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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

Tag: crystal river

Legendary Guide Steve Huff Headlines Florida Fly Fishing Expo, Crystal River, Feb. 9 & 10, 2018

by on Jan.04, 2018, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST

The 2018 Florida Fly Fishing Expo in Crystal River on February 9-10 has scheduled legendary Florida Keys guide Steve Huff to show and tell some of his secrets for catching giant permit, tarpon, snook and other trophy gamefish on a fly rod.

Steve Huff

Huff, who has been described as “the top fly fishing guide on the planet,” tops a schedule of more than 20 expert-led seminars and new fly fishing product displays at Plantation on Crystal River on Florida’s west coast. Admission to the two-day expo is $25 but free for those 12 and younger when accompanied by an adult.

The Florida Fly Fishing Expo is put on annually by the Florida Council of Fly Fishers International. President Tom Gadacz said, “We are so pleased to have Steve Huff coming to the Expo. This guy has a bank-vault of knowledge about catching big fish on the fly and he’ll share some hard-earned insights.”

After earning a marine biology degree at the University of Miami in 1968 Huff started guiding in the Florida Keys. He pioneered fly fishing for tarpon, permit and snook in the Keys and also led clients to IGFA record tarpon near Crystal River and Homosassa. Sandy Moret, his good friend and a fellow fly fisher, once described Huff as “without question, the top fly fishing guide on the planet.”

On Friday, Feb. 9, Huff will present a tutorial about how to locate and catch permit on the fly. On Saturday he will discuss the importance of and how to make quick fly casts in all directions. As the featured speaker at the Expo’s closing banquet on Saturday Huff will share insights he has learned from 50-years of guiding fly fishers to saltwater trophy gamefish.

More than 20 other sessions about how-to fly fish, fly cast and tie flies are scheduled indoors and outdoors at the spacious, waterfront resort of Plantation on Crystal River. They include:

Fly Fishing for snook at night by Capt. Rick Grassett

Paddleboard fly-fishing by David Olson.

Fly casting tutorial for women by Mona Brewer, youth fly casting by David Lambert, emergency casting clinic by Pat Damico, and casting games led by John Hand and Jim Patchet.

Beginner and intermediate fly casting demonstrations by Capt. Pete Greenan.

Fly fishing for warm water fishes in North Florida by Tom Logan

Wading the flats by Leigh West.

History of women in fly fishing by Jen Ripple.

DIY bonefishing in the Keys and Bahamas by Capt. Bryon Chamberlin.

Fishing Mosquito Lagoon secrets by Capt. Frank Catino.

Fly fishing for baby tarpon in the Indian River Lagoon by Capt. Eric Davis.

Effortless fly casting by Joe Mahler.

Fly fishing the Everglades by Ed Tamson.

Fly tying with synthetics by Dave Schmezer.

Register online

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Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report, December 20, 2017 From Capt. William Toney

by on Dec.20, 2017, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

Great weather this week is a Christmas gift to anglers. The coastal flats and creek mouth’s of Citrus county are swimming with keeper sea trout. On low tide fish the deeper cuts in Fish Creek, Little Homosassa River and Mason Creek. Some of the best baits have been the MirrOlure MirrOdine and glow soft plastic jerk baits. Look for hard bottom with rock grass bending with the tide .Red fish are scattered around but will congregated on the incoming tide on outside points and inside keys with rocky edges. The clear water makes for some prime sight casting conditions for fly anglers, The Nature Coast  has some of the best fly fishing guides who can pole they’re skiffs into casting range for that hard pulling red fish or trout of a lifetime.
Can’t talk enough about our gag grouper fishing. I have to admit that I suck at it, but even a inshore angler can catch a few with calm sea’s and some luck. Rocks as shallow as 10 feet have produced keepers for me with a shallow running plug or a circle hooked thread herring near the structure in 15 feet of water. The real grouper diggers have a few days left before the end of the season (December 31st) local offshore captains have been getting limits of grouper will some hogfish, triple tail and grunts. Our tides will be spread for the weekend with a high tide ealy morning and late afternoon. I wish all a very Merry Christmas!

captainwilliamtoney@gmail.com

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Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report, 12/6/17 from Capt. William Toney

by on Dec.06, 2017, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

Big changes are expected this weekend with a major cool down. The Nature Coast water temperatures are around 74 degrees making inshore and offshore fishing very good. Offshore captains are catching big king fish, gag grouper and catch release fly caught amber jack. Inshore the trout bite has been good. red fish so so and inshore rocks good with keeper gag grouper, spanish mackerels and grunts. This may all change if the cool weather drops the Gulf water temperatures 3 to 6 degrees.
With cooling water temps look for the coastal reef/rock fishing to slow down, to catch gag grouper use live bait, spanish mackerel and grunts use live shrimp during warm midday sun and patience will pay off. Most inshore fish will move back to deeper water in passes, deep water creeks and coastal rivers that will hold the warm water that cold weather can’t change in a couple days. Rivers will probably hold the best action. Try mid ways towards the spring,s and live shrimp wil get the bite. Not to say fish would bite on the outside but with the tides faceing us anglers this weekend my prediction every fish caught will be earned. Look for incoming high tide to be at daylight or dark this weekend,

captainwilliamtoney@gmail.com

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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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Nature Coast Fishing Report, Capt. William Toney, 11/8/17–Homosassa/Crystal River/Yankeetown/Waccasassa

by on Nov.08, 2017, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River, Yankeetown and Waccasassa

Some of the hardest hitting and drag pulling fish that pass through the Nature Coast heading south are biting now. Spanish mackerel are abundant on the near shore rocks and coastal flats. The flats mackerel are mixed in with trout over hard bottom in 3 to 5 feet of water. Just like the trout they will hit most jigs but the bad luck about mackerel are they’re sharp teeth. Luck has allot to do with landing spanish mackerel while trout fishing and one way to have more luck is to set the hook quickly with every strike. This will help prevent the bait from getting to close to those sharp teeth. Sometimes an angler will get cut off but it happens. On the near shore rocks a chum bag will help concentrate the fish. Use live shrimp on a 2/0 long shank Eagle Claw hook free lined with the tide and chum for the best bite. The long shank hook acts like a leader without having to use wire that mackerel will sometimes shy away from. On the bottom around the near shore rocks there are grunts and a few sheepshead biting also.
The waters are starting to clear up some. We have experienced some coffee colored water from the north west wind pushing the tannin stained fresh waters from the Waccasassa and Withlacochee River toward the south. Look for incoming tide this weekend to be in the morning.

 

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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Homosassa Inshore Fishing Weekly Report From Capt. William Toney, 11/1/17

by on Nov.01, 2017, under Ozello to Crystal River, Yankeetown and Waccasassa

With the first part of the week with snotty conditions and cold air, the last half is looking great for anglers. The shallow water grouper bite has been very good with the exception of the water looking more like coffee. The line from Homosassa marker #2 north and south is dirty and hard to visually see the rocks or structure for casting to. What I have done is get within range of a long cast according to my GPS then anchor down and fan cast sometimes it may take 10 or 15 minute for the grouper to turn on but if it doe not happen within the time frame I’m off to the next spot. Further out in the thirty foot range offshore anglers are doing very good with gag grouper trolling and bottom fishing. Capt. Cris Wilkins claimed his all time fastest limit in less then ten minutes!
Back inshore the red fish bite is holding strong on the incoming tide. The clear waters has opened up good sight casting opportunity’s. The Ozello Keys are the best starting spot. Live shrimp is the best bait. For sea trout try the larger creek mouth’s and passes on a moving tide. I’ve had best luck with a glow or watermelon red flake MirrOlure LIL John under a popping cork. Some days either color with out fish the other. High incoming tide will be late afternoon this weekend.

captainwilliamtoney@gmail.com

Capt. William Toney

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Redfish Classic At Crystal River, Fla. Sept. 18-19, 2015

by on Jul.14, 2015, under Ozello to Crystal River

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. – Plantation on Crystal River – a hidden gem located just 80 miles north of Tampa – has partnered with Sodium Fishing Gear, One Rake at A Time Foundation and many others to host the inaugural Plantation Redfish Classic on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Plantation on Crystal River’s Adventure Center and Dive Shop.”Plantation on Crystal River is the premier angler’s resort in Citrus County and after hosting a number of fishing tournaments for other groups and participating in many tournaments ourselves, it was just natural to want to start a tournament we can call our own,” said Paul Cross, Plantation Adventure Center & Dive Shop manager.

Make it a weekend with rooms nights starting at $119 per night for all tournament participants and their families. Hotel guests can take advantage of the lagoon-style pool, complimentary lawn games and even dock their boat on the 1,600 feet of seawall for easy launching the morning of the event. Events throughout the weekend include the Captain’s Dinner on Friday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. offering light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, Plantation Redfish Classic from daylight to 5 p.m. and Awards Banquet at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19 – and while redfish is the primary quest, there will also be categories for trout and grouper.

Registration fee for two anglers (including a boat captain) is $225 and includes two swag buckets, entry for two to the Captain’s Dinner, tournament fee, entry for two to the Award’s Banquet, two tournament t-shirts and free boat launch. Prizes will include first, second and third place for largest redfish, trout and grouper ranging from $3,000 to $100.

A portion of all proceeds will go to benefit the One Rake at a Time Foundation which cleans Lyngbya, a harmful blue-green algae, out of Kings Bay through the dedication and hard work of local volunteers.

Other sponsors include Young Boats, Home Depot, Unfair Lures, Nick Nicholas Ford, 96.7 The Fox, Citrus 95.3, Lecanto Veterinary Hospital, Homosassa Marina, Yamaha, Corona Light on Draft, and Bimini Bay Outfitters.

For more information about the Plantation Redfish Classic, Plantation on Crystal River or to make a reservation, visit PlantationonCrystalRiver.com or call 800-632-6262.

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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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Citrus and Taylor County Scalloping Guide Available, Summer 2014

by on Jun.25, 2014, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Keaton Beach to Fenholloway, Ozello to Crystal River, Steinhatchee

The new Citrus County guide features completely updated boat ramp and marina locator that Florida Sea Grant has published for the last several years.


And don’t forget about the companion, the Taylor County scalloping guide and marina locator map.

Both guides feature historically abundant scalloping areas, boat ramp and marina locations, rules and regulations, and recipes!

Readers can order one free copy of each brochure by emailing us at info@flseagrant.org, or calling us at (352) 392-2801, or downloading the whole thing at  https://www.flseagrant.org/fisheries/scalloping/

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