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10/25/01 04:16 AM
West Central Florida, Weekending 10/21/01 [Post#: 464 ] Reply to this post

Fishing Report for Charlotte Harbor / Boca Grande
Weekending 10-21-01

Weather and lack of traveling anglers kept me off the waters of Charlotte Harbor this week.

I was however, able to fish West Central Florida Friday through Sunday. We spent Friday morning fishing North Tampa Bay (Safety Harbor). The morning provided for an extreme low tide. While we did not do so well, anglers reported catching small Redfish, mixed with some Snook in the mouth of the creeks lining Safety Harbor.

We decided to finish the afternoon in north Pinellas County. Although small, bait was abundant on the grass flats between Fred Howard Park and the mouth of Anclote River. Pressed for time to locate fish in preparation for the following day’s tourney, we fished as many spots as possible Friday afternoon. Unfortunately our efforts did not pay off so well. We located some smallish Snook in the back bays of Wai Lani, and Trout in the sand patches behind Anclote Key. None of which, were bragging size. Redfish totally eluded us for the afternoon.

We spent the early dark hours of Saturday morning in search of bigger bait. We found 3” – 6” White bait under the fender lights of Sand Key Bridge. At first light, we dropped our baits at Two Tree with no success. We immediately proceeded up the Anclote and worked every dock from the A19 Bridge to The Anclote River Park. The action was fast and furious. Was caught and released countless Jack Crevalle to 10lbs, Jewfish, Grouper, Snapper, Flounder, Sea Bass, Catfish, Ladyfish and some of the biggest Pinfish I have ever seen. A Super Trash Slam was on the books! Unfortunately, a slot size Snook once again eluded us.

We then proceeded to a secret spot behind Anclote Key for Phase II of our day; to find a Jumbo Trout. We creeped up to our hole and set the Power-Pole. Our live chum was immediately inhaled by Trout. 30 minutes and a dozen or so 16”to 18” Trout later, a 23 incher finally hit the landing net, the photo board, and back in the water it went. It sure looked all of 28” in the water!

We felt comfortable placing with our Trout and with five hours left in the tournament, we decided to hit every conceivable proven spot between Anclote River and the Spoil Islands in search of a jumbo Snook and Redfish. Unfortunately both outsmarted us on Saturday. The Trout measured at 22.750” and was the 2nd largest of the event.

I decided to stick around one more day to give the river another chance. More Jacks, Catfish, Jewfish, Snapper, Flounder, Sea Bass and Grouper, but no Redfish or Snook. On the way back to the ramp, we decided to take a quick detour and quietly idle along the edges of the Power Plant outflow. Sure enough, Snook and Redfish were everywhere. Unfortunately, it was time to pack the boat, and head back down to Gasparilla. Hope to have better luck next time. Regardless of our fishing success, we had loads of fun participating in the Shriner’s Charity Tournament. It was also good being back in my former home waters of St. Joseph Sound and meeting up with many old fishing friends..

In the few years I’ve been away, I noticed a decline in the Trout, Redfish and Snook population. In areas I use to consistently catch and release 50+ trout on one quarter of a tide, only produced a handful this weekend. My old Snook and Redfish spots seemed barren. Even my old Mangrove Snapper holes produced very few, let alone a single legal size fish. I also noticed an increase in boat traffic to the area.

Loss and/or disturbance of habit, water quality and ever increasing angling pressure will continue to test our stocks. With so, the careful handling and release of all fish not intended for a fresh meal in conjunction
with responsible boating will help to improve the fishery for all. Collectively we can all help to provide our kids, the very same enjoyment we experience today.

Tight Lines and Safe Boating.

Capt. Allan B. Beraquit
Coast II Coast Fishing Charters, Inc.
1-866-4-TARPON /

Capt. Allan Beraquit
Coast II Coast Fishing Charters, Inc.

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