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Winter fishing when you can on Tampa Bay

Capt. Little Jim Fesperman
March 6, 2010
Tampa Bay - Saltwater Fishing Report

Winter fishing when you can on Tampa Bay

Captain Charlie Crue a charter captain who runs charters out of the north coast of MA.

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targeting stripers and blue fish. He is visiting his 13 year old grandson "Jacob" for a couple of weeks and wanted to get him out on the water and catch a few fish.

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I picked them up at 3:30 PM after Jacob finished school and we headed to the ramp. What a gorgeous day (any other year this would have been a normal late February afternoon but not this year) in fact this was our best weather day in the last two months, sunny and only a slight breeze.

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After a short comfortable ride in our short sleeve shirts we arrived at the first spot. After about 10 minutes of no bites I

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said, "lets reel in your lines we are going to change spots". Well I no sooner got the last word "spots" when Captain Charlie yelled "fish on". With a nice trout onboard we stayed a little longer and targeted the small grass patch that his fish came from. We were at this point throwing my two favorite baits a Mirrolure Mirrodine and DOA shrimp on a jig. They both were catching fish with both catching equal numbers of trout. We continued catching trout for the next couple of hours before changing tactics to try to let Jacob catch his first sheepshead and redfish.

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We moved to a residential canal with only about 30 minutes of fishing light left in the day. Baiting with pieces of shrimp and a little instruction on using a circle hook for sheepies the young man had his first ever sheepie. After catching several more sheepie he hooked something that fought different, a redfish. A very happy Jacob had added redfish to his list of caught fish. Now no one was keeping a fish count (ha, ha) but Jacob was putting it to his granddad this evening and nobody was happier than granddad. We tried to fish a few dock lights after dark but the lights had no bait and only a few small ladyfish and little trout about 7 or 8 inches long. We headed in as the temperature was heading down and it was a school day.
Oh! Jacob did have one more catch that I failed to mention earlier, a Pelican!
We only saw one pelican all afternoon and wouldn't you know it would dive on Jacobs DOA shrimp. With the poor kid holding the rod with a pelican flopping around on the water I eased the boat over to the bird and placed a small towel over the eyes and grabbed its beak and then both wings near the back and held it while Capt.

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Charlie unwound the lure and line from its legs and cut the line. The hook never even touched the bird it was just lassoed around both legs. Once I turned it lose it flew away in a big hurry.
P.s Take a kid(young and the young at heart) fishing.

Tampa Bay Fishing Forecast:

The weather and catching can only get better because it can't get any worse.

Target Species:

Trout, Redfish and Sheepies

More Fishing Reports:


Captain Little Jim is a professional full-time Guide on beautiful Tampa Bay. Targeting Redfish, Snook, Trout, Tarpon and whatís biting today. Fishing the flats of the bay means never a sea sick customer. Captain Little Jim will put his 50 years of fishing Tampa Bay to work helping you catch fish. His charters are instructional and most of all fun for the young people to the not so young. The fish are biting ďLetís go fishing.

Contact Info:

Hook Setting Charters, LLC
2613 Heron Lane north
Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone: 727-515-8196
Alt. Phone: 727-515-3689
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