Captain Van Hubbard’s fishing report for January 27, 2013.
Let’s see if I can get my Venice to Boca Grande reports back to weekly. When fishing is any thing near normal I can maintain a schedule but this mess has frustrated me to no end! We had a nice trip on Monday I’m just glad I have the Evinrude 200 E-Tec for power because fishing now requires a boat ride. The economy and speed are life savers. Rides are not a bad thing; our Charlotte Harbor area is beautiful now. The winter birds are abundant with hundreds of huge white pelicans, all kinds of wading birds and too many ospreys to count. It’s just gas costs are hard on my budget so I’d much rather catch fish in Lemon Bay and spend more time fishing. Actually I must admit like many of my friends that fish with me, I do prefer catching. Right now catching requires that we cruise around to find happy fish more than usual.
Normally I can put together a game plan and rarely need to alter it. Some stops are hot others are not. My good friend Scotty calls it a mail route and that works for me. These days fishing spots as messed up as our mail system; isn’t e-mail great. Every day is totally new. At first this bugged me but now I realize that us old salts don’t take new paths unless we are forced to. So I figure this is what it takes to get me out of the old rut and discover; actually rediscover Charlotte Harbor and beyond! Shucks, I just might learn something.
Alright I’ll get to the fishy part. I am finding some quality fish I just never know where to start. After four decades of fishing I have an understanding of what our fish want to do. But between the other folks sharing the fishery and now this red tide mess I am back to the basics. Ride hard until I see mullet and wading birds. They tell me the area is alive; simple but very important right now. Then carefully dial in some desirable fish for my folks to catch. We may start out with anything to bend our rods. Ladyfish are fun and much better than nothing. Trout are abundant but many are small; great for future fishing but not dinner to night. Redfish are looking very good if you have the patience to locate and then stalk these shy flats trophies. Snook have been abundant and biting but catch and release only. I am very optimistic about this springs fishing because I’m seeing a lot of big fish. In side is fine we just need to invest time riding and looking; then make the most of our opportunities!
Near shore has bright spots but is not dependable this time of year; but awesome so far! We have the warmest winter waters I have ever seen now. Mid seventies most days, yes those red tide blooms are totally unpredictable. So while I am not pushing our near shore fishing now we have excellent odds if you are a gambler; nothing ventured, nothing is gained! Spanish and king mackerel are around. Baitfish are frequently available, in quantity too! Cobia are on the wrecks but it’s a ride we only do in fair weather. If we have a trip set up for outside and it’s windy, we do have a backup plan to fish inside protected waters.
I to wish I had a crystal ball to predict this red tide mess, and our weather while I’m at it; yea the Super Bowl too; but that’s not the way it is!
Let’s go fishin’ soon, if you’re up for it? Please get your spring and summer dates locked in soon others are not procrastinating! Thank you for your support.
Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>