Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hot summer fishing report.

    Well, it has been a very busy summer.  Fishing has been great.  This summer has been full of bad weather and lots of rain.  Many days on the water were spent dodging storms and watching the skies.  Fortunately, the fish really don't care what the weather is doing.  The Red Grouper bite has been very good this summer. Here are just a few of them.

These nice size grouper have been averaging around 23 inches.  With Gag Grouper now open, they have been doing their part in filling the fish box.

     If that wasn't good enough, there has been an unusual number of Yellowtail Snapper in the same area as the grouper.  Most of them are undersized but I've been able to get many keepers.  Most of the ledges I've been fishing have been holding Mangrove Snappers too.  
     With all the rain we have been having this year the inshore bite has been slow.  The bait fish showed up late and are just now starting to flood the grass flats.  This should really help bring the trout, redfish and snook out of their hiding spots and improve the fishing.  The Snook bite has been very good at night.  With all the bait around, the dock lights are holding lots of fish.  
   I'm really looking forward to the upcoming month.  August is a great time to be out in the Gulf.  The grouper bite will strong.  The swallow water (20 ft.) Gag grouper bite should be picking up.  Barracudas love the hot days of summer.  They can be found just laying under the boat enjoying the shade and happy to eat any fish too slow to make back to the bottom.  The inshore water should be warming up.  This pushes the fish under the docks and mangroves for shade.  Hunting the docks on a hot afternoon can be very productive.  Just make sure your drags are tight, big Snook and Redfish can wrap you around a piling in a flash.  
    Hope everyone has had a great summer so far.  If not, then it's time to Play Hookey and catch some fish.
    Thanks, Captain Pete  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Fishing Report for Venice FL.

The fishing has been much better this year than the past two years.  The water temperature never got below 60 and is already reaching the 70's.  Inshore fishing has been super.  The trout have started feeding heavy and catching fish over 20 inches is not uncommon fishing along the edges of the grass flats, near the channels.  Live shrimp have been best for the bigger fish.  Gulp shrimp on an 1/8 ounce jig is always a great way to find trout.  Redfish have been cooperating nicely with many fish over the 27 inch slot.  Most have been caught around docks that have some current moving under them.  A chunk of cut bait (ladyfish works great) will attract the redfish and slow down those bait stealing pinfish.  Sheepshead can be found near the passes and on the near shore reefs.  This is their breeding season, so they are hungry and schooling up.  They like shrimp, crabs, sand fleas or even barnacles.  They are difficult to catch, so be patient and you will get your reward.  If you are just looking to bend the poles and catch a lot of fish, the ladyfish are ready to help.  There have been lots of large ladyfish everywhere.  Fish the channels and grass flats with a light colored jig.  Once you find one, there will be more.

     The near shore fishing has just started to boom.  There has been lots of silver trout around.  Fish along the beaches and off the Venice jetty in about 20 ft. of water.  Like the spotted trout on the flats, they can be caught on shrimp or jigs.  I have had good success with gulp shrimp.  The silver trout have been running up to 16 inches.  The Spanish mackerel have shown up again.  They never really left, with some hanging around all winter.  They are thick all along the beaches.  Find bait and you will find Mackerel.  They have been very large this week with many reaching over 24 inches.  A spoon or light colored jig reeled fast is sure to get a hit.  Sharks tend to follow the mackerel so don't be surprised if see one trying to steal your fish.  The King mackerel should be here any day.  I have heard reports that some are being caught in with the mackerels.
     If you are planing a fishing trip, watch the weather.  March and April can be very windy with fronts coming through every 5 to 7 days.  Best days to fish tend to be right before the front or a couple of days after the front.  This is going to be a fantastic spring.  Its time to Play Hookey and come fishing with Capt. Pete.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fishing Report for November/December Venice FL

       Fall fishing has been very good when you can get out.  This time of the year the winds are up and so are the seas.  The fronts come through every week and the winds follow.   The best bet is the day or two before the front.  When the winds start to switch to Southeast and South, the winds lay down some and you can get out.  When the winds are east, you can still get Mackerel and Little Tunny off the beaches.  Use spoons, jigs and anything that looks like a small baitfish.  Even flies work well.  Use a weighted popping cork or just weights to help cast the flies.  The big Kings are few and far between.  Small Kings can still be found around bait pods hanging on reefs and hard bottom.  Gag grouper are closed again but you are allowed four red groupers now.  Red grouper can be found around ledges and hard bottom in 60 feet or more.  Everyone is catching lots of 16 to 19 inch red grouper, so expect to release some before you find the keepers.
Inshore has seen the return of Pompano.  They are being caught near the passes and on the grass flats near those passes.  They come in with the tide, feed on the flats and then move back outside the pass.  The bite is better when the water is clearer.  They feed by sight and smell so use something colorful and tip it with shrimp.  Pompano jigs are the most popular method.  Let the jig bounce off the bottom.  Pompano tend to feed on the bottom and are attracted to the “puff “of sand when the jigs hit the bottom.

Spotted sea trout are closed until January 2012, but the catch and release action has been very good.  The trout tend to like the cooler waters and can be found feeding on the flats and in pot holes on the lower winter tides.  Shrimp or artificial shrimps like DOA’s and Gulp are my  baits of choice for the winter months.  I have found lots of Ladyfish in the same areas as the trout.  If you find the Ladyfish there will likely be some trout nearby.  If you have kids, the fast action of ladyfish can be great fun.
Snook can still be found around the canals and mouths of freshwater creeks.  If you can find some bait fish, the snook will be close by.  As the temperature drops they will be harder to find.  Look in areas with dark muddy bottoms that get lots of sun light.  These will be the warmest waters for the Snook to wait out the winter.  Lets hope for a warmer winter and no Snook kills this year.  
        Come take the day off and come Play Hookey with me.
        Captain Peter

Friday, September 30, 2011

Gulf of Mexico Report-Venice FL

     The fishing is still hot.  The Spanish Mackerel are still very thick in the 20 to 30 foot deep areas off the beaches and around the reefs.  Your best bet is early morning; watch for the birds feeding and the mackerels jumping.  There are still Jacks and Ladyfish in the mix, too. I have caught a couple small ones, so I  I know the big Kings will be in soon.
     Gag Grouper opened up for a two month period on Sept. 16.  Lots of gags are being caught.  Look for them  around reefs, wrecks and ledges starting at 50 ft. deep on out.  Live Pinfish are a good bet to get them biting.  Frozen sardines work well, too. Season closes on Nov. 15th, so catch them while you can.
     Captain Ed, of Fish Factor Charters, tells me that the Cobia are showing up on reefs and wrecks off of Venice, also.
     The cold fronts are starting to move through the Gulf.  Watch for the higher winds before and after the fronts. Its no fun to be caught out in high winds and rough seas.  Winds are going to be high for the next five days or so.  Good time to try your favorite inshore spots.
     Come take the day off and come Play Hookey with me.
     Captain Peter

Friday, September 23, 2011

Near shore fishing report for Venice FL

This week has been very active for anyone who has gone out into the gulf.  Schools of glass minnows followed by large schools of Spanish Mackerel and Bonito.  At times the water boils with the feeding frenzies.  Ladyfish and Jacks have been taking advantage of the buffet of fish swimming by.  I have seen lots of sharks hanging out under the Mackerel.  Look for the birds feeding and the mackerel jumping.  A fast moving jig or spoon will get a strike.  If you don’t like using artificial lures, you can net some bait and free line it for hard hitting strikes.  Put a short length of light wire on the line to keep those sharp teeth from cutting your line.  
    I haven’t heard any reports of King Mackerels yet.  They should be here anytime.  The bait is here and they always follow the food.  There have been reports of Cobia around.  Not enough to really target them yet but keep a pole ready to toss out if you see one.  
    Fall is a time when many different fish are moving around the gulf.  It’s not uncommon to see large schools of Jacks and Amberjack run past as you sit on a local reef.  Most the M reefs in 40 feet or more range, are great spots to run across many different migrating species.  When fishing for bottom species it is always a good idea to free line a bait out the back of the boat.  A large shrimp or bait fish to tempt any passing fish.  You never know what might bite.     
    Don’t miss out on the great fishing right now.  Take a day off and come Play Hookey with me.
    Captain Peter

Thursday, September 22, 2011

North Venice Jetty Report

After stopping by the North Jetty on Tuesday and finding it empty of people and full of bait and hungry Snook, I decided I would stop by Wednesday armed with a cast net and pole.  There was about 15 fisherman with the same idea.  But the bait and the Snook were both still there.  With a strong outgoing tide of coffee colored water, I choose to start on the beach side of the jetty.  The bait was right along the beach, so with one throw of the cast net, I was ready to fish.  My favorite way to fish for snook is to free line a nose hooked bait about five feet from the rocks.  After watching several snook give my bait a look but not really chase it, I could tell it was not going to be easy.  Snook can be very stubborn.  Sometimes if you see a snook who is following the bait around you can throw your bait in its path and get a strike.  Most of the snook were staying low, not really chasing anything.  After 20 minutes, a small 15 in. snook was the first to give in to the temptation and swallow my bait.  That pattern continued  for the next hour and a half.  Three more small snook about 20 minutes apart.  No one else seemed to be catching much either.  Some small snappers and one flounder.  A school of Jacks showed up on the south jetty, crashing the bait as it worked its way along the rocks.  I hoped they would find their way to north side.  About 15 minutes later, they were crashing right in front of me.  I got one jack out of the feeding frenzy before they quickly moved on.  Around 1 o'clock, I moved out to the end of the jetty with some fresh baits.  There I was rewarded with four snook landed and three that self-released.  All within a hour.  The total for the day was 9 snook, up to 22 in. and one jack.  Not bad for 3 and 1/2 hours of basically free fishing.
     Take some time off and come Play Hookey with me.
     Captain Peter