2011-10 Fall fishing report from Captain Van Hubbard.
I enjoyed a nice vacation since my last post, cruising all the way up to Lake Ontario in upstate New York. The weather was cooler and I enjoyed the change. Of course taking time to explore their local fishing; the salmon and trout were starting to run up there. I visited as many fishing tackle shops and hot spots as time would allow. I found some tools that could be useful in our Fall king fishing. They use big flashers and it looks like it will also attract big kings, we’ll see soon. I expect these will visually attract more feeding fish in to our bait spreads. It can be challenging to match weather to your desire in advance this time of year but if it’s calm outside is an option but we can fish inside except in lighting. The protected waters are most productive if we have some barometer fluctuations.
Spanish mackerel are already appearing locally. I am going to do a separate post ASAP to explain our fishing methods in detail, both natural bait and hardware, if you’re interested. All the captains I have talked with as I prepare my gear are reporting significant numbers of striking fish and baitfish. Schools of smaller baitfish are around and some larger greenback minnows too. The macks are varied in size but some dandies; from one to four pounds each. Some kings are already being caught; medium sized ten to twenty pounds each. Ladyfish, sharks, jacks, little tunny, blue runners, and all are busting minnows already. The action is starting plus it will just get better until cold weather blows in usually sometime around Thanksgiving, in November.
Remember that gag grouper season is open until the fifteenth of November and we frequently catch some grouper along with cobia, barracuda, and more while king fishing! Gag is not expected to reopen for almost a year! Do not miss this tasty treat! I do not fish way off shore but inside of nine miles; I don’t like rough seas either. We call in gags, etc… while chumming up the mackerels.
I have had several tarpon reports mostly from Sarasota and north of us so far. This is not the, (see hundreds of tarpon every day like our summer run) but we do enjoy some excellent action when we get lucky and intercept these hungry schools passing thru. Multiple hook-ups are common. We actually had large tarpon, redfish, and king mackerel on at once one time! I believe Jack Cartier CPA from St. Petersburg, was on the boat that trip? I expect the silver kings to move in with those big dark balls of baitfish migrating into our Venice thru Boca Grande region anytime. I stopped by the Venice Pier to talk with the regular anglers there recently; things were slow right now but there have had a few king, tarpon and shark bites already. Everyone expects the action to heat up as waters continue to cool down. This week’s hot daytime temps did not let waters cool but shorter days and last weekend’s clouds will push temps down. Fall officially arrived last Friday.
Snook, redfish and trout are all active and ready to play if you can find the time. This weeks New Moon offers stronger times and enhances the bite. Fishing inside will also improve until the colder temps run minnows south. All three will group up as the move around with temperature fluctuations. Snook are closed but fun to catch while we target the other two. Red fishing is good now and we have a shot at schools of moving fish. The sub-adults, (twenty-seven to thirty-five inches) are moving toward the Gulf to join up with off shore breed stocks. Some slot and smaller fish blessed our catches before my vacation. Trout closes in November so don’t wait too long to go fishing! Trout are doing so well the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is planning to open it back up year around soon! This is some of our best inside fishing right now because the fish are hungry and no crowds!
We could also get lucky and get on a school of the big bull reds from twenty to forty pounds now. It’s not every day but every year someone gets lucky and we hit the jackpot! A red cloud of hungry redfish rises up from the depths and crashes everything that hits the water. This is usually in the near shore Gulf of Mexico and we encounter the tarpon, etc… with them. It is crazy action but make many of our Gulf excursions memorable!
I am always looking for pompano but no action here yet; but a few are being seen skipping already! Venice to Boca Grande fishing is ready to light up any day! It’s time to set up your Fall fishing adventure with Captain Van now before the opportunity slips by. Like Captain Wilson used to say “if you’re too busy to go fishing you are just too busy!” Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard
Check out www.captvan.com the web site for additional info.
Or call 941-740-4665 in the evening.