11-12-12 blog Venice to Boca Grande fishing has been up and down with conditions.
Recent fish catching has bounced around with the season’s unstable weather and infrequent patches of red tide. We had some blooms but no signs of any right now locally! This has been an abnormal year even for a transitional season. I know from experience we can expect to encounter the unexpected every time you go fishing. I draw from over forty years of professional fishing and get surprised frequently this year. While I hate red tide it has pushed fish around and together thus actually helping us frequently. We have enjoyed some absolutely sensational trip because it actually helped us concentrate fish!
Since the fluctuating conditions and bad press about blooms have hampered business, trips are sporadic too. I have plenty to catch up on with boat and tackle work but I’m enjoying some time hunting and traveling also. So I can be out of touch for a day or two when I literally don’t have cell service. Don’t think I’m not responsive just out of range and that’s nice occasionally. Thank you for your understanding.
Some examples of what I’m talking about for you to ponder. On Friday a father and son took off work to play so we went fishing. We looked everywhere from upper Lemon Bay to Charlotte Harbor and it was not happening. We found a few fish or baitfish here and there but nothing to get excited about. We ended up catching smaller trout and fun ladyfish; but as Ward always reminded me, “even a slow days fishing is better than a day at the office”!
So for Saturday I had no idea what to expect. I knew there was still Spanish Mackerel around so packed gear for them, spoons etc… I also heard of some tripletail to be had but we did not find any larger ones ourselves, yet. It’s time for some cobia too; so I had a Top Dog rigged and ready. Trout are open now and red fishing is usually good too as it cools off so we were ready from them. I’m always looking for pompano so plenty of jigs handy and we tried the passes. You should have the picture; be Boy Scout prepared and take advantage of opportunities that we encounter. So we caught a few ladyfish for fun and crab trap baits. Then stumbled into a HUGE school of trashing Spanish that ate everything we threw at em. I’m talking a mile wide area of hungry feeding fish jumping FIFTY at a time and going crazy eating glass minnows; an awesome sight, very invigorating to experience. These fish were off of Englewood Beach but I’m sure they are off Venice also.
So Sunday started out earlier as it is warming up faster for fish and us. We encountered a school of snook and plenty of baitfish minnows. Yes schools of whitebait still off the beaches. I just shook my head and said thanks; bunches of snook just before Thanksgiving? We found a few smaller tripletails but nothing to get excited about in 25 feet. The mackerel were scattered in the AM but aggressive later in the afternoon, again. They seemed larger and we actually caught more fish on spoons than live minnows because it was faster to work the lures. It you want action and fish to eat go enjoy the mack attack just carry plenty of ice!
My favorite mackerel recipe is to lay filets skin side down on foil, then season with Old Bay and Everglades seasons to taste. Place em under a red hot broiler until half done and remove to baste liberally with Dukes Mayo and return to broiler. Do not walk away because it burns fast, observe until it boils up and starts to brown; shut oven off and close door, allow the moisture and fish to marry together. Mackerel is great if fresh and iced immediately as you catch it.
Bottom line is we do have good fishing available as conditions allow. If you have a few days to select from we can usually choose a good one, or we’ll make the best of the time you have. Let’s Go Fishin’ it’s good for us. Have a save and wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends! Thank you for your support and business. God Bless us, our families,other veterans, and America! Thankfully our election is done! Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>