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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

Tag: ozello

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,


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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



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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

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

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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
(352) 418-2160


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Homosassa Fishing Report, 12/1/13, from Capt. William Toney

by on Dec.02, 2013, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa

Fish are scattered all the way from the near shore flats to the holes deep in the backcountry. Depending on the tide phase and wind conditions, these will dictate what fish are accessible and where you can possibly catch fish. I’ve always preached that this is the time of year if an angler would like to learn how to fish Homosassa, our waters have exposed themselves for you to see. Anglers will have to think small this time of year in the sense that deep water may be only 20 yards long compared to a 200 yard long flat in September. A slower and more thorough presentation with each cast can be the ticket to catching fish compared with the run and gun technique of warmer weather.
Trout fishing in the channel edges and holes in Mason Creek, Salt River, Little Homosassa River and St. Martins River has been good. There are many short fish but the action can be fun and work hard enough you will put some fish in the box. The top bait has been a D.O.A. near clear 3” shrimp underneath a popping cork. If the wind is calm I’ve had good luck using the shrimp with no cork and working it very slowly. The Homosassa River has plenty of undersized redfish that are biting live shrimp near the bottom. Most places along the river where the channel comes close to the bank is a good spot. Look for incoming tide this weekend very late evening.

Capt. William Toney www.homosassainshorefishing.com

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FISH BITES FROM NORTH TO SOUTH–Citrus County Fishing Report from Capt. Rick Burns, 9/20/13

by on Sep.21, 2013, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

Let’s get right to the bite report that I’ve been hooking into for the past week starting up north at Crystal River, working our way down.
Schools of baitfish are continued to be seen acting real nervous around the spoilbanks, with the sportfish hungry on their tails. Species like Jacks, Macks, Ladyfish, a few Snook, and Reds, are being caught. And the BIG “spotted tails” should be making their present reeeel soon. Anchor up with a chum bag and cast spoons, catch 2000’s, weighted white jerkbaits, Plastic shrimps, even rattle traps, for artificial action. Live shrimp, and live or cut pinfish, as well as cut Ladyfish work well weighted on the bottom for the bait side.
Other places like, Crystal bay around the oyster bars, are giving up numerous Trout. A lot of shorts mind ya, but some legal size keepers in the mix. Don’t always think you have to go on a ½ day expedition before you can get into some fish. You can get into fishing off the Fort Island ramp area, and never lose sight of the beach.
Gomez rocks area is giving up some Trout catches. Mostly on the weekdays, because of the weekend Scallop traffic.  Which by the way ended Sept. 24th. It was an awesome season, and next year promises to be just as good.  The back side of Mangrove point is hooking up with some reds also.
The backcountry of Ozello is a good place for the Reds, too. You can put in at Pirates Cove and never fire up the kicker, and get into some Red heat just trolling around the island points and banks.
Down in Homosassa,  Art Kelley’s grandson, Stephen yielded a nice 24” Redfish off of a mangrove island point we were anchored on. We fished on the incoming tide utilizing real bait. They ended up boating several Reds, mostly “puppies”, keeping a few in the slot for the fryer. It was Stephen’s first Redfish adventure, doing exceptionally well. He’s an even better golfer. (But maybe not for long.)
The St. Martins keys are a good place for the Reds this time of the season. Work that incoming for best success. Crustaceans and critters alike are flushed out of their hidey holes with the rising tides, and the Reds know it. If steaks, ribs, and yes, even fried chicken was continually passed by you for the taking, you would eventually take up on the offer as well.
Utilize the moving tides and be throwing your best lure.
Decent size Trout to 20” are being caught around the bird rack Scallop grass flats.
Get out there early, (right at first light), (you got the rest of your life to sleep), and utilize your favorite topwater lures, if the floating grass isn’t too bad. If you’re being fouled buy the grass, immediately switch to weedless rigged jerkbaits, or a plastic “Riptide 3” paddle tail mullet” in white, or electric chicken colors under a Cajun, for better results.
Further south, another area giving up some decent Trout reports is the mouth around Chassowitzka River, and the hole around Black Rock. Try a rattle trap, or lipped crankbait in the holes.
A lot of Ladyfish sometimes school up in these holes in the summer, and they can be a lot of fun, especially on the fly rod. Yeah!
Be safe, and good fishing………….><>Capt. Rick

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Crystal River Fishing Report, 9/12/13, from Capt. Kelly Kofmehl

by on Sep.12, 2013, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

The night time temps are starting to drop just a few degrees, giving us here on the Nature Coast the hint that fall is just around the corner.  October is the month of several changes here in the small stretch of paradise that i get to call home. First Stone Crabs are back in season. They will be on the market and ready to be consumed on October 15. With the Crystal River Stone Crab Jam the first Saturday in Nov. Another change is the opening of a new store here in Crystal River, Sodium Fishing Gear. I had the opportunity to sneak a peek in the store the other day. Brandon and Casey not only have fishing apparel from head to toe, but they also have rods, reels coolers, a full line of Carbon Marine products, Fly fishing gear and much more. Stop in and support one of the “local” businesses.
On my trip yesterday I was polling my clients down a shoreline, I could see fish working in front of the boat about 150 yards. I told my guys to get ready to throw. When I was able to maneuver the boat into casting position I told Bo and Jordan to throw in front of the school of Reds. One guy made a perfect cast and the other was behind the school. About 2 seconds after the first bait hit the water, drag was rippin off the Okuma reel. We were able to catch 3 Reds out of that school before they just blew out on us, the first one was 30 inches, the second 31 inches and the third was 32. What a awesome bunch of fish. They defiantly had all of our hearts pumping for a while.
Trout will be back inshore once again in some larger numbers making it possible to catch a limit without having to run way out into the open bay, as the water temps begin to drop a few degrees. I have been eagerly awaiting this event to happen. I typically fish with a popping cork rig this time of the tear. Last October we did very well on the Trout and I have already noticed some early arrivals.
Capt. Kelly Kofmehl

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September Fishing Forecast/August Fishing Report, Crystal River, from Capt. Kelly Kofmehl

by on Aug.19, 2013, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, Ozello to Crystal River

As day light started to to break in the East, I picked up my client. The sky was black out to the west. We left the dock at 6:30 am and headed down the Crystal River. Grabbing for our rain gear in the idle  zone. We ran a couple of miles and only a sprinkle or two. Then the bottom fell out of the sky. We had to idle for about ten minutes or so. When we came out of the rain we were almost to the first spot that I wanted to fish. I got the boat anchored and made the first cast and within about 5 seconds the drag on my Okuma Cedros 30 spinning reel was screaming. At the first sign of the big Red fish I knew that he was over the slot, 28.5 inches. The next cast was a 19 inch Red, then a 11 inch mangrove snapper. The bite was finished at spot number one. Spot number two, we set up and threw out some cut bait, fish were striking everywhere I looked. The action was hot as the weather. We were able to fill our Red fish bag limit and release 6 or 8 more fish. we landed 8 Blue fish, and about that many Jacks. I asked my client, Dan, if he wanted to go to another spot and see what was going on there and he said sure. Spot number 3 was a winner as well. 2 more top slot Reds and the last cast a 33 inch Snook. I had Dan back to the dock by 10:30 and started to clean his fish. These are the kind of days are what can be expected through out the month of September.
As the full moon begins to build this month some of the big Trout will start to move back inshore to fatten up for the winter months to come. I love fishing in September when schools of Red fish show up and Trout come back. Look for action packed, drag rippin days for this month. The action will be hot. If you want to get in on some of this give me a call.
Capt. Kelly Kofmehl

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ANGLING FUN, WITH DAD AND SON–Homosassa Fishing Report, Capt. Rick Burns, 8/15/13

by on Aug.15, 2013, under Chassahowitzka and Homosassa

I guided a father and son team the other day to a backcountry angling trip.
Tip: If you happen to venture in the backcountry, and aren’t familiar, keyword,  FAMILIAR, either hire a guide 1st few times out, or use a shallow draft boat you don’t care much about, to learn the area. It can get real rocky and shallow, but at times can be reeeel good fishing.
We were trolling along, working the points, cuts, and pockets, utilizing shrimp under corks. Occasionally, dropping anchor to work an area longer, or better. We saw plenty of action in the way of baitfish, mullet, and Redfish that were working the area, but they did not want to feed, or take our offerings.
Goes to prove, that at times, you can go to fish, locate fish, throw to fish, but you can’t make fish close their mouths around your hook.
Before the end of the trip though, dad hooked up with a nice Red that quickly managed to bulldog his way in the rocks to shake the hook. However, a very nice 19” Trout, and a large Sheepshead was brought to the boat. One of the local FWC surveyors back at the dock said it was the biggest Sheepshead he’s seen in three weeks.
Now, when someone can cast a rod with no problem, work a lure effiently, know a variety of species of fish by name, catch a 9lb. bass, and loves the mere word of fishing, they are a good angler. But when you can do that at 6 years old, like this son you are  truly an awesome angler. Roland, look out!
Thanks guys, for the memories.
Trout reports are still coming in good, despite the sweltering weather. Surface water temp getting up to 90 degrees. Some days little or no wind. From dawn til Breakfast is finding best results. Plenty of shorts to go around, but some decent keepers in the mix.
The floating grass is bad as I’ve ever seen. Be careful and keep an eye on your engine pilot hole, to make sure water is pumping. I’m not talking mats, but small islands of this stuff.
Reds. Well, one day on, the next, off. Persistence like anything else is the key. Keep working the points and cuts around the islands, mainly on the last of an incoming. Thunder-Spins for when the sun gets bright. Top Dogs and Spooks early in the morning. Or cut bait and shrimp under floats can be productive at times.
The spoil bank islands at C.R. have been giving up some Reds and Macks lately. Usually anchoring off a cut or rocks, tying off a chum bag, and casting some cut bait or pinfish will produce.
Local lakes and the river are still reporting good catches of Bass and Panfish. Trolling and casting crankbaits, and spinnerbaits, to your structures, weedlines, and ambush points, are what have been doing good for Bass. And crickets, or of course, popping bugs on fly, for the panfish. Can’t go wrong.
Tip of the week:
Skin cancer is not only serious, but let’s face it, it can kill ya.
Don’t wait to put on sunblock when you get out there fishing, or are already sweating. Or when your buddy is reeling one in! Never fails. Doesn’t stay on or work as well, either.
Apply your favorite sunscreen at the house in the morning before you leave. Then it has time to absorb and soak into your skin for maximum protection. Plus, it isn’t getting all over bait, or lures when you’re applying it out there fishing.
Even better, try the new “Sunsreenz” towelletes. They are the “cat’s meow”, for great, quick, and convenient angling sun protection. Go to sunsreenz.com. for obtaining. They also have an insect repellant towellete that is good for these summer time bugs. Keep one in your shirt pocket, a couple in your several tackle boxes, a couple in your glovebox, and you’ll never be without protection. Cheaper too, than trying to keep several bottles of each, at those places. Makes cents, and sense.

Be safe, and good fishing, on the nature coast ……….><> Capt. Rick Burns

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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

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