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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

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Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report, 3/19/18, Capt. William Toney

by on Mar.19, 2018, under Ozello to Crystal River

There is much to be said about good fishing. Earlier this week before the cold front most all anglers fishing on the Nature Coast experienced a excellent bite. Oh but what can happen in the time of 24 hours. As to be expected the day or two before a cold front and even during the front fish will turn on. Generally the wind will be from the south west and makes a good tide for our area and after the front it goes north west to north then north east and low low tides.
During the last cold snap I found some trout mid ways in the Little Homosassa River and St. Martins River. What both spots had in common was tall islands that blocked the north wind and the southern sun was shinning against the north side of the rivers, It was the warmest spot I could find for my clients and I , the fish must have felt the same way. It was old school fishing with a popping cork and live shrimp but over the course of a few hours we managed 7 keeper trout and a undersized snook. We dressed for the weather and were comfortable during the warmest part of the day.
Still good action on the nearshore rocks with more spanish mackerel moving in. The redfish bite has picked up on the inside keys at the last hour of incoming tide. Pinfish has been the best bait. Snook are scattered around but when you find then they are in tight bunches. Check around the outside keys with sandy holes to find them. High incoming tide will be in the morning this weekend.

captainwilliamtoney@gmail.com

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Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report, 3/7/18, Capt. William Toney

by on Mar.07, 2018, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa

A very cool fish that is become a standard and talk around the dock is our Nature Coast snook. A colder than normal January took a toll on the snook population but from the reports of local anglers and guides snook fishing is good. When I was growing up snook were a fish of legends, apparitions up at the Blue Waters. At MacRae’s in Homosassa, Mr Duncan would sell wild shiners for bass anglers but I remember most of them were used for catching snook up the river. So that being said, snook have always been around but I have to say there are more of them now then ever. We can blame it on warmer winters but I believe its our warm fresh water springs that protect them from cold winters, salt water intrusion and conservation. I believe keeping one for diner every now and again is not a big deal if your lucky enough to catch one in the slot. Being lucky enough to experience one rip 40 yards of line off the reel, jump like a tarpon and show it’s bucket mouth while it cuts your leader is better then eating one.
At this time most snook have come from sandy holes on the outside keys, rocky/oyster points near deep drops along channels and the edges of a hole in the back country. Live shrimp, pinfish or D.O.A. glow 5.5 jerk baits will get the bite. The trout bite has moved out to deeper water near the Foul Area and a few Spanish mackerel are mixed in. Incoming high tide will be early morning and very late evening this weekend.

 

Capt. William Toney

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Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report, February 1, 2018, Capt. William Toney

by on Feb.02, 2018, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

I feel as though I keep repeating myself the last few weeks just the same as our weather. The best fishing has been in our rivers with live shrimp for bait. Most of the keeper fish are sheepshead and black drum. A few red fish are in the slot but most are under size but good fun on like tackle. On the change of tides is the best bite. The near shore rocks are holding sheepshead but wind and weather has kept most anglers inshore.
With a warming trend coming this weekend it may trigger a sea trout bite near the creek mouths and adjacent flats. Glow nose hooked jerk baits are the best choice for a soft plastic lure. The best retrieve  is a twitch, twitch pause. Most strikes are during the pause part of the retrieve. Incoming tide will be early morning or late evening this weekend.

captainwilliamtoney@gmail.com

 

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HOMOSASSA’S YARDARM LOUNGE AND RIVERSIDE CRAB HOUSE IS COMING DOWN

by on Jan.30, 2018, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa

The Yardarm Lounge, also known as The Riverside Crab House and The Monkey Bar, has celebrated 50 years on the Homosassa River. The iconic restaurant was opened by The Norris Development Company in 1967 and later purchased by the late Dave Stewart and Dr. Donald Vesley. It was most recently acquired by Riverside, LLC in 1998. On Tuesday, January 30, 2018, the doors will close for the final time. IF THESE WINDOWS COULD TALK Many things have changed in the span of 50 years, and the Yardarm Lounge and Riverside Crab House has seen it all. She has celebrated first dates, graduations, weddings, new births, anniversaries, and reunions with generations of Homosassa residents and guests from around the world. She has been the stepping stone to many local youngsters as they embarked on their first jobs before going off to college and other successes. She has witnessed sadness at too many memorials in honor of friends and loved ones. No doubt the Crowning Jewel was the location of this beautifully built restaurant overlooking Monkey Island. Unfortunately, the very thing that made the restaurant a favorite to so many is what finally closed her doors. She has endured more than five decades of daily brackish rising and falling tides, lapping at a foundation that is cantilevered over the beautiful Homosassa River. No name, Charlie, Ivan, Frances, Hermine and Irma are a few of the ferocious storms that have taken their toll over the years. Gail Oakes, the managing partner of The Homosassa Riverside Resort which owns the restaurant, hotel, marina and Monkey Island said, “The two story restaurant’s roof was structurally damaged during the last hurricane and is beyond repair. Experts agreed that the age of the building and the degree of the damage would require extensive repairs to the structure which are not financially practical.” WHAT THE FUTURE WILL HOLD Oakes said, “My partners and I made the decision to demolish a substantial portion of the damaged building and replace it with a smaller outdoor eatery with spectacular views of the Homosassa River and Monkey Island. The new venue will still feature our famous live blue crabs and seafood selections along with new and exciting additions.” The hotel, marina, boat rentals and banquet room will not be affected by this closure. While Oakes admits that February is the “peak” season in the Homosassa restaurant business and unfortunate timing, she is hopeful that the busy season will make it possible for her displaced staff to find positions with other local restaurant owners who are staffing up for the return of winter guests to our area. The Yardarm Lounge, Riverside Crab House and Monkey Bar are located at 5297 S. Cherokee Way, Homosassa, Florida, on the bank of the Homosassa River.

 

For information regarding this story, please contact: Homosassa Riverside Resort, Gail Oakes gail@riversideresorts.com 352-628-2474.

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Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report from Capt. William Toney, 11/17/17

by on Nov.17, 2017, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

With the warm weather not much has changed from last week Look for trout over hard yellow bottom with brown rock grass, Some of the best low tide spots can be found by studying Google Earth. Old channels that were formed long ago can be seen starting westward from known creek and river mouths,  These old channels will hold fish and float your vessel on the very low tides. Learning the deeper water that is surrounded by the flats can help an angler catch more fish and also prevent lower unit damage on the way back to safe water.
Redfish are on the outside keys and biting on the last part of the incoming tide. Live shrimp is very good bait but as of late cut lizard fish A,K,A, snake fish is working well. I save them for bait as a by catch while trout fishing. The near shore rocks are producing keeper gag groupers on casting plugs, sheepshead, spanish mackerel and flounder are being caught on live shrimp. Incoming high tide will be in the afternoon this weekend.

 

Capt. William Toney

captainwilliamtoney@gmail.com

 

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November 2017 Crystal River Fishing Report from Capt. Kyle Messier

by on Nov.02, 2017, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

 

 

 

Great Weather and Epic Fishing along the Nature Coast

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With sunrise pushing to almost 7:30AM as November is upon us, it’s clear that shorter days are on their way, and that fall is on our doorstep. Generally speaking, this is good news as a variety of species come into range for the inshore/near shore fisherman during this time of year. For starters, the difficulty of finding good live baits will diminish as our local weather begins to stabilize into its Fall pattern. September and October made finding good live shrimp and pinfish a challenge due to the passing Hurricanes and high winds, but now that we are easing into November, schooling shrimp will once again be prevalent for our bait shrimpers and the pinfish will also congregate making trapping them easier for our every day fishing trips.

The only difficulty created by having an abundance of bait and an increased amount of species in November is deciding what to go fish for. Although most Cobia are long gone by now, there are numerous near shore species available, ranging from Gag Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, Mangrove Snapper and Bonita. Occasional appearances of other species such as Bluefish, Flounder and large Jacks should be expected as well. All of these fish can be caught by anchoring over some of the rocky areas and near shore reefs scattered throughout our coast. The faster species including Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, and Bonita may also be caught by working the edges of large bait schools that have begun to show up a few miles off our coast. Casting ¼-½ ounce spoons on the edges of a bait school will usually single out hungry predatory fish looking for an easy meal. The most effective approach though is one of patience. Set up in a likely area…. the best being one that is both rocky and holding bait…and chum aggressively. Mackerel will usually show within the first 15 minutes typically and other species will progressively be drawn in by the action. The best part about this type of Nature Coast Fishing is that anglers can find consistent action targeting Snapper and Grouper or even non stop action on Mackerel only to be interrupted all of a sudden by a late season Cobia or even a large Bull or Tiger Shark. The non-stop action and limitless opportunities makes this some of the most exciting fishing of the season.

As great as some of our near shore action will be this month, the Late October into November time frame still boasts some substantial tides on the full and new moons making inshore fishing still reliable. Crystal River/Homosassa fishing for large Redfish and Gator Trout has been fairly consistent over the last 3 weeks and with stabilizing weather on the horizon, should continue to be productive. The best fishing by far has generally been found in and around mullet schools. An excellent approach to locating Huge Redfish and Speckled Trout that associate with these schools, is to spread out numerous baits throughout these large schools of Mullet. Although this process can be a bit time consuming, the rewards can be significant as numerous, large fish can be caught in rapid succession. Jumbo Live Shrimp under a cork, free lined live Pinfish, and even cut mullet with a circle hook are the baits of choice for baiting and waiting this time of year.

For those savvy anglers that are looking forward to catching some of the largest Nature Coast Snook of the year, the upcoming Fall months are what you have been waiting for. Although the Nature Coast still features an abundance of Snook our fishing techniques have changed a bit from a few months ago. Snook are no longer stacked up near the mouths of our Spring fed rivers and canals, these fish have spread out and can be found anywhere from the spoil islands to the backwater bayous and creeks. Docks that use to hold dozens of fish will hold far fewer now. Fall fishing requires heavier leaders as hungry Snook now prefer the Mangrove laden shorelines, Oyster bars, and even Deep Rocky Potholes where many Snook will congregate. Casting lures such as Zara Spooks Top waters and Mirrolure Twitch baits will mimic actual baits that these Snook key on. The retrieve of choice consists of erratic movements followed by long pauses. The second the lure begins to move after a pause is usually when the strike occurs.

CHEERS! Too beautiful fall weather, great college football and awesome Nature Coast Fishing Action. Life is Good!

Capt. Kyle Messier
(352) 634-4002
WWW.FLORIDAFISHINGADVENTURES.COM
WWW.CRYSTALRIVER-FLYFISHING.COM

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Crystal River Fishing Report, 12/21/14 from Capt. Dan Clymer

by on Dec.22, 2014, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

Happy Holidays,  Citrus County anglers!  And I hope you all have a little extra time during the holiday, to spend some time on the water. The recent cold front’s play a big role on the what, where and when to plan your fishing trip, so always check the marine forecast; especially this time of year. Here’s an update on what has been happening recently in the fishing world.

Our spring fed rivers have been producing a variety of species. Mangrove snapper, trout, red fish, snook, black drum, etc.  have been keeping many rods bent recently. Live shrimp on a 1/8th oz jig head is all that’s needed for success, but bring plenty; the rocky bottom terrain will claim is share of tackle. Also, soft plastic jigs, such as the DOA golden bream colored jerk baits, along the channel drop offs have been working well on the river trout and red fish.

Red fishing has been excellent in the back country from Yankeetown to Chassahowitzka, and especially the sight fishing. There’s has been numerous little “rat” reds on the points, but that’s typical for this time of year. Don’t let the little guys discourage you though; there are some hefty ones mixed in too. The winter tides can make it challenging to sometimes get in the creeks, but if a shallow draft skiff or john boat is available; the action has been great. From fly fishing, weed less soft plastics and shrimp under a cork; there’s a technique for everyone wanting to tackle red fish.

The trout bite outside the rivers has picked up some, but still not as great as it could be for this time of year. The fish are definitely isolated, but when you find them, there has been several in that area. Most of the trout success though, has been on shallow rock flats with stands of kelp grass, deeper holes in the creeks and drop off’s off the rock bars. On the colder days, the bite is definitely much better in the afternoon with the water a degree or two warmer; especially on an outgoing tide.

On the offshore scene, grouper season is unfortunately closed for those wanting a grouper dinner, but there are some other choices for the offshore fans. Sheepshead have begun their annual winter spawning migration over the various hard bottom structures off the coast. A live shrimp on a knocker rig and your standard inshore light tackle rod is all that’s needed to catch some of these tasty, hard fighting fish. Also, I’ve been recently catching some really large black sea bass and some bonus hog fish, while targeting the Sheepshead. Sea bass are some of the best table fair around and will aggressively take just about any offering when you find them. Don’t forget your camera, you’ll definitely be catching and releasing some fine grouper while targeting the other species. It’s always a fun challenge to land a keeper sized gag on light tackle, but they do win most of the time. Good Fishing!

Capt. Dan Clymer
www.crystalriver-fishing.com
(352) 418-2160

 

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Homosassa Fishing Report, March 3, 2014, Capt. Don Chancey

by on Mar.04, 2014, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

February has brought a lot of great trout fishing along Florida’s nature coast.  As the weather warms up during the transition period from winter to spring, fishing shallow rocks on bright sunshiny days will continue to produce trout measuring more than 20 inches.   The best bait has been white DOA jerk bait and the best feeding time is on an incoming tide.   On recent trip with clients we were able to sight cast for trout, as conditions were perfect, clear water, no wind and bright sunshine allowed us to work the shallow water rocks in less than two feet of water.

The redfish action has been continuously getting better as the water warms up fish are lingering around the outside rocky points off of the mangrove islands.   A great tactic for reds that are finicky feeders is to try free lining a live shrimp or a piece of cut bait and let it lay on the bottom; the scent will catch the attention of a curious Red.   My last trip out of Homosassa, I came across a school of more than 75 redfish, most of them over the slot limit of 27 inches.

In a little deeper water, small rock piles in six to eight feet of water are producing some Spanish mackerel action.   Try free lining a shrimp on a number two extra longshank hook with a 30-pound leader while chumming. Occasionally a hungry gag grouper will hit your bait, but remember its catch and release this time of year as the season for gags on the Nature Coast opens July 1.

Capt. Don
352 303 9399

www.flatschance.com

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Scallop Report, Crystal River, From Capt. Marrio Castello, 8/13/13

by on Aug.13, 2013, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

The scalloping in Crystal River and Homosassa this week has been great.  We have been getting our limits within just a few hours even with folks that have never been scalloping before.  The water clarity in 4 to 5 feet has been outstanding and the weather has been cooperating quite nicely.  After a hard day of scalloping you can take a refreshing dip in one of our local springs.

Scalloping provides the perfect opportunity to get the family to enjoy some quality time together and introduce them to the outdoors.  If you have a boat, you should give scalloping a try. You will need some basic gear (mask, snorkel, fins, dive flag) to get you going.  If you do not live around the Crystal River area but want to experience a scalloping adventure, there are places like The Plantation that offer all inclusive packages for a very reasonable price.  Kind of like a mini vacation.  There is no better feeling for me (as a guide) to hear a child say to their parents “This is so much fun.  Can we do it again next year?”


Tall Tales Charters
Captain Marrio Castello
352-454-7719
www.talltaleschartersfl.com

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Crystal River Offshore Report, 1/28/13, from Capt. Zach Hoffman

by on Jan.28, 2013, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

I have been running to an area full of live bottom SW of Homosassa marker 4, I don’t know if you have heard of the crane before or not, but it is a huge crane that fell off of a ship awhile back and is a great spot to dive or to catch AJ’s off of like I have been doing the past week.  I have been fishing live bottom spots about 1 mile due west of that number and just wearing out the red grouper, some days I have had to anchor on the big patches of live bottom and drop a chum block to the bottom to get the reds to bite and other days we have had really good luck just drifting with 3 ounce Spro Jigs tipped with Thread Fins or cut lizard fish.  The area we have been fishing every day is 54-55 feet deep and the good spots are where the live bottom comes up about a foot or so.  We have been getting a limit of Red Grouper every day, and as many big grunts as the clients want and even some big porgies which are great to eat.

We have also been doing very well on the trout, fishing the last half mile of the creeks and around the rocky outer islands, especially blue bay down by mason creek or the end of Fish creek.  And the Sheepshead have been in 6-20 feet of water, big rocks and ledges in 15-20 have been the best spots to fish.

Capt. Zach Hoffman

nrotczachary@ufl.edu

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