Redfish Landing Guide Service (Capt. John Hand), FL

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide in Ruskin, Florida

Redfish Landing Guide Service (Capt. John Hand), FL


Come join Capt John Hand and enjoy the pristine backcountry of the Florida Everglades. You will experience an unbelievable fishery from the small freshwater creeks of the inner Glades, to the outer islands on the Gulf of Mexico. As a 4th generation Florida native, Capt John has explored these waters for more than 4 decades.

Capt John began as a youngster poling his father on wooden skiffs to fish the Florida waters to provide food for the family. The Capt now poles his light weight Hell's Bay Guide skiff, to provide his clients with an experience only a Florida native would have the knowledge to provide.

Capt. John began fly fishing as a youth when his Grandfather taught him the art of catching bluegill and bass on Lake Okeechobee.

Capt John is a Federation of Fly Fishers Master Certified Casting Instructor with the ability to not only put his clients on fish, but also to assist them in learning the proper techniques used to bring different target species boatside. The targeted species can range from Bluegill and Bass in the creeks, to laid up Tarpon in the estuaries. The Capt also targets Snook , Redfish, Cobia, Pompano, Speckled Trout, Spanish Mackeral, and Shark on spinning rod or fly.

So come and spend a day with the Capt and go home with some unforgettable memories of Florida's “Last Frontier”.

Date Range

Redfish Landing Guide Service is open year-round.

What is Provided to Customer

Redfish landing provides top quality equipment and tackle. From Helios fly rods and locally tied flies to Shimano spinning gear and quality rods and lures.
Water and non-alcoholic beverage and snacks are provided. A complete lunch is provided on full-day charters.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

Lower Tampa Bay, often referred to as the South Shore, is like stepping back in time. The mangrove estuaries of Cockroach Bay, Little Cockroach Bay, and the upper Little Manatee River are protected areas that remain as they were 100 years ago. As you pole the healthy grass flats inside these estuaries it is hard to believe you are only 20 miles from Tampa and 12 miles from St. Pete. Here you will find an abundance of wildlife and have an opportunity to target redfish, snook, tarpon, and sharks on the fly.

On the upper Little Manatee River you will enter “Old Florida.” These bayou areas are lined with pine trees and moss-laden oak trees. Here you may cast to juvenile tarpon rolling at daybreak. Then cast to snook and largemouth bass as the sun rises and the tarpon disappear. Apollo Beach to the north has residential canals with seawalls and docks, beaches, and sandbars. Port Manatee to the south has expansive shallow seagrass flats, mangrove islands, with narrow passes and oyster bars. This area is approximately 10 miles long and 1 mile wide. Redfish, snook, speckled trout, sharks, jack crevalle, ladyfish, and cobia can be found year-round. Spanish mackerel and bluefish can be found on the flats late spring through early fall. Tarpon are targeted in spring and early summer, also late summer and early fall in the river. The Little Manatee River also offers the opportunity for freshwater bass year-round.

Typical Weather by Season

Spring: highs 85/90, some windy days, water temp 70/75
Summer: highs 90/100, hot, water temp mid-80s
Fall: highs 70s, water temps 65/70
Winter: highs mid-60s, water temp 60/65


Sample of Typical Itinerary

Fly fish the beautiful south Tampa Bay mangrove estuaries with Capt. John Hand.

Join Capt. John on one of his guided fly-fishing trips and experience the thrill of Tampa Bay Florida fly fishing. Capt. John, a master certified fly-casting instructor, loves to share his knowledge of fly fishing and the surrounding mangrove estuaries that hold an abundance of Florida's most prized sportsfish. Your Florida fishing license and any tackle you'll need on your fly-fishing trip are provided, so just show up prepared to be on the water and ready to bend some rods!

Fly-fishing charters range from a half-day trip (4 hours) to a full-day trip (8 hours), and can include a fly-casting instruction class before you set off for the day. Capt. John can accommodate up to 2 anglers at a time in his 18-foot custom flats boat.

Depending on the season and weather, you'll be targeting common snook, spotted trout, redfish, tarpon, and shark, among others. Capt. John is always on the water, tracking the migration of these fish throughout the year, so he'll be able to put on the best bite.


Species You Fish for by Season

Fish tarpon at sunrise in April, May, August, and September.
Sight fish for redfish midday, October through March.
Night fish the docks for snook, September through March.


What Should Customers Bring?

Items to bring: sun protection, hat, sunglasses, camera, non-skid deck shoes, rain gear.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you offer lodging?
A. Capt John and his wife Leslie also operate a bed and breakfast from their waterfront home tucked way on a scenic river in south Tampa Bay. Located less than an hour from Tampa and St. Pete airports, they also offer transportation.


Redfish Landing Guide Service
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide
Capt. John Hand
Mailing : PO Box 597
Physical: 13 Spoonbill Ave
Everglades City, Fl 34139

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