Capt. Ric’s Reel Simple Fishing Report

Jun 27, 14 Capt. Ric’s Reel Simple Fishing Report

Sometimes it’s best to just trust the captain. On the boat that’s probably a safe bet and should be followed. I have certainly made some dumb decisions on my boat in the past and will make more in the future but most of the time trough past experience and luck I get it right.
This is all being said on the heels of a tarpon trip that I ran recently that my advice was thrown out the window like an apple core. First of all, I typically do not run half day tarpon trips and if you are a tarpon fisherman you know why. There is more time involved in setting up and establishing a chum line. Both of which are important to take the time and get right.
The problem started when I explained that we need to leave from a closer vicinity to the skyway bridge than the Little Manatee River. This idea was met with opposition. My thoughts were if you drove down here from the north, what’s 30 more minutes? Here’s the deal, we got 4 hours to fish, if you want to have more options as to finding fish, time will be valuable.
Some of our tarpon fishing areas are an hour away from the river, two hours round trip, which has half the trip already used up on the trip they booked. My suggestion was to pickup at Maximo Park or in Bradenton where we would be thirty minutes at the most from all the areas that we have been catching tarpon.

Ken Miller with a trophy 29.5” trout he caught while fishing in Tampa Bay with Capt. Ric Liles and Reel Simple Fishing Adventures.

More options, more opportunity! To shorten the story we left from the Little Manatee River, did not have the lines in the water as long as normal(even after staying out longer than usual) and never boated a fish. We jumped two at the same time but got broke off on the bridge by both fish less than a minute into the battle. I got back to the dock and had to listen to one of the party complain about his trip. I smiled and reminded him that we did it his way. We might not have jumped any fish had we gone with my game plan but I certainly think we would have and that would have made a much better trip and happier clients at the end of the day. Come to find out the distance they saved was only about 8 miles round trip.
Fishing in general has finally come out of the funk it was in. The redfish bite has been fantastic and the big trout are still eating. My best fishing has come on the end of the incoming water while fishing the flats and on the middle of the falling tide while fishing the mangroves and docks. We are finally starting to see a little bait move onto grass flats in the bay.
They are very late this year moving up, if anyone knows why, please share. This time of year my suggestion would be to fish early or fish late if the rains allow. Try to be off the water during the mid day heat period. Safety first. Until next time, good luck and be safe on the water. Remember: don’t let your kid be the one that got away, take them fishing.
For charter information you can call (813)601-2900, email me at, or visit

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