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Perdido Key to Cape San Blas
By Capt. Chip Blackburn

Inshore anglers searching for speckled trout are reporting that it has been a slow week. The good news is that there are plenty of blacktip sharks more than willing to provide plenty of action for the bored angler. The blacktip will provide you with thumb blistering runs and an occasional acrobatic display. Just about anything will work for bait and a chumbag is a sure fire way to get the party started.

St. Vincent Island to Steinhatchee
By Capt. Jody Campbell

Tides will be running hard this weekend, but the wind could blow also. Plus it's gonna’ blow out of the northwest, so that will keep the tides lower than normal, something to keep in mind when planning your weekend trip.

Fishing around the Aucilla has been extremely good. Lots of trout are being caught around the oyster bars at the mouth of the river. Live shrimp should work well. Topwaters are the ticket for early morning and late afternoon shallows. Chug Bugs and Spittin’ Images would be my choices. The area around Gray Mare Rock out to the old No. 4 stake has been holding lots of trout. Go with straight jigs or live shrimp. Also look for Spanish and blues out there.

Stoney Bayou off the Lighthouse was home to lots of reds last week that wanted gold spoons. And, they may be there on the high water this weekend. Live shrimp and grubs have been producing some good trout hauls off Patty's Island and around the stake line off Live Oak Island.

There wasn't much tidal flow this past week and fishing on the flats off Piney Island has been slow. Wind out of the north, which is unusual for this time of year, made it worse. Check out the oyster bars at the mouth of the Ochlockonee with live shrimp on a jighead or suspended under an Equalizer.

There are lots of Spanish around the Government Stake out to the Ochlockonee Shoals. Trolling with spoons or casting chartreuse Nylures or other similar jigs will hook you up.

Trout fishing has slowed down at Lanark. Yet, some folks are still doing pretty well with the electric chicken grubs and live shrimp. Hungry reds took up the slack and there were some monster reds in the back end of Alligator Harbor.

Look for blues and some Spanish macks off Dog Island Reef. There should be trout, reds and whiting in the surf at St. George and look for flounder at the cut and along the bridge. Live mud minnows work best.

Grouper fishing has been excellent in 55 to 85 feet on both dead and live bait. Amberjack are being caught in good numbers around the wrecks--Franklin County Reef, Yamaha Reef and the towers. Bait them with live pinfish. Also look for some big cobia cruising these same areas as well as shadowing markers going into the St. Marks River. Pinfish are good, but cobes can't resist a live eel. If you want kings, troll spoons, cigar minnows and lipped lures south of Buoy 24.

Big Bend:
Pine Log Island to Hernando Beach
By Capt. Bill Henderson

If you've never been to the Middle Grounds off the Gulf Coast, you’re missing out. I went out with a few buddies this past week and had a great trip. It's amazing how blue the water is in 140 feet. Loaded the boat with big gags, red snapper and Ajs, plus a few other fish that I have never seen before. The bad thing about the trip is it’s a 3-hour boat ride. I was also amazed that there were probably 50 other boats out there. Guess when the fishing is that good, a lot of people know about it.

Now for the good stuff. If reds are your favorite fish to chase, then the Big Bend is the place to be. They’re on fire here and everyone is on them. The St. Martins Keys are overrun with reds and many more should be coming in with the next full moon. Most of the catches have been the slightly smaller fish, but that’s common. The larger spawners are usually right behind and ready to eat when they arrive. The action is best just before the new and full moons due to stronger tides. Target the incoming tide and be ready as the fish school up on the points as the tide rises. Most any live bait will do and a freelined presentation always works best. A gold spoon, jig or jerkbait will produce fish as well.

Trout in any kind of numbers aren’t available. They have moved into deeper waters from Yankeetown to Bayport. A few reports have come from the Tarpon Springs area, but for the most part it's slow all over.

Tarpon are still gracing the flats south of Chassahowitztka, but not in any large numbers. Small pods are being seen daily, but no big numbers have shown yet. Many fly anglers are catching fish, but it can be a long day on the water if the conditions are just right. The hope is that June’s full moon will bring more tarpon into the area. Guess we will have to wait and see. I'll keep you posted.

Soon the focus will turn to scalloping as the season nears in the Big Bend. Boaters from all over the state will come to harvest vast quantities of these critters from July 1 through mid September. Homosassa/ Crystal River will be the hotspot again this season and it looks to be another great summer. The flats are already covered with them and millions will follow. I'll provide much more info as the season gets closer. I'll even be sure to throw in some GPS coordinates for those new to the area.

West Central:
Aripeka to Longboat Key
By Capt. Ray Markham

The plague has arrived on the Suncoast. “Tarpon fever” is the annual addiction that causes thousands of anglers to leave the comfort of their air-conditioned homes and TV remotes to head for the water. There is no known cure and the only treatment that alleviates the symptoms of this horrid disease is to go fish.

Schools of tarpon are on the coast from Boca Grande to Homosassa. Angling efforts in 3 to 30 feet of water can be productive. Live blue crabs, pass or dollar crabs, (calico crabs) and corked or freelined pinfish and greenies, (threadfins) are the staples of live-baiters. Shad, a.k.a. menhaden, pogies, bunker, slimies, etc. top the list of favorite dead baits, but ladyfish or mullet injected with or soaked in anise oil will work. Just anchor them to the bottom and hold on.

Captains Rick Grassett and Ed Hurst out of CB Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key have been working schools of fish off the Sarasota/Manatee coastline. Between the two, dozens of fish were jumped or landed this week. Both fly and livebait presentations are working for them. Keep an eye peeled for cobia while working the coast.

New moon tides will have currents ripping in and out this weekend, making for great snook action. Beaches, barrier islands and passes will be hot. Jigs, jerkbaits and DOA Shrimp excel in these moving-water conditions. Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands and Three Rooker Bar are traditional hotspots.

Trout action has been stellar on the deep grassflats in lower Tampa Bay and Anclote Key. Slow-sinking plugs, jigs and live shrimp suspended under popping corks turn up the heat. Topwater baits worked early and late in the day rule for big fish.

Redfish action is a “find it where you can” thing. Spanish mackerel, pompano and small permit are in Tampa Bay and around the passes and sandbars.

Sarasota to Bonita Beach
By Capt. Ron Kowalyk


Sarasota Bay was busy with holiday boaters, but there still seemed to be fair trout, jack and other open-water bites. Lemon Bay was also busy, but there were some reports of snook, snapper, reds and trout in the feeder creeks. Surf fishers found good numbers of snook, trout and reds along the beaches and just outside the pass mouths.

Port Charlotte

Some fair tarpon fishing in the Boca Pass, at the mouths of the Peace and Myakka and scattered along the deeper dropoffs at Burnt Store Bars. Bull and Turtle bays had fair to good redfish bites with some sight fishing on the early morning rising tides. Burnt Store Bars had some of the same. Trout bites were good on the dropoffs and in the 3- to 5-foot drifts throughout the bay.

Fort Myers

Fighting the boat traffic was the biggest challenge of the weekend. Snook are plentiful on the beaches and in the passes. Redfish bites were good from Part Islands to Joslyn and all along the west shoreline of Pine Island. The Ding Darling had good action for reds, snook and some small tarpon in the creeks leading into the bayous. Fly guys had fair snook and redfish action in the creeks along Wildlife Drive. San Carlos Bay gave up good numbers of big trout, a few tarpon on the flats and reds along the mangrove islands. Snook are in the Caloosahatchee from Sword Point to Cape Coral Bridge and on Iona Shores to Peppertree Point. Passes entering Estero Bay are holding snook, some smaller tarpon and big reds. The Eastern Wall of Estero had good redfish action on the early morning tides.


The early morning high water and strong incoming tides will make up a good bite through early afternoon. The best bite may take place on the strong afternoon through evening falling tide.

Ten Thousand Islands:
Bonita Shores to Lostmans Key
By Capt. John Preeg

There has been plenty of rain this week, but this has not dampened the fish, only the fishermen. Snook are very active all the way from Broad River up to Pine Island Sound. Many of these fish are small, especially in more populated areas, but there are some big fish also being caught. All of the snook are readily taking artificials.

Redfish have been very active all spring and continue to school. The best redfish action is around the south end of Marco Island, but scattered reds can be found throughout the 10,000 Islands as well as in Estero Bay.

The only fish that has been disappointing this spring is the tarpon. The big schools that should be migrating along the beaches are not there. A few scattered tarpon have been caught, but in general, tarpon fishing is very poor. The recent rains will spark baby tarpon fishing in the creeks and backbays, but the large fish seem to have skipped our area this year and are probably already up in Boca Grande getting ready for the spawn.

Key Largo to Key West
By Dave Navarro

Keys Wide Summary

Wow, what a holiday we had--perfect weather and almost perfect fishing. Dolphin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo and even a few huge kingfish were reported and that was just the offshore report. On the reef, tons of big yellowtail along with mutton and mangrove snapper, grouper of several varieties and more were taken. Tarpon ate like there was no tomorrow. So did many flats species. With all this action last weekend, you would think there would be nothing left to catch.

But as the TV commercial goes, "But wait, there's more!" The good news about offshore fish is that they do not stay here even if no one catches them. They are moving all the time, so now is a good time to see who came in today. This goes for dolphin, wahoo and the tunas. I have had so many reports of huge dolphin that I can't even remember which ones were caught where. I do know that over 7 fish over 50 pounds were taken in the past 3 days in the Middle Keys alone. If this doesn't excite you to give it a try, it's time to have your pulse checked.

Tarpon fishing has remained so good that bait has become a problem. Now that live mullet are scarce, other options have been used. Live crabs have been working so well, that stocks of them are hard to find. Live pinfish are also keeping many anglers hooked-up with the silver king. While daytime is best for backcountry flats, bridge channels dominate the early mornings and late evenings. We did not have a worm run of any substance on the last full moon so everyone is looking forward to the period of June 14th through the 18th for the expected event. More on that in future reports.

Upper Keys Report

Wahoo have also made a good appearance lately. Some very nice ones were caught. Several over 40 pounds were caught locally with one in excess of 58 pounds taken in this region just yesterday. These fish like a bait or better yet, a lure trolled below the surface. I like the Billy Baits or Ilander Lures for this. They have larger versions that track true and run 4 feet below the surface to attract the toothy critters. They also snag a ton of dolphin, so don't think you are losing anything when using them.

Boy, was it ever a good weekend for dolphin, too! I mean there were catches of big fish reported all over the place. Some junior anglers brought in dolphin over 50 pounds--where the fish actually outweighed the angler. They were caught on everything from baits to lures to accidental hookups where someone left a bait in the water over the side and darn near lost the rod in the process. (I heard of several where the fish got the rod as well.)

Middle & Lower Keys Report

Dolphin action has been just as hot in both of these venues throughout the week. With a forecast westerly wind for the rest of the week, as well as the weekend, fishing should be interesting although the seas should be calm in the Stream along with the dark of the moon. The bite should be awesome according to most. The best locations have been from 11 miles beyond the reef out to about 18 miles for a week now. Look in the scattered grass as no big solid weedlines have formed yet.

Back out front for a bit on the reef action. Everything on the reef has seemed to be running a couple of weeks late this year, so now should not be a surprise. Look for a great bite by the mutton as well as some very nice 'tails, just like we had over the weekend. Mangrove snapper are on their move now towards the reef and soon it will resemble Key West on Fantasy Fest Weekend. Live small pinfish as well as live pilchards will knock their socks off, (if they were wearing any,) not to mention silversides and glass minnows. A good chum flow is essential for raising these fish up to a catchable range.

Flats fishing is almost as hot as the noon temperature, which by the way, limits most of the bonefish action to the mornings and late afternoons. Tarpon and permit are around all day though as well as many fun species that frequent these regions. Along the edges, look for snapper on the move to the ocean. This is one of the better areas to find schools of them searching for as much food as possible on their trek.

The bay is also very good for snapper now, as well as for trout and a variety of grouper. We will have a good push of red grouper in the bay waters for the next couple of months. They should be steady until around the beginning of lobster season when they resemble pincushions from the amateur divers.

Fernandina Beach to Flagler Beach
By Capt. Rick Ryals

Trout fishing is becoming a deepwater or nighttime fishery already this year. Usually we see trout slapping surface lures well into June, but skyrocketing water temps and clear skies seem to be hurting surface action. The lights near Blount Island, and in the downtown area, are holding nighttime specks.

The big reds are at the jetties, and are biting frozen sardines of all things. Most of the fish are oversize.

Flounder are steadily getting bigger and more numerous. Once the pogies get more plentiful, look for good numbers of big fish on the south side of the jetties. High tide and clear water will be the keys to ocean flounder fishing.

East Central:
Tomoka Basin to Sebastian Inlet
By Captain Jim Ross

INSHORE-Flounder are hitting live minnows and shrimp on tide changes at the inlet. Tarpon to 110 pounds are possible in the river near the South Bridge at New Smyrna. Trout to 6 pounds are striking top water plugs, soft jerkbaits and live pigfish in calm backwater areas from Smyrna to Oak Hill.

INSHORE-Redfish, trout, jack crevalle and ladyfish are striking baits that imitate glass minnows or finger mullet on the 1- to 3-foot grassflats throughout the Indian and Banana rivers. Anglers should try to find large concentrations of baitfish and work those areas thoroughly. A few last-minute snook and decent numbers of slot-size redfish should be possible along the jetties at thePort for anglers using live pogies or shrimp on sliding-sinker rigs

INSHORE-Snook will be on everyone's mind until the spring season closes at 12 a.m. Sunday morning. Both changes of the tide have been productive inside the inlet, and the last portion of the outgoing and first portion of the incoming tide seem to be best for anglers on the south jetty.

Wabasso Beach to Boca Raton
By Capt. Eden White


I stuck my hand in the water the other day and it was ice cold from all the fresh water. But if you can find an area where it is still fairly clear, a few dolphin are certain to be on the boundary. Kings don't mind the dirty water at all, but bottom fishing has been lackluster as a result. One of the real positives recently has been the number of cobia on the reefs. Sailfish are being spotted there from time to time as well.

Snook will be getting most of the inshore focus, at least until midnight Saturday. Plenty of fish will be in the inlets as spawning time fast approaches, large numbers of smaller fish will also be in the spillways. Shad, bream, small bass and bluegills are washing through and linesiders love to eat them. Tarpon are biting best at sunrise. Figure out which way they're moving and try to intercept them.


It looks like chocolate milk is washing out the inlet, but if you can find the clean edge, predators like sailfish, dolphin and kingfish are sure to be there. High-speed trolling for wahoo is an option early in the morning, when it's calm enough. Otherwise, stick to natural rigged baits and slow down to normal trolling speed. A few blackfin tunas are being reported, but mostly to the south.

Deerfield Beach to Key Largo. Flamingo to Cape Sable
By Capt. George Mitchell


Where did all the blackfin tuna go? And the big kings? It seems as though they are past us now on their journey north. Oh well, at least the snapper bite is still going strong! The yellowtail snapper fishing has been superb and should remain strong for a couple more months. Best bet for anglers out of the Miami area is to anchor upcurrent of the 40- to 60-foot reefs where you mark fish on your recorder. This time of year they are on the move, but they should be close by from one day to the next. Don’t use a lot of chum unless the fish are staying way back. Sometimes the chum will draw the scallywags, too. We like strips of ballyhoo on a Mayhew Hairless 1/16-ounce if the currents light, but heavier if it’s strong. Bring along an assortment in case they lose interest. Squid, mullet, pilchards, silversides and such all make good bait as long as you keep it fresh.


Same deal here with the exception of the chum rule. Here you may need to really pour the chum to them to get their attention and pull fish into the slick. For many years now commercial folks have been using huge chum sacks with holes as large as 1inch. This makes it hard to spark their interest sometimes. We like to use a slop mixture to add to the slick. Most tackle stores sell a "yellowtail assassination kit" that has all the ingredients for a memorable trip.

Inshore anglers are still having a ball with tarpon, mostly at night at the creeks and the passes, but the sight casting to them on the flats has been good at first light. The trick is to be at your spot early!


Pretty hot here this week until the wind switched out of the southwest. Almost all the well-known flats seem to have their share of redfish, but the times they are there have been weird. Snakebight has been super in the early morning and dead the rest of the day, while the flats out by Sand Key have been better towards the end of the day. The ’skeeters are ferocious, so have everything ready before you get there!
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