John Rivers

Summer Season Report

The 2015 summer season is about over and I'm happy to say it's been a fun season, but also one of the hottest I've ever fished. We've got about 2 1/2 more weeks and the kiddos will be heading back to school, and that means the trips will be slowing down and I can get a little rest.

Let's talk how the summer season was.

June started out decent, with just a little more wind and rain than I like; I had to cancel a few trips, but that's the biz sometimes. During the first part of June the inshore bite was great for Trout. The redfish bite was okay, not as good as last summer, but we still put some nice fish in the boat. Snapper season opened up in May and I ran a few trips offshore in June. I kind of stopped running a lot of these trips because I've been focusing on inshore only, but when the gulf is really calm, and I mean slick, I'll head out and bow up on some snappers for my clients from time to time. So I ran a handful of snapper trips and managed to put two nice Cobia in the boat as well.

July has been outstanding as well for inshore fishing, even with this crazy heat wave we've had all summer. The key to fishing the flats in this heat is to get on the water early and also by fishing deep some days and keeping a close eye on the tides. In the summertime, my trips typically start at 5:15am and we're done by 9:45am. Since it's been so hot this summer I've only been running one trip a day, because the afternoons are just too hot and the storms are moving in.

During this summer I fished the flats as well as cruised the beaches for reds and jacks Crevalle and I'm happy to say we did well. I have been mostly inshore tossing artificials for specks and reds, which is normally the style of charter I run. I had a lot of kids on the boat this year and ran a lot of teaching where I helped to introduce kids to fishing. These trips are always a lot of fun. The enjoyment of watching the parents watching their kids catch fish on their own after some instruction makes me feel satisfied that I did my job well, and that hopefully the families will cherish the experience for years to come.

Over the past 9 years of my 13 years as an inshore fishing guide, I have changed up my style of charters. I don't run in the gulf chasing kings like I used to when I first started out nor do I jump out in the gulf much at all anymore. Not that's its not fun, it definitely can be, but it's just not my cup of tea anymore. I enjoy tossing artificials and having my clients do the same. 95% of my clients are bass fishermen or families who want to take their kids on a fishing trip to catch some fish that the kids can handle, and these folks don't want to worry about rough seas or being out too long. On my inshore-guided trips, families get to learn about our fishery, watch their kids master a rod and reel on their own, and they get to enjoy seeing the sights on our beautiful waterways. My more seasoned fishermen and women can enjoy a customized private trip where we can hunt down whatever floats their boat, and they are provided with one of the finest inshore bay boats in the area, top-notch tackle, and I get to tag along to give my advice, too.

I hope everyone had a nice summer season and were able to get out and wet a line a few times.

Tight Lines… John

Fish Species: Trout, Redfish, Red Snapper
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Big trout can be caught in July
Big trout can be caught in July

Big Reds on the flats in July
Big Reds on the flats in July

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 !

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