Warmer Weather and Fish Turning On!

Hi everyone and I hope you are having a great New Year! As most of the country, we have had our fair share of below normal temperatures. My January was pretty slow with some cancellations. But, now things are looking up and I’m getting busy! Enjoy the latest report and thank you for reading….

We are finally approaching some stable weather, and hopefully rising water temperatures will entice the fish to bite well. Our most cooperative species, trout, sheepshead, flounder and redfish have been the usual targets over the last couple of weeks. My most successful days have been while using live shrimp around the islands in St. Joseph and pitching under docks and along the main shoreline for redfish. Most catches have been small for redfish, but occasionally we will get into a school with some larger fish, even over slot! When dock fishing, it’s common to get a nice sheepshead nibbling on a cut piece of shrimp. I usually will cut shrimp in two pieces and thread them onto a small number 2 size hook to allow the sheepshead to eat the whole piece and slowly pull away, putting pressure on the line and becoming hooked. They are very tricky, but with a little practice you’ll know when to start reeling.The trout have all been keepers, with only a few over the 20 inch mark. High tides have definitely been more successful, especially after the sun heats the incoming water on the flats. The water temperature will rise 2 to 3° in the afternoon as the tide moves across the flats, then later falls out towards the passes. Translucent, silver and chartreuse jigs have been working for the trout as well. Presentations must be slower than usual, bouncing off the bottom occasionally. Ladyfish are still swarming in certain areas providing a lot of action on slower days.

So that’s what’s happening! Please get your day reserved before they fill up through the spring!


I have plenty of openings in the next few weeks! Don’t hesitate to call or email and set up your day on the water! I hope to see you out here soon! Capt. Brian

Trout are Getting the Hook!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are having the best holiday season! Here is what’s going on out there! Stable conditions can sometimes make catching fish a little more challenging. High pressure and blue bird skies, like we’ve had lately, can cause fish to be shy and require a lot more patience. Also, typical cool nights have lowered the water temperature a few degrees, although it is climbing slightly.      Snook are still lingering around the islands in north Pinellas but are very apprehensive to eat. They are mostly staging, awaiting the right time to head deep into the back country for winter. As usual for this time of year, our main focus has been trout. Although the numbers aren’t quite what coming months will bring, they are beginning to show up. Light colored jigs worked near the bottom along the rocks and sand surrounding the spoil islands have been getting strikes. Live shrimp freelined during the falling tides have been best. Once a few fish are located, it doesn’t take long to get some bites from trout as well as the many small foraging fish. Pinfish, puffer fish and porgies can be a real nuisance for a live shrimp and artificials. Make long distance casts and reel in to cast again once the bait is halfway back. Trout tend to keep their distance, yet the small predators will continue to nip the bait all the way to the boat. If the trout are not getting a chance to eat because of the small competitors, move a few yards and try again. And remember, trout are finicky and don’t like a half-eaten shrimp.

Fishing All Through the Holidays!

Hi everyone, Capt. Brian again! Thanks everyone for reading my reports and booking trips with me! Please consider a Gift Certificate as a Christmas Gift this year! They make great stocking stuffers! We are expecting a dip in the jetstream this week. But we should rebound the following week to mild temps.

Nearshore fishing is still going strong in north Pinellas county. Bait schools are roaming together just a couple miles offshore attracting kingfish, spanish mackerel and bonito. The beaches are still holding sardines for cast netting at sunrise. I like to have a baitwell full of sardines for chumming if sitting on anchor. Otherwise, once offshore, look for the birds diving into threadfin schools. Use sabiki rigs to jig up a few of the larger threadfin herring. Use wire and a 2/0 or 3/0 hook and a treble hook tied on for a stinger. Sometimes slow trolling in the vicinity of the bait schools is the best way get a strike from a kingfish. 50 – 65 lb mainline and 30 – 50lb leader is a good combination for these smokers often weighing over 30lbs. If the kingfish bite is slow, anchor over hard bottom, again near the bait schools and chum cut peices of baits. This will get the spanish mackerel and bonito coming to the boat and even the kings can get in the chum line eventually. The popular artificial reefs are holding a few mangrove snappers and small groupers. Once over a rockpile, chumming cut pieces will often gather the snapper right behind the boat. However, they are very shy of hooks and line so downsize to a #2 hook and long shot of lighter leader, usually 20lb. Then slowly drift a cut piece of bait into the chummed pieces. Break-offs will occur but the bite will be better.

Redfish are hanging around on the flats. Small schools are staging in the potholes on the lower tides. As usual this time of year, the large trout are also moving into St. Joseph Sound. I am ready to get you out there and catch some fish all through the holiday season. Call or email me and let’s get your day booked! Brian