20170616

MAY 2017: HOT TEMPS - HOT FIHSING !

This May, the temperatures were unusually hot, and so was the fishing !  The action has been great, both inshore and off-shore !

Inshore, the red fish have been everywhere.  Back in the creeks and bays, as well as on the outer islands and keys.   Live shrimp is always a go-to bait, but this month the big reds wanted a larger meal. Free lined live pin fish was the ticket to success !  I always like cutting off the tip of the tail giving the pin fish a more erratic action, and also more scent to attract the reds.  Use a circle hook, and when you feel the line moving off, all you have to do is just start reeling !

Along with the reds, more and more snook are showing up in the same area.  They too like a live shrimp or pin fish free-lined back to them.  Your favorite artificial should also produce.  The first of the outgoing tide seems to be the provide the best bite.

Staying inshore, the tarpon are making their migration from the South to the North, with the big push coming in June.  From Pine Island to Crystal River, these "silver kings" are showing themselves as they daisy chain along the flats.  Homosassa is famous for the big tarpon on the fly, but a live blue crab or pin fish will get the job done too.  The DOA "Bait Buster" is also a good artificial to put in front of the rolling schools of tarpon.

Offshore on the deep grass flats in 8-12 feet of water, the trout bite has been steady.  A 1/8 or 1/4 oz jig in bourbon or watermelon colors worked well.  Sea bass, Spanish mackerel, grouper, and shark were also ready and waiting to put a bend in the rod.
 


Grouper season opens on June 1st, so plan on hitting your favorite number.  There have been keeper size grouper on the shallow rocks, but the best bite will be in the 20-40' range.

Again, Thanks for another fun and productive month of fishing Crystal River and Homosassa.  Hope to see you in June !    Capt Mark

20170422

MAR-APRIL 2017: CATCHING IN THE WIND

March winds did not stop the fish from biting !  The trout bite has been going strong around both Homosassa and Crystal River.  Glow 5" jerk baits have been the go-to lure for most of the action. In depths from 1-5 feet of water, this presentation has been producing some nice limits of trout.

Staying with the trout bite, the off-shore deep grass spots are also producing great.  Depending on the depth, 1/8 oz to 1/4 oz jigs in red or chartreuse colors,with your favorite Miro Lure "Little John"  has been the ticket to success.



Along with the trout, offshore Spanish mackerel are showing up in good numbers.  They have no problem stealing your jig without you even knowing it, until you reel in an empty line.  But, fun to catch and good eating.

Can't forget the Reds.  Catching has been excellent out of both Crystal River and Homosassa.  The pics tell the "tale" !



The triple tail have been showing up in nice numbers, and good sized too.   They like to hang out around off-shore structures, so keep your eye out for these floating prehistoric fish around any structure you may come by.

The sheepshead action is pretty much over until next year, but there are still a few resident fish around the rock piles hanging out with the grouper.  The grouper seem to be everywhere, and looks promising for a great grouper season opening on June 1st.  There have also been plenty of grunts on the shallow rocks that can offer non-stop action and great eating.

In April, the cobia started to show up off-shore, so while you're hitting your favorite rock or ledge, look for these dark shadows to show up on the surface.  Just about any offering will not be refused by these hard fighting bruisers.

We are very blessed here in Citrus County with a great fishery, and every year more and more people are enjoying this great bounty.  And with this comes more and more boats on the water.  Remember to show the angler the same respect and courtesy you would like to receive.

Thanks as always to all of my friends and guests for the great days of fishing.  

20170317

JAN - FEB 2017: Great start to winter fishing !

What a great way to start the new year !  With mild temperatures and light winds, the fishing could not have been better for this time of year.

Inshore, the speckled trout fishing remains outstanding, with fish being caught on all types of artificials.  Nose hooked jerk baits, 1/16 oz jig head under a popping cork, or an 1/8 oz jig head by itself in your favorite color have all been producing limits of fish.  With many in the  over 20" range.
Working the shallow flats in 1-4 feet of water with  jerk baits and cork rigs performed the best for me.  I switched to the 1/8 oz jig in the deeper holes and ledges with Miro Lure "Little John" scent bait to keep the action going strong.
In addition to the speckled trout, pompano, bluefish, flounder and Spanish Mackerel have been providing plenty of rod bending action.  The deeper holes in the creek mouth and back country have been holding some nice pompano.  A small shrimp on a light jig head worked well.  Don't let these little fish fool you, the legal size for pompano is 12", and they give a good fight on light tackle.  They are also tasty table fare.   The maximum keeper size is 18" in length.

The Spanish mackerel have been both inside on the flats, and offshore on the scattered structures.  Live shrimp or cut bait is always the best.  Be sure to chum them up, and keep the bait moving to produce plenty of hard hitting strikes.  Just recently on an inshore trip, we got the macks going in the river using this same tactic.
Offshore, the sheepshead action has been at it's best.  All the offshore structure, holes, ledges, and rock piles are all holding large numbers of these striped bandits.  Fish in the 5-10 pound range have been common.    Remember these large females are our future population, so keep a few and release the rest.  A Small shrimp on a knocker rig or a jig head was the trick to catch these light-striking fish.  The strike is very subtle, so be patient and feel for that slight movement of your bait before you set the hook. Big grunts, mangrove snapper, and grouper have also been sharing the same area, so there was plenty of action to keep the catching going.
Back inside around the keys, the redfish have been going strong.  Live shrimp and fresh cut pin fish on a 1/16 oz jig head was the perfect combination to catch these fish.  The larges schools haven't shown up yet, but there were plenty of fish scattered on the points and rocky flats.
As always, I want to "Thank" all my guests for a great start to the new year, and I look forward to more great Homosassa and Crystal River fishing in 2017.     Capt Mark


20170104

NOV-DEC 2016: End of a great year of fishing !

The last two months of "2016" offered some of the best fishing of the year !

In November, fishing Inshore with mild temperatures, the speckled trout action could not have been better.  Using a variety of artificial baits, limits of trout came fast.  From nose hooked jerk baits, your favorite plastic under a  popping cork, or just a "Miror Lure" Little John on a 1/8 oz jig head, they all provided good action.  As the water cooled slightly going into December, the trout moved into the deeper pot holes and cuts that scatter our coast here in Citrus County.



Along with the trout, the Red fish bite was still going strong !  With fish ranging from 12" to 30" all scattered over the rocky points and creeks between  Chassahowitzka and Crystal River.  Live shrimp is always a go-to bait, but artificials like; gold spoons, top water baits, and shallow running crank baits all worked well.


Offshore, the grouper were hungry, and did not refuse almost any offering.  From live shrimp and pin fish to frozen bait, as well as your favorite deep running plug that you cast over the shallow rocks or troll over the deeper holes and ledges.  On the same rocks, you will find grunts, sea bass, mangrove snapper, Spanish Mackerel, and blue fish.





Towards the end of December, the sheepshead have started to show up in numbers, and will continue thru March.  Back inside during December, the Pompano have been filling up the holes and deep cuts in the mouth of the creeks and rivers.  A light jig head and a small shrimp supplied most of the action, but small plastics also did the trick.

I want to thank all of my guests for a great year in 2016, and for the memories.  Here's to another great year of fishing and making memories in 2017 !    Capt Mark


20161030

Sept - Oct 2016 REDS AND TROUT !!

With cooler nights and days, the water temperature is reaching it's magic number.  The trout action is in full swing, as water temps reach the 70's.

Using popping corks with your favorite color jig, in 2-6 feet of water, the trout bite has been non stop.  The outgoing tide has been the best, but the first part of the incoming has also been productive.  Be sure to target the kelp beds for the big trout, and I mean we have been catching some nice fish !  The 20" plus fish are being boated on a regular basis on just about every trip.  Remember, when you've caught your limit of trout, move on to another species because trout are not a  good catch and release species due to handling.

The red fish bite has been unbeatable !  The reds have been feeding from the spoil banks to Homosassa.  Fish the rising tide with live shrimp or fresh cut bait, and be prepared to set the hook and hear the scream of your drag.

This year has been a great year for red fish, with most of the schools made up of slot size fish mixed with  many in the over 27" range.  As the water cools more next month, the fish will move further into the creeks and bays that cover our nature coast.

Offshore, the grouper are hitting plugs, live bait and dead bait all in 10 - 20 feet of water.  Along with the grouper; grunts, flounder, Spanish mackerel, and snapper, which are all staying around the scattered rock piles and cracks just offshore.

Another couple of great months of fishing have come and gone, and as always I extend my "Thanks" to my guests and friends who fished with me.  I look forward to fishing with you again !    Capt Mark

20160916

August 2016: Red, Trout and Scallops !

The "Old Timers" always said the full moon in August was when the schools of big reds would start to move in, and they were right !

All this month, the Red fish action has been non-stop.  The spoil banks out of Crystal River have been the temporary home for large schools of reds.  Live pin fish or live shrimp have been the best bait, but once the action starts up, just switch to your favorite jig on a 1/8 oz jig head and have a ball!  The spoil banks during this time of year can get pretty crowded, so be sure to show some courtesy to the other anglers, and they will usually do the same for you.


The red fish bite has also been good all along the outer islands and keys.  Use the same baits as above, and you should get into some rod bending action !

Speckled Trout action has picked up this month.  With less boat activity as scallop season is winding down, the trout have moved back onto the grass beds.  I've found the most productive bait to be the Miro Lure "Little John" in the bourbon color under a DOA popping cork.  Set the depth of the jig depending on the depth of the water your fishing.

As for scalloping, there are still plenty to be found.  September should still be a great month for these tasty mollusks.  We've been finding plenty off of Homosassa and Crystal River in 3-6 feet of water, and remember, the last hour of the outgoing and the first hour of the incoming tide is the best bet.

And as always, I can't end without sending a big "Thank You" to all my guests, and hope to see you on the water again soon.  Nature Coast fishing is the best !

20160808

Fantastic Fishing - June - July

The Snapper were on fire during the months of June and July !  This has been the best I've seen in the past 10 years.  Any trip that we targeted Snapper, we were sure to limit out, with many fish in the 16" plus range.  Now this is not anything special for offshore anglers who work the 30' range and deeper.  However, for the inshore / near-shore anglers this is a big deal.  We just don't normally find them this size inside.

We also found some nice snapper working the rock piles, ledges, or holes with live shrimp.  The key is the tide.  The direction doesn't seem to matter, but water movement was key.  When the tide was moving fast the action was also fast.  It was the norm to see the Snapper swarming behind the boat seemingly waiting for their turn at your bait ! 

 
Along with Snapper, big Grunts were fighting for their place on the chew line, along with Sea Bass, Grouper, and Spanish Mackerel.

Back inside the Red fish action has still been going strong.  With the best action on the rising tide.  Fresh shrimp and both live and cut pin fish being the go-to baits.  This hard fighting fish will continue to supply great action thru November, with the larger schools showing up in late August, and staying around until the end of October.

Starting early again this year was scallop season, and as usual it started out with a bang !  With plenty of scallops to be harvested, the main problem was finding a parking space for your vehicle and trailer.  Plenty of scallops were in 3-7 feet of water, making it enjoyable for all ages to harvest.  All the usual spots were producing from Chazz Point to Gomez Rock off Crystal River.  You can't miss the hot spots, just look for the fleet of boats !

The Trout bite has been a bit slow these past two months.  The reasons range from warm water moving the fish out to the deeper grass beds, to all the boating activity that goes along with scallop season. However, my clients have caught some nice trout up to 4 Lbs using live shrimp, and 1/8 oz jigs with the Miro Lure "Little John" in the bourbon color, working the deeper grass and drop offs.

Remember, patience at the boat ramp is the key to a fun day on the water.  Long lines at the boat ramps can stir short tempers.  Keep your goal in mind for "a relaxing, fun day on the water with your family and friends".

Thanks again, hope to see you on the beautiful waters of Crystal River and Homosassa.

MAY 2017: HOT TEMPS - HOT FIHSING !

This May, the temperatures were unusually hot, and so was the fishing !  The action has been great, both inshore and off-shore ! Inshore, ...