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Captain Ray Markham's latest fishing report

           . . . and other tall tales  

Captain Ray Markham's

West Central Florida Fishing Journal

 

Various publications with which Captain Ray is affiliated:

Florida Sportsman Magazine 
Tampa Tribune Newspaper
www.b3fishing.com
Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper
Florida Mariner Newspaper

Florida Marine Times Magazine

www.TheLedger.com 

(Blogs - For Shore Fishing)

www.Anglerweb.com

www.PolkOutdoors.com

www.saltwateranglersguide.com

 

 

*** Wonder what a charter with Captain Ray Markham is really like? Todd  Smith recounts he and his daughter's  Florida fishing adventures from Orlando to Tampa Bay and a great afternoon spent with Tampa's premier fishing guide, Captain Ray Markham. Read Todd's article here at Step Outside . . .

https://stepoutside.org/article/florida-fun-fish-your-way-from-disney-world-to-tampa/

4Cast - West Central Florida

November 8-10, 2019

By Captain Ray Markham

Cooler weather should bring a more normal fall, but how long will it stay and how will it affect our fishing? Time will tell.

OFFSHORE/ NEARSHORE

This past week of bottom dropping and trolling in the Gulf has been very productive for anglers up and down the coast from Sarasota to Hernando Beach. Well to our south Lee and Collier Counties have been experiencing some red tide bloom and fish kills, but at this point, an outbreak of only background levels has been the norm in the Gulf and around our bays. Predictions for the weekend are that the incoming cold front late Friday and Saturday should push whatever algae bloom we have offshore, perhaps diluting it and rendering it relatively harmless.

Offshore anglers will have to deal with whatever blow accompanies this incoming cold front if they are entered in this weekend’s Old Salt Fall King of the Beach Tournament, slated to run out of Madeira Beach at the recreational complex at 200 Rex Place beginning with the Captain’s Meeting Thursday night and festivities running through Saturday when anglers will weigh in their fish. Kingfish and Spanish mackerel are the targets in this tournament that puts a lot of money and prizes on the table and up for grabs for the winners.

While anglers this week have continued to catch fair numbers of kingfish off the beaches from Sarasota to Pasco, better catches have been noted farther north and west. Spanish mackerel, on the other hand, have been plentiful almost anywhere there is bait, which happens to be most locations. This cooler weekend weather will probably send another wave of kings and mackerel south. With weather kicking up by Saturday, I’d bet the shallow water kings and Spanish will head for deeper waters of the Egmont Key Ship’s Channel and to the west.

Gag grouper fishing continues to improve as the days get shorter. Slow migration of gags has been occurring in deeper water. Blackfin tuna have been in the catch on long-range trips aboard the party boats out of Hubbard's Marina and some of the largest gags have been caught beyond the 120-foot mark but an increasing number have been caught in the 80-to 120-foot range from Clearwater south. From Tarpon Springs north, the catch rate increases progressively shallower. Good numbers of keeper gags are coming from 30-to 50-feet of water from Hernando to Homosassa.

Several savvy charter captains have been slaying the gag grouper near the mouth of Tampa Bay by trolling deep running lures from MirrOlure, Rapala, and Mann’s Lures in 35-to 45-feet of water. On slack tides, they will anchor up, chum, and fish light tackle for big mangrove snapper and gag grouper. For the mangos, 10-to 15-pound test braided line with 20-to 25-pound test fluorocarbon leaders with a 4/0 circle hook and a cut or live pilchard have been working about the best. For the gags, live pinfish dropped on a light knocker rig with the same hook on 20-pound braid with a 30-pound leader has been working. The key is the slack tide. About 45-minutes either side of the slack tide time has been the most productive period. There may be quite a few break-offs with the light tackle but there will be considerably more hook-ups.

The shallows ranging from 30-to 60-feet off Pinellas have been giving up some hogfish, grunts, and porgies. Top bait has been live shrimp. Anglers hitting the stone crab floats are finding some tripletail around those buoys. A lightweight jig or DOA Shrimp will work for these fish, but for natural bait anglers, a popping cork with a 2-foot leader and a small-to medium live shrimp rigged on a 2/0 or 3/0 circle hook will take these fish. Cast to the crab trap floats and allow the cork to drift down toward them. Either cast upwind or up current, whichever is stronger, and allow the float to drift toward the trap float. Most fish will be right on the float or attached lines. Just don’t hook the crab trap lines.

INSHORE

It’s been a terrific week inshore for anglers catching bluefish, trout, redfish, snook, Spanish mackerel, and a few flounder as well as some pompano. The changing weather ahead of us will possibly slow the action for a few days, but the cooler water will definitely be welcomed by all species once they get accustomed to the change. Water temperatures have been running around 80-degrees but will likely fall below that by the weekend.

The bridges heading out toward Mullet Key and Fort Desoto have been giving up some pompano this week. Several reports of anglers catching pomps on Doc’s Goofy Jigs were noted at mid-week. Others have reported catching pompano on the grass flats using CAL Jigs with Shad tails. Capt. Rick Grassett, fishing out of CB Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key has had good success using CAL Jigs with Shad tails for trout and pompano on the deep grass flats of Sarasota bay inside New Pass.

FRESHWATER

A couple of new lures from Westin Fishing are making a big splash here in Pinellas and down in Lee County waters. I threw several new lures this week from Westin Fishing. The soft plastic floating Hollowbody Swim in a frog pattern could walk the dog when twitched or skipped across cover with its weedless hook arrangement. Both methods garnered some huge blowups from bass. A new plastic wakebait from Westin called Freddy the Frog looked absolutely deadly in the water. The 7 ¼-inch ABS jointed plastic body with glass rattles is a large profile that attracts trophy fish. When retrieved, the trailing legs would make a clacking noise, drawing strikes from lunker bass. This may not be the perfect time of year for frog baits but come spring, you can bet these two lures will crush some fish on the end of my line. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655

ray.markham@gmail.com

www.captainraymarkham.com

4Cast - West Central Florida

November 1-3, 2019

By Captain Ray Markham

Stable weather patterns have improved fishing both inshore and offshore. Increasing numbers of kingfish are showing up and snook and redfish are fired up inside.

OFFSHORE/ NEARSHORE

With only a week remaining before the November 7-9 Old Salt Fall King of the Beach Tournament, the excitement is building. With each day the numbers of kingfish are showing up. Both numbers and sizes of fish are increasing by the day. Offshore wrecks in deep water from 25-to 35-miles offshore have been pummeling baits. But the tournament has a 30-mile boundary to the west, so anglers will have to keep searching for that big smoker within the boundary. A cool front is expected to move in by Sunday, so I’m betting another wave of kings will show up. Capt. Van Hubbard, who fishes out of the Englewood area, posted some photos of some nice kingfish his party had on a trip this week. Also in the catch were good numbers of some decent sized Spanish mackerel.

Capt. Dylan Hubbard out of Hubbard’s Marina posted some recent reports with loads of nice Spanish mackerel showing up in their nearshore trips out to 15-miles. As these fish and their larger cousins, the kings, move south, they’ll look for bait schools that will be in clean water. If you’re looking for kings, find the bait. In other nearshore action, hogfish numbers are also on the rise. It could be that the 40-to 70-foot range that many anglers are finding them in is seeing more action because of the numbers of stone crab traps that were recently put in place just prior to the beginning of stone crab season November 15. Anglers are speculating that these baited traps are attracting many species of fish including tripletail, Spanish and king mackerel, as well as hogfish, grunts, and grouper.

INSHORE

Water temperatures have been falling ever so slowly this week with one of the lowest points I recorded at about 79-degrees. As the temps continue to fall, water is holding more oxygen and that has been invigorating fish, making them more aggressive. Look for those low tides on the flats with potholes to hold redfish, but as the tide rises these fish will move up into the mangroves. Cut bait has been working very well for reds around the mangroves, and whitebait has been scoring good catches of snook and reds as well. An increase of trout has also been reported, especially to the north around Caladesi Island and to the south around lower portions of Sarasota Bay. Capt. Rick Grassett fishing out of CB Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key reported improved action with both snook and trout in Sarasota Bay. His early morning pre-dawn fly trips have been producing good numbers of snook to 29-inches. Just after sunrise, working the deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay near New Pass has produced most of his trout. Grassett expects to see increasing numbers of tripletail along the coastal waters with the stone crab traps now attracting more fish.

Boca Ciega Bay waters have been producing some nice snook and a few reds on CAL Jigs with Shad tails and MirrOlure MirrOdines in the skins patterns. By far, the DOA Shrimp has out-paced other lures for trout. Lower Tampa Bay has been holding some nice Spanish mackerel around the channel markers. They have been thick around bait schools along with some marauding bluefish that have provided some exciting action. Long-shanked CAL jig heads are helping reduce the number of cutoffs from these fish.

FRESHWATER

Topwater action has been on the rise lately for anglers fishing Lake Tarpon in Pinellas and Lake Manatee down in Bradenton. An assortment of poppers, sliders, and spider patterns thrown on fly rods are producing some nice bluegill and bass. Prop baits like the Devil’s Horse and the L & S 12LS popper have scored some nice bass. Spinnerbaits in a color combination of white/ chartreuse have worked well in both locations. Crankbaits like the Rat ‘L Trap in chrome/blue back are taking good numbers of bass.

As water temperatures fall look for crappie in deeper areas of local lakes to begin to school. We still have a few months to go yet for peak action but it’s always good to keep pace with the movements of fish to be in the know. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later.

 

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655

ray.markham@gmail.com

www.captainraymarkham.com

4Cast - West Central Florida

October 18-20, 2019

By Captain Ray Markham

Keeping an eye on the weather is always a good idea when you’re on the water, but when planning a weekend on the water, particularly offshore, it’s paramount to know what you can expect ahead of time so you can take all the information you have when making your plans, including your float plans.

OFFSHORE/ NEARSHORE

This coming weekend may not include offshore fishing if the prediction of a 50% chance of a tropical depression forming in the Gulf makes its way up the coast. As always monitor up-to-date weather to ensure your safety.

Anglers fishing Gulf and the adjacent nearshore waters are reporting good action continuing for mangrove snapper. Areas of hard bottom are most productive. There has been plenty of bait near shore and these fish along with kingfish; Spanish mackerel and gag grouper are following the schools of bait in to feed. Gags are being reported not only in the Ship’s Channel leading out of Tampa Bay but also along the pipeline that heads out into the Gulf. Good numbers of keeper gags can be targeted.

Two more weekends, the 19th and 20th, and the 26, and 27th of this month remain for recreational anglers not fishing on a for-hire vessel to legally catch and keep red snapper. For those who have found one of the allowable days to get offshore, the catching has been good, particularly in depths over 100-feet.

Hogfish action has been picking up. While anchored off the Pinellas coast in depths ranging from 40-to 80-feet of water, a variety of snappers and some black seabass have been caught along with some hogfish. Live shrimp have been the top bait over the past week for the hogs.

Tripletail action has increased since stone crab season kicked off this week. With all the traps in the water bringing these fish in to hang around the structure, anglers have been targeting them more frequently and finding a few nice trips to take home. The minimum size now is 18-inches.

INSHORE

The action for snook and redfish continues along the Suncoast, but for those fishing the schools of these fish, live bait has been the key to successfully holding the schools in a location. Whitebait has been the top producer for both snook and redfish but for anglers fishing away from the mattering crowds of sardine slingers, a number of artificial lures have been crushing fish.

Redfish have been hammering several lures lately. We’ve been dragging DOA Softshell Crabs and the DOA 3-inch Shrimp more often when we are seeing multiple fish in a location. When broadcasting lures for covering water, the Eppinger Rex Spoon, MirrOlure Lil’ John, and the CAL Shad have outperformed all others on my boat.

Snook have been pounding the New Mullet pattern in the Skins Series of MirrOlures. The Catch Jr. has been amazing as has the 27MR MirrOdine in that mullet pattern.

FRESHWATER

Air temps have fallen a bit this week and fish are slowly beginning to respond. Better action on surface lures has been the result of the change. Some excellent hits from chuggers and poppers have made for some exciting mornings fishing Lake Manatee down in Bradenton. The Rapala Skitter Pop and Rebel Pop-R both have been tough to beat.

As we get more into fall, you can expect crappie and panfish to really turn on. Small crappie jigs work well for both but for anglers who fly fish, a small foam spider or popper can be deadly. Get your fly rods out and get ready, because some of the best fishing days are ahead.

FLY FISHING SCHOOL

If you’re one of those who would love to learn more about fly fishing, CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, 1249 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota, FL will hold an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing school on Sat, Nov 16, 2019. The course, designed for beginning and intermediate fly casters, will focus on basic fly casting principles, improving casting skills and correcting faults. Instructors Capt. Rick Grassett and Capt. Ed Hurst will also cover saltwater fly fishing techniques, leader construction and fly selection. Cost for the class, which will run from 8:30 AM to 2 PM, is $195 per person and includes the use of Orvis fly tackle, workbook and lunch. Optional instructional guided fly fishing trips are also available for an additional fee. Contact CB’s Saltwater Outfitters at (941) 349-4400 or info@cbsoutfitters.com to make reservations.

4Cast - West Central Florida

October 25-27, 2019

By Captain Ray Markham

The weather has been an issue for anglers for the past week. High winds and stirred up water have both contributed to limited success, along with heavy rains. A few more changes this week in the weather should move fish around again, but by the weekend, a more moderate weather pattern should begin moving in, making for some more successful fishing.

OFFSHORE/ NEARSHORE

It’s been a rough week for getting offshore. Last weekend was a washout for most offshore anglers. While Sunday’s winds came down somewhat, the Gulf was a muddy mess. Plenty of storms in the Gulf continue this week with the mid-week being pretty decent before a good chance for daily rain continues the rest of the week and into the weekend. That doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish. As long as seas stay relatively calm and keep from stirring the water up too much, fish will chew. After last weekend’s blow, fish were hungry but held tight to structure and some large ledges and relief. If you made it out afterward, you possibly found gag and red grouper, mahi mahi, mangrove and a variety of other snappers, blackfin tuna, hogfish, bonito, kingfish and good numbers of grunts.

For recreational anglers fishing on not-for-hire vessels, this is the final weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of red snapper season. Even with the weekend extensions, it’s been difficult for boats to get out with all the gnarly weather we’ve had around the weekends. But for those who have gotten out, the word is that limits of some really nice red snapper are being caught. It’s pretty uncommon to find legal red snapper inside the 9-mile limit of state waters, so for those targeting them this weekend, look beyond that point.

Capt. Brian Morgan, of Captain Morgan’s Fishing Adventures, fishes out of Marine Max in St. Petersburg targeting a variety of offshore fish. One day it may be an assortment of gag and red grouper along with hogfish, porgies, grunts, lane and mangrove snapper, and another day it could be barracudas, cobia, kingfish, bonito, blackfin tunas, wahoo, and dolphin, but regardless of the day of fishing, and catching, anglers always walk away with smiles, a good workout, and some fish to take home.

INSHORE

Tarpon are still showing up inside Tampa Bay and backcountry waters. Many are smaller fish but they are an absolute hoot catching them on fly and light tackle. A lot of the rivers will hold these fish.

Capt. Rick Grassett fishing out of CB Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key has been guiding his anglers to good numbers of tripletail caught on his Grassett's Flats Minnow Fly. Most tripletail have been undersized and released, but with all the stone crab traps put out along the coastal Gulf waters, it's just a matter of time before more and larger trips show up. 

Trout fishing has been good to the north from Pasco to Hernando County with limits of some nice specks being brought in. A variety of baits and lures are being used to catch them. Live shrimp in areas where the pinfish population is not so great seem to produce about the best when fished under popping corks over grass patches in 4-to 6-feet of water. In the Hernando area, rock grass areas are holding trout. Artificial lures are also working well. DOA Deadly Combo might be the easiest rig to get trout on but MirrOlure MirrOdines, CAL 5.5 Jerk baits, and weedless gold spoons, like the Eppinger Rex Spoon are doing well.

Redfish action continues up and down the coast with some big reds still being caught as they continue their spawn. Cockroach Bay has been a hot area lately. Much of the South Shore area on the east side of Tampa Bay has produced some nice reds along with good numbers of snook. This Sunday’s new moon is likely to make for some good tides for snook. Look for ambush points inside small bays with good tidal flow to hold these fish along with most any small pass on both the incoming and outgoing tides. Pinfish, scaled sardines, live shrimp, and threadfin herring will all work well in the natural baits. CAL Jigs with Shad tails, MirrOlure MirrOdines, Rapala Skitterwalks, and other slow sinking or suspending lures will get it done.

Flounder continue to have a weak showing around the Suncoast but a few fish were reported in the catch this week. Also, a few pompano that have been absent for the past few weeks were caught. As inshore waters clear up, I’m betting both species will improve in numbers.

FRESHWATER

Panfish might be considered as those small fish that were made for kids to catch. Sure, a simple cane pole, a length of 6-pound test mono line, a tiny split shot weight, a #10 hook and maybe a worm, cricket, or Missouri minnow are all you need to catch a few fish. Stumpknockers, bluegill, crappie, redear, sunfish, perch, or whatever other different varieties of these fish you target, they all pull hard and taste good. I grew up sitting on a dock, a bank, or in a boat with a cane pole in my hands from about the age of 2 or 3. No particular expertise was necessary but my brother and I caught fish. Dad always took us fishing and we watched. We watched how he did it and what he did that made him a successful angler. We learned and we always caught fish. There are lots of kids out there who seem to find themselves in their phones, messing with their computer games or some other entertainment that doesn’t involve the great outdoors. They will only be kids once, and they will always remember what got them excited and the times when they had fun. Taking your kids fishing might be the best way to show kids how to appreciate the outdoors and will make lasting memories. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655

(941) 228-3474

ray.markham@gmail.com

www.captainraymarkham.com

4Cast -- West Central Florida

October 11-13, 2019

By Captain Ray Markham

Fall is in the air and the fish feel it along with the anglers. Air and water temperatures are dropping, making fish more active in both inshore and offshore waters.

OFFSHORE/ INSHORE

Action is improving up and down the coast and from nearshore to offshore wrecks and is producing a huge upswing in the catch column for most anglers. Lots of gag grouper continue to be caught in depths beyond 100-feet, but right now with kingfish tournaments kicking off, much of the focus has been directed toward some of the pelagic species that are appearing in nearshore and offshore waters.

Kingfish are all the buzz on the docks with the Suncoast Kingfish Classic slated this weekend at John’s Pass Marina Thursday through Saturday. While many kings that have been brought in from nearshore waters off Pinellas and Manatee Counties have been in the 10-to 15-pound class, there have been some definite contenders for top spots on tournament boards available for the weekend. Mike Grim posted a photo of a sailfish caught while catching kingfish off Sarasota inside of 10-miles. A couple of reports had several kings in the 40-pound class caught off Sarasota shores, and some other big kings caught on wrecks in 80-to 100-feet of water off Clearwater, but here’s betting that the winning kings for this weekend’s tournament could come from farther north. With the northern boundary line for the tournament extending up to the Nature Coast, fish that are moving south from the Panhandle are sure to be thick up there, as water temperatures to the north are cooler. But then again, bait schools off the beaches are thick and THAT will be the draw for some big kings that are the first to flee south.

Loads of Spanish mackerel in the 3-to 4-pound class have invaded the beaches and hard bottom areas off Clearwater and Bradenton. Trolling spoons or jigs with a wire trace to minimize cut-offs will fill coolers quickly. A generous bag limit of 15-fish per person measuring 12-inches to the fork minimum make it easy to get a load for the smoker or fryer at home.

Look for the Gulf to be somewhat of an obstacle course as you head offshore this weekend. Stone crab traps have been put in the water over the past week or so to give them some soak time before the opening of the season next Tuesday, the 15th. Give them a month or so to get some marine growth on them and you’ll see a big influx of tripletail around them as well.

INSHORE

With water temperatures falling to more comfortable levels for almost all species of fish, the action inshore has seen a steady rise. Lots of snook, redfish, and more trout are being caught from Sarasota Bay to upper Tampa Bay. The mullet run is right around the corner and just in time for it is MirrOlure’s Mullet patterns in the Skin Series that are hitting the shelves. As anglers are picking them up and throwing them, some fantastic reports of big redfish, trout, and snook are being noted. We’ve seen some good schools of mullet inside Tampa Bay on the South Shore and from Weedon Island north on the west side of the bay. When throwing these lures around the mullet schools they are producing good numbers of fish. The shallow-running DOA Baitbuster has also been getting hammered in these schools of mullet. We may be a month or more from the run, but it appears that we have more mullet around this year than last.

Anglers inside Tampa Bay from mid-bay to the Skyway are reporting good action with Spanish mackerel. Schools of whitebait in the bay are drawing in all kinds of predators that are chowing down. Look for that action to increase as cooler weather from cold fronts invigorates these fish.

FRESHWATER

Cooler nights and days with lower humidity make it more comfortable for anglers to fish during the day as fall weather begins to creep in. Bass and bluegill, as well as crappie, are beginning to feel a difference as oxygen levels rise in lakes and ponds in the West Central Region. Bass are chasing crankbaits with much more vigor. Lures like the Rat ‘L Trap and many of the lipped crankbaits are producing some school sized bass. The DOA Sna-Koil rigged Texas-style with a worm hook and tossed on the water along the edges of hydrilla and floating debris is attracting some big bass. Fall is in the air and both fish and anglers feel it. It’s a great time to be on the water! ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655

Backwater Promotions

ray.markham@gmail.com

www.captainraymarkham.com

4Cast - West Central Florida

October 4-6, 2019

By Captain Ray Markham

A hint of fall is in the air with breezy conditions along the West Central Region. Look for some shifting of habitats from pelagics and some resident fish with the changes as they occur.

OFFSHORE/ NEARSHORE

The brief season for red snapper earlier in the year will see a brief reopening for some extra days for the month of October. The red snapper recreational season will reopen in Gulf state and Federal waters on the following Saturdays and Sundays: October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27. This season will apply to private recreational anglers in state and federal waters, and to state for-hire operations in state waters only.

Gag grouper continue to chew in a variety of depth ranges. Look for the bulk of legal fish on hard bottom or structure with some relief. There have been a number of anglers scoring some big gags along the pipeline heading out of Tampa Bay and into Port Manatee. Some of these grouper are running in the 25-to 32-inch range. Good reports of anglers catching these fish on 111MR MirrOlures in the #11 and #801 colors. These lures will run a minimum of 25-feet depending on how much line you let out and the diameter of it. Braided lines testing a minimum of 50-pounds with a top shot of 20-to 30-feet of 60-to 80-pound fluorocarbon leader has been the most productive rig.

Mangrove snapper continue to put some grins on faces as mangos to 5-pounds are being caught anywhere from 50-foot depths and beyond. Still, good numbers of them are caught near shore on the artificial reefs.

Continuing increases of Spanish mackerel along the beaches and inside the bays are being reported. Clark Spoon Squids in #1 and #0 are working well. Gotcha Plugs cast into bait schools are also catching good numbers of macks in the 3-to 5-pound class. Kingfish continue to trickle in but most catches have been in deeper water beyond 100-feet on wrecks and in waters north of Pinellas. Look for a steady influx of these fish to continue in plenty of time for next weekend’s 28th Annual Fall Suncoast Kingfish Classic in Treasure Island out of the John’s Pass Marina. The team of Central Marine Service will attempt to defend their Spring Suncoast Kingfish Classic win for the $20,000 guaranteed first-place prize in the event that begins with the 5 P.M. registration and captain’s meeting and registration Thursday, October 10.  Live music by Offshore Riot at the marina will entertain you. The event continues on Friday with the Kid’s Seawall Tournament hosted by Old Salts at 5:30 and a two-day Cornhole Tournament with prize money for winners. The event is at the east end of Gator’s property. Saturday, lines in the water at 7 A.M. will kick of the kingfish competition that culminates with the weigh-in from 3-to 5 P.M. The tournament benefits the charity Ready for Life beyond foster care. For details call Ryan Farner at (813) 695-2985.

Pat Reischmann, of Bradenton, was working a school of baitfish about 25-miles west of Anna Maria in 88-feet of water and casting a 37MR MirrOlure MirrOdine into the bait fray on a medium spinning rod and a 4000 size spinning reel when a sailfish hit his lure. After a good fight the fish was brought to the boat and released.

INSHORE

If you read last week’s report you read that good action with redfish and snook continues along our West Central area and this week that action is kicking up a notch. Live sardines and shrimp are working well as are grunts, pinfish, and scaled sardines for the same species. Better action with trout, snook, redfish, jacks, ladyfish and more was reported in Sarasota Bay by Capt. Rick Grassett, fishing out of CB Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key. CAL Jigs with Shad tails fished in the deep grass of Sarasota Bay is producing some nice trout. Early pre-dawn fly trips for Grassett’s fly anglers are producing some nice snook around dock and bridge fender lights.

Capt. Bucky Goldman of Tampa has been tearing up big snook, some nice trout, and redfish this week using the Eppinger Rex gold ½-ounce spoon. Goldman has been working several areas of Tampa Bay with good success on both the incoming and falling tides.

Changes are in the works for spotted seatrout in Florida. Details will be posted on www.myfwc.com with new bag and size limits as well as a few other changes. Check the website frequently for changes as they occur randomly.

FRESHWATER

Fall is in the air…sort of. The air temperatures are still in the 90’s but there’s a certain feel in the winds that says changes are slowly happening. Fish are reacting to these changes by moving to different depths and cover, and by feeding more actively. Bass, like many other species, get more aggressive in cooler water temperatures that begin in fall. Fly fishing is possibly one of the most exciting ways of catching bass and panfish, yet there are few anglers participating in fly fishing than in other forms of fishing. The Suncoast Fly Fishers, that meets monthly on the third Thursday of each month not only has a regular membership meeting but fly casting and tying instructions are also a part of each meeting. For information on meetings, events, and more, visit their website at http://suncoastflyfishers.com/. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray Markham

(941) 723-2655

ray.markham@gmail.com

www.captainraymarkham.com

Captain Ray Markham

    

    Owner/Operator: Backwater Promotions

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