Ready to get back on the water along our Venice shoreline.

I’m almost ready to get back on the water.

          It was time to freshen up the Dorado so she’ll have a shiny new exterior finish tomorrow. I’ll be back on the water Wednesday ready to catch fish along our beautiful Venice to Boca Grande shorelines. Of course the weather may be a complication, just like it’s been while trying to paint. It’s winter around here; we don’t have the freezing temps but it is cooler. Our fish react to the weather changes just like we do. Remember they are cold blooded and have to duck out of the colder water when fronts blow down upon us.

          Right now the fronts are coming in every few days. This makes it hard to guess in advance when will be a fair weather fishing date. So my suggestion for this time of the year is call ASAP when you arrive and let’s see what day might work for our fishing. Remember that what’s cold to me, may be balmy to you. I’m cold at fifty while you may find that a heat wave. I can dress up and make the trip work but you need to communicate as to what is fun weather for your group.

          Trout and sheepshead are abundant and available for eating fish. They are fun to catch and usually not to hard to find. They both are flaky white meat and can be prepared any way you like. The trick is not to over cook any fish! We usually fish live shrimp under a popping cork if we can purchase them. Soft plastics are also perfect for trout.

          Sheepshead can be tricky nibblers and challenging for some to hook. The trick is awareness. You have to feel the bite and set the hook promptly. They are tasty and pull hard. We frequently stop at Stump Pass Grille for a fresh catch lunch; with your fish.

          We do have redfish and some days they bite well. Redfish require more patience and can be a gamble some days. We had some tasty pompano around before I started sanding and painting; I’m looking forward to checking up on them soon. Ladyfish are fun just not as tatsty.

          Snook are cold right now but the season opens in March and I expect good fishing then. It gets busy around here by mid-February so reservations are recommended; especially from April on thru June. I suggest setting up a date early in your trip and then we may be able to adjust to catch better weather if space is available. Reservations are first deposit in, holds that date. We can sometimes get in more than one trip as it warms up some. Please let me know if you prefer mornings or afternoons? Longer trips are fine just let me know.

          Mackerel will be back before you know it and tarpon by late April if it warms normally. January actually started out warm but changed quickly to colder temps mid month. It’s impossible to guess what we can expect next month but the weekend forecast is for beautiful warm weather. So let’s go fishin’ soon.

          I’ll be at the Boca Grande Community Center, Saturday to help out Save the Tarpon’s, first Kids and Parents Beginning Fishing Seminar. This is to educate parents so they can share the fishing experience with their kids.  We are even providing them with rods and reels, plus starter gear.  We are excited that it filled up promptly and the guide instructors are looking forward to sharing our experience with the families. Then I’ll be at the Boca Grande Fishing Club for lunch and sharing fish stories with them. So many seasonal residents miss out on our great summer tarpon and snook fishing. So I’m going to try and convince some of them to come back and see what they are missing. Our sight casting to big fish makes awesome fishing adventures.

          I’m optimistic that this will be a much better tarpon season since we got that weighted hook “jig” outlawed in the Boca Grande Pass. Everything is shaping up for a busy and productive fishing season. I’m looking forward to seeing you soon. Captain Van Hubbard. <www.captvan.com>

Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946

941-468-4017

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