The season's best run of speckled trout into a gulf river apparently arrived last week and weekend at the Steinhatchee's mouth. Richard Blake, his 5-year-old son Richard Jr., and Elliott McDavid made it onto the water around noon Saturday from Sea Hag Marina.
By 1:30, they had a 15-fish, three-person limit of trout. The three cast various lures and almost every one worked, but Mirrodines accounted for the lion's share.
They released lots more fish, and the day's highlight occurred when young Richard Jr. hauled in three trout on one cast. Seems like a pretty amazing feat to me. Some other Steinhatchee trout fishers reported catching and releasing as many as a hundred river trout.Read More
Following a long closure in gulf waters, a special two-month gag grouper season opened last Friday in the Gulf of Mexico for recreational anglers.
After the long separation from their deep-water favorite, the opening-day crowd arrived at nearly every gulf port. And Friday turned out to be the best day, wind-wise, of the special season’s first weekend.
At daylight, Tommy Hines of Newberry, Sidney Hazen of Lacrosse and Richard Shellnut of Archer left from the Cedar Key ramp on their way to secret, rocky-bottomed spots in water 60-feet deep. After anchoring, they dropped frozen Spanish sardines to the bottom. Right away, hungry grouper slammed the offerings. As Hazen put it, “It was Johnny-Get-Your-Gun.”
Inshore anglers working the Steinhatchee shallows continue to hook good-sized speckled trout. Sunday, Hardy Wood took a five-pound fish to Sea Hag Marina for a photo, and Judd Evatt of Sumter County topped that a few minutes later with a seven-pounder.
While practicing for the Fishing for Kids Saltwater Trout Tournament coming up Saturday, Robbie Emmons and Nathan Lee have fared very well. Casting five-inch Gulp! Jerk Shads in the New Penny color, the Gainesville anglers released “somewhere between 30 and 40” trout Saturday that averaged 17-to-18-inches in length. They targeted the grass flats just south of the Steinhatchee River mouth. Contestants in the 7th annual event that benefits Shands Children’s Hospital will depart from Sea Hag Marina in the morning at safe light and weigh in at 3 p.m. Call 800-284-6472 for more information. Sounds like it will be a good one.
Fishers venturing a bit farther offshore have encountered plenty of mackerel — both Spanish and kings. It’s not always necessary to run to deep water for the Spanish, though. Chase and Chaeli Norwood proved that a few days ago. The youngsters hooked and boated a couple of nice macks while casting well up the Steinhatchee River.