2018 "Going Strong / Great Fishing" !


Wow- I've gotten behind on this blog since the end of 2017, but for a good reason.  I've been busy fishing !  2017 was a great year of fishing and meeting new guests and friends.  And, I consider every day on the water a blessing.  2018 started out right, and I look forward to more great Crystal River and Homosassa fishing !

Fishing right now is on fire !  From trout to tarpon, and everything in between, the action has been non-stop.

Inshore, the shallow rock flats and cuts have been holding some big trout.  Nose hooked jerk baits in the glow color is the bait of choice.  This bait is easy to work by any angler no matter their skill level, and has been the top producer of the 20"+ gator trout we've been catching.

Along with the trout,  the red fish, snook, and cobia have been making their presence known, and the reds and snook have been sharing the same space.  Both have been ready to eat both live shrimp and pin fish free-lined or under a cork, as well as your favorite top water or jerk bait.  The islands and points are the areas you should target, preferably on the incoming and the first of the outgoing tides.

While you're working the rock bars for trout, keep an eye out for the roaming cobia.  Especially around the big stingrays and the larger sea turtles that  are all over the flats right now.  These fish are not picky, and are not shy when it comes to attacking your bait.

As far as big fish in shallow waters, this month and next month (May and June)  are prime times for hooking up with a tarpon on the flats.  They have shown up in large numbers from Pine Island to Crystal River, but so have the tarpon fishermen.  From fly fishing to plugs, and line bait presentation, they have all been working.  Also, remember there is a general rule when it comes to tarpon fishing, which is show your fellow angler respect and be courteous to each other.

Offshore, the action is just as good if not better.  Trout are still on the deep grass and shallow rock piles, and are ready to feed on your favorite jig.  I prefer a 1/8 oz to 1/4 oz red "Jim's Jig" head with the Miro Lure "Little John".  A slow presentation is better for the trout.  But when it comes to the Spanish mackerel that are out and about now, and feeding on just about anything,  I use a faster retrieve.  Shrimp, cut bait, artificial- it doesn't seem to matter, just keep it moving.

Grouper season opens soon, and the offshore rocks are loaded right now.  This should be a great season!  While fishing these areas with jigs and shrimp, we've released fish up to 10 Lbs, and lost many larger ones that we weren't able to turn.

So, let's enjoy the great summertime fishing, and be safe on the water.  Hope to see you.

Thanks,  Capt Mark



October brought cooler water temps that made the speckled trout happy and ready to feed !  All along the Nature Coast, the trout action has been great.  Jerk baits, jigs, and jigs under a popping cork were all producing some nice catches.  Many of the fish were over the max size of 20" and one per person, so make sure you handle them carefully to insure survival after release.

Fish were plentiful on the hard bottom in 2-6 feet of water.  You can spot the hard bottom by the yellow patches with rock grass, or kelp coming up near the surface.  You will also see the round sponges in various sizes scattered on the yellow patches.

Staying inshore, the red fish were still around, and fishing has been good, however the large schools we were enjoying in August and September have dispersed, but there are still plenty of nice fish around.  Gold spoons have been working well, and are excellent at covering a lot of area enabling you to locate fish.  Shrimp and cut bait are still a go-to bait.

Offshore, the grouper action in 6-20 feet of water is just about as good as it gets!  Casting plugs to the shallow rocks, trolling, and dead and live bait are all producing some big fish.  With the stained water offshore from all the runoff spotting the rock piles has not been easy.  Use your GPS and throw out a matching jig.  Then back off and work the area thoroughly.  Remember, some of the large grouper roam around the structure, then head for their home after you hook them.  Tight drag and a heavy braid and leader is a must to turn these hard fighting fish.

Back inside, the snook began to show up all over.  Plenty of small snook ware being caught as you work your favorite red fish spot.  In these same areas, the big ones are lurking, and when they hit you know it's not a red as they peel off the line on that first run !

Oct - Dec have offered great fishing out of Crystal River and Homosassa.  A large variety of fish were caught including red fish, speckled trout, grouper, Spanish mackerel, black drum, sheepshead, pompano, mangrove snapper and more !

I hope everyone enjoyed a plentiful Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas in 2017.  I know I'm thankful for my fishing friends and guests this past year, and I look forward to more great fishing in 2018.

2018 "Going Strong / Great Fishing" !

05/14/18 Wow- I've gotten behind on this blog since the end of 2017, but for a good reason.  I've been busy fishing !  2017 was a ...