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Category Archives: Florida Fishing

Winter Fishing Is On The Horizon

Winter Fishing Is On The Horizon

winter fishing

North winds bring cooler weather and incredible winter fishing in Tampa Bay. After a long, hot summer, most Floridians welcome November climate changes. Furthermore, our fishery thrives when water temps reach the low 70’s. This week, we saw surface temps around 72 deg and the fish are loving it. Kingfish are showing up in good numbers along the beaches which is the tell tail sign that “winter” is on the horizon. Snook, Redfish, and Trout have been plentiful the last few weeks and should only get better as we move into December.For me, I love fishing transitional periods in our fishery. It’s a time when inshore gamefish are on the move and feed heavily to “beef” up for winter. It seems they know that soon bait will be sparse and they take every opportunity to fill their bellies while the “gettin’ is good.”

Winter fishing

Snook are making their way to back country bays, creeks, rivers, and residential haunts claiming their spots for the next few months. Right now, tidal flow edges leading into these refuges will be the best places to target until the temperatures drop. A live pilchard is still the bait of choice as these fish are very active. With the water clarity improving, I prefer to stick with a free-lined bait as opposed to a float. On the slower or slack tides, I will mix in cut-bait as well to entice some of the bigger fish to feed. The average fish is 18-24” but with each day we are seeing the bigger breeders moving back into the shallows from their Summer spawn. A live pinfish is one of my favorite baits for the big trophy Snook this time of year.

Redfish are still going strong. “Red October” has certainly lived up to its title and we have been targeting larger schools of breeder fish inside the bay. Expect the opportunities for seeing these aggregations to decline as we move ahead with our winter fishing, but for now they are still around. Look for birds, jacks, ladyfish, mackerel, and bluefish working bait pods in the bay. If there is a school of Reds around, they will be attracted to the commotion. Some of the bigger bulls that we have caught have been mixed in with bi-catch. On the flats, smaller schools of fish are plentiful and can be targeted on open flats and deeper mangrove shorelines. Right now, live bait is working best with my preferred choice being a pinfish. Remember that Redfish are closed for harvest until at least May 2019. Please take care of these fish and make sure they are released safely.

winter fishing

Speckled Sea Trout are finally starting to make a showing again inshore. Generally, the smaller juvenile fish will make an appearance first – followed by the big gators. Most healthy flats with a combination of depth, grass, and broken bottom (sand – potholes) will be holding trout for winter fishing this time of year. For numbers, focus on deeper edges in 3-5 ft of water. For the larger fish look a little shallower. A lot of times, the big trout are staged up with Snook and Redfish. Fishing early morning and late afternoon will increase your odds at getting a big girl and one of my favorites is throwing top-water plugs.

Capt. Travis Yaeckel
Instinct Fishing Co.
813-830-FISH
www.fishbyinstinct.com 

The Suzuki Repower Fishing Report is sponsored by Suzuki Repower and Mastry Engine Center.

Stay dialed-in to what’s biting in Tampa Bay! Capt. Travis Yaeckel, Capt. Jason Prieto, Capt. Ric Liles, & Danny Guarino bring you the full report each week. Listen every Sunday Morning 8-9am on 1040AM ESPN Sports Talk Radio. Watch LIVE on Facebook and YouTube every Wednesday 6-7pmOr download the podomatic app on your phone or tablet and listen anytime. Search “ Tampa Fishing Outfitters Radio Show “ to follow us and find current and past shows.

Know Your Fisheries

Know Your Fisheries

Florida is blessed with vibrant, healthy saltwater fisheries offering an abundance of fishing opportunities for recreational anglers. To fully enjoy the use of our fisheries anglers need to be conversant with the terms and conditions for use. Gone (long gone) are the days of just grabbing a pole, a few greenbacks, some ice and off… Continue Reading

West Central Florida Fishing Forecast

West Central Florida Fishing Forecast

This article is printed with permission from, and originally published by Outdoor Sportsman Group, at floridasportsman.com. Read the original article here.  From Captain Ray Markham Weather plays an important part in fishing for a couple of reasons. First, and foremost, getting on the water in rough or extreme weather can be dangerous, but in terms… Continue Reading

Tripletail Fishing Addiction

Tripletail Fishing Addiction

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Trolling For King Mackerel

Trolling For King Mackerel

Captain Travis Yaeckel – Instinct Fishing Co Brought To You By Suzuki RePower December fishing can be fantastic, if you target the right species. Tampa Bay is an amazing estuary that plays an important role in the life cycle of West Coast Florida’s premier inshore and nearshore game fish. From the gulf beaches to the intricate… Continue Reading

Fisherman Helping Fisherman … Florida Strong

Fisherman Helping Fisherman … Florida Strong

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Red On The Horizon

Red On The Horizon

As we near the end of Summer, the kids return to school and so will the Redfish in Tampa Bay. September generally marks the beginning of large congregations (schools) of Redfish to invade popular flats and back bays throughout our estuary. Every year seems to be a little different with the amount of pressure and… Continue Reading

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