For mid summer the inshore bite has been good. Redfish are the main target on my charters, poling keys north of the Homosassa River and seeing fish is the best way to catch them. Most of the redfish are biting live or cut pinfish and a few are eating shrimp if it stay’s on the hook long enough. Live or cut bait is the best way to produce for my clients this time of year but today was different. My client wanted redfish on artificial bait. We did put some nice reds in the boat and all were caught south of the Homosassa River. North of the river the floating grass killed us and south there was less grass but I have found over the years the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge is more productive when it come to casting lures. Up north I do catch plenty of fish on lures but south I believe the tannic run off from the Chassahowitzka swamp helps hide the lures true intention of putting a hook through the lip of the fish. I could be wrong because it can be very clear down there also, but just wanted to share that with fellow anglers.
The shallow structure has been excellent for keeper mangrove snapper. Free lined live shrimp or threaded on a 1/8 oz. chartreuse jig head with the tide across the structure will get the bite. Good current is best to catch the mango’s and if it is clear enough to see the snapper, that is all the better. A few pieces of cut up shrimp will initiate the bite, but don’t over feed them. The bite will flow in waves so don’t get inpatient.
If you want some big summer time trout try the spoil islands around Crystal River, the flats around the Bird Rack or the bars around Bird Island ( Chassahowitzka ) early morning high out going tide. The tides will be low mid day this weekend with a late afternoon incoming. Go mid morning for scallops and catch a redfish late afternoon on the way to the dock.