Boca Grande fishing has been great and Venice is due to turn on now!
Last week our Boca Grande snook fishing finally turned on big time. Englewood trout and redfish are biting too. We found hungry fish all over Charlotte Harbor and Gasparilla Sound. Our waters have warmed up and the fish are hungry. Minnows can be a challenge but they should get easier. We do have minnows around it’s just the trash algaes are adding extra weight to our nets.
I am enjoying my expanded range thanks to my Evinrude E-Tec’s efficiency to re-discover many of my old stomping grounds around Charlotte Harbor. My new Quantum reels and Cortland braided lines have been shipped; I’m looking forward to spooling em up and kicking it up a few notches! The new improvements in both should give us even longer casts and more control of big fish!
Fish have been holding in the usual Spring habitats; deeper edges and structures. Long fluorocarbon leaders help in our clear waters! Be patient and use fresh baits. Ease in and out of areas for best results; many of us are fishing the same spots! Area waters are warming up fast!
I’m hearing about some pompano but we didn’t get to try any recently; everything else is too good to leave. Spanish and kings are due around Venice but they are already some around Boca Grande. Some must have gone by in recent windy times? I heard they caught a few sailfish off of St Pete last week also, so we’ll be ready when we go today.
Tarpon are in range if you’re ready for the ride! Expect to work for them but the first ones get the best catching! Boca Grande does have some tarpon in the Pass. After all, fishing is a gamble and we have to take chances to get the shots at good fishing! Sharks are already showing up. Permit are due. Barracuda are sunning on the reefs. It’s time to enjoy the hot action before the crowds descend and make it harder. I do have several openings in the next few weeks so don’t miss out; get a reservation now this is as good as it gets. We enjoyed every cast bites on trips several times recently!
Thank you for your support. Let’s go fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard. www.captvan.com also check out Captain Van Hubbard on Facebook!
Captain Van’s Venice to Boca Grande fishing report for 4-1-2013
Our weather finally came back to warm southerly breezes and fish started to show up on Friday and Saturday. We are finding lots of Spanish mackerel and some pompano around the near shore and Gulf Passes. A few snook and bigger trout are blessing our catches. Sheepshead are abundant if you can hook them; Friday’s group caught a mess and Saturday we had to settle for pompano and trout. Of course we were glad to settle!
As weather warms up the Gulf waters everything will show up. Baitfish migrations are due and hungry schools of fish with them. I am booked up this week but open several days a week after. May and June have several holes so don’t miss out like about twenty folks did in the last two weeks. Business is picking up with the improved fishing and weather. If you want to take advantage of the awesome spring Boca Grande and Venice fishing please lock in your reservation soon!
I’m sorry this is brief but I am fishing every day and tired. I hope your Easter was blessed and look forward to fishing with you soon. Captain Van Hubbard.
PS tarpon and snook fishing is close! <www.captvan.com>
Looks like Spring is arriving here in Venice Florida.
It was chilly this past week and it slowed our catching down. Our coming week we anticipate warming temperatures and better fishing. Our fishing depends upon the weather conditions; we will adjust our times, even dates if we can, to ensure your best probabilities. The beauty of inside fishing is we can usually find a productive, protected area to hide and catch a mess of fish. Warmer helps and it looks like the cold and red tide are gone.
We did enjoy a good redfish bite when we got lucky and had the right tides along with south breezes to turn on the bite. Snook were cold last week but I do expect them to get hungry when waters warm up into the seventies any time. Trout are around and we just could not cruise around last week because it was too cold and windy. We did manage some more pompano but you will need to invest some time and efforts to enjoy this gourmet dinner. They are some around but they keep it challenging. More pompano and the mackerel migration should drop into our Boca Grande area any day.
Tarpon are not in range for a month or so would be my best guess; but Mother Nature can push fish north faster or hold them south. I’m optimistic that we will see more manners around the Boca Grande Pass this year; yes I’m crazy but I believe many will see we all benefit from “happy tarpon”! It seems to me most of us should be able to comprehend that scared fish are not good for fishing or businesses. Please follow “Save the Tarpon” on facebook or the web site to stay up on happenings. Public awareness should maintain the push to regain respect for our silver kings!
With Easter early this year if you haven’t made your fishing reservations for the week before or after I’ll try to help but those weeks are reserved as of now. I do have March 20th and 22nd open plus some dates after April the 11th! Other guide friends have a few holes but everyone wants to go at the same time with the holiday. May and June have good week days still open but business has picked up so don’t wait too long to lock in your reservations, please.
Lots of tiny glass minnows are showing up inside so I expect to see some whitebait any day with the warming trends. We have had it off and on all year so they should be close by? We are having a fun Mack Attack event at Whidden’s Marina on Boca Grande the 7th of April. This is a family event and prizes will be awarded by raffle so everyone that brings in fish will have the same chance of winning. This is a family friendly event, not a competition, and we’ll cook the fish and enjoy sharing stories after fishing. There should be plenty of mackerel action to keep everyone smiling, so don’t miss out; only fifteen boats to make sure we have fun.
Like Captain Wilson Hubbard used to say, “If your too busy to go fishin’ your just too busy” don’t miss spring fishing action! Put mackerel back on your menu and enjoy our piece of paradise. Get your boats and gear ready spring is here. Captain Van Hubbard. <www.captvan.com>
2013-3-7 fishing report from Captain Van Hubbard.
Short and sweet this week Venice fishing is great! It’s been a very busy week with fish biting and our Save the Tarpon Shindig last Sunday. The best news is we have NO SIGNS OF RED TIDE NOW! I don’t have time to go into details but I am happy to note that we caught catfish for the first time in months and saw mullet again. These are the most sensitive to the plague.
Our Save the Tarpon Shindig and fundraiser was awesome we raised more than $25,000! Captain Tom and Jenifer McLaughlin lead the charge and now e have to funds to stand up for our Boca Grande tarpon fishery. Our motto is simple, “respect the fish and respect Boca Grande Pass”! much more when I have the time.
Fishing from Boca Grande to Venice has been good. Some days are great and a few we have had to look around more than I like but the improved fuel mileage from my new Evinrude sure helps. Sheepshead were hot and should still be around if it calms down in the Gulf. Trout are around and should improve dramatically as waters return to normal. Reds are here but the tournaments start soon and they are chased a lot. Snook look great but it is catch and release.
Pompano have blessed us and saved many trips recently. We even managed a few yesterday in that wind. It was the only day our special guest thirteen year old Connor could go. He had fun and they are from Canada so it was warm to them.
The mackerel should be here soon and we have a Boca grande Mack Attack coming up the 7th of April for a few boats. This is a fun event not a competitive competition! It is limited to 15 boats and is a family event. We’ll have a cook out with our fresh mackerel afterwards.
Sorry to be so short this week but thankfully fishing is busy so don’t procrastinate get your reservation soon or risk missing out!
Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>
February 24th 2013 fishing report by Captain Van Hubbard
Wonderful weather and great fishing from Venice to Boca Grande this past week.This is still the most unique and challenging fishing I’ve encountered in the forty years I’ve lived guiding our local waters! As we travel from Stump Pass Marina through Lemon Bay down to Charlotte Harbor I see large areas with no fish at all. I have not seen a mullet jump in a week, that’s scary! The good news is when we find fish they are concentrated. It takes more boat riding but we usually discover fish. We have not seen any dead fish recently but we have seen some slightly discolored water on the 18th. The best news is that red tide seems to have dissipated and I don’t have a clue as to why; I’m just thankful it’s gone.
The sheepshead have been thick on all near shore artificial reefs recently. We are passing the Full Moon when I expect many to spawn. Some will remain near the reefs and many will return inshore to feed and fatten back up. This fishery should remain strong for another month. It’s been a red hot bite when winds allow us outside. We save the bigger ones and they eat like grouper.
Pompano have blessed us regularly recently. With this fish nothing is guaranteed except that they don’t sit still and while a favorite they are challenging. Doc’s Goofy jigs with my custom pompano flies have been best but we are catching several on the rattle corks with shrimp. Fish are sometimes in normal places and more often recently; where we find them. Share info with friends because these fish are not going to be here tomorrow! Be prepared to move a lot and burn some fuel to score consistently. My new, efficient Evinrude E-Tec 200 is saving my bacon here! Several times we found pompano looking for trout. My friend Captain Matt Coleman made our day last week by sharing a hot spot he stumbled into pompano while trout fishing; it was hot two days and dead the third? That’s why we call it fishing and these tasty devils are the craziest.
Snook were biting well but it got cooler they slowed so we’ve concentrated on eating fish since that bite has been hot. When our waters warm back up we’ll get after the snook again. Some have been minnows around if you want to invest the time to chase them. Remember the risk if you run into bad water! We have done well on shrimp when we find hungry snook so far.
Trout seem to be hiding and will show up anytime in numbers. I believe this because; we had plenty of specks and I’ve not seen many dead ones. It’s time for them to start spawning and that means they bunch up! So get ready for hot trout action when this occurs.
Redfish are here and can be caught if you don’t mind putting in the effort. Reds are targeted by lots of anglers and the tournaments so they get chased constantly. The more any fish gets chased the harder they run and spookier they get! We have reds just expect to work for them or get lucky.
Spanish Mackerel are scattered but we are catching a few. They are skinny which shows minnows are not easy to find. This will improve soon. Also we are hosting a small, fifteen boat Mack Attack, fun event from Whidden’s Marina on April the 7th. This is a family event and no money prizes we are raising funs for the Bit of Hope Ranch and Boca Grande Historical Museum. We are going to have raffle prizes and a fish fry after to meet and share our experiences. We want to revive our exciting mackerel fishery and promote family fun fishing this is not a competitive event! Please let me know if you’re interested?
One more tip to remember. Observe the water color and tint carefully because fishing will dramatically change if tainted waters flow into your spot! We are catching fish so fast sometimes that I don’t notice the gradual shift from green to a yellowish tint; then it is redder and the fish shut down! It’s time to move and the brighter the sun the faster it seams to bloom. Several times last week we went for red hot to red tide in ten minutes but caught fish there again the next day. Go figure I’m just sharing what is happening? Thank you for your support. Let’s go fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard www.captvan.com
PS book Boca Grande snook and tarpon trips now!