Capt. Ric’s Reel Simple Fishing Report

Jan 30, 15 Capt. Ric’s Reel Simple Fishing Report

I hope everyone had a great New Year and are still holding strong with all the new resolutions. I usually last about a month and it’s back to the same old routine. So far, 2015 has brought the warmest January that I can ever remember. Last month I tried to share a few cold weather fishing tactics for January fishing but so far none of it has been of any use. I think it would be hard to find any negative reviews from anyone about the weather but it does have the fish a bit confused. Fish are very habitual and as anglers we develop the same kind of habits as the fish. Meaning we fish certain areas every year at certain times. You can take any species of fish and they will have pattern changes as the seasons change. A good example of this are the folks that fish for tarpon and kingfish. You will not find anyone with the hook down at the skyway tarpon fishing right now, same as all the cobia fishermen stay away from the power plants in the summer. When the fish leave so do the anglers. Most of us fish for whatever is in our area at the time but there are a small percentage of water hounds that follow different species all over the place. I kinda chased a rabbit and got off the trail a bit but my point is with the weather being much warmer than normal this time of year, to be flexible in your fishing style and your fishing areas. Learn new water. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Robert McCall with a underslot cobia he caught while fishing in Tampa Bay with Capt. Ric Liles.

I had a question asked by one of the column readers via email. Thanks Harvey, it’s nice to know that someone is reading the reports. Harvey mentioned that he recently moved here from the midwest and fished for “river cats” and was curious about our catfish here. It was not stated but my hunch is that this question was asked with a possible fish dinner in mind. Bad news for you Mr. Harvey, our saltwater catfish in the bay and surrounding waters are not the same. The catfish that are in the farm ponds and rivers in the midwest are freshwater and certainly make much better table fare. I have a friend in Davenport Iowa that is a catfish angler and he sends me pics of his catch and raves about the tasty fish fries they have. The catfish we have do offer a fun fight but are generally considered a trash fish in salt water. We do have freshwater catfish that are edible but I am not able to help you with any of that. Sorry!.
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, or visit

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