More Big Trout
Capt. Clay Eavenson
January 21, 2009
Tarpon Springs - Saltwater Fishing Report
Shivers ran up my spine as I walked out to the truck this morning. "Oh no" I thought as I sat in the truck and the thermometer on my rear view mirror said that it was 28 degrees colder than yesterday morning. It made me worry a little about the day's fishing. "Under sell and over deliver" is kind of my motto when it comes to chartering. I was definitely underselling the day to myself from the get go. But the temperatures climbed quickly today and the fish didn't seem to mind the chill overnight at all.
I ran all over the place this morning looking for bait before picking up my clients. An hour into the hunt had produced only 3 itty bitty threadfins. Things weren't looking good. I stopped by one last spot on the way to pick up my guys and praise God bait was everywhere. Things were looking up. After throwing the net several times, I even began to break a sweat underneath my foul weather gear. Things were heating up. I began to think the bite might heat up as well. I was right.
The wind forecast today was to have light winds in the morning and to increase to strong winds later in the day. So, while it was still calm, we headed off on our longest run of the day in hopes to get on the fish before the wind picked up. When we first rolled up to the spot, we must have been 15 minutes early. Just when I was about to give up on spot number one, we got a bite. The fish came unbuttoned but a bite was promising. We hung around a little while longer and we got another bite. This time a nice 20" trout came over the rail. Shortly after that, another 20"+ trout came in. The bite wasn't fast and furious but it was steady. For about two hours we stayed at that spot and every few minutes we'd get another large trout. I'm not sure how many we caught but it was around 20 or so trout with the smallest being around 19" and the biggest being around 24". Not too shabby.
We left that spot in search of redfish. High tide was not very high so some of my spots would be unreachable. A buddy of mine called and said he had some redfish where he was at and asked if I was interested. I told him I would see him in a minute. When we got there the fish had moved. We couldn't find them until we had moved about 300 yards down the shoreline. That's when a school of about 60 fish cruised between us and the shoreline. A nice cast produced a 24" redfish and the school of reds kept on moving never to be seen again.
Big speckled sea trout were the willing participants again today. Redfish will eat if you can get to them. There's been a short window to fish for them as our typically low high tides this time of year only allow us a short amount of time to get on them. The trout fishing is better than it has been in 4 years (since our bad red tide some years ago). If you're looking for a cooler full of fish for a fish fry, now is the time. The only thing that will make it hard to get your limit is finding fish small enough to fit in the slot as the fish have been huge lately.
Yesterday's trip was a "fun" trip for me and my buddy Capt. Greg DeVault. We took my little boat out to do some scouting for our upcoming trips. We found plenty of redfish but few willing to eat. I just don't think the water has been high enough for them to be comfortable. We should have higher water, and subsequently more time each day to target them, next week. Greg and I caught some nice reds on Gulp Shrimp and Exude Darts rigged on Slayer Inc. Lure Co.'s 1/8th ounce jig heads.
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