We got some needed rain and unwanted cold wind but have great forecast for this weekend.

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How about that Tampa Super Bowl? It’s been cold and windy so I’ve been relaxing and catching up on boat and book work. Not as much fun as fishing but necessary. We did catch some fine pompano and permit last week on our last trip. They were not thick but we did manage a half dozen of each for a full dozen fish and twenty four tasty dinners. Even some to share with friends and neighbors after our guests took home a mess or two. We used Doc’s Goofy jigs, ½ ounce since it was windy. I try to match up clients with the south wind days just before cold fronts arrive. Sometimes it even works out like it’s supposed to. I like the white jigs but have done well sometimes on the yellow, chartreuse and even hot pink; go figure. I recommend that you tip them with a small piece of cut up live shrimp. We cut up the live ones because they are much firmer and stay on longer. The texture of dead or frozen shrimp is so much softer and it comes off too fast. <br />
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One other trick that has helped is to cut up the Berkley Gulp baits into “tip its” for our jigs. Pearl white colors work for me. They have sand fleas and these can be cut in half also. Don’t forget pompano have small mouths. I do use the Bagley ¼ &amp; ½ ounce pompano jigs also. Same colors and sometimes we make up tandem rigs with combinations of colors and jigs. <br />
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We catch a variety of fish; pompano, permit, trout, redfish, bluefish, ladyfish, baitfish, seas robins, whiting, mackerel, and more. When selecting an area to cast I look for current flows, especially eddies, in or near passes and grassy flats. We need the flow to stimulate fish and grassy areas to hold food. These eddies concentrate food and in turn feeding fish. <br />
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Try short smart/sharp pops with your rod and visualize the jig hopping slightly up off the bottom then stirring up sand as it touches and bounces back up. Just remember the lure must not jump too far and spook fish away. Shrimp and crabs don’t move as fast as two feet jerks of our rods pull our jigs. You retrieve should be smart enough to hook anything holding the falling jig as you pop your next hop.<br />
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We have some good trout and red fishing but you will need patience as our waters are chilly and fish are slow feeding. They do still pull when we hook em though. Sheepshead are due to get together any time and offer the opportunity to catch something good eating we can keep a bunch of.<br />
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Spring time could be right around the corner so get reservations now for king mackerel, snook and tarpon trips. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard <br />

Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946



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