Staycation

Well, I was able to take a day and a half off of work to enjoy the holiday weekend with my family and friends. A stay-caiton! Fishing was much of the same as it has been the last couple of months. Lots of tarpon, permit, goliath grouper, snapper, ect. Seems like it has been a little too warm for gags in the bay, at least for me. Anyone else struggling with gags in the bay?

Tarpon fishing has been excellent in the bay. But, they are not showing themselves very well. On the 4th we went 3-4 before noon. Got a few fish on Weds and Thurs last week as well. The only fish we saw were the ones we jumped, not a single fish rolled. Weather was a little tough for fishing over the weekend too, out of the south around 10knts, not making it easy on us. We have been catching them day and night on a variety of dead baits, live baits fished under corks, and artificial baits (baitbusters).

My mom even caught her first tarpon! Way to go mom!

Here are some pics.










While tarpon fishing has been good, we went offshore today, reluctantly. We have been consistently catching permit and goliath grouper on high relief spots, as well as many snapper on live bottom areas.

We handline the goliath grouper with rope and large circle hooks. Using anything large and stinky- bonita, barracuda, mackerel, stingrays, just has to be about 5lbs. It's pretty fun yanking on these things with the handline. We usually catch 6-10 per trip. Average size is a couple hundred pounds.

I know they aren't the most exciting thing in the world, but they are big fish and can save the day sometimes.

Everyone got in on the action on this particular trip!




















We have also been catching many permit. They have been eating exactly what you would guess, crabs. Average size is around 20lbs but there are a few 30lbers mixed in.






Get out on the water and catch some fish. We live in an amazing place with a great fishery.

It was a great weekend of fishing. I hope everyone had a great 4th of July

Replies

  • blaseblase Posts: 30 Deckhand
    Wow!! Awesome pics! Great job getting the family on some fish.
  • haydenfox!#$haydenfox!#$ Posts: 2,366 Captain
    Awesome! I'm not understanding why a south wind is rough in the bay.
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Never targeted permit but that looks like a lot of fun. Any advice to get started with permit?
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,008 Moderator
    Great day, and front page congrats.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 11,492 AG
    Nicely done!
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman Posts: 893 Officer
    Thanks guys
    I'm not understanding why a south wind is rough in the bay.

    It makes it tough when the wind is out of the south for tarpon fishing because there are only a few areas of the bay where it is calm enough to spot them. When the wind is bad you have to know where they are going to travel on which part of the tide. You cannot run around looking for them.
    Never targeted permit but that looks like a lot of fun. Any advice to get started with permit?

    Go to any high relief reef from 2-40miles out and freeline crabs around the structure. As the summer goes on there will start to be bigger fish in closer.
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Thanks guys
    Go to any high relief reef from 2-40miles out and freeline crabs around the structure. As the summer goes on there will start to be bigger fish in closer.

    Thanks. I'll dig up some fiddlers and give it a try....
  • releasegearreleasegear Posts: 698 Officer
    great report and pics..
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  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman Posts: 893 Officer
    Thanks. I'll dig up some fiddlers and give it a try....

    I've never tried fiddlers, they may work, I don't know. The premier bait is a small blue crab or large pass crab.
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 927 Officer
    great report. what great times. Nice permit. Gotta do that one day. I've seen them down in the mouth of the bay, but never had crabs to try for them. I know jumbo shrimp if sightfishing them. It's tough for me to get too far off shore in my little boat. Crabs are tarpon and permit candy, no doubt.
    LAst week both my son and I landed our 2 largest tarpon ever, both were on days the fish were not showing, but we knew they were there ;)
    Today was crazy as we fished the passes and beaches from Indian rocks to Anclote. Went out the pass @ 6:30 a.m. with lightning on the horizon...and saw fish in the pass as we decided to hold off on the beach with storms bubbling up. My buddy hooked up first cast and it was on, it peeled line and was jumping in and out of the bridge pilings we got it out twice and it got the better of us. Went out to the beach and fish were rolling but lightning was getting closer. back to the ramp. 1 hr later we headed up towards Anclote fishing the passes. We hooked up a few more times, getting only one under control, well sort of... only to have it pop off before the leader came in.
    We saw so many fish rolling today. Those fish were smaller (50-90) and had reddish fins and tails, very light colored. We got schooled, spooled and fooled out there today.

    Nice to see so many tarpon still moving through. I wonder what the outlook will be for the next few weeks with the full moon upcoming?
  • stpetebaitmanstpetebaitman Posts: 893 Officer
    Sounds like a fun day. Some fish will migrate into estuaries like Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor where there is an abundance of bait. Others will travel up to the Mississippi Delta and feed on the masses of bait fish there as well. You can expect the beach and pass sight fishing to go south and the fish to pile well up inside Tampa Bay after the next moon as well as the next few months.
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