2012 Fishing Schedule & Report
Hello from Anna Maria, I hope everyone had a great holiday and a happy new year. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a strong and prosperous 2012. I want to thank everyone for keeping me on the water despite the sluggish economy. I know it's been tuff on all businesses the last few years. It looks optimistic this year though. We are going into a new year with a stronger market for the first time in a few years, so it's looking interesting anyway.
Fishing over-all was really good the past year. There is definitely more Redfish than ever and a lot more giant Trout than I have seen in a long time, maybe even since I have been a charter captain. The only thing that is lacking in the backwater is the Snook, but surprisingly I did catch much more of them this past spring, summer and fall. Even though the stocks are down I had some trips where we caught over 60 Snook in one outing, so that's still pretty good. I also heard that Mote Marine stocked over 700,000 Snook in Sarasota Bay last spring so we should reap the benefits of that soon.
Tarpon season was phenomenal and Anna Maria had tens of thousands of Tarpon show up last season. My best days we hooked near 40. I recall one day last summer where another charter captain and I where anchored side by side and had 9 full grow Tarpon on at one time. It was crazy, hands down the most Tarpon I have ever seen. Tarpon fishing seems to be getting a little better each year, not that it wasn't always really good to begin with.
Offshore fishing has been strong as usual, plenty of Grouper, although we have too many restrictions on them. We had some great days on Permit, some of the largest schools I have seen in the last 10 years. I was even still catching Kingfish up until this week's cold front.
All in all it has been great fishing and should be really good this spring too. It looks like we are not going to have much of a winter this year. Though I am writing this letter on what maybe the coldest day of the year it's suppose to be in the mid 70's by this weekend and the 10 day forecast is much the same.
Last year was the longest winter I have ever spent on the water as a charter captain. This year, knock on wood; it looks as though it may only last a few days.
Again, I want to thank my entire patron fishermen for another successful year of fishing. I guess this year I will be going for number 17 as a full time charter captain. It has been my first and only job and I couldn't have done it without regular fishermen that I look forward to fishing with every year, many of which I call friends.
I am just getting my spring and Tarpon calendar together and just wanted to give everyone a heads up. Remember that peak Tarpon time is May thru July. I hope to see you all on the water soon.
I would like to wish all a happy and healthy new year.
Capt. Matt Ercoli
About The Author: Captain Matt Ercoli
Company: Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters
Area Reporting: Tampa Bay to Sarasota Florida
Bio: Capt. Matt Ercoli is a premier Florida Gulf coast fishing guide and 1999 Saltwater Flats National Champion. He has assisted clients to five IGFA world records. Capt. Matt's experience and knowledge of local waters assures a successful day of fishing. Whether you prefer light tackle fishing or you're a fly-fishing purist, Capt. Matt can accommodate you. Fishing possibilities include the clear saltwater flats and mangrove backcountry from Tampa Bay & St. Petersburg to Sarasota; fishing for tarpon, snook, redfish and trout. If your preference is offshore fishing, there is permit, kingfish, grouper, little tunny, shark and more.