The fishing in the Tarpon Springs and New Port Richey areas on recent charters has been nothing short of awesome. This is the time of year where we get into all sorts of species of fish. In fact, here’s a list of the different types of fish we’ve caught this week… redfish, trout, snook, mangrove snapper, gag grouper, black sea bass, spanish mackerel, ladyfish, jack crevelle, cobia… The list goes on.
The bait situation in this area has gotten really good as well. The stilt houses just outside the Cotee River in the New Port Richey area has been consistent for over 3 weeks now and bait on the edge of the inside flat around Anclote Key has really gotten easy in the 3-4 foot depth over the past week. All you have to do is chum with a little bit of canned jack mackerel to get it balled up behind the boat to cast net a livewell full of scaled sardines in less than 20 minutes.
I took several repeat clients this week. One of which was Ty and his father from Orlando. The last time I took them, it was in the dead of winter and all we could do was try to stay warm during their first trip. This time around however, we caught redfish, snook, trout and grouper. The weather was beautiful and the fish were biting. Although the numbers of fish weren’t as high as previous trips this week, we got into several really nice sized reds and a trout about 22″ long. Ty got a slam (technically… dad hooked Ty’s red but Ty reeled it in). Ty caught hos own snook and his own trout that day so I’m saying he got an inshore slam at 7 years old. Great work Ty!
Earlier in the week, we got in to large numbers of trout. The keepers came less frequently as the week progressed but earlier in the week, we had days where we could have limited the boat out 4 times over.
The redfish are up on the flats. Look for the mullet. One day we caught all our reds within 10′ of shore and that’s where the mullet were also. Later in the week, the mullet seemed to be 30-75 yards off the shore and that’s where we found the redfish then. If you’re not fishing around the mullet schools, you may be missing the redfish right now.
The trout mostly came on the edge of flats near the passes between the barrier islands. Look on the grass flats inside the passes near Honeymoon Island, Anclote Key, and Three Rooker Bar. You should find enough keepers to fill your limit as well as get into a few monster spanish mackerel.
We have a cold front passing through tonight. The bite could change… in fact, I expect it to. Wind speed and wind direction plays a huge part in both bait catching as well as catching fish. Pay attention to the weather forecasts. West winds will dirty up the water in exposed areas in the NPR/Tarpon Springs areas. Look for the fish in areas of clean water. Especially trout. Trout don’t seam to like the dirty water near the passes during and shortly after these fronts dirty up the water there. Look for places nearby that are protected from the wind and still has clean water.
Redfish are beginning to group up the the New Port Richey and tarpon springs areas. Fish around mullet school and your should get plenty of shots on reds.
Lay off the snook if you can but you shouldn’t be surprised if you get into some good ones around the Gulf Harbor areas. Edges of channels and docks are producing the best snook bites. Also be sure to check creek mouths and just inside the creeks on a leaving tide.
Check out some pictures from recent trips and be sure to hit me up is you have any questions you’d like to have answered on the air during this week’s radio show.