Tag: fishing report
Spring is in the air and water
By Capt. Ray Markham
Anglers fishing aboard my 1820 Action Craft Flatsmaster SE Hybrid, the Flat Back II reeled in Inshore Grand Slams of snook, trout, and redfish this week, while fishing the waters of Terra Ceia Bay. The single most important feature in our fishing over the past month has been the extraordinarily high water temperature we’re encountering in the bay and near shore waters. This week I encountered water temperatures up to 74.9-degrees on the flats in the early afternoon hours. Normally our water temperature inshore in the warmest areas will hit the low 60’s for an afternoon high temperature. These kinds of conditions are normally are seen in late April and May. With that said, I’m using my late spring tactics in lure choice for the species we’re targeting.
While winter fishing, I would throw the DOA Shrimp most times because shrimp are what most fish inshore are feeding on, and it’s the most prevalent bait on the flats and backcountry. Right now, I’m throwing CAL Jerk baits and MirrOlure Lil’ John Jerk baits rigged on either very light jig heads or a CAL Long Neck worm hook to imitate the needlefish on the flats and at canal, creek, and river mouths. Big trout love these and will devour them, given the chance. On the open flats, I’ll work the CAL Shad rigged on a ¼-ounce jig head for trout, flounder, redfish, and snook. These lures look like glass minnows or killifish, favorite baits for about everything that swims inshore right now. The CAL Shad caught some nice reds and snook this week.
For some really fun action, nothing beats topwater lure fishing. Watching big fish blast a lure out of the water and take off with it in its mouth is well worth the price of admission. For these lures, I choose baitfish imitations that are similar to menhaden, finger mullet, small trout, or scaled sardines. One of my go-to lures is the MirrOlure Top Dog, a large walking lure. The veteran of the bunch for big gator trout is the 5M MirrOlure propeller bait. These lures make some extreme surface commotion, creating flash, foam, spray, and sound, and will attract some huge trout. Our largest trout this week was a hefty fish taping out at about 22-inches. A nrumber of trout over 20-inches were caught. One of my criteria for lure choice is water temperature. With spring-like conditions and water temperatures pushing 75-degrees, fish will feed on the surface on the flats in depths up to 4 or 5 feet deep. The Shallow Running DOA Baitbuster can produce some impressive speckled trout too when fishing the early hours of the day in less than a foot of water.
The weather for this February is nothing like it normally is, but then again, neither is the fishing. Spring time fishing is spectacular, and this is what we’re experiencing right now. I anticipate this action to continue and even to improve over the next several months, when eyes turn to the silver king! ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!
Capt. Ray Markham runs the Flat Back II out of Terra Ceia, specializing in light tackle fishing with artificial lures using spin, plug, and fly tackle and can be reached for charter at (941) 228-3474.
Reds, Trout, and Pompano still in abundance here in Crystal River. The bight started off with a bang when we arrived to the first hole to start Trout fishing. We even caught a bonus fish being a Pompano on that spot. Paul, Jeffry, and Paul sr. were throwing 1/4 ounce jig heads loaded with live shrimp to capture the Trout and Pompano and even jumped several Ladyfish while there. Them it was time to start chasing some Reds. We went tho the next spot and the Reds were there but they were so spooky that we could not even get close enough to them with the baits before they blew out of the hole. On to the next spot as it began to sprinkle, I was up on the poling platform sneaking to the place where I had spotted some nice Reds the day before Jeffery made a long cast, as soon as the shrimp hit the water he yelled fish on! The bite continued for an hour or so and we limited out on the Reds.
Another successful day fishing with Capt. Kelly of SpotTailsCharters.
Hey there folks hope y’all had a good week. The fishing was fair this week. The cold front at the beginning of the week slowed the keeper trout down a bit. We are still catching big numbers of small trout with a keeper mixed in every now and then.
The reds moved back in the creeks at the beginning of the week. Then at the end of the week they were back on the points and oyster bars. That’s about it for this week. Stay safe and we’ll see you on the water.
There is still some time left to enjoy the small game season in the Citrus Wildlife Management Area that ends this month. The oak hammocks mainly on the south end of the management area hold good numbers of grey squirrels, that offers hunters some great opportunities. If you think your a good shot, squirrels will put you to the test as I found out on a recent squirrel expedition with Capt. Ray Markham. Ray and I would move though the woods together and it worked in our favor because one of us could keep an eye on the squirrel while the other moved in for the shot. I used my Ruger 10/22 rifle and I did achieve one good head shot but if a squirrel took off through the limbs it was hard to get a decent shot. Capt. Ray had the right gun for this chore with his .410 shotgun. We had a productive morning before the wind kicked up and bagged enough squirrels for a decent meal.
On the Nature Coast waters trout fishing is about as good as it gets with the best bite being on the incoming high tide. Rocky points and submerged rockpiles are the best spots for big trout. D.O.A. glow 5.5 jerk baits and MirrOlure Provokers in pumpkin seed/ chartreuse tail.
Good numbers of redfish have been around Pea Pass and the Ozello Keys. The best bait has been Eppinger Rex 1/4oz. spoon. On the nearshore rocks good numbers spanish mackerel are being caught on live shrimp after they are chum up with White Marsh chum bags. Look for incoming tide this coming weekend in the afternoon with a new moon on Wednesday.
Capt. William Toney www.homosassainshorefishing.com
Anglers fishing Sarasota Bay with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, had good action with catch and release snook, reds, speckled trout, silver trout, Spanish mackerel and bluefish on flies and jigs during the past week. The best action was with reds and trout in skinny water.
Tony Wheeler, from Wheeling, WV, fished Little Sarasota Bay with me on Monday afternoon, 2/13. He caught and released 3 snook on a Clouser fly while fishing docks near Spanish Point. He also caught and released several trout and ladyfish on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly over deep grass in the same area. Tom and Frank Wright, both from OH, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday afternoon, 2/14. They caught and released a pair of reds to 5-pounds and an over slot trout on CAL jigs with shad tails and weedless rigged CAL shad tails near Bishop Point.
Keith McClintock, from Lake Forest, IL, and Steve Liska, from NJ, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Wednesday afternoon, 2/15. They caught and released 8 or 10 trout to 22” and a red on CAL jigs with shad tails near Bishop Point and Long Bar. Larry Shedden, from Lakewood Ranch, FL, did an instructional fly fishing trip with me on Thursday, 2/16. He went from never having a fly rod in his hand to casting 50’ or more by the end of the trip. He put it all together when he sight fished a 4-pound trout out of a pothole in skinny water on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly!
Jerry Scranton, his cousin, Gary and stepson, Jeff, all from IL, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday, 2/17. They had good action with numerous silver trout to 16” and speckled trout to 19”, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and black sea bass on CAL jigs with shad and grub tails.
Next week’s negative low tides in the morning will concentrate reds and trout in potholes of Sarasota Bay as we head away from a new moon. Fish should move over shallow grass at the top of the tide, especially on sunny afternoons. Catch and release night snook fishing in the ICW should also be a good option.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Hey there folks hope y’all are staying warm. The Trout bite was real good on the flats around Cedar Key this past week. I did not get on the water this weekend do to all the wind.
The Red Fish are still on the points and oyster bars. They are not abundant but there are a few.
Well folks that’s it for this week. Stay safe and we’ll see you on the water.
Black Drum and Sheepshead Action!!
Well it’s hard to believe that we are almost to the mid point of February and the major story still remains to be the Unbelievable Beautiful weather that has persisted here in Florida. Over the last month my clients and I have been in awe over the mild 70 degree temperatures we have been spoiled with since the New Year. Never in my life have I seen such a consistent weather pattern during the early part of a New Year as to what we are witnessing at the current moment. That being said our unseasonably warm weather pattern has been that basis for an unseasonable warm water temperature. It’s the arrival of upper 60 degree water temperatures that has been the platform by which most native and migratory fish species have seemed to thrive in.
This is what we are looking for!! A tailing Giant Black Drum!!!
Normally, this time of year myself and every other local from the area is anticipating the arrival of Spring weather. Well now that we have seemed to have entered Spring in early January most of us are wondering if this is to good to be true.
TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IS AS FOLLOWS:
– Pelagic species such as Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish and Bonita have already found the warm waters of the Nature Coast. This is 2 months early.
– Grouper have inundated our shallow rocks, wrecks, and reefs. This is 2 month early.
– Speckled Trout have hit our massive system of Grass Flats. This is 1 month early.
– Sheepshead have already spawned and are feeding like crazy. This is 1 month early.
– Huge Schools of Black Drum are lined up on the local flats. This is 1 month early.
Mike White helped get our party started when he landed our first Crystal River Sheepshead on the day.
Two of the major current fishing focuses that are occurring along the Nature Coast as we speak are the Awesome Sheepshead fishing that is scattered along many of our local structures and targeting Huge Black Drum in shallow clear water.
The Sheepshead bite normally kicks off during this time of year but the fact that these fish have already spawned and are hungry for anything that swims, crawls, or flies is a major highlight for Nature Coast Fishermen/women. These tasty crustacean eaters are by far one of the tastiest fish that swims and can be targeted a variety of ways including chumming, sight fishing, or blind casting. The trick when fishing for these Sheepies is to be prepared for a long drawn out nibble fest. A Sheepheads bite can feel like a small baitfish pecking away at your bait before deciding to chow down. Most anglers are surprised at how soft a Sheepheads bite can be before reeling in a 5lbs fish.
As great as the Sheepshead fishing has been the major headline for Nature Coast fishing off of Crystal River and Homosassa has to be the arrival of Huge Schools of Black Drum. Imagine this: 3 ft of Crystal Clear water, a small wake approaching, followed by a deep base sounding noise, a tail flips out of the water in the distance. As exciting as this already sounds it only gets better. As you get within range of the tailing small wake, the deep base sound becomes more prevalent. By the time you are in casting range you now realize that the deep base noise was not from one fish, but from a school of over 500 fish ranging from 20-60lbs, that have now just surrounded our boat.
As gnarly as this scenario sounds, this is what’s going down on our local flats here along the Crystal River and Homosassa area. Sure the Redfish and Speckled Trout will get plenty of publicity over the next few weeks, but it’s the exotic species like the Sheepshead, Spanish Mackerel, and Huge Black Drum that will be the species that will create the long lasting memories.
Capt. Kyle Messier
From winter back to summer in 3 days is how this weeks looking. The extra mild conditions have make the fishing on the Nature Coast very good.
For seatrout, fish the incoming high tide on the outside points of the keys. The rockier the bottom the better, because the big trout will be right up on the rocks as soon as there is enough water for them to swim in there. The reason they do this is to sun on the warm rocks that were exposed on the low tide to the warm air temperatures. Some of the best baits are D.O.A. 5.5 jerk baits and MirrOlure Provokers. I prefer to nose hook my baits with a 3/0 Owner bait hook, because it increases my catch to strike ratio with the exposed hook. The best colors are glow, pink, pumpkin seed and golden bream.
The nearshore waters out to 12′ are holding good numbers of spanish mackerel near rockpiles and other structure. One of the best methods of catching them is to anchor near the rocks and use a chum bag to lure them in. White Marsh fish chum is a good alternative to the messy frozen blocks. A mono leader of 30lb will get more strikes then a wire leader but to prevent cutoffs use a long shank hook if using live bait like shrimp. Give the area about 10 to 15 minutes for the mackerel to show up. High incoming tide will be mid-morning this weekend.
Capt. William Toney
Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released trout, reds and snook on flies and jigs during the past week.
Keith McClintock and Barry Slee, both from Lake Forest, IL, fished Gasparilla Sound in Charlotte Harbor with me on Monday. They had a good day catching and releasing 5 reds to 5-pounds and numerous trout to 3 ½-pounds on CAL jigs with shad tails. Action was best in the afternoon when they caught most of their reds in shallow backcountry areas. Dick Striano, from MA, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Tuesday. Action was slow to start but I found some fish on the windy side of the bay near Whale Key where Dick caught and released about a dozen trout and a sharpnose shark on an Ultra Hair Clouser fly.
It was breezy on Wednesday when Parrish winter resident, Dave Wahl, fished Sarasota Bay with me. Dave caught and released a few trout and a couple of jacks on my Grassett Deep Flats Bunny and Ultra Hair Clouser flies. I poled some very skinny water at the top of the tide where he got some shots at trout in potholes and connected with a nice red on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly.
Sarasota winter resident, Phil Rever, and his brother, Jack Rever, from VA, fished the ICW near Venice with me on Thursday night. They caught and released 8 or 10 snook to 28” and about a dozen trout on my Grassett Snook Minnow fly. With the forecast of a front with windy conditions for Saturday, I was able to rearrange my schedule to take advantage of favorable conditions ahead of the front. It paid off when Terry Antoniuk, from Calgary, Alberta, and his brother, David Antoniuk from Sarasota, fished north Sarasota Bay with me on Friday afternoon. Terry caught and released 2 reds on my Grassett Flats Minnow fly and he and David caught 8 or 10 trout to 3 ½-pounds, with most fish in the slot or above, on the same fly and a weedless rigged CAL shad tail. We found the fish in skinny water in potholes and over shallow grass at the top of the tide.
Fishing should be better in the afternoon next week due to better tides and warmer water. Fishing protected, shallow grass flats for reds and trout on sunny afternoons and deep grass flats for trout, Spanish mackerel, blues and pompano should be good options. Catch and release night snook fishing in the ICW should also be good.
Capt. Rick Grassett
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
www.flyfishingflorida.net and www.snookfin-addict.com
Hey there folks, I hope all is well. My report this week is about the same, except we are catching more keeper trout. The same Green Moon color is working good on the trout.
The Reds are showing up on more of the points and oyster bars because of the warm weather.
The sheepshead should be thick as fleas for the next few days. As long as the weather allows you to get to them they should be pretty easy to catch.
Until next week see ya on the water.