John Rivers

So Spring Break has officially come to an END!

I'm sad and happy at the same time. Sad, because I enjoy my job showing new and old clients our fishery, and happy because I busted my butt this season and needed a few days off to recharge my batteries.

We had a variety of fish on the menu this spring break season, from sheepies, gray snappers, to spanish mackerel and a few red snappers that we had to toss back due to the season being closed.

I'm not going into detail on how we caught them; it's pretty basic, live shrimp, Carolina rig, 24" of either 20-30 lb leader, a #1 Gamakatsu Live Bait J Hook with a very, very light egg weight, depending upon what the current is doing.

The key to this style of fishing is TIDES and HONEY HOLES. As a veteran captain in the area, I understand the tides very well and have many secret spots to investigate.

I may post on social media, but I keep it vague for a reason. The days of the old timers with their honey holes is almost a thing of the past because of people and fishing forums and social media. Word to the wise, if you find a good spot, don't get on social media like Facebook or a local fishing forum and brag about your catch from that day. Wait a few weeks, and make sure you don't give a specific location or general area. The locals and trolls will figure it out and the next time you head to your honey hole, you just might see a few new faces and a few less fish. With today's technology available, such as fish finders, and with way more boats on the water, the fish are pressured more now than they were years back.

With any business, you have to stay ahead of the competition. Over the past 14 years I have strived to make sure I'm professional on my trips by providing a spotless boat on every outing. My tackle is in perfect working order for my clients and it's top of the line Shimano gear. I come to work dressed for success and treat my clients the way I would want to be treated if I was paying to go fishing. I learned along time ago while in the Marines, that you take care of your gear and it will take care of you. Today if you're not prepared, you don't catch fish. I want my fishing trips to be catching trips, not fishing trips and my tackle and boat should never fail to help make the trip more productive and enjoyable.

99% of my trips are in the bay, sound and upper bay areas, however from time to time I will jump out in the gulf if it's flat calm. I can't stress this enough: I will never beat my clients up on the water with rough rides, if it's too windy and not comfortable, I will cancel the trip. I don't want you to spend your hard-earned money on a trip that is not fun. Sometimes we can leave from other ramps to get you to the fishing grounds without beating you up, or I might suggest postponing the trip for a better day.

With over 45 years of fishing knowledge and 20 of them along the gulf coast, I can assure you that you've picked the right captain for your fishing adventure whether it's you and your family or a few buddies.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep up with me on Facebook and Instagram and also on this site.

Hope you're having a good day, and I hope one day we can meet and I can take you on a fishing adventure of a lifetime and make memories for you and your family.

Tight Lines…



Fish Species: Sheepshead, Gray Snapper, Spanish Mackerel
Bait Used:
Tackle Used:
Method Used:
Water Depth:
Water Temperature:
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:
One shy of a three man limit of gray snappers, time for some fish sandwiches
One shy of a three man limit of gray snappers, time for some fish sandwiches

Sheepshead on the menu during spring break
Sheepshead on the menu during spring break

John Rivers

About The Author: Captain John Rivers

Company: Rivers to Bay Fishing Charters

Area Reporting: Tampa Bay, Clearwater, St Peterburg

Bio: I have a lifetime of fishing knowledge and over 8yrs of experience fishing the northern gulf coast and our local water ways. I have enjoyed fishing all my life. While living in the Midwest, I fished Kentucky & Barkley Lake for years along with the Ohio River and many local water ways. My first passion was bass fishing, but when I came to Florida, I found my new love Salt Water Fishing !

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain John Rivers