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Tag: steinhatchee

November 2017 Steinhatchee Fishing Report, from Capt. Rick Davidson and Sea Hag Marina

by on Nov.15, 2017, under Steinhatchee

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Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor, Sea Hag Fishing Reports

Steinhatchee Fishing Forecast for November 2017, Sea Hag Marina

Fishing this month will be weather dependent, but will almost certainly be excellent. The water is clear and we’ll see how the temps respond to a cold snap, but the flats will still be producing a lot of fish. Slow down your presentation with chillier temperatures. Jigs and Gulp baits will do well. Look for schools of large redfish this month. And one of our more seasonal species, silver trout (called sand trout by some) have arrived in force. Personally I think they fight harder than spotted seatrout and they are better eating. And there are no limits on catches. They are usually caught in deeper water from 4 to 8 feet, and frequently over sand with less grass than on the flats. They are caught with spotted trout, usually smaller fish. Target them with the same techniques as spotted trout…jigs with soft tails or Gulp baits do well. Hot spots included areas west and northwest of the Birdrack and inside of Little Bank in 5 to 7 feet of water. Look for humps on your depth finder, and re-drift over areas of fish when you find them. We’ll be waiting for real cold weather to see if it drives trout into the river but that will be more likely in the next few months.

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Just One Point North–Rocky Points Along Florida’s Big Bend

by on Oct.29, 2017, under Cedar Key, Chassahowitzka and Homosassa, FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, Keaton Beach to Fenholloway, Steinhatchee, Suwannee, Yankeetown and Waccasassa

Big Bend Action Spotter, Florida Sportsman Magazine

October 2017

 

There are many rocky points along Florida’s Big Bend. And I suppose there are many places labeled “rock point” along the United States’ coastlines. After all, it’s not a particularly innovative name. But there’s only one Rock Point near Steinhatchee, in Taylor County.   And it’s one you should know about if you’re interested in some pretty good inshore fishing.

Unlike local Sponge Point, that has no sponges, and Sand Point, which has no sand, Rock Point DOES have rocks. Lots of them. While its rocks offer good cover for redfish and the adjacent flats and backwaters can also add good numbers of spotted seatrout, getting there can be a tedious exercise. Rock Point is only about 3 miles north of the Steinhatchee River channel, but to get there, especially on low water, you need to dodge some offshore sand bars and shallow inshore grass flats. My advice is that you take a northwesterly course from Marker #7 in the channel, staying outside the bars, and SLOWLY and CAREFULLY head towards Rock Point when you’re offshore of it. The shoreward approach towards Rock Point isn’t especially rocky, but it’s important you respect the integrity of grass flats you’ll cross. On low water, you may need to shift modes from your outboard to your trolling motor or push pole. On higher water, usually above 2-plus feet on your tide chart (Use the “Steinhatchee River Mouth” tide station.) you might be able to idle with your outboard jacked or trimmed up. In either case, be careful not to damage the sea grass. Doing so is a fineable offense.

The rocks at Rock Point are not pebbles. Some are boulder-sized and the niches and canyons between them offer shelter to predators waiting for schools of bait, usually small mullet, to cross the point with the tide. Knowing that, and that it happens on almost any tide and in any season, should give you a clue to fishing this point—and any others you might encounter that are similarly structured. The tide runs across the point, so set your boat up in order to make long upstream casts. Don’t crowd the point. This may mean casting into the wind, but larger and heavier lures will work here. The “hatch” you’re trying to match are likely to be 6-8inch mullet, so big lures like MirrOlure Top Dogs or D.O.A. PT7s are good choices. If the tide’s full, you might try something that suspends, like a Paul Brown Devil, but be careful not to work them too deep or too slowly. If you do snag one on a rock, break it off and try to fetch it after the catching’s done!

The fact is that “one point don’t make a whole day of fishing”.   So, while you’re in the neighborhood, take advantage of some other October options here. The seagrass beds you’ll cross on your way to Rock Point will finally be devoid of summer scallopers and the trout they scared away should have returned to fatten up for the winter. There are some deeper potholes to the southwest of the point, and more important, a deeper creek channel in the bay to the south. The small rock pile on the north side of the creek bed is a good place to try, and a drift into the southeast corner of the bay is a worthwhile exercise, if the mullet are jumping. The tip of Rock Point is actually a small island, and the north shoreline inside the cut that separates it from the mainland can also be fishy, provided you take a stealthy approach. For some reason—maybe lack of pressure—the redfish along this shore can especially spooky. Long casts and silent running are a must.

This particular Big Bend “Rock Point” is pretty typical of many similar points that you’ll find from the Suncoast Keys in Citrus County, all the way to the shoreline near St. Marks. Learning each one might take a lifetime, but having knowledge of just a few can make for lots of fun days of fishing.

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Updated Steinhatchee Guides List, October 2014

by on Sep.30, 2014, under Keaton Beach to Fenholloway, Steinhatchee

Looking for a good fishing guide?  Here’s a recent list from Steinhatchee:

Big Bend Guides, Members of Florida Guides Association

Capt. Pat McGriff  (Keaton Beach)

(850) 584-9145

One More Cast Charters

onemorecast@gtcom.net

Type of Fishing : Inshore

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Capt. Bob Erdman

(352) 356-2554

Something’s Fishy Charters

captainboberdman@yahoo.com

Flats, Inshore, Nearshore, Light Tackle, Backcountry

Trout, Redfish, Flounder, Cobia, Black Bass, Spanish mackerel

Steinhatchee, Jena, Deadman’s Bay

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Capt. Brad Riddle

(352) 318-2138

FIN ACTION CHARTERS

captainbradriddle@cox.net

Inshore, Inshore, Nearshore, Flats, Artificial Lure, Live Bait, Group, Private, Scalloping

Trout, Redfish, Black Sea Bass, Pink Mouth Grunts, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, Flounder, Sheepshead

Steinhatchee, Big Bend Area

River Haven Marina Guides, Steinhatchee


Captain Steve Kroll’s Pepperfish Key Charters (352) 322-4085
USCG licensed Captain Steve Kroll is your host and guide for a great day of near shore and flats fishing, or scalloping, on the beautiful Big Bend region.

On The Mark Guide Service
Captain Mark Lord, a Florida Flats Fishing Guide, is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, with years of experience fishing and guiding in the Steinhatchee area.

Sea Hag Marina Guides, Steinhatchee


Captain Randall Hewitt 386-208-3823  http://www.hookedonreds.com/

Captain Steve Rassel 352 359-5902 http://www.lastcastras.com/

Captain Scott Peters, Jr 352-356-7502 http://badtothebonefishingcharters.com/

Captain Rick Davidson http://bitemefishing.wordpress.com/

Captain Brian Smith 877-852-3474 http://www.bigbendcharters.com/

Good Times Marina Guides,  Steinhatchee


Capt. Mark Brady (contact thru Good Times Marina, 352-498-8088

Capt. Steve Hart, (352) 498-0299

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Steinhatchee River Designated Florida’s 50th State Paddling Trail

by on Sep.19, 2014, under Steinhatchee

With the addition of the Steinhatchee River, Florida now has 50 state paddling trails. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Greenways & Trails designated the Steinhatchee River during the Taylor County Commission meeting on Sept. 16.

Whether touring or fishing, Steinhatchee offers great access for paddlers from either the Dixie or Taylor County side of the river.
Whether touring or fishing, Steinhatchee offers great access for paddlers from either the Dixie or Taylor County side of the river.

The Florida Paddling Trails Association also presented signs designating the communities of Keaton Beach and Steinhatchee as “Blueway Communities.” “We are proud to add the Steinhatchee River as our 50th designated state paddling trail,” said Florida State Park Director Donald Forgione. “Designation of the river creates well-deserved recognition of this excellent destination for paddling, fishing and wildlife viewing and will promote sustainable tourism and boost the economy for the local communities.” The scenic Steinhatchee River is the latest of Florida’s outstanding waterways to be designated a state paddling trail. The river’s spring-fed, tea-colored water meanders through a shady corridor of moss-draped trees flanking the river. It widens gradually as it flows through the colorful fishing villages of Steinhatchee and Jena before joining the Gulf of Mexico. The roughly eight-mile designated portion begins just below the historic Steinhatchee Falls, which has been an accessible river crossing for countless travelers through the ages. Wagon ruts can still be seen today where Native Americans, Spanish explorers and early settlers crossed the shallow limestone shelf that creates the low, cascading waterfall. Steinhatchee Falls offers a pleasant picnic area and hand-launch access for small fishing boats, canoes and kayaks. There is also a three-mile, multi-use trail that can be enjoyed by hikers, off-road cyclists and those seeking vibrant seasonal wildflowers and wildlife. Fishing from a boat or kayak is an interesting prospect for anglers, as both freshwater and saltwater species may be encountered depending upon the stretch of river. Delicious “pan fish” abound in the upper stretches of the Steinhatchee, while saltwater species appear as the river mingles with the Gulf waters. Improved boat ramps on both sides of the river in the towns of Steinhatchee and Jena mark the lower end of the paddling trail and provide good access for all types of boaters. Visitors are urged to bring binoculars and a camera to capture photos of the wildlife frequently seen along the river corridor and the Gulf coastline. In the fall, colorful monarchs and other butterflies feed upon wildflowers as they migrate southward. Spectacular flocks of white pelicans and other migrating birds are supported by vast tracts of public conservation land that bracket the Steinhatchee River, providing critical habitat for an array of wildlife species inland and along the coastline. For maps and information about the new paddling trail click here

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Get ready for Steinhatchee- Jena area Paddling Adventures October 2-5, 2014

by on Aug.18, 2014, under CAPT. TOMMY'S BOOK SIGNINGS, TALKS, TRAVELS, Steinhatchee

Steinhatchee/Jena Florida • $100 for 100 participants maximum
October 3-5, 2014 with early bird trips October 1st and 2nd

4 more paddles have just been added due to the heavy registration so far

Registration is open here NOW

and here’s what we’re giving you – – – – –

  • Access to 27 guided paddles in the area, a kayak fishing tournament and a power boat cruise on the beautiful Steinhatchee River. One of these for the early birds is an approximately 5 mile paddle Wednesday from Shired Island through scenic marshy islands, just off shore in the Gulf of Mexico, to Butler Island for an overnight camping experience, returning the next morning.
  • A get-together for early-birds Thursday evening including 2 drink coupons.
  • Primitive camping absolutely free.
  • Friday breakfast and a bag lunch if you want one.
  • A great dinner Friday night including an informative program.
  • Saturday breakfast and a lunch if you want one.
  • Entry to the kayak fishing tournament Saturday.
  • Saturday night you’re on your own but there will be discount coupons to the area’s best restaurants.
  • Sunday Brunch at the beautiful 3 story Dixie County owned Freeman House overlooking the marsh and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Best of all – you get to enjoy a stay in the Steinhatchee/Jena, Florida area with people who love the outdoors just like yourself – it’s different here – where the wild places are ! !

Registration is open here NOW

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Steinhatchee/Taylor County Scallop Report, July 23, 2014

by on Jul.23, 2014, under Keaton Beach to Fenholloway, Steinhatchee

The first month of Florida’s 2014 recreational scallop season has been a busy one at Steinhatchee and Keaton Beach.  Scallop season is always the busiest time of the year for these Gulf ports, with record sales at marinas, busy motels, waits for tables at restaurants, and busy boat ramps.  Rental boats are sometimes available on short notice, but for the most part, they’ve been reserved for months.  The same goes for lodging.

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rentalboat-5

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Scalloping isn’t hard work.  About all you need to be able to do is snorkel in 3 to 6-feet of water and to scoop them up by hand.  This year, you’ll spend a bit more time catching your 2-gallon (in the shell) limit, but the scallops ARE there.  Scallopers leaving from the Sea Hag, River Haven and Good Times marinas seem to be having the best luck to the north, off Clay Creek, Fishermans Rest, Big Grass Island and Piney Point.  And unlike last year, the scallops are close to shore in very clear water.

The best time to scallop is during the lower phase of the tide, and while the sun is overhead.  The sunlight draws the scallops to the top of the grass, making them easy to spot and the low tide makes reaching down for them from a swimming position easier.

For a general look at scalloping, take a look at “Bay Scallops, The Gulf of Mexico’s Tastiest Treat“.

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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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Enlarged and Improved Boat Ramp at Jena, on Steinhatchee River, Now Open–March 2014

by on Mar.16, 2014, under Steinhatchee

After what seemed a pretty long time, the enlarged and improved boat launch at Jena, on the Dixie County side of the Steinhatchee River, is now open.  This free ramp is located at the end of CR358, just across the river from the Sea Hag Marina.  What was a single, steep ramp has now been extended to allow easier launching and has been doubled to two lanes.  Floating docks straddle both lanes.

In the past, this ramp has been the scene of many a traffic jam, and now, with the addition of the second lane and the opening of the new boat ramp on the Steinhatchee side of the river, access for fishermen and scallopers should be easier.  While there is still no “official” parking lot for the Jena ramps, street-side parking is easy and plentiful.

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Cross City’s Historic Putnam Lodge to Re-Open in April 2014

by on Mar.13, 2014, under Horseshoe Beach, Steinhatchee

If you’re planning a fishing trip to Horseshoe Beach or Steinhatchee, consider making The Putnam Lodge your headquarters.  Yes, it’s a few miles from either port, but the accommodations are first class, with a touch of Florida history.  And on April 1, 2014 you can expect the lodge to be operating in full gear.

Here’s some history of the Putnam Lodge:

Putnam Lodge, built in 1927-28 by the Putnam Lumber Company, is part of a bygone era in Florida’s forestry history. Here, beside the old Dixie Highway, Putnam Lodge, part of the “company town” of Shamrock, accommodated tourists, transients and company executives and clients. The lobby and the dining room of the 36-room lodge were decorated exclusively with the still preserved, artfully stenciled “pecky cypress,” a now virtually extinct lumber product. In its day, the Putnam Lumber Company, founded by William O’Brien, a timber magnate of Irish descent, and associates including E. B. Putnam, employed hundreds at its two state-of-the-art sawmills in Shamrock. The mills annually produced and shipped worldwide millions of feet of “deep swamp tidewater cypress” and “dense Florida longleaf yellow pine” lumber, products that are now rare because the old growth trees are gone. Shamrock provided its residents and employees with comfortable homes, a commissary, a store comparable to “any city department store,” two schools, two hotels, the Shamrock Dairy Farm, and an ice plant producing 18 tons of ice daily. The lodge is representative of a time of local timber supremacy and economic prosperity.

And here’s what to expect from new owners, Ed and Beverly Pivacek, when the Putnam Lodge opens in April, 2014:

The restored and modernized Putnam Lodge will offer 25 guest rooms (kings, queens, suites–and even a bridal suite!), meeting facilities for groups of 25-30, facilities for weddings and parties of up to 250, and a full service restaurant and bar.  There are even plans underway for a paintball course on an area adjacent to the lodge.

Guests at the Putnam Lodge will be impressed by the quality of the restoration.  The dining room is almost in its original state, with hand-painted pecky cypress walls, ceilings and columns.  The dining room opens onto a newly-constructed deck designed to handle overflow from the dining room during special events.  The comfortable lobby and lounges also retain the original design of the Lodge.  Modern upgrades like central heating and air conditioning and plumbing make the guest rooms as comfortable as those found in upscale “big-city” hotels.  Along with the upscale restaurant offering the finest dining in the area, the Putnam Lodge facility is perfect for small meetings, family reunions, weddings or other social gatherings.

To contact the Putnam Lodge, email putnamlodge@gmail.com or call: (813) 390-4489

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2014 Steinhatchee Community Fishing Tournament, March 15

by on Mar.10, 2014, under Cedar Key, Horseshoe Beach, Keaton Beach to Fenholloway, Steinhatchee, Suwannee, Yankeetown and Waccasassa

The 13th Annual Steinhatchee Community Fishing Tournament is coming up on March 15.  With a relatively inexpensive $30 entry fee, this popular tournament attracts anglers from all over Florida’s Big Bend and Nature Coast.  The event is co-sponsored by the Taylor County Tourism Council and the Steinhatchee Community Projects Board.

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