January 2014 Fishing Outlook

san2014This time of the year offers some of the best sight fishing opportunities ever! My clients love the bright sunny afternoons paired with clear & skinny water; these conditions afford them the chance to hone their sight fishing skills, presenting soft baits to tailing redfish and monster seatrout.

Some of my favorite “go to” baits for sight fishing this time of the year are the Z-Man Shrimpz, Pogyz, and Fattyz rigged on a 3/0 keel weighted rigging hook. All of these profiles can be worked slow and subtle to incite a strike from a foraging redfish. It’s normal for me to employ about a 30″to 36″section of fluorocarbon leader (Ohero 15lb) for this type of fishing because the fish are very wary of their surroundings. In addition, I will add a little Pro-Cure shrimp or crab scent to these offerings making them irresistible and easy to find in the grass.

Now that the water temps are consistently cold, larger trout have been pushing up shallow in the mid-day periods. These “gator sized” seatrout are looking to eat a bigger bait in this scenario so try tossing some surface walking or slow suspending plugs for some explosive bites! My top producing lures by far have been the Paul Brown Original (Floater) and the Paul Brown Devil…. cold water monster trout love them. Another good plug choice after a few warm up days would have to be the new C-Eye Pro Series Top Dog worked slowly… with a stop and go retrieve around the mullet activity. On all these presentations, I employ a shorter fluorocarbon leader (Ohero 25lb) primarily because the water is so shallow. Keep in mind, long leaders drag treble hooked lures into the grass creating annoying fouling issues.

Flounder have been a good secondary target on the flats adjacent to deeper channels. Again it’s hard to beat the Z-Man Shrimpz on a jig head or the reliable buck tail jig in the sandy holes along the grass flats for some decent sized flounder right now. I’ve even caught a few sheepshead with this technique lately! A lift, lift, fall retrieve will produce best in those pot holes.

san2014My snook bite has been spotty at best. We catch them on the warming trends poling some of the muddy bottom back waters swimming a dark colored jig like the Z-Man Minnowz in the Gold Rush color. If it’s windy or overcast, try the MirroMinnow or C-Eye Mirrodine these hard baits get gobbled up quick by backcountry snook on warming trends!

Please, always practice conservation ethics because catch and release ensures we will all have healthy fisheries to enjoy in the future.

That’s all I’ve got for now folks. If you are interested in doing an all-artificial Flats Class Charter, please shoot me an email at flat...@gmail.com and we will get you booked for a great sight fishing adventure!

PS: The all new Flats Class Workshop is coming to Mosquito Creek Outdoors on January 18th near Orlando! There are still some seats left so reserve your seat now by emailing me at Flat...@gmail.com

Catch’em up,

Report by Capt. C.A. Richardson

Capt. C.A. Richardson
Flats Class TV
cari...@flatsclass.com
727.647.9356

November 2013 Fishing Report

nov2013ReportThe water temperature is cooling down nicely now with the frequent cold fronts moving through regularly this month. Look for increased action on both hard baits and spoons as game fish become more active before winter sets in after the holidays.

Lures that have been working for me lately have been the Mirrolure She-Pups & Mirrodines, plus the Z-Man Diezel Minnow 4″and the dependable Aqua Dream “green” spoons with a little dab of Pro-Cure (inshore scent) tied onto about 2 feet of Ohero fluorocarbon leader (20lb). I’ve been targeting an average depth of about one foot with these baits and have had great success, especially in areas where “checkered bottom”is available versus solid sea grass.

The big trout bite has picked up in the past few weeks! Big soft plastics like the 5″ Z-Man Jerk Shadz in Redbone & Shiner have been doing well on a weighted rigging hook for sea trout cruising turtle grass flats with sandy pot holes. Also, the Mirrolure She-Dog and She-Pups are getting mugged by big sea trout in shallow water during the early morning hours especially during the incoming tide phase.

Mirrodines have absolutely been my most reliable snook bait lately. I’m fishing potholes and broken bottom on flats that have back bays and creek mouths nearby. Make sure you employ at least 30lb. fluorocarbon leader… or you will be buying a few more Mirrodines for sure! Again the Z-Man Diezel in Bad Shad & Pearl with a 1/4oz. jig head can get it done to when the water is a little deeper. Pro-Cure gel scents will help seal the deal on those tougher days so apply liberally when needed.

Finally, the redfish schools are starting to break-up which actually makes fishing for them easier. Good lures to utilize around the heavier mullet activity are the Aqua Dream Spoons and the Z-Man Chatterbait! With the water getting clear from lack of rain, it’s important to target the mullet muds with these flashy lures. Focus on the day just prior to a cold front arriving and you should have plenty of redfish action this month!

Please practice conservation ethics, catch and release ensures we will have healthy fisheries to enjoy.

That’s all I’ve got for now folks. If you are interested in doing an all-artificial Flats Class Charter, please shoot me an email at flat...@gmail.com and we will get you booked while the fishing is hot this Fall.

Catch’em up,

Report by Capt. C.A. Richardson

October Fishing Report

redRedfish, redfish, redfish! They are everywhere on Bay Area flats right now eating just about everything you launch in front of them. Naturally, the best time to target these copper bruisers is on the lower tide phases where they can be found tailing or staged up in bigger depressions in the shallow flats.

Arties that have been working for me lately have been the new Z-Man Pogyz and the Aqua Dream “green” spoons with a little dab of Pro-Cure (inshore scent) tied onto about 2 feet of Ohero fluorocarbon leader (20lb). I’ve been targeting an average depth of about one foot with these baits and having great success, especially in areas where wading birds are present.

The trout bite has been a little persnickety as of late. I believe we need some cooler water temps to jump start the bite. And that should happen later this month with the first cold front or two. Until then, utilize Mirrolure surface walkers on shallow flats as the sun comes up coinciding with an incoming tide. That formula should be good for a couple of “gator-sized” trout for sure!

Snook on the other hand, have been showing up in a few zones with a vengeance. Not that I think these fish have fully recovered from the 2010 freeze. But I have had some solid hook-ups with snook this past month throwing the Z-Man Diezel Minnow and Mirrolure Catch Jr. along the south shore of Tampa Bay. I’d target the first third of the outgoing tide where some backcountry bays are dumping out water between cuts and island points for consistent snook opportunities.

That’s all I’ve got for now folks if you are interested in doing an all-artificial Flats Class Charter, please shoot me an email and we will get you booked while the fishing is hot.

Catch’em up,

Report by Capt. C.A. Richardson

Capt. C.A. Richardson
Flats Class TV
cari...@flatsclass.com
727.647.9356