Still tarpon from Venice to Boca Grande.

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Still tarpon from Venice to Boca Grande.

2012-7-23 Captain Van Hubbard’s fishin’ report

Venice to Boca Grande fishin’ bounces back and forth with our unusual weather.

We did enjoy some good action on mackerel last Monday with Dawson and Edith Hicks of Tampa. The weather had settled from recent rains and seas calm so we looked out on one of the artificial reefs off Boca Grande. We found plenty of both Spanish and king mackerel. The frozen chum bag and plentiful minnows for chum really helped. It unusual to find schools of macks in July but this has been an unusual year. Many of the fish we caught were smaller kings a little more than a foot long; fine for Spanish but too small for kings to eat. Please be careful because kings need to be two feet long for harvest. The sure way to distinguish the two is the lateral line dips dramatically on kings. The abundant small white bait minnows are perfect for this.  Bring plenty of ice to keep your dinner fresh! I have reports of bigger mackerel in deeper waters if weather allows us to chase em?

Wednesday we fished for trout and dinner. I caught bait then picked up at Palm Island resor.t we found plenty of action with mixed trout, ladyfish and a few bluefish, plus a shark kicker. We managed a nice mess of filets for dinner.  Some of the same group fished Friday and we fished up more trout and bluefish plus some trophy snook for photos. Each of the guys had a thirty-five to forty inch snook to talk about. The fish are not thick but quality trophy fish for lasting memories and the photos are nice too.

Saturday I had three gentlemen from Rhode Island and we wanted tarpon so we road down to the Boca Grande Pass hunting. We found scattered tarpon all the way from Stump Pass to Boca Grande Pass. Several other captains reported good action the day before but we were a day late for silver kings. We did see one caught by a patient angler off of Boca. We went out to capture some mackerel for lunch but they were not as thick and the barracuda moved in so we left. I decided to see if we could catch some of those big snook. We found a few and managed to catch several and hook some others. We then had a feast at the Stump Pass Tiki Bar to finish off the trip.

I chickened out today because I thought it was going to blow harder plus it was a seventy percent chance of rain and they are staying on Little Gasparilla Island. We’ll get back at it tomorrow. We do have plenty of fish and action when things come together. I suggest mornings as it gets warm by noon. We have a variety to pursue so please take the time to explain your desires while we set up your trip. I’m even hearing reliable reports of pompano coming so enjoy this crazy fishing if you can get out.

Captain Van Hubbard <>

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