off the hook. This made for one close call of a Pelican getting hooked but between Eric and I we were able to free the bird uninjured.
On our next stop we worked another canal. This one would hold trout today. The water temp had come up just two degrees and this seemed to turn the fish on. The lure presentation was a bit different this time. But once again the guys caught on and caught around 25 trout. If they would of been keeping fish to eat they would of easily had there limits but all fish were released for future guest.
On Sunday morning I woke and got ready to head out. I was a little concerned when I got in the truck and I had ice on the windshield. In the back of my mind I could only think how this may have a bad effect on the fishing. I had no choice other than head to the ramp as my guest for this day Ed and Dennis were driving from Sarasota. They were depending on me to put them on some fish.
I knew once again our best chance was going to be fishing the canals. The fish were in the same place I left them the day before but the water temp had dropped overnight so the fish were just not as eager to eat. Ed and Dennis had the jigging down but only managed to entice a few lady’s to eat.
The bite totally shut off so we made our move to the trout canal. The guys started off with the soft plastic jigs,but it was not going to happen this way. I removed the soft plastic and and threaded a live shrimp onto the jig head. This combined with crawling the baits slowly across the bottom got the bite. In all honesty the action was very slow and only a few trout were caught.
Sunday ended up being a little cooler out than Saturday. It was still clear sunny skies but it just wasnt enough to warm the water.
For the next week the weather is supposed to be pretty nice with temps in the 70′s. We have another front coming through but its supposed to be a mild one. Spring is supposed to begin on the 20th of the month. It can not come soon enough.
Don’t forget to check back . I will keep posting up the reports no matter how good or bad.
Spotted Seatrout can be a target species year round in Tampa Bay. Silver trout are another story as they only seem to show up in our waters when the water temp drops into the 60′s and lower. Both of the species of trout mentioned are a popular target this time of year. While spotted seatrout have limits imposed on them and a closed season,silver trout have neither a limit or season. Silvers tend to run in the 12″ range but don’t be fooled by their size. They are rather feisty on light tackle and very tasty on the dinner plate. The nice thing is both species are readily available right now so after you get your limit of spotted seatrout you can finish off your outing with some silver trout.
Spotted Seatrout are very tasty and they can be prepared using many different methods. I prefer to fillet them and either season ,lightly batter and fry or season,coat with butter,drizzle with lime juice and broil. Silver trout tend to be to small to actually fillet so I like to scale them,gut them,cut the heads off and season,beer batter and deep fry them.
Catching both species can be a challenge. I have been finding most of the spotted seatrout in deeper creeks and canals about 3 to 6 feet. Fishing with a live shrimp,weighted with a small split shot on some 15 # test leader seems to get the best bite.
The silvers are a totally different game. Silvers tend to huddle up in the deep channels of Tampa Bay from 15 to 35 feet deep. The method I like to use to target them is to first locate them on my bottom machine. Once found I anchor up and basically vertical jig for them. Using a 1/4 to 1/2 oz jig head baited with a soft plastic (color can vary) I will vertically jig it up and down in the water column to entice the bite. Once you get on these fish it can be one after another. I have had days when all things worked out and caught over a hundred silvers in just a couple of hours.
Now is a great time to target both species and put some tasty fish in the cooler. My personal opinion is that the cooler winter waters produce tastier trout.
Its still incredibly cold here in Tampa. When I woke this morning it was 26 degrees outside! This is a new record low for us!
These sustained periods of freezing cold weather are having there effects on our fishery. The Tampa Bay water temps are now down in the 40′s and the fish are running out of warmer areas to seek refuge. Freezing cold days combined with some overcast skies will allow some of the darker mud bottom areas to lose there higher temperatures. Fortunately we have had mostly sunny days as this helps a little to allow those mud bottoms to warm and the fish get a chance to sun them selves.
The problem with these cold temps are two fold. The first problem is the fish (particularly snook) become stunned and begin to float on the surface. If left alone they have a chance to survive if the temperatures come back up and they get some warmth. Unfortunately I have been reading reports from around the Tampa Bay area of hundred’s of dead snook being found in some places. Personally I have not witnessed this first hand and I know how folks in the fishing community tend to exaggerate. I sure hope it was an exaggeration.
The second problem we have when the temps are down like this is poachers! The lethargic fish are easy prey for the poachers armed with nothing more than a cast net,fillet knife and cooler. I have also been reading reports of poachers being confronted and reported to the FWC. One report I read this week had a video of about 25 snook carcasses from 12 to 30 inches laying on the bottom near a boat launch. All the carcasses had been fillet. These were the obvious bi product of poachers. I have to wonder why someone would want to fillet a 12″ snook? There would hardly be enough meat to snack on.
On a positive note our ten day forecast has us back in the 70s for a couple of days towards the end of the week. Our temps should stay on the warmer side from there on out making fishing much better. There are still plenty of fish to target with redfish,trout,sheepshead,flounder and others being in the mix. I would bet money the silver trout will be piled in the deeper holes and channels. These fish make for some great table fare as well as some fun action for the young and old alike.
In the meantime I am going to be resting up trying to kick this cold I picked up so I can be back in on the action.
Thanks for reading along.
Capt. Steve Betz