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November 07, 2007

It was all so cool.

Reds and Trout Didn't Mind the Chilly Tarpon Springs Weather.

What a cool day. Literally and figuratively. A good friend of mine, Capt. Greg DeVault, was going to be out of town today and referred some of his family friends to me for a day on the water chasing redfish and trout in the Tarpon Springs area. Leonard, Andrew, and Emily own boats of their own that they can use when they are down here visiting from Pittsburgh but they wanted to have someone take them out and show them a few tips and tricks. I was more than happy to oblige.

The time changed this past weekend so I had to get up an hour earlier to head to the ramp to catch bait. There was a brisk chill in the air as I dropped the boat in the water and I wished I had thought to wear pants instead of shorts. I did have a light jacket in the boat so I knew I would survive. Leonard had said that he had tried for greenbacks this past weekend with limited success and he wondered if he had done something wrong. After catching bait, I arrived at the boat ramp to pick up my crew for the day and I was able to confirm that he had done nothing wrong. I too had trouble finding the little snook candies. I did however manage to fill the well with plenty of pinfish and that was fine to me because I know redfish love them.

After the introductions and loading the boat, we hit a dock near the ramp that has been successful for both snook and redfish in the past, merely because the tide was right for it. The fish however didn't get the message. We only gave that spot 5 minutes and headed to the only spot South of the Anclote River that I wanted to hit today. When we arrived we could see a few mullet milling around and that's always a good sign. We had to reposition the boat once before Emily had managed to coax the first redfish of the day to the boat. For a good hour after that we managed several more bites that resulted in a couple of keepers that went in the well. One of which had been hooked before as evidenced by the hook lodged in his throat and the line still hanging out of his mouth. That guy must have been hungry.

After the bite died down here, we headed North of the Anclote River and North of Gulf Harbors to find some productive oyster bars. It wasn't long before Leonard had hooked up with the first fish at this spot and we all thought it was a lower slot redfish. It turned out to be a very nice sized trout. Because we were North of Fred Howard park, the season is still open for trout, so this guy went in the well. We continued to work the edges of the oyster bars for another couple of hours and we boated another nice trout and a few more redfish to round out the day.

The productive bait for the day was both live and cut pinfish all fished 12" under a weighted float. We fished both the last of the incoming tide as well as the first of the leaving tide and the fish bit on both. Cuts around oyster bars and shallow flats near the edge of a channel were the hot spots. And, apparently the best bites are to be had by really cool 12 year old girls. Emily stole the show today landing the most redfish all by herself.

Cool weather, cool people, and hot fishing. What more can you ask for?