Fishing Report from Captain Toney
This was the first week I dove in the clear Gulf waters north of the Homosassa channel. Just as everyone was saying there were plenty of scallops. The tide was near low and about 3 to 4 feet deep. Most of the scallops harvested were good size and we culled some that were about as big as a half dollar to get bigger for the month of August. The thick turtle grass made it hard to find them but as I snorkeled around and found “meadows” of short grass sometimes I would pick up five at a time.
The near shore rocks are alive with keeper mangrove snapper. The average size for me and my clients is about 11” but a few have been 14” to 15” in 8 to 10 feet of water. This is some fun fishing because when you chum them up with old shrimp then put live shrimp on a 1/8th oz. jig head it is fast action. Other species like big grunts, spanish mackerel, sheepshead, black sea bass and small gag grouper also move in and provide excitement. I once thought trying to use a pole spear on these shallow rocks would be more productive but it wasn’t. I got one or two keepers but most every fish wised up and would leave the rock. I do much better getting them chummed up and using spinning tackle and anchoring my vessel away and up tide from the rock.
The redfish bite is still strong on the western facing points. Cut bait or live shrimp will get the bite on the last hour of incoming tide. Incoming tide will be mid morning though midday this weekend.