Fun on the Chaz

 
 
 
 

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Recent inshore fishing reports from the Big Bend region.

 

 

Fun on the Chaz

 

Florida Sportsman member: Ruff One

 

 

Duane uses that Chaz finesse and this snook is caught! But, he swallowed the lure completely and there was no way this one would go back. The damage was to great. At 28 1/2 inches he was legal and will give up some delicious fillets.

 

Click here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing Both Sides

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

From Yankeetown to Cedar Key to Horseshoe and both Palm Coast and Matanzas on the east coast. The east coast has had vary clear water for sight fishing and we have been getting 10 or so a trip. The west side, well let’s just say it’s been catching, not fishing.

 

Click here to read the full forum report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crystal River Trout and Sheepshead

 

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

 

 

After reading Super D’s post about catching trout in the days inn canal figured we’d start there since we launch there on every trip and was surprised to catch a 17 inch trout on my first cast with a gold lil john. Caught a few more on every other cast then got one more in the mullet hole before heading to the creeks.

 

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Big Bend Trip

 

Florida Sportsman member: Flat Nuts

 

 

I made an excuse to come back up your way with my daughter. We were sneaking up to Ocala to pick up a new pup for my wife for Valentines day under the guise of a quick father daughter fishing trip.

 

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Catching in the River

 

Florida Sportsman member: 4WARD

 

 

We stayed in the river on Sunday and jumped around here and there. Snapper were not very active but a couple reds decided to play. We ended up with two reds (23 and 26 3/4 inches), one drum and a couple snappers.

 

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Catching on the New boat

 

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

 

 

I saw a fish tailing so I told mom where to look and she saw the fish and made the shot. Without me telling her where and boom, fish on! A solid fish at 27 inches and was her first real fish that she has sight fished.

 

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Low Tide Action

 

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

 

 

The water came in a little bit so I started working a shoreline next to a creek mouth. This turned out to be the best decision. We saw several fish, and some absolute studs, on the outside along the shoreline. Ended up picking up a couple fish this way.

 

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Catching on Topwater

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

I got blasted three more times by giants here but they were over hitting the plug, literally coming out of the water. My co-worker had enough and went to top water as well. Did not take long and he was crushed by a giant.

 

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Catching in the Creeks

 

Florida Sportsman member: kingkong954

 

 

On our way out of the creek I managed to get my lure stuck in some grass. After much yanking and pulling and cursing the lure pops out into the water and wraps around my rod tip. After some cursing and untangling I find out the action had somehow attracted a redfish, who had eaten the lure while I untangled the line!

 

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Crystal River Variety

 

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

 

 

Tripletail fishing has been great along the channel markers, crab trap buoys, and floating grass mats. Live shrimp under a float is a sure bet when targeting these fish. Look for them as you run from spot to spot. They hide just below the floating structure or nose up to channel markers.

 

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December Big Bend Action

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

We had a negative low mid morning which I like to fish up there, well it did not disappoint. The trout and reds were laid up in the pot holes just like they should be in spring weather. Caught well over 40 nice trout up to 23 inches and 20 reds up to 30 inches.

 

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Topwater Action

 

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

 

 

I hear a big snook hit Robbie’s lure with that telltale giant suction slurp they do and the battle was on. Fish was in good current and was a multiple jumper of five or six times. After a good battle the 31 inch fish came to the net.

 

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Yankeetown Reds and Trout

 

Florida Sportsman member:StandOutI2

 

 

We ran out to a pretty low tide, so we started trout fishing. Boy were they on fire, they were eating everything, topwater, flukes, jigs, whatever we threw. Most of them being 19 to 23 inches with a few smaller ones mixed in. After about two hours of that we went to go find some reds.

 

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Patience pays

 

Florida Sportsman member:shuterkng

 

 

Not a great day as it was starting to get late and the tide was about full. Then surprise, monster red invasion. Almost everyone got a big red as we were fighting for position on the boat, girls won. We kept four that were just under 27 inches and released a bunch more.

 

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No Water No Problem

 

Florida Sportsman member:barhopperAD

 

 

Catching mullet paid off, first cast was a 26 inch red. Little bro was catching rat reds left and right. The water got higher and action got slower. So we moved around explored a little to find a fishy looking cove with lots of activity and that REALLY paid off.

 

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Cedar Key Action

 

Florida Sportsman member:Big Bend Brian

 

 

We were without a bottomfinder as I just sent my Furuno in for repair so our plan was to just troll a shallow broad area of intermittent hard bottom we used to stone crab on. Stopping in 19 feet we deployed some grouper plugs despite a fair amount of grass on the surface and within 10 minutes had our first fish.

 

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First Trip Success

 

Florida Sportsman member:Gman27

 

 

30 minutes later I found a nice creek and a few lagoons and began working the banks with a paddle tail. I could see reds pushing bait on to the banks and lots of activity. Couple casts in and landed my first cedar key redfish of 19 inches. After the activity slowed down, I moved to a new lagoon and found more activity, landed another redfish of 29 inches.

 

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A Trip Down South

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

Friday, we decided to trailer up to Flamingo and sight fish way back up in the glades. Made about a 25 mile run north of Flamingo to some super skinny creeks. Ended up sight fishing around 10 nice reds up to 30 inches and 4 snook up to 28 inches. All fish being caught in less than 12 inches of water.

 

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Fishing with the Girls

 

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

 

 

Being the two girls have never caught redfish I thought this would be a good chance to put them on some fish. Didn’t really matter most were under slot, just catching was a blast for them.

 

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Catching in Cedar Key

 

Florida Sportsman member: barhopperAD

 

 

We started off two keeper reds back to back. My little brother then hooked into a “redfish” which was screaming drag, pulled up to boat and it was a giant trout probably 25-27 inches, but the hook pulled right there and watched him swim away.

 

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Waccasassa Reds

 

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

 

 

Headed out early even though it was a pretty early low tide. Took out a buddy that has not caught a lot of reds and was hoping to get him into some quality fish. He was not disappointed as we got into them pretty good.

 

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Slot Slam

 

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

 

 

Bob stuck to topwater like I’m sure Ted does because they want that one fish, which I understand but I wanted to catch my share of reds and wanted to see if it worked for him before doing so. All my redfish didn’t change his mind then he landed a top of the slot redfish that inhaled his plug! I stuck with the spoon then hooked the first snook!

 

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From Tripletail to Tarpon

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

We head to where the third and final trap is, hopefully and sure enough it’s still there. We did not see any fish on it but made casts at it any way. My second cast and the cork goes under and drag starts screaming, another 10 pounder jumps. We get him netted and in the box. My kids both agreed that I needed to put my rod down.

 

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Father and Son Fishing

 

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

 

 

With the youngest son off of work and a favorable tide we settled on yesterday morning and it wasn’t a disappointment. We fished out of Crystal River and were on fish all morning with a strong outgoing tide. Robbie caught his best snook to date at 39 & 1/4 inches and I caught a 30 incher.

 

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New Spot Producing

 

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

 

 

We went to an area that I’ve never been before, Duane hadn’t been in years, and we spent most of the trip fishing the same area. We put twelve keeper reds in the boat and Duane managed a snook after another one got off earlier.

 

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Cedar Key Reds

 

Florida Sportsman member: Redbonz

 

 

Mid-morning the tide was moving pretty good so we hit up into some creeks and found what we were looking for.

 
 

We got 14 reds on rattletraps, spoons and jerk baits. A couple of oversize, a few under, with the majority in the slot.

 

 

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Muddy Water, Big Drum

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

I told myself that when I hit this one bar, if there is a drum on it, I was going to get him. It was protected from the wind and would allow me to make a perfect cast. Sure enough, I round the corner and the tail was a waving.

 

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Backwater Snook and Reds

 

Florida Sportsman member: Ruff One

 

 

With the tide getting lower every second, Duane say “Lets hit some redfish spots closer to home base”. Off we go on another wild ride and before you know it we are sitting on some rocks with redfish swirls looking us in the face. Pitch a spoon and a nice redfish is going home for dinner.

 

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Yankeetown Drummin’

 

Florida Sportsman member: anglerbros 7286

 

 

The fishing really picked up with the incoming tide, as we released a few slot reds and one over slot. We also caught three black drum, all were great fights in the kayak. All fish were caught less than a mile from the ramp and on live shrimp.

 

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Grinding it Out

 

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

 

 

Robbie went out with me for some topwater casting practice. Low outgoing to start and the incoming the rest of the morning. Robbie must of practiced ahead, because he hit a nice 36 inch snook at the first stop.

 

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Cedar Key

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

Well with in three casts with the skitter walk, I get smashed and a school stands the water up. Josh throws in and we are doubled up. Mine came in at 29 inches and his was 26 1/2, that set the tone for the day. We hit five or six spots and every spot had a school on it.

 

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Snook and Scallops

 

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

 

 

We went to Sandy Hook yesterday so we decided to go Scalloping again on this beautiful day. After a late start, we motored out to the boat pack and found all the scallops I care to clean in a reasonable time. There are still plenty out there and they were big!

 

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Crystal River Mixed Bag

 

Florida Sportsman member: huntentails

 

 

We started with an outgoing tide and a slight east wind. First cast was a great snook, but was lost before it was boated for a photo session. We had to make a move a few hundred yards to get away from the bluefish as they were just tearing up anything we threw.

 

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Cedar Key Reds and Trout

 

Florida Sportsman member: me3260

 

 

Live shrimp and cut ladyfish were the bait of the day. We caught a few on Gold Spoons, but the water is so dark, the only hits we got on spoons were throwing over a white sand bar, and reeling back across.

 

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Big Bend Snook

 

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

 

 

By now I am fishing spots where I’ve never fished before. Paid off with this massive 39 inch snook that was the toughest I’ve ever caught. 3 jumps and 3 long runs and somehow she didn’t wrap herself up in the sargasm. Missed another big one a few casts later and left early with the grandkids visiting at home.

 

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Big Bend Giant

 

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

 

 

I called Pete (Snookspanker) to try for some snooks with the morning high tide. He liked the tide today too so we went out for a quick trip. He stuck a giant one within the 1st half hour. The shoulders and the girth of this 40 plus incher was unreal.

 

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First Snook

 

Florida Sportsman member: Lake13

 

 

We both were looking for our first snook and just pounded till we both got one. 14 hours of fishing for one fish apiece. Couldn’t be happier though. What a beautiful area and we will both be back.

 

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Jumbo Drum

 

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

 

 

We had some gulps so we messed around with some big drum pulling us around for a while. The last one that I caught was a behemoth and that was enough for me. We got out of there before the storm and made it home still dry.

 

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Crystal River Reds and Scallops

 

Florida Sportsman member: T-Bonefc

 

 

After 15-20 minutes we shot further south and joined a small community between the C.R. crowd and Homosassa . The scallops were much better here in numbers. Still small for the most part but it is what it is in the beginning of the season.

 

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Poling to the Reds

 

Florida Sportsman member: Dveres95

 

 

We started the day out in Mason Creek and worked south toward Chassahowitzka, with a high morning tide we got deep into the back country to a flat that is very active and holds big redfish.

 

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Catching in the Creeks

 

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

 

 

We managed a few reds and maybe a half dozen snook that actually made it to the boat. We kept hooking up the snook but a bunch simply either cut us off or came unbuttoned before we could get them to the boat.

 

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Yankeetown Variety

 

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

 

 

My brother was in town so we hit Yankeetown early. Got a nice snook on topwater that started the day out great. Had a couple other snook blow ups. Then went looking for reds.

 

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Early Morning Snookin’

 

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

 

 

Robbie had the big fish of the day on first and after a good battle, it gill plated the line, but we saw enough to know it was a big one. Then I got a fat 32 inch fish, which was a welcome relief.

 

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Low Water, Big Snook

 

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

 

 

I heard drag screaming and saw a wake that looked like a torpedo going through the water. Had to pull the powerpole up and chase it for a little bit then finally it stopped making the long run and came close enough for me to realize it wasn’t the big red I thought it was.

 

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On the Reds

 

Florida Sportsman member: bigkahuna

 

 

Forum member bigkahuna and wife got into the redfish in the big bend region, as well as a few bonus snook. Nice!

 

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Yankeetown Redfish Bite

 

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

 

 

My step dad picked up a couple more shorts. Well, the school died down and we started working to another area. My mom was real quiet in the back of the boat and said she sees something. So she throws to it and sure enough, it’s a nice 27″ red! Her biggest to date.

 

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Calling in “Sick”

 

Florida Sportsman member: hausw

 

 

Not more than 5 minutes later I hooked into a much larger one and battled him for almost an hour. Hoisted him in the boat for a few pics and released him. After that I was exhausted and called it a day.

 

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Mason Creek Reds

 

Florida Sportsman member: Dveres95

 

 

We caught all our Reds on gold spoons, the fish were concentrated in the deeper mud troughs between the islands, which still held 2 to 3 feet on the dead low. It has been a great past month in the creek and it’s only looking better.

 

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Yankeetown Redfish

 

Florida Sportsman member: StandOutI2

 

 

Well, got back to our normal spots on the incoming and noticed there wasn’t a whole lot of water moving. Turned around and went back out the way we came still on the incoming and boom, started seeing reds everywhere.

 

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Big Bend Inshore Bite

 

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

 

 

Forum member and the Big Bend’s weekend 4caster ripnlips has been on the fish. Catching snook, trout, redfish and more.

 

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Windy Day Success

 

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

 

 

It was windy. Even in the creeks it was a chore to have any kind of boat control but we stuck it out for a few hours. Tide was rushing in heavy and flooded a bunch of areas we usually fish. We had to change up a bit but it all worked out.

 

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Working the Docks

 

Florida Sportsman member: Bassin Assassin

 

 

Switched to the smoke/gold halo color and was slowly swimming my lure near the bottom in the front of a dock, it got blasted. Set the hook on a solid fish. Got it away from the dock. After a nice aerial display and some good runs, Pat got her in the net. She measured 28 inches.

 

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Crystal River Snook Bite

 

Florida Sportsman member: Biggary16

 

 

Hammerhead Ted and I got out there early to catch the outgoing tide. Ted is the king of topwater snookin and he hooked a giant one on his 3rd or 4th cast. He fought it for a long time but it scraped his 40 pound leader up and broke off.

 

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Fun with Friends

 

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

 

 

A great day on the water with a couple excellent fisherman and lots of laughs. Almost all fish came on top water and a Redfish Magic type lure. We’ll definitely do this again.

 

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Big Bend Mixed Bag

 

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

 

 

Forum members ripnlips and Swampthing07 got into a nice mixed bag of fish from triple tail to black drum. Swampthing07 wife Kayla got in on the action too.

 

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Successful Scouting

 

Florida Sportsman member: CarneLoco

 

 

We saw some big tails pop up in about 3 foot of water. Have heard of big black drum in these areas, but had no live crabs. Could have swore a few were reds mixed in. After many very good casts from both of us, Libby had a monster on. 15 minutes and a few laps around the bout she had her first black drum landed.

 

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Big Bend, Big Reds

 

Florida Sportsman member: Jim311

 

 

I pushed in further into the creek. I spooked one nice red which I didn’t even see until he’d spooked. Then I hooked up again, and again it was another super hard fight. This fish was bigger though, over 32 inches. It had a head on it the size of a football, a real stud fish.

 

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Crystal River Snookin’

 

Florida Sportsman member: HammerheadTed

 

 

We caught fish everywhere we went including some places that haven’t produced the last couple years. Robbie got 4 lower slot and under slot reds and several jacks. I missed a big snook early, but disappointment didn’t last too long when i got a 31 inch snook at the next place.

 

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Sheepshead, Snook and Snapper

 

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

 

 

Sheepshead Snapper and Snook have been the targeted species lately. Seems like the sheeps are finally spawning out on the rocks reefs and ledges just offshore. They are willing to bite if you get good enough weather to get out there. When the weather gets bad we have been getting snapper and snook in the river. Live shrimp has been the bait of choice.

 

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Big Bend Bruisers

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

We hit the first spot, the water was clear and they were schooled up. Watched a school of over slots swim down the bank. Then got to watch the whole school fight over my fluke, simply awesome to watch.

 

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Homosassa Redfish

 

Florida Sportsman member: floridafan

 

 

Pulled in about 60 mostly undersized reds but managed 4 keepers between 20 to 24 inches. We each had a run 10 fish in 10 casts for me and 11 fish in 11 casts for my son, both at the same time! 21 fish in less than 10 minutes!

 

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Crystal River Inshore

 

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

 

 

Sheepshead are starting to show up in their normal wintertime spots. We’re still getting a by-catch of gag grouper too. All on 8 pound braid and live shrimp.

 

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Afternoon Redfish Bite

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

Once the tide came in enough we headed out front to fish the outer bars. Was slow for an hour or so but the last hour and a half of daylight they turned on. Had a couple of doubles then switched out to topwater and got a few good ones on top.

 

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Catching the Bulls

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

Well Jacobs first blind cast was inhaled by a 20 pound stud. I was thinking this is a good way to start. Jacob, my youngest son, and I were on one boat and moved out to another cut to the gulf. Took a while for another bite and I finally got on the board with another 25 pounder on topwater.

 

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December Inshore Fishing

 

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

 

 

My son Jeremy came home for Christmas so we went out and fished for a few hours for trout around some creeks. Caught our limit of trout and released about 20 more by 11:30. Also caught these on jig and DOA Cals and some with live shrimp on a jig.

 

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Nice Weather, Hungry Fish

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

As I get within casting distance I see a pack of about 5 reds milling around so I post up and tell the boys to throw up there. Jacobs cast was right in the middle of them and he hooks up instantly.

 

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Hiding From the Wind, Catching the Fish

 

Florida Sportsman member: Billy

 

 

Moving to some areas that were sheltered from the wind we caught jacks, more ladyfish than we cared to, mangroves with some keepers in the bunch, a red, and lots of snook. We managed to put twelve snook in the boat losing more than that before touching the leader.

 

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Catching with the Kids

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

We headed to the first spot and started throwing topwater over some oyster bars. Got one 25 inch red and a stud trout right off the bat. Pulled the hooks on two over slot reds and had several misses before making a move. I then jumped up on the platform and turned the front of the boat over to the boys.

 

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Birthday Fun

 

Florida Sportsman member: Bluewaterdrew

 

 

We chased huge schools of mullet picking off reds here and there, Jen even hooked a nice flounder. After high tide we went to a bar to try our luck with black drum. Saw a few huge ones that didn’t seem to mind us being right on top of them, but the jacks were so thick it was hard to keep a lure in the water.

 

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Catching in the Transition

 

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

 

 

For the past few weeks we have been seeing fish transition from Summer patterns to Fall patterns and this means that they are in the mood to eat. Now is the time to get out on the water and take advantage of it.

 

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Seeing Red

 

Florida Sportsman member: G8trbait

 

 

Then the girls got a double hook up. It must have been a small school that swam by because they were hooked up back to back! April’s was a keeper, but Sophie’s had to grow up a little. It was legal, but we could afford to be picky and I don’t usually keep them unless they’re over 20 inches.

 

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Big Bend Redfish Action

 

Florida Sportsman member: cthurow

 

 

Drew’s first cast with his Zara Spook and boom, fish on! Nice drag screamer. I already had a piece of lady fish rig on a larger rod so I went ahead and threw it out while Drew played his fish. As soon as I netted Drew’s 26 inch red, he yells, Dad that rod is bowed to the water!

 

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Suwannee River Tripletail and More

 

Florida Sportsman member: Scott Crown

 

 

As we trolling motor up to the first pole, a 10 pounder sky rockets 6 feet in the air about 75 yards out in the open. First time I have seen one free jump. My brother makes a cast at the pole and hooks up instantly. The fish gave two amazing jumps and spits the hook.

 

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Crystal River Fishing and Fun

 

Florida Sportsman member: ripnlips

 

 

Forum member ripnlips and friends had a great weekend, catching a slew of fish. They also loaded on scallops, making for a nice meal!

 

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