Great fishin stories by great customers at Gary’s Tackle Box.
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Hi Gary, Yesterday I went out on my buddy Chase Rossi's boat with another friend Josh Eddy and we hit the flats in Wacassassa waiting for the tide to come up, and after only catching a baby shark an and a few trout we headed in to hit some weed lines in the bay. We got to the first one that was being occupied by another boat, so Chase took us up through Turtle Creek and we anchored up over by some mangroves on a point and started throwing an assortment of baits at point from live to gulp. I was armed with a small revo s10 spinner reel that a young man at your shop spooled up with 10lb test, and also a Triforce rod that he sold me as well, so I was on light tackle with a 1/16 jig (also purchased at your shop) tipped with a glow white gulp under a popper. I was at the bow and cast over to the mangroves just behind the point, and after a couple of pops I saw my bobber go under and I set the hook. For a moment it felt like the fish was off already then I felt a heft pull and off it went I set the hook again and then my drag was a running. I was assuming it was a red, but the way it was making the fast runs and then braking it reminded me of a fish that is more abundant where I grew up in Naples Fl. but as I was fighting it I wrote it off as maybe a huge red fish or a cat. I had my drag set a little loose so I was starting to tighten it up and just finessed the fish towards the boat after a series of runs back and forth in a long zigzag pattern. I got the fish up a few feet around the bow of the boat and we saw the yellow fins and long black stripe with a flash of silver, and we were all in awe of the fact that we just confirmed it was a big ol' snook! He got up under the boat and I had to ease him back over to the side, and we safely netted him and he seemed around 30" or so and then we got the hook off and gently released him. After that it was a series of high fives and hooting and hollering! We fished out the spot for another 20 minutes and then headed further up the river to no avail. We headed back out into the bay a long a couple of small creek mouths and hauled in a few nice reds. It was a beautiful day of fishing!
A group of us showed up and roasted hot dogs, our weekly Sunday meeting. Dick Travers, along with others sat and fished, watching poles stuffed down PVC tubes from afar on the Levy Co. bank of the Suwannee River down from Jacks Sandbar. Free lining shrimp. To our surprise Dick landed a 3# Striped Bass. While we were admiring the fish, someone said, "Are you going to throw it back?" His reply was, "Are you out of your mind?” We all laughed. It was Dick's 74th birthday. I have read of folks catching a few at the mouth of the Suwannee, but never this far up the river. TPalfy
Went to Suwannee Saturday 1/31/15 with my son Dylan. We fished the east pass for a while, the wind was blowing really hard. We decided to head to Barnett for the tide was coming in. We trolled casting mirror lures and spoons and my son caught a short red on a gold spoon. When we arrived at our favorite hole there was a boat already there, we watched them pick up several reds most shorts but a couple made it to the cooler. After about 30 min. I was twitching my live shrimp on the bottom and thought I snagged bottom. It was then that it began to swim off. I could tell right away that my tackle was too light for what was at the end of it. Finally after some amount of time I was able to turn it. I was sure it was a volkswagon size drum. Slowly it came to the boat and I was able to hoist it up, leaning over to see and maybe grab it before it cames out of the murky water and realized it was an 8ft gator! It saw me and took one last run snapping my favorite G-Loomis rod. Ouch! I was able to save my reel by cutting the line. The guys in the other boat were hollering, new experience for all! We vacated that spot and headed to my favorite creek back at the east pass for the change in outgoing tide. When we got there and anchored the fish were there. Within 30 min we had our limit with a 24.5", 23", 21" and 19" red. We also released several other slots. A nice sheephead also made the cooler. We returned at 1pm Sunday for the change of tide, man was it windy! We were able to land a 25.5", 19" and 18" reds along with two more Sheephead. We did release many shorts as well. The windy conditions were rough this weekend but we had a good time nothing like being on the water to enjoy what god has given us! Have to replace that rod. HAH! KTharp
11 pound 3 oz at Rodmam 12-30-14
Headed out to the Middle Grounds for the opening of red snapper season with a crew of 5 (me, my son Reid, Todd Williams, Scott Daniels, & Morgan Griggs. We ran across a random floating piece of carpet in 125' and circled back just to be swarmed with schoolie mahi. We trolled up a few for sandwiches and left the rest to grow bigger. We fished all night and the morning until about 9:00 and ended with a limit of red snapper (from 14#'s to 18#'s), mangrove snapper to 7#'s, scamp grouper, red grouper, beeliners, and some tasty porgies. We released quite a few gags with the largest being a heartbreaking 20+ pounder caught by 9 year old Reid. Another epic journey to the Middle Grounds. - P. Wagner
Took family and friends out Saturday to Horseshoe and arrived just after low tide. We fished the incoming tide just south of Pepperfish most of the day. The bite was very slow, but we managed to ice seven Trout and one Spanish. Most were caught on soft plastics in white/pink or chartreuse with a couple being caught on live shrimp. The trick was moving north of Horseshoe until the water started clearing up and fishing the grass with a slow retrieve. Picture is of my wife Melinda Bell with one of the day's keepers. -Chris Bell
Took my daughter (Chelsea Bell), my brother (Steven Bell) and two of his kids (David and Krista)to Horseshoe Saturday morning. We got their early and by 8:30am we were wetting our lines a little more than halfway to Pepperfish in about 3ft of water. We caught trout all day, putting about 10 slot specs and a couple of Spanish in the box. Most fish were caught with 3 inch Gulp in Pearl White with pink tails on a 1/8 ounce red jig (Jim's, you can get them at Gary's Tackle Box). We also did very well with the Stinky Fingers Shrimp in clear with gold fleck. As the tide moved out, we found moving out with it kept us on the bite.
I took my dad, wife, and daughter to Horseshoe Saturday 3/22. Out of the channel we turned north towards Pepperfish and stopped about half way to it. Using primarily pearl white Gulp! we caught fish in 2-3ft range all day keeping 8 that were in the slot. The biggest was 21 inches and about 4 pounds that my dad caught (Gene). That picture is attached. There is also a picture of one of my daughters keepers (Chelsea).
Thought we'd try the minefield of rocks around Yankeetown for the first time in months with hopes that rising water temps.would bring on the bite. Went back to the well I've dubbed trout tavern for obvious reasons on Wed. morning Feb.26 facing ugly conditions with a rising tide and approaching front. On the second cast of the day it hit a purple- speckled chartuese tail 5" worm in 4' of dark water. A lengthy fight ensued with a 37" robalo (snook)Being captured,photographed,and released to fight another day.Two trout and 20 minutes had to throw in the towel as The rains and wind had picked up.I have a feeling it's gonna be a good spring.
Capt. Dan Markham-Capt.Joe Ryan
Bill Stanley and Joey Landreneau started Sunday morning, Feb 2nd on an speckled trout bite with 2 limits of upper slot fish by 9:00. We decided to return to an area Joey had previously sighted a few really big redfish. Low and behold we were able to sight cast to a school of overslot redfish and land the fish in the picture. We hooked two other fish but did not get them boat side. The first school of redfish was estimated at 50 - 60; the second school was 10 - 15 fish.
Fish were caught on Texas Tackle Factory soft plastic, GAMA 15 lb Torque braid, 25lb GAMA fluorocarbon leader.
Gary, Charlie Brown caught a mess of these in Newnan's this weekend, Can you ID the fish? Thanks Pete
Answer: non-native Plecostomus (or armored catfish)
My brother-in-law Kimber Jones, his nephew Randy Autrey, and I were fishing the grass flats just north of the Horseshoe Beach ramp last Saturday. We saw a bobber floating, and being the frugal, cheap ones we are, decided to go retrieve the free gift from some unlucky fisherman. We threw out our own rigs trying to snag it. We finally did, and when we got it near the boat, it surged forward and we discovered a huge redfish attached to the rig. We were able to keep our eyes on the bobber in about 2-3 feet of water, following with the boat. It finally slowed down, Kimber threw out his rig, reeled it slowly until it made contact with the bobber, and set the hook into the bobber. Then the fight began. The redfish pulled drag out, he would reel it in closer, and then it would surge out to sea again. After about a 15 minute battle, we hauled aboard the beautiful 29.5" redfish. I hope we can find out who lost this fish-it broke them off on the reel side of the bobber rig on 15 or 30lb braid. They could at least get some satisfaction in seeing the fish they lost. B. Harrison
Another epic trip to the Middle Grounds! We caught red snapper, mangrove snapper, multiple grouper species (red, scamp, & rock hind), blackfin tuna, & cobia on the way out and in). The largest fish were: - 25.5 lb. blackfin tuna - 16.5 lb. red snapper - 25.5 lb. cobia We caught one cobia when we were catching bait prior to heading offshore and then stopped at the same spot on the way in and found a pod of 3, 2 of which we landed. The red snapper were all over 10 lbs. P. Wagner
Fished out of Horseshoe Saturday the 11th. Arrived at low tide and fished the flats north of the channel until high tide. Focused on water 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet deep using 4" Pearl White Gulp! Boated 30-40 trout, kept 14 of the biggest with 2 over 18", 1 over 19", and 1 that was 22" and 4 1/2 pounds. Great day with my father, brother, and nephew David Bell who had both biggest fish of the day and most fish of the day! Picture is of my brother Steven Bell and father Gene Bell with one of the many doubles for the day.
We went to Horseshoe this past Saturday 4/6 and arrived on our "spot" around 10:30am. Fishing the incoming tide with Gulp! 3-4 inch Shrimp in Pearl White, Nuclear Chicken, and New Penny. I really didn't get time to fish much, I was busy taking keeper sized trout off the hooks for my 13 yo daughter, 15 yo niece, and wife. Most were caught in 3-4 foot of water. Great day. - C. Bell
Pitched a Gambler "why not" in 2ft of water and she ate. She went right at 10lbs on the boga and measured 26" long. The fish was caught in Fanning Springs on the Suwannee river.
This was my first time fishing in saltwater over in St.Augustine. I guess you can say I got lucky but I had the biggest catch of the day a 7lbs sheepshead. - T. Green
Here's a limit from Lake Sampson on 26 January 2013 - B. Morrell
24 inch 8 lb. largemouth bass caught on Rousseau Reservoir January 17th by Art Jones as witnessed by Jack Cutright.
Boat: Art & Kaye’s 89 Javelin
Rod: Lew’s Laser SL Speed Stick HM45 (spinning reel)
Line: 20 lb. Pro braid
6 ft. Leader: Berkley 20 lb Vanish Fluorocarbon
Hook: Owner 4/0 offset worm
Weight: ¼ oz Screw Bullet Weight
Bait: Zoom, Mag U-V Speed Worm, watermelon red
Weather: 10 am. cool and raining
Location: in the lip
All tackle purchased at Garry’s Tackle Box, the same gear used in 2012 that qualifies Art Jones as Co-Angler of the Year 2012 with Bassmasters of Gator Country
Went to Marineland and had already caught some mullet at the inlet (Matanzas), as the sun started getting low, the fish started biting....there were some big fish lost, (all redfish) and enough keepers for the two of us. Heavy triangle sinkers (6 oz.) a sliding sinker rig, and 80 lb leader for the rocks, with a chunk or whole finger mullet....and the bite was on!