The Florida that time forgot - Travel - The Boston Globe

Recently an article about 5 places in Florida that time for got was published in the Boston Globe. Here is what they had to say about Steinhatchee.

STEINHATCHEE: Woods and water

Never heard of Steinhatchee? Neither have most Floridians. Located in the wild, river-laced forests of north central Florida, also known as the “nature coast,” this village of 1,600 folks is incredibly quiet — until scallop season, from July to mid-September, when the population swells and the Sea Hag Marina (352-498-3008, www.seahag.com) is abuzz with activity.

Anyone with a Florida saltwater fishing license (easily obtainable) can be a scalloper, and it’s a blast. You don a mask, snorkel, and fins, carry a mesh bag to hold your scallops, and head out in a boat through the Steinhatchee channel to the gulf, and then go north or south for several miles until the inshore waters become clear. Then you look for scallops hiding in the sea grass. They move by snapping their shells and spitting water out — kind of a sandy spurt — and propel themselves in a zigzag motion. Local restaurants, like Roy’s (352-498-5000, www.roys-restaurant.com), will cook your cleaned catch.

Other pursuits are equally outdoorsy, lsuch as paddling the Steinhatchee River and hiking the trails at (totally unimpressive, but interesting) Steinhatchee Falls, following in the footsteps of Timucuan Indians, Spanish explorers, and Civil War troops. Things get a little crazy during the annual Fiddler Crab Festival, held on President’s Day weekend, when everyone turns out for events like the fiddler crab races.

There’s nothing posh about this place, and that’s just the way the locals like it. “Our fine mall is the dollar store,” says Dean Fowler, owner of Steinhatchee Landing Resort. Designed to resemble a typical north Florida community from the early 1900s, Steinhatchee Landing (352-498-3513, www.steinhatcheelanding.com, from $140) is the best place to stay in this fishing village.

The nearest airport, Gainesville Regional, is nearly two hours away, so there’s no danger that Steinhatchee will change anytime soon. “This is the anti-Orlando,” says resident Kevin Kizer. “It’s the country side of Florida, a real blast from the past.”
— By Diane Bair and Pamela Wright

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition Takes Trip Back in Time to Steinhatchee

Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Ever wonder what there is to do around Steinhatchee besides Fishing, Hunting and summertime Scalloping? Our area is fantastic for Kayaking and Wildlife viewing.

Recently the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition traveled through Steinhatchee and WUSF was there to write about what the group saw. Click the link below to read the full article.

http://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/florida-wildlife-corridor-expedition-takes-trip-back-time-steinhatchee?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

WUSF is following the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition as they bike, hike and kayak from Central Florida through the Panhandle to the Alabama state line. The three conservationists recently visited the coastal hamlet of Steinhatchee, deep in the Nature Coast. We paddled with them down the Steinhatchee River, fording some falls and getting a lesson in how much preserving the lands can spark Florida’s economy.
— http://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/florida-wildlife-corridor-expedition-takes-trip-back-time-steinhatchee?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
Light from above greets Edwin McCook of the Suwannee River Water Management District  Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Light from above greets Edwin McCook of the Suwannee River Water Management District

Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Expedition member Joe Guthrie recounted a side trip to Hagen’s Cove, an isolated spot along the Gulf coast.

Enjoying the view of Steinhatchee
Enjoying the view of Steinhatchee
Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF News
”And there were thousands of shorebirds, all standing in water that was about two inches deep - just a plane of them, as far as you could see,” he says. “I mean they were even out of sight. It was really neat.”
— http://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/florida-wildlife-corridor-expedition-takes-trip-back-time-steinhatchee?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

More music to the ears of inshore anglers | Gainesville.com

The trout are hot right now in Steinhatchee

From the Gainesville Sun:

By Gary Simpson
Fishing columnist

For fishers, nothing much has changed during December. Salty gulf shallows remain dependably excellent, while area lakes remain less productive than it seems they should be. This report might sound like a broken record, but at least it's a nice tune for the inshore saltwater enthusiast.
A serious wad of speckled trout invaded the Steinhatchee River several days ago, and they have offered folks casting jigs and suspending lures fairly easy pickins most days since then. Captains Rick Davidson and Tommy Thompson have long enjoyed casting Paul Brown Devil lures, and these soft-bodied lures are again producing for the well-known guides.
It took Capt. Tommy and his fishing partner all of 15 minutes to fill their combined 10-fish limit one morning early this week, and all were nice 19-inch fish. Though the multitudinous trout are undeniably easy to access in the deep river, a number of knowledgeable cold-weather trout seekers say they are finding bigger fish, on average, still in the shallows well outside the river and creeks.
Late last Friday, Joey Landreneau found a bunch of sizable fish in water two-feet deep on a rocky point not far from Steinhatchee. In two hours, the big-trout specialist hauled in and released seven good ones. The largest weighed 4.5-pounds and the smallest was a stout three-pounder.
A couple of nice redfish, too, found Landreneau's prototype suspending lure irresistible.
While scores of boats were congregated at the mouth of the Steinhatchee Saturday, Dan Rhine and Julie Burke located their quality speckled trout on the nearby grass flats. Casting Sebile lures, they bagged limits of trout up to 4.5-pounds and added three nice reds.
Capt. Jesse Wooten and Troy Charles have spent several recent days sniffing out fish in the Steinhatchee area, and have pulled in big numbers of trout. But it's not the numbers that are most impressive. While many folks are happy with filling limits of barely legal fish, these guys are nailing some hefty specimens. Casting Live Target lures, Livingston topwaters, and Mirrodines, Wooten and Charles have boated around 50 trout at least 20 inches long, and up to 28 inches.
Sunday afternoon, Tanner Meadows, Andy Stark, and Jeffrey Dealmeida fished out of Horseshoe Beach. The Gainesville trio first ran up the coast to the flats near Pepperfish Keys, where they cast live shrimp and Stinky Fingers lures to bag a few trout and two redfish.
When the tide rose sufficiently, they headed back south and eased into a tidal creek near Shired Island. Adding gold spoons to their lure arsenal, they worked deeper pockets in the creek's bends.
The young trio caught lots of fish — sometimes doubles and triples — until the fading light forced them back to the launch site. Of 60-plus fish, they harvested five nice reds and a dozen legal trout.
Fishing Suwannee on Sunday, Mike Davis and a pair of his fishing buddies located tons of fish. The Gainesville angler was one of a few to come in early this week saying something like: “The Suwannee fishing is ridiculous.” Working the river's East Pass and several creeks near its mouth, the three fishermen caught around 60 trout and 40 redfish. At one point, 14 straight casts yielded 14 reds.
Most were sublegal, but plenty reached the keeper marks (15 inches for trout and 18 inches for reds) to fill limits. The reds, Davis said, went for jigs, while the trout were higher in the water column and the best producers for them were Rapala X-Rap lures.
The oddly slow December speckled perch fishing in the lakes nearest Gainesville hasn't improved much.
Wednesday, Curtis Wright of Melrose did manage an impressive box of Lake Santa Fe slabs. Wright fished minnows near the bottom in water 18- to 20-feet deep just off the north end of big Santa Fe. He finished the day with 17 fish, and every one of them was plenty big enough to fillet.
Some serious local crappie fishers say they've had to hit the road in order to find fish in pleasing size and numbers. Several have found the smaller lakes just upriver from Lake George to be the nearest specking hotspots. Just south of Astor, Lakes Woodruff and Dexter have produced excellent speck catches for a few weeks now — the kind of action fishers continue to hope for in lakes closer to home.
Gary Simpson, a veteran tournament angler, operates Gary's Tackle Box at L & S Auto Trim.

Girl Scouts honor 2014 women of distinction at awards gala

Girl Scouts honor 2014 women of distinction at awards gala

Congratulations to Roberta Rideout

The Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle 2014 Women of Distinction Awards Gala celebrated the accomplishments of fourteen women who truly stand out for their commitment to the community on November 12, at the Florida State University Alumni Center.

“The Women of Distinction honorees are emblematic of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low who encouraged girls to prepare not only for traditional homemaking, but also for future roles as professional women –in the arts, sciences and business – and for active civic involvement,” stated Kelly O’Keefe, an attorney with Berger and Singerman, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle Philanthropy Committee Chair and 2011 Woman of Distinction.

Mrs. Dana “Boots” Bryan, a retired educator, long time Girl Scout member and volunteer, received the Pearl Award. The Pearl Award is bestowed upon an adult Girl Scout for her significant contributions to the Girl Scout movement in support of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Given in memory of Girl Scouts founder, Juliette Gordon Low, the significance of the pearls symbolize the devotion by Low to the success of the start of Girl Scouting which included selling a strand of pearls for $8,000 to fund the early operations.

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Steinhatchee Redfish Fly Fishing - Florida Sportsman

Steinhatchee Redfish Fly Fishing - Florida Sportsman

Here is a nice article about fishing in Steinhatchee by Florida Sportsman Magazine.

Reds are the main players for sight-fishing fly fishers.

By Tommy Thompson

The author depends on Clouser Minnows for both trout and reds.

The first time I fished Steinhatchee, I knew immediately that its shallows stood apart from those I’d sampled elsewhere.

From the mouth of the Steinhatchee River south to the Pepperfish Keys, big, upended rocks litter porous limestone bottom. Oyster and shell bars are not as common as they are to the south, from Horseshoe Beach to the Suwannee River. Continuous grassflats extend for more than a mile offshore.

If you sight fish with a fly rod, you can certainly do it on this unique stretch of Florida’s Gulf coast. The jagged, marshy shoreline is scrubbed clean by good tidal flow and protected by distance from the muddy outflow of the Suwannee.

From the mouth of Steinhatchee River, the shoreline of Deadman Bay begins a westward swing toward Rock Point and Dallus Creek. This is a natural catch basin for baitfish, redfish and surprisingly big seatrout. The town has become an angler-friendly destination within the last few years.

The Steinhatchee River channel is well-marked. To clear the extreme shallows on either side, you’ll have to run out quite a ways to hang a left and head south to the best flats. If you have a shallow-draft skiff, with a moderate tide and calm winds, you can easily run due south from marker No. 9, but on the lowest tides you’ll need to run as far out as No. 5 before you make your turn. And once you do, you find yourself nearly two miles off the coast, but don’t worry—the shallows you’re heading to extend several miles into the Gulf of Mexico in places, so don’t make the big mistake of swinging back to shore at full tilt.

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