Tag: fishing report
We are still enjoying great weather and good fishing.
Our days have mostly been warm and sunny with temperatures frequently up almost to eighty degrees. The Gulf has been stirred up for a few days sometimes but settles fast; I fish mostly inside now anyway. Boat traffic is up with many folks cruising south to Boca Grande or north to Venice for lunch or dinner excursions, so we lots of different rigs daily. With the colder weather up north we have plenty of migratory birds that add entertainment to our outings.
We have caught a good variety recently including; snook, redfish, trout, pompano, ladyfish, sheepshead, catfish, etc… While the bite is not red hot like summertime action we have managed several double headers of snook, trout, and ladyfish this week. Our best action has been on warmer afternoons recently but that is because of cooler morning last week. Live shrimp have been the bait for most catches. We did get some pompano on jigs with shrimp treats. The rattle corks are the ticket right now, just remember to make noise with the corks and keep our feet quiet. Fish have been in unusual places recently and they keep moving around, it’s challenging everyday but fun.
With the winter staying so mild so far my guess is we should have an early spring. So please don’t wait too long to set up your March thru June fishing dates. Folks are starting to realize dates around Easter, Spring Break, and such go fast. It has been good to see snook while looking around and on our lines recently. We can not eat them anytime soon but we sure enjoy playing with em, they put a big smile on Alex’s face on Monday afternoon.
The dolphin, eagles, and other birds offer some memorable moments on most trips. The manatees are hiding back in the deeper protected waters right now but all the other critters are adding frequent smiles to our excursions. White pelicans are very abundant right now for example. We saw huge column of what I believe was sparrows on Monday down by Cape Haze near Englewood.
Tarpon and snook fishing, plus the big Spring migration of mackerel, sharks etc… will be here before you ready so get prepared now. Thank you for your support.
Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>
Hey there all you cold weather anglers . The bite in the Cedar Key area has slowed down a little on the trout due to the cold water. They have moved into the creeks and rivers like the Waccasassa. They can still be caught on jigs and live shrimp. I like to use a Saltwater Assassin jig in the sea shad pattern with a 1/4 to 1/2 oz jig head . The colors vary so start with your favorite and then rotate till you find one they like.
The Red Fish bite continues to be good. Most of the fish have moved back in the creeks with deep holes in them . Fish these creeks on a negative tide and move around till you find them. Shrimp or cut mullet on the bottom is your best bet. There has been a good bite of smaller reds in the Waccasassa River on jigs and live shrimp fished on the bottom.
Our SheepHead have finally turned on up in our area and they are some nice ones. The artificial reefs in 20 feet of water should be your best bet for steady action. Good luck out there and we will see you on the water.
Capt. Jimbo Keith
Saltwater Assassin Fishing
Here on the Nature coast of Florida we are enjoying a variety of winter time weather and temperatures. Through the highs and the lows the fishing has been good with a large variety of different species to catch. I was fishing for trout with a client, we were using live shrimp tail hooked on a jig head. The first cast went in the water, the rod bent , drag started to pull and a large lady fish came rocketing out of the water. The very next cast rod bent, drag started ripping, but no rocketing out of the water. This fish was staying on the bottom, not wanting to come to the top like a trout or ladyfish. The next thought that crossed my mind was it must be a jack. As Mrs. Seacrest got the fish closer to the boat I could see what it was, Pompano, a big smile came on my face and I told them that they were going to have some good eats tonight. We caught a few trout in that hole and moved on on to the next hole to catch some more trout. Then we went to catch some reds with the biggest red measured at 30 inches.
Pompano can be caught on several different kinds of bait, form live shrimp on a jig working it slow along the bottom like we were using that day, shrimp under a popping cork, to one of the jigs especially made for pompano. We even caught one on a top water plug one time, yes I said top water. I know, I would not of believed it if I had not seen it myself, but it is true. Pompano typically migrate south for the colder months. The last couple of years we have been catching quite a few of them while trout fishing the deeper sloughs. I will find them in the deeper holes where the water is murky. I like to target them in the warmer summer months but they are a bonus in the winter. They will be here all winter scattered in the deep channels off of Crystal River, the hot water discharge cannal. I like to cook mine on the grill with butter and some cajun seasoning.
We were using a cedros spinning rod and reel combo, with 10 pound test braid and 15 pound flourocarbin leader. A 1/4 ounce jig with a small hook, live shrimp. Making a short cast and bounceing the on the bottom very slowly. This will work for trout and pompano throught the month of Febuary, while you are trout fishing now that there is no closed season for trout in this area. If you would like to try for some pompano give me a call and we will go fishing!
Capt. Kelly Kofmehl
Flats and back country fishing
Anglers fishing Sarasota Bay and Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor during the past week with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released reds, trout and pompano on jigs and flies. Action was better later in the day due to cool water.
Nick Reding, from Longboat Key, FL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Monday. We waded several bars in north Sarasota Bay and Nick caught and released 3 reds and several trout on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly. Longboat Key winter resident, Pat Decastro, fished Sarasota Bay and the coastal gulf with me on Tuesday. We spent a couple of hours hunting false albacore (little tunny) and tripletail in the coastal gulf. Despite good conditions and water temperature of 69 degrees we didn’t find anything. We fished several deep grass flats in Sarasota Bay and Pat caught a few trout up to 18” but the action was slow.
Wednesday was windy as a front blew through, but it didn’t change conditions drastically on Thursday. Keith McClintock and Victor Feldman, from IL, fished Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor with me on Thursday and had a good day. They caught 4 reds up to 4-pounds, a 3 ½-pound pompano and numerous trout on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails and DOA Deadly Combos.
Trout and reds should continue to be good options in skinny water in Sarasota Bay. In addition to trout, look for pompano, blues and Spanish mackerel on deep grass flats. Afternoons may fish better than mornings due to cool water.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
The cold weather may affect the bite for this weekend but earlier this week the bite was on. The members of the Homosassa Guides Association hosted the 5th grade class of Homosassa Elementary School’s annual ” Playing Hooky “.
Each guide had 4 students and a teacher on board for the 4 hour trip. The student’s had to measure and estimate the weight of each fish caught plus keep track of all of the wildlife that was spotted along the way. Capt. Mike Baize a Homosassa Guides Assoc. member is also a 5th grade math teacher at Homosassa Elementary. Capt. Baize attribute’s this trip to why Homosassa Elementary FCAT scores were so good in math.
The children caught over seven species of fish including redfish, trout and pompano. With the nice weather the guides went north to St.Martins River, east to the Homosassa Blue Waters and south into the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. A good time was had by all. Riverside Resort was the pickup spot and MacReas donated all the shrimp.
Incoming tide will be in the afternoon this weekend with a new moon tide.
Hello Crystal River/Homosassa anglers, I don’t have a big change in the fishing report this week, but here’s what I experienced the past week. My hot bite continues to be the very cooperative sheepshead. With a major drop in the water temperature to 52 degrees on Thursday, the sheepies didn’t show any signs of lock jaw. Targeting various structures on out to 20ft of water all produced some quality sheepshead . On Friday, I made a run south of Homosassa to one of my favorite grouper locations and it was the mother-load of sheepshead. We caught and released over 20 keeper sheepshead on one stop, along with a couple beautiful keeper sized gag grouper on light tackle. I’ve been limiting my charters to 15 keeper sheepshead to keep the stocks healthy; remember these fish are congregating for spawning purposes. A simple 1/8thoz Hank Brown jig head and a live shrimp continues to be the ticket for constant hook ups… Good Fishing…
Capt. Dan Clymer
With the warmer weather this week the fishing bite is heating back up. Big trout are being caught in the Crystal River on all kinds of bait, from live shrimp to gulps to plugs. They can be found in the deeper channels of the river from the bay all the way down to the mouth of the river. The trout bite is also on in the Salt river area, on the warmer days they are hitting top water lures. The smaller skitter walk works well in a variety of color patterns. We have been catching lots of reds on shrimp as well as using gulp jerk baits the pearl pattern is my favorite color to use lately. On the pan fish side of things lots of grunts on the inshore rocks along with some sheephead showing up. Grunts will eat anything thrown at them from cut bait to almost any artificial. The sheephead are hitting on a shrimp or some chopped up blue crabs. There are many of these rocks in the 8 to 15 foot range in the area between Crystal river and Homosassa, and many anglers lower units will testify this to be the truth. This week we are supposed to get another cold front in in the middle of the week, the only bright side of this is that is not going to get in the high 20′s like the last one did. After the front and the cooler temps fish closer to the river where the warmer waters from the many springs are the fish will be more active. Give me a call and let me take you fishing!
Capt. Kelly Kofmehl
Cold Gulf water temperatures has pushed most fish into the rivers and backcountry creeks. One fish continues to enjoy the cold waters on the nearshore rocks and that’s the sheepshead.
Trout are pushed up into the deep water creeks, spring fed rivers and even residential canals because of the cold waters of the Gulf. As a trend of warm weather comes this week look for trout to move over into shallow water during the heat of the day to warm themselves in the sun. One thing to look for is deep water nearby because the trout will seek refuge in the deep water at night when the air temperatures drop cooling the shallow waters again. Good areas are in the Homosassa River, Crystal River, St. Martins River, Little Homosassa River and Mason Creek. The best bait’s are MirrOlure Lil’ Johns, D.O.A. 5.5″ Glow Jerk Baits and live shrimp.
Redfish are a little more cold hardy and can be found cruising the backcountry shallows. Sight casting with Eppinger Rex copper spoons, crab patterns on a fly rod or live shrimp with spinning tackle will catch redfish. Some of the best areas to go and sight cast for redfish is in Fish Creek, Pea Pass and the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. Also some redfish will be in the Nature Coast Rivers near rocky points that are on deep parts of the rivers. Live shrimp is the best bait for river redfish.
The sheepshead bite is very good on the rockpiles and reefs from eight feet of water out to twenty feet. On a recent charter my clients caught 21 sheepshead in about 1 hour using shrimp. A few of the fish were 5-6 pounds. The best method is to use a 1/0 Eagle Claw baitholder hook with a 1/4 oz. sliding sinker. I hook the shrimp from the tail forward and cast it right to the edge of the structure. The sheepshead bite will be a slow but steady pull and when you feel the weight of the fish set the hook.
High incoming tide this coming weekend will be very late evening. Capt. William Toney www.homosassainshorefishing.com
Happy New Year!! As much as I hate to see the Awesome fishing of 2011 go, I honestly can’t wait for the future fishing adventures that are in store for us during 2012. And if the weather is any indicator at how well our fishing year is going to be, folks we may be in store for another record breaking year. The weather seems to be the major headline thus far going into 2012. With a few cooler days predicted earlier in the week, we still may finish the first week of the New Year with temperatures almost in the 80’s. As you can imagine with weather this good and fish still seeming to be in their fall patters, the sky seems to be the limit as far as our angling opportunities are concerned.
With so many angling options still available it’s been a challenge to decide which species of fish to target. Do we go after tailing Redfish with shrimp or artificials in the morning? Do we cast for hefty Gator Trout on some of our crystal clear flats? Or de we go for the Gusto and load the boat with some of the tastiest fish on the Gulf Coast, the Black Sea Bass? All in all these are some of the great angling opportunities that we will be leaning towards this month. And with plenty of other species available this month including Black Drum, Grouper, Permit, Pompano, and Sheepshead there should be plenty of opportunities to ring in the New Year with a drag screaming run from one of Florida’s Finest.
Speaking of Sheepshead, as one of the tastiest and hardest fighting fish that swims in the shallow waters of the Nature Coast, the months of January and February are prime time to target these toothy critters. Normally, Sheepshead can be quite docile throughout the year, but the few months before and after these fish spawn leads to a Sheepshead feeding frenzy where these fish will eat any Crustacean placed in front of their face. There are plenty ways to target these fish whether fishing from land or by boat, in fresh water or salt. However, my favorite way to target these fish is by sight casting pieces of crab, shrimp or flies, to these fish while they are staging along many of the shallow water structures located along the Crystal River or Homosassa. Throwing pieces of crab and shrimp will definitely yield the most strikes but for something a little more challenging we like to throw shrimp and crab patterns to these fish which has proven successful.
As interesting as catching a Sheepshead on fly sounds, the exotic species that are still roaming the waters off the Nature Coast is the most surprising aspect of fishing at the moment. Most pelagic species should have already migrated by the Nature Coast and should be taking up residency at their warm water destinations. However, with warmer weather prevailing over the last month many species are still felling right at home in our warmer than usual waters. With water temps still remaining in the mid 60’s many Spanish Mackerel, Grouper, Bluefish, Sharks, and even a few Cobia are still calling our warmer water home at the moment. Now this rare occurrence could change at any moment with the weather, but this still makes for exciting fishing especially when you’re fishing for Sea Bass and a 10lb Grouper comes out from a rock to eat it or even better a 40lb Cobia.
Historically January fishing can be a challenge both in fishing and in weather, but with an unseasonably warm weather pattern leading towards unseasonably great fishing, the start of the New Year could be one to remember. **Keep in mind: In 2009 the best fishing month of the entire year was late January into February.**
Capt. Kyle Messier
The last week of December the weather was warm and the fishing was hot!My clients were able to catch there limits of reds when the tides got right to fish for them. I took my son (Kelly jr.) fishing on the Friday before Christmas break was over. He caught several reds before coming in. He caught the 30in red in the photo on a 5in gulp jerk bait, nosed hooked with a smell live bait hook, with an Okuma C3x rod and an Okuma trio reel spooled with 10lb power pro line, and 15lb leader. Now that we are in the new year the weather is in for a cold change. Cold North winds are being predicted for the first part of the week, with temperatures as low as the high 20′s for the first of the week. I will be fishing around the river and in the back bays neear the warmer spring waters. Small shallow running plugs will work on trout as well as live shrimp. Fish the deeper channels and around the rocky points in the river. Mangrove snapper will be close to the warm water of the springs. When I target the mangos I use a small jig head with a live shrimp.