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


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 !


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.


2016 Scalloping Season has Opened !

The 2016 scallop season opened July 25th.    With the scallops being so abundant the past few years, we are looking forward to another great season this year. Crystal River and Homosassa offer some of the best fishing and scalloping along Florida's Nature Coast.

You must have a saltwater fishing license to catch scallops. Just one license per boat won't do; everyone on board needs to have one. This is one reason why it is a good idea to hire an experienced and knowledgeable guide to take you scalloping. Not only can he take you to where the scallops can be found, all the necessary licenses are provided too!

Give me a call at 352-400-1925 to book your scalloping adventure !


May 2016: Red Fish !!

May will go down in the books as a month of Red !  Red Fish that is !!

Inshore all the spots seem to be holding Red fish.  The incoming tide and the first hour of the outgoing is producing the best catch.  Live shrimp and fresh cut pin fish have all worked well.  If you prefer artificial, the "Johnson" gold spoon, "Gulp" on a 1/16 oz jig head, or your favorite top water lure will all work.  Be sure to work the entire area well before your move on to your next spot.

The trout action has been very good out on the deep grass in 8-10' of water.  Depending on the tide, an 1/8 or 1/4 oz jig head with a Miro Lure "Little John" in just about any color will produce some nice fish.  At the same time your sure to get the attention of blue fish, Spanish mackerel, sea bass and others.

While you are out there, be sure to hit your favorite rock pile.  Grunts, snapper, grouper, Spanish macs, cobia, and many other species are hanging out waiting to make lunch of your shrimp.

Again, "Thank You" to all my friends and guests for memorable days on the water.  Capt Mark


April 2016: "Variety"

A good variety of fish were available in April including Red Fish, Speckled Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Triple Tail, Pompano, Cobia and others.

April provided great action both in-shore and off-shore.  Trout action inside was steady all month using a 5" jerk bait, and off-shore the Miro Lure "Little John" kept the action going.

The "Mack" attack was in full swing on the deeper grass patches and rock piles in 8 to 15 feet of water.  Free-lined shrimp or cut bait in a chum line did the trick to keep the rods bent and reels screaming !

Triple Tail have been on the crab trap markers and waiting for a shrimp to drift by.  This is a one person at a time presentation, so take turns as you come up on these unusual fish.

Cobia have been showing up in better numbers, and are hitting just about anything; jigs, shrimp, cut bait, or what ever you have rigged at the time when they decide to use your boat as a place to relax in the shade.

The Red Fish bite has been on fire !
The last 2 hours of the rising tide has been the most productive, and the first hour of the outgoing.  Shrimp, pin fish, spoons, jigs and jerk baits have all worked well.

Thanks again to all of my guests and friends for another fun month on the waters of Crystal River and Homosassa.  I look forward to our next fishing adventure !    Capt Mark

For more great fishing pics, visit my facebook page at:
For more great fish pics, visit my Face Book page........ 

March 2016: A month of "Catching"

If you enjoy "catching" fish instead of just fishing, March was the month to do it !

Inside everything has been feeding; Trout, Red Fish, Pompano, Spanish Mackerel, and Snook.  On the flats the trout fishing has been outstanding !  Limits were the norm with some very large fish over the 20" range.   5" jerk baits over the hard bottom and Miro Lure "Little John" in any color on a 1/8 oz jig head in the deeper grass was all that was needed to fill the cooler.

Joining the action are the Pompano, Spanish Mackerel, Blue Fish, and others.  Out on the shallow rocks the Sheepshead has slowed down, but the Spanish Mackerel bite has taken it's place.  A little bit of chum and some shrimp is all that's needed to get them going. 

Even though the season is closed for Grouper, they are everywhere on the rock piles.  Fish ranging from 6" to 30" have been caught while using shrimp around these structures.  So the outlook for this grouper season is golden, and should be another great year.

Back inside, the Snook action has been getting better and better this year.  In past years Snook wasn't really a species that we expected to catch, but are becoming much more common.  This month we landed some nice fish with a few in the slot.  Many of these Snook have been caught while red fishing, so keep that in mind as you hit your favorite red fish hole.

The Red Fish action has been good and getting better, so April should be "Seeing Red" !  No changes on baits and locations.  Live shrimp is always good either free-lined or under a cork.  Top water baits and spoons will provide a lot of strikes, while you cover a lot of area.  As the water warms, fresh cut bait is always a good choice because of the numbers of pin fish eating your shrimp. 

Many Thanks to my fishing friends, and a month of fishing memories.  Capt Mark

For more great fishng pics, visit my Facebook page.....


February 2016: Cold weather - Hot Fishing

Even with some very cold days, the fishing has been hot !

The trout action is still as good as it can get, with limits being boated on most days.  Just like last month, the fish are in tight on the cold days and move out after a couple of warm days.  Glow jerk baits and jigs on a 1/8 oz jig head is all that's needed to keep the action going.

The main action has been offshore on the shallow rocks.  Big sheepshead, grouper and grunts have been in a feeding frenzy.  The big sheepshead have moved in and we have landed some monsters.  The largest this year, a 12 pounder took a small live shrimp on a 1/4 oz red jig head.  At first we thought it was a big grouper since we've been catching and releasing a lot of gags.  But, it turned out to be a huge sheepy.  Remember, the bag limit on sheepshead is 15 per person, however, keep only what you can eat and release the others to protect this great resource.

Back inside, the red fish action has also been great !
We're finding them in the holes in the river and creeks on the cold days, and around the islands on the warm days.  Live shrimp is always a sure bet this time of year, but artificial, jerk baits, gold spoons, and jigs will all produce, but a slow presentation is a must.

Again, it's been a pleasure fishing with all my friends and guests, and I look forward to March for  more great fishing on the Nature Coast.  Capt Mark

January 2016 - Speckled Trout, Reds, and Sheepshead

This month the trout bite has been off the hook !  We've boated our limits on just about every trip and a lot of big trout over the 20" range have been landed.

On the warmer days, the trout will be on the shallow flats and rocky bottom sunning themselves.  A jerk bait or a live shrimp does the trick.  The Mirro Lure "Little John" on a 1/8 oz jig is still producing in the holes and ledges in the river and creeks.  Work the bait slow and be ready for just a slight thump at the end of your line, because the trout are hitting slow when the water is colder.

Red fishing has been good in the rivers and creeks.  Live shrimp on a 1/16 oz jig has been working well for me and my guests.  Sizes range from 12" 50 30", with many in the slot keeper range.

Black drum and sheepshead are hanging with the red fish in the holes in the river and creeks.  The same bait is working just as well for them as the reds.

Speaking of sheepshead, the action has been great offshore on the rocks and ledges.  Shrimp on a knocker rig or jig is all you need to catch these striped bandits.  The larger ones are starting to show up, so February should be great.

Thanks as always to all my friends and guest for a great start to the new year.


December 2015: End of another great year of fishing !

What a way to end the year !  Beautiful weather, good friends and great fishing.

2015 went out with a bang, or should I say " a scream of the drag" !  Just about every species was biting this month; trout, red fish, Spanish Mackerel, blue fish, snapper, sea bass, grunts and more.

The inshore action was non-stop with trout feeding on both the outgoing and incoming tides.  Jerk baits or jigs under a popping cork both worked well, it didn't seem to matter.  The best colors ranged from white to black and everything in between.  The trout seemed to be enjoying the perfect sunny days and were hanging out in 1-6 feet of water.  The only problem was catching our limit too quickly.  The trout are not like Red fish, they are not a good catch and release species, because they are much more fragile.  So when you get your limit, move on to another species.

As for the red fishing, plenty of fish are around.  Until the water temps drop, the fish are sill in their fall feeding patterns, so look for them on the outer points and keys and work your way inside with the tide.  Live shrimp has been the best bait, either free-lined or on a 1/16 oz jig head.  The cork rig is always a go-to option that just about always produces.

Offshore the Spanish mackerel are everywhere, and the blue fish are mix in with them.  Be prepared to to through some jig heads with these toothy fish.

On the rock piles and ledges, the action is non-stop.  Huge grunts and sea bass are attacking your shrimp if they can beat the grouper to it.  Even though grouper season is closed, they don't know that.  They are hanging on every rock waiting to put a bend if your rod.

The sheephead are also showing up in numbers, but the best action will start in January with the big females moving on to the structures, they will be hungry and ready to bite.

Thanks to all my clients and fellow guides for a great year, and I look forward to 2016 and all the new fish tales to come.    Capt Mark

AUGUST 2018 - Summer of Redfish !

August has been hot and so has the Redfishing !  The red fish bite has been the best on the incoming tide around the islands and rocky point...