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Tampa Bay fishing and guide report

Capt. Thom Rodgers
February 4, 2012
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report

On this Friday's Tarpon Time Charters fishing charter... results were mixed. Fishing out of Ruskin, we were faced with a lazy two tide day. Winds were out of the north at 15 to 20. The plan was to stay on the lee side of barrier Islands and throw artificials. Stay out of the wind....yeah, right.

Fishing with Wayne Gonzalez and Todd Feist, our work was cut out for us. Big speckled trout mixed with a few nice redfish have been dependable lately. Today the big Specks seemed to be following the topwater Mirrolures but just nipping or flaring. I have observed this behavior on occasion. Other days they crush it without hesitation. Wayne Gonzalez managed 2 or 3 nice fish up to 24" And Mr. Feist caught a nice Redfish. Not too bad on a 4 hr trip from noon to 4:00 PM. We missed 5 to 10 other hits from some really nice fish. Like they say in horsehoes and hand grenades, almost does not count. We could of had a fantastic day by just hooking up the misses. Just one of those days with regard to the lazy hits by the fish...not us.

When These big trout seem to be in this kind of curious and hesitant mode, I have found that short pops and longer pauses between them, seem to get them a little more angry. You can't see the plug in the wind whipped water so it's all done on feel. It's a bit challenging. I would almost prefer to not look at the plug at all. Only when you feel a little weight on your tip... then quickly reel up 3 or four turns and sweep the rod tip. You will then have a better shot at hooking them up. You have to teach yourself to ignore the boils or the pops as the fish miss more than they hook up by far. If you jerk without feeling weight you will either pull it out of the "zone" or just scare them off with the odd reaction of the plug. The worst and most common mistake is to change your retrieve at all. Most people just freeze on a blow up or boil. This is a common error on Zara Spooks and most other topwater hard baits. Keep your retrieve steady as you go and wait for the weight on your rod before trying to set the hook and you will catch many more of these monster Specks thru May when it peaks. Feist and Gonzalez avoided these common pitfalls to no avail. They did nothing wrong. When Speckled Trout and redfish are in an aggressive mood you can't help but hook them no matter what you do!

Visit my website at www.tarpontimecharters.com from time to time for some other things I have learned the "Hard Way". Another good tip is to not try and fish in 20 mile an hour winds!!

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Captain Thom Rodgers: I am pleased that you are considering spending your day with me. Tarpon? I'll get you one (or maybe a few). I can show you an enjoyable and productive day on the water. I've been fishing in the Tampa Bay Area since I was 14. If you want an enjoyable day on the water in a safe boat AND you want to catch some fish....CALL ME NOW. The Tarpon Fishing was unbelievable last year and this year should be just as good. Book your trip NOW before the best dates are gone. Let's go

Contact Info:

Tarpon Time Fishing Charters
2317 Gulf Dr North
Unit 1 upstairs
Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Phone: 813-917-5270
Alt. Phone: 813-229-2778
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