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-Fishing-Boating Online
+--Forum: Florida West Coast and Alabama
+---Topic: Gulf Fishing started by hing report

Posted by: hing report Feb 15 2006, 10:58 AM

Always Fishing Guide Service
Spring Hill, Hernando County, Florida
Lower Nature Coast
by Capt. Frank Bourgeois

A certain little creature (the Groundhog) saw his shadow and Mother Nature is trying to prove him right with six weeks left of winter. The water temperatures are warming slowly but I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Reports of good size bluefish are heading our way and that means to me the start of spring fishing. Usually I find bluefish not to far from the large trout and a great sport fish called the Hound fish. Also I look for the grouper to start their shallow water migration to eat and replace the body fat they lost this winter. March is the magic month for me as I have seen in years past the beginning of great spring fishing. We have had a mild January, but the cold weather in February is good, as it slows the movement of fish moving north and this can be a good thing. On the Nature Coast many fish just pass by heading for there summer homes, so when the water warms slowly I believe this keeps the fish in our area for a longer time. On some recent trips offshore I have found in thirty to forty foot of water lots of short grouper, catching about twenty five shorts to one keeper grouper. The middle grounds are a sure way to catch limits of keeper grouper when the water is cold as the water stays at the same temperature more so than in shallow water. But this holds some problems for smaller boats. At this time of year the wind tends to blow a lot offshore making it not safe to go there, unless you have the right boat. A good friend of mine has the right boat. He runs a thirty eight foot cabin fishing boat, but sometimes the weather men are wrong! He is found himself in twelve foot waves and the boat ride home took many hours of traveling at five miles an hour. He told me the fishing was great but not worth the ride. I own a new boat but the boat is twenty six foot long, not thirty eight foot like my friendís boat, so I will wait for summer before I venture out to the middle grounds. There are more and more boat with the capabilities to fish the middle grounds but expect to pay the price to get there, fuel price makes everything more expensive. For you that are fishing out of your own boat, maybe this will help, if you catch one keeper grouper and continue to catch smaller grouper try pulling your anchor and drift for a while sometimes the bigger fish are at the end of your chum stream waiting for an easy meal. Look for offshore redfish madness. This time of year when the water is cold the Redfish move into backwaters or very far out in more stable waters. On the backwaters the person with the boat that will go shallow, like 4 inches of draft will usually always win. Now on the other hand offshore redfish are usually in the breading mode. These fish are usually too big to bring home. but will give you a fight you will not forget too soon. I have located many redfish over 50 inches on the offshore reefs fishing for grouper. This time of year is about the best time to catch bull reds but please be careful not to hurt them as the fish are breeding and full of eggs. I know of no one that can constantly catch deep water reds so when you do feel lucky.

Tight lines till next time

Captain Frank Bourgeois
Always Fishing Guide Service

Office: 352-666-6234


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