Captain William Toney, a fourth-generation captain in Homosassa, helps people of all ages enjoy fishing through his Charters and educational endeavors. He is a member of the Homosassa Guides Association, another group committed to the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve.

Homosassa Inshore Fishing Report with Captain Toney: Live Bait Choices

By Captain William Toney Posted on April 27, 2022

There are many live baits on the Big Bend that I enjoy using. Shrimp is the most common live bait. It’s bought at most tackle shops. Pinfish would be the next in line for inshore and offshore fishing.

The pinfish I use I catch at the spot I’m fishing. I believe that the fish that I’m targeting are used to eating them. I use a small hook that I keep on a spare rod just for this purpose. A small piece of shrimp is all it takes to get them. Most areas have some sort of grass that pinfish will be darting around, sometimes they’re so thick it looks like stars twinkling over the flats as the tide turns in.

Mud minnows are another great inshore bait and I catch them just the same as pinfish, but the location is different. Needle grass shorelines inside creeks and little coves are where you can find them. Some areas are accessible by cars like Ozello Trail or Ft. Island Trail. The good thing about a mud minnow is they last for days with minimum water or a good live well, so the day before heading out fishing you can catch some bait with just a little effort.  

One of our area’s top snook bait is threadfin herring or white bait. Being the last week to keep a slot size snook, threadfin is the ace up your sleeve to catch one. They cannot resist them as proven since the early 80’s in Tampa Bay.

As our area has changed with more snook there are a few spots to catch threadfin with sabikis. The closest inshore spot is the old scallop rack that sits due west of Gomez Rocks or between St. Martins Keys and the Crystal River Channel. A decent live well is a must because these are not hardy baits and must be handled with care.

The 38th Annual Cobia Big Fish Tournament is coming up on June 4-5. It will be held at Crumps Landing in Homosassa.  www.cobiabigfishtournament.com

High incoming tide will be late afternoon this weekend. 

Homosassa Weekly Fishing Report from Captain William Toney

To schedule a fishing charter or shore lunch excursion with Captain Toney, visit his website.

If you want to learn more about how to catch Nature Coast fish from Captain Toney, subscribe to his videos at https://inthespread.com

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