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 points.  Live pinfish and fresh cut bait have been the bait of choice.  However, live shrimp when you can get them are working well also, either on a cork or free lined on the bottom.  The rising tide is the key, so try to plan your trips accordingly.

Trout fishing has still been spotty, but should be improving considerably next month when the weather cools off a bit.   We're catching most of the fish out in the deeper grass, and the outgoing tide seems to be the best.

Offshore on the shallow rocks, the action has been screeming!  Spanish mackerel, snapper, grunts, flounder, blue fish, shark, and others have been keeping my guests rods bent.  Jigs, live shrimp, and cut bait are all getting attention from most species.

Scalloping is still going strong, with about 3 weeks left in this year's season, ending on Sept 24th.  The highest concentration have been in the deeper water, 6' at low tide and 8-9' at high tide.  Try to go about 2 hours before low tide, and up to 2 hours after the tide turns.  The slow moving water makes scalloping a lot more enjoyable, not having to fight the current.

Again, "Thank You" for another great month on the water.  Stay safe.  Capt Mark


Summer Fishing ( June - July 2018 )

The warm weather has kept most of the action out on the deeper grass and shallow rocks in 8' to 12' of water.  The trout bite has slowed inshore and is getting spotty further out.  The best bet has been rock hopping, using live shrimp and fresh cut bait, and although we're still catching some nice trout; snapper, grunts, sea bass, flounder, and Spanish mackerel have made up for the slow trout action.

Back inshore- red fish are still "King", have been keeping my clients happy.  On the incoming tide, all the points and rocky bottom areas are producing some quality fish.  We're landing many fish over the 27" range.  Fresh cut mullet and pin fish have been working well as the bait of choice.  Especially with the shrimp being almost impossible to get, and when they do have them they are tiny.  This is a yearly occurrence, but this year it's been very hard finding live shrimp.  As we get into August, the shrimping will improve. Along with the reds, there have been some nice snook that are making these areas their summer home.  Live shrimp when you can get them,  and pin fish have been producing the best results.

July has brought a lot of rain and wind.    With the strong winds and thunder storms you have to pick your days to get off shore to the shallow rocks to target all the species that have been supplying plenty of action. Red snapper, cobia, mangrove snapper, and both gag and red grouper have all been good bets.

Scallop season is in full force, and the boat ramps are all packed, especially on weekends.  There have been an abundance of scallops from Chassahowitzka to Crystal River in 5-8 feet of water.  Low tide is the best time to go, or 2 hours before low tide and 2 hours after the change of tide seems to be when the scallops are more plentiful and easy to harvest.

With all the boats out on the water and hundreds of people scalloping, please be careful around any boat displaying the diver down flag.  Use slow speed when ever you work your way thru the scallop fleet, and be patient at the boat ramp.  I've witnessed some tempers explode while people are waiting their turn to put in and take out their boats.

Be safe and enjoy your time on the water.    See you out there !!     Capt Mark


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.



The color of August was RED - Red fish that is !!  That was the main target for August into September.  The big schools showed up, and they were hungry!  Live shrimp, pinfish, and fresh cut mullet all did the trick, it didn't seem to matter when they were feeding.  From Yankeetown to Bayport, all the keys and islands were holding fish with many in the oversized range.  In fact, in some schools it was hard to find a keeper.

With the speckled trout action being slow these past few months, the bite turned back on in August.  Your favorite color jig under a popping cork supplied the best action.  Working the hard bottom in 2-4' of water with a slow presentation kept a bend in our rods.  Hard bottom consists of yellow patches with sponges and kelp grass.  The big trout love it !  Watermelon red glitter "Little John" has been my favorite go-to color.

Around the same area as the trout, the red fish like the snook have made that their home.  These fish can be extremely picky, but when the tide is right they are a blast to catch.  Similar baits as for trout work just as well, but also try gold spoons and jigs with no cork.

Offshore, the rocks are still producing some nice grouper action, along with grunts and mangrove snapper.  The best grouper bite has been in the 20' range, but many keepers have been caught in the 8-12' shallow rock piles.  Casting plugs or pinfish on the bottom was all that was needed along with a strong arm to pull them away from the rocks !  Also, the Spanish Mackerel are making their presence known as evidenced by a missing hook as well as bait when you retrieve your line.

Scallop season ended on Sept 24th.  Even with the water being a little dirty from Hurricane Irma, we still managed to get out on the water and do some gathering. 

Again, thanks to all my friends and guests for many awesome days on the water these past couple months.  Now I'm looking forward to some great fall fishing.   Capt Mark



The water temperatures have been on the rise these past couple months, bringing changes to the fishing action.  Red fish can handle the warmer water much better than the speckled trout.

Inshore, the trout bite has slowed considerably, with most of the action occurring early in the morning or late afternoon.  After we've had a couple of cloudy days, it can help cool the surface temp on the shallow flats, and the trout bite seems to pick up a bit.

Off shore, the trout action has also slowed in the 8-15' of water range.  I did receive some reports of good trout fishing in the deeper 20'+ range.

The two sure bets in June and July have been red fish and mangrove snapper.  The red fish bite has been very strong, with many fish in the upper slot size and over.  Live pinfish has been the go-to bait,  however live shrimp are always a good producer too.

The reds have been around the islands and creek mouths all along the coast from Yankeetown to Bayport.  The big schools should start to show up towards the end of August, so you can look forward to even more great action !

Back off shore on the shallow rocks, the mangrove snapper bite has been on fire !  Small pieces of fresh shrimp on a 1/8 oz jig head is all that's needed to get your limit of these great eating fish.  Big grunts, sea bass, flounder, and Spanish Mackerel also supplied plenty of action for all anglers.

Scallop season opened on July 1st, and crowds at the boat ramp, on the river, and on the flats have increased greatly- so try to be patient at the ramp, and keep an eye out for swimmers while you're out enjoying a day on the water.

Limits of scallops are being gathered from Crystal River to Chassahowitzka.  The best depth has been in 6-10' of water at high tide, so be prepared to dive a little deeper.  You will find plenty of scallops in the shallower water, but it will just take you longer to find your limit.

Thanks as always to all my guests and friends.  Stay safe on the water, and be sure to say hello if you see me out there.    Capt Mark



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

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...