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Inshore / Offshore Mixed Bag

Capt. Stewart Ames
January 11, 2017
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report

Continued high water temperatures extended fall fishing through the month of December. The plan for most guides in Northern Pinellas County at this time of year is the following: Plan A - Target the bountiful large seatrout that invade St Joseph's Sound. Plan B - After limits of large trout are secured, look to top off the day with a few redfish or a snook. The first part of the trip is usually much easier to accomplish than the second. The trout fishing has been as good as ever over the last 30 days and, although the first severe cold front recently arrived, the expectation is that great trout fishing will resume once warmer weather returns and the fish reaclimate. Redfishing has been hit or miss, at least for larger slot specimens. For whatever reason, during the coldest months, redfish seem to be fewer in number and, on average, a little smaller in our area. The recent cold will make snook fishing a challenge for sure.

Unseasonably warm weather allowed an interesting substitution for Plan B this year. Kingfish were within reach of the nearshore angler all the way through the end of December so on days where weather allowed, limits of trout were followed by quality kingfish action. Although these fish seemed to average a little smaller than the fish caught in November, catching 8 - 15 pound kingfish after crushing the seatrout provided several exceptional trips. Most kingfish were caught slow trolling however when concentrations were located, anchoring and chumming could lead to exceptional fishing. On several trips, kingfish were chummed to the back of the boat and would eat every bait tossed off the stern.

With that said, the real cold has arrived so the focus for the next few months should be on large seatrout with the Plan B being searching out small pockets of redfish. Small black drum and sheephead will also make an occasional appearance. In the blink of an eye, however, late February will be here and the great spring / summer fishing cycle will start again. Good luck and good fishing.

Target Species:

Seatrout, Kingfish

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Gone Fishing Charters offers inshore/near shore fishing charters for all ages & skill levels. Expect a clean boat, quality tackle and a professional environment. A pre trip discussion with your captain will inform you of the best, current fishing opportunities based on recent outings, tides and weather. He'll also address any concerns/ questions you have to insure that you have the most enjoyable experience. Species targeted include snook, redfish, seatrout, kingfish, snapper, grouper and others

Contact Info:

Gone Fishing Charters
P.O. Box 541
Crystal Beach, FL 34681
Phone: 727-421-5291
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