Posts Tagged ‘tampa bay fishing’
Tampa Fishing Charters have been very good this past month. We have been catching good numbers of Trout and Redfish. Everyone has been in on the action. Women,Children and Men alike.
The action has been steady on light tackle making some of the smaller fish really put up a nice fight. Trout have been caught in the keeper range. We have also been catching some Redfish with in the slot range of 18 to 27 inches.
This time of year the fishing can be fairly easy and kids catch on real quick.
This is a good time of year to take advantage of some rod bending steady action. No matter what your skill level Capt. Steve Betz will put you on the fish and instruct you on how to catch them.
If you would like to book a charter with Capt. Steve feel free to contact him to book your date or ask any questions you may have.
November is here and Tampa Bay fishing is sure to change. This is the time when the weather starts cooling down and so do the Tampa Bay waters. As long as we do not have any severe cold fronts move through our area I suspect fishing will be good this month.
Trout will still be on the grass flats but will also be making their way into the back water creeks,canals and rivers. I like to target them in the deeper areas and prefer some structure like oyster bars or submerged rocks to be near by. This makes for a feeding station for them. On the open flats I will target them in the deeper sand holes surrounded by grass.
A live shrimp under a popping cork or threaded onto a 1/8 oz jig head is usually the ticket to catching numbers of trout. I also like using artificial lures this time of year and I find its a great confidence builder for my clients when they see they can actually catch fish on artificial baits. A DOA shrimp or some type of soft plastic bait with good tail action will get it done.
Redfish will also be in the back waters and open flats. In the back waters I prefer using the shrimp on a jig head method or on a small circle hook weighted with a split shot about 12″ above the hook. They will also be on the open flats but the fish will be very skidish and will only be caught by the more skilled anglers able to sight cast and place a bait perfectly in front of the fish.
Snook will be in the back waters preparing to survive our winter months. They will be feeding on shrimp and small baits, but I would not be afraid to put a pin fish out there on a cork for them. I really dont expect large numbers of snook to be caught as they are still on the rebound from a winter time freeze that only a small amount of them endured a couple of years ago.
Kingfish will be making their migratory run along with Spanish Mackerel. The Kingfish will be best targeted off of our beaches while we should be able to catch Spanish Mackerel well up into Tampa Bay.
The best baits for Kingfish will be large Blue Runners on a stinger rig slow trolled behind the boat. Spanish Mackerel can be taken on Silver spoons either casted and then fast retrieved or slow trolled behind the boat. Targeting areas with birds diving on bait schools will be key to finding the fish.
Thank you stopping by to read my reports
If you would like to book a charter you can contact me at:
Capt. Steve Betz
There are several things going on in Tampa Bay right now as far as the fishing goes. As a Tampa Bay fishing guide I am always looking for a variety of fish to catch.
Tarpon have been a very hot item with fish rolling on the beach and being caught at the bridges and passes. Either a large sardine or thread fin pitched to them on the beach or free lining pass carbs at the bridge and pass have been the ticket to hooking up.
Black Drum are still in the area with fish in the 30 to 40 pound range being caught on light tackle at the bridges. Sighting the fish and then sight casting to them with a blue crab gets some quality fish.
For the meat eater in the crowd Trout have been topping the charts for flats fishing. Getting a limit is all in a mornings work. Live sardines either free lined or under a cork has been getting the job done.
Thank you for checking in and reading the reports.
If you would like to book a trip for a Tampa Bay charter please feel free to contact me.
Capt. Steve Betz
I know according to the calendar the first day of spring was March 20,but according to my wife it was April 1st. That date is the first time since I can remember that she has asked me to go fishing. You see my wife hates the cold. If it drops below 70 degrees that is a freeze to her. Well our temps are now rising into the 80′s and she is ready and so the fish should be also.
My last trip out was a scouting mission. I have a Redfish tournament to fish a week from now so Redfish have been on my mind. I found some nice fish but not in the quantities I would like. Of course I did not make to far of a run from the tournament launch site so I did limit myself a bit. Not to worry my partner will also be out this coming week looking. We have a huge school we can fish tournament day we just like to have more than one option.
On our scouting mission I also found some good numbers of snook. This was an exciting thing to see as our snook suffered a big hit during this past winters freezing temps.
The big Black Drum I reported on a couple of weeks ago are also still in the area. I will be taking my wife this weekend for her chance to land one.
I have had several other captains give me some good reports of Spanish Mackerel showing up. One of my sources told me his clients put six in the box and they were fishing in the very north end of Tampa Bay. This kind of news really gets me fired up!
Grouper season just opened up and on the first day a good friend of mine made it a point to get out and get a couple for dinner in the shallow waters of the bay.
Tarpon have been sighted already. I am really liking this! If you have never done battle with the Silver King you may want to think about booking a Tarpon Charter.
Spring is here according to my wife and the fish. So get out and get after them. I know I will.
Thanks for stopping by and keep checking back as I keep my reports up to date.
Capt. Steve Betz
The last week or so has really gotten my spirits up about the fishing in Tampa Bay. It seems like winter has been dragging on forever,but now I think spring has sprung even if it hasn’t just jumped right out and slapped us.
Today my guest were Ted and Charlie from Michigan. These guys had me excited before we ever left the dock. They had been fishing the day before from some docks on Tampa Bay. They were telling me of their catch and what it included. One of the fish they caught was a Spanish Mackerel. That got me all fired up! These fish are a pelagic species and just hear of one caught told me the spring run is near. Trust me when they show up in force I will be one of the first to have a report up. I love these fish. Not just because they can make some good table fare,but they can also test out some light tackle with some drag ripping runs. Stay tuned for that report.
Ted and Charlie did not care to tangle with the Black Drum I had been catching but wanted a drum of a different kind. We went to an area that I knew was holding fish and after making a few adjustments Charlie got hooked up with a nice fish. Unfortunately the fish came unglued! We waited it out but a Kayaker and a couple of other boats created some unwanted pressure and the fish shut down. I made a run to try and put them on some trout and they did catch a few but not really the amount I would of like to see. A few more move produced nothing. I really thought the bite would of been a little better but hey,its fishing. I can find them but can not always make them eat.
Time was slipping away and I knew Ted had a schedule. I asked him he he could spend a little extra time out so I could try and get them the redfish they wanted. He agreed they could stay a little longer.
To make along story short I found the fish again. After setting up Charlie was first to hook up. He got a nice 25″ redfish,then Ted hooked up. He had a real bulldog on and once landed it measured just under 27″. We tried for a little while longer but the guy in the Kayak came back and with his extra pressure it drove the reds deep under the bushes.
My guest for this day were Tom from Naples,Fl and John and Jommie from North Carolina.
If you have been reading my reports you know that just recently the Black Drum have showed up in our area. I have been very excited about this as it has seemed like an eternity that I have caught anything besides Trout,Lady fish and Sheepshead.
It was a game of patience when we got to our destination as the tide had not started moving in and the drum had not showed. I did not want to waste the guys time so I asked a friend who was in the area to give me a call when they showed as I was going to drift some flats for trout for a while. Well no sooner than we had caught one trout on a short drift my phone rang with good news. We made a bee line back to the area and it was not long before the fun began.
We had a couple of hook ups but the huge drum came unbuttoned. Thats OK it gave the guys a little feel for what they were going to have to deal with on 15 pound test line and light spinning tackle.
First with a solid hook up was Tom. I maneuvered the boat and we broke away from the pack so Tom could do battle with his beast. I think Tom has spent a little time fishing as he seemed to handle the fish well. After a 15 to 20 minute tug of war Tom landed a nice one.
After some high fives and congratulations it was time to catch up with the pack. As we eased in the guys presented there baits and it seemed almost like an instant double hook up! In the back of my mind I was thinking this could go bad real fast. With two fish over 30 pounds on and a pack of boats surrounding them anything can happen! Fortunatly John and Jommie handled the situation well as there fish started ripping off drag and running around and under another boat. After some jokeying for position and some slick manuvers we were able to clear the pack and get into open water to fight the fish.
I do not think Jommie had ever caught anything this large and he was having a blast.With just a little coaching he handled it like a pro.
The battle between man and monster seemed to go on forever. I was getting tired just watching,but both fish came boat side and were landed for a few quick pictures and then released.
I asked the guys if they wanted to give it another go and they were all in agreement to take another shot. Again it was a quick hook up and Jommie was on! I simply told him to do the same thing as last time and that what he did,all though he put some heat on this fish and landed it in what seemed like record time. He already had his picture with one so we revived the fish and released it.
The guys had enough fun with the drum so we set out for a drum of another kind. Red drum. Even though we found them we did not get a hook up. The guys did not catch huge numbers but they caught quality fish.
Keep checking back as I keep updating my reports.
The weather has been brutal with below normal temps and high winds. Its been tough to get that window of opportunity to get out. But when you do you have to take it. Right now is not the time to expect a trip catching trophy sized fish but instead get larger numbers of smaller fish.
The residential canals have been a good place to get some shelter from the chilly winds. Water temps are still in the mid 50s so the fish are still a little sluggish on the bite but seem to be getting a little more aggressive. I think this may be due to the lack of bait around the bay so these fish are really getting hungry.
The bait used on our recent outings has varied between live shrimp and a mix of artificial soft plastic baits. Live shrimp on a 2/0 light circle hook with a small split shot about a foot up the 20 lb floro leader has been producing well and is a great choice for the angler who mostly wants to just cast,sit back and feel the bite.
Soft plastic artificial on the other hand have produced well in different colors. Mostly we have been pairing either the Hybrids Flurry or the DOA Cal with a 1/4 oz jig head. Casting out and letting it drop to the bottom then slowly jigging it back has produced the best strikes.
The fish seem to be concentrated mostly in the middle of the canals with some hanging near the edges of the drop offs soaking up the warmth of the sun.
Most of the fish we are catch have been in the 17 to 20 inch keeper size range. Spotted sea trout make great table fare so you can look forward to taking some home for dinner.
Trout have been the story as of late but with some warming temps soon to come this should change. I am really hoping that March will be a new story and some of our other species will be coming to life. Its been a brutal winter so all we can hope for is that mother nature is going to show us some love soon.
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.
Today was round two of scouting during this cold weather.
I was not able to be out as long or late as I would of liked today because of some afternoon obligations. It did help to get out there as always.
The morning air was a brisk 43 degree’s as I made my way across Tampa Bay in search of bait. I found it where I left it the day before but it was not as plentiful. Not to worry I told my self as store bought shrimp are available and I will be sure to pick some up for tomorrow’s charter.
I made the long run to the power plant to see what was going on in the warm water out flow. Really not much. Mostly just a bunch of Cow Nose Rays milling around. I would of preferred an incoming tide for this area but I only had the time allotted to work with.
Back across the bay I went. With limited time left I checked a couple of other spots and as the day warmed things became a little more active. This is a good sign as overnight temps are not supposed to dip to low and tomorrow we should have temps in the 70s again.
I found a huge school of sheep’s head that will make for some lite tackle fun with some live shrimp. Lady fish were around and were attacking live bait and jigs. At the last stop I decided to chum it up real good. I was hoping the trout would be there I had found the day before but instead the snook had moved back in. I caught a couple of them but was out of time. I figure as the tide started to move better and the afternoon son warmed the water a bit they should really turn on.
Hopefully tomorrows plan of a later start and some warmer weather will make for a good bite.
I will let you know in my next report.