Nature Coast Fishing Report by Jacinda Rose
It’s been a wet month here on Florida’s beautiful Nature Coast! If we could just get a slight reprieve from the storms, perhaps we could get more fishing in! Personally, I would brave a normal rain shower, as I’ve caught some of my best fish in rainy conditions. Unfortunately, storms with lightning, strong winds, and heavy downpours are not conducive to kayak fishing. As a kayak fishing guide, I’ve had to cancel several trips recently in order to keep myself, and most importantly, my clients, safe. I will not risk putting my clients’ lives in danger. As a result, I’ve had much less opportunity to get out on the water these past few weeks.
The storms have not stopped the fish from biting, though! Many of our boat Captains are recording 40 to 50+ fish caught in a single trip on any given day, limiting out on keepers in the first 30 minutes, then playing catch and release the rest of the trip. Numerous clients have recorded their personal best catches as the larger fish are making their way into the area. The next few months will garner some record breaking catches for many! I hope you’re one of those many!
Here’s what’s been working in our area.
Redfish are stacked up and hungry. Look for any point with a good current flow. Live mud minnows seem to be the flavor of the month, however, live pinfish and finger mullet are still a good option. Cut bait is also producing some great results. A healthy size chunk of cut pinfish or mullet on the bottom has landed more than a few upper and over slot redfish for me, personally. Just remember to keep those chucks big so the pesky catfish can’t swallow them.
Snook are heavy in the strong flowing currents along the mangrove lines and underwater structures such as oyster bars. Live pinfish cast up close will bring the snook out to feed. One of the most productive methods for snook here lately is a white 5” DOA CAL. Put this jerkbait on any color jighead, cast it out and retrieve with single, hard pops, letting it fall back to the bottom each time, and the snook can’t resist!
Trout are still hanging out in large numbers and sizes, mostly on the outside over the grass flats and deeper, cooler holes. A healthy pinfish under a cork will call them out for dinner, or a soft plastic on a jighead. Make sure to let your bait get to the bottom where the trout are holding.
We’re seeing a lot of nice black drum and mangrove snapper of epic proportions coming in, as well. Great for those of you looking for some Taco Tuesday catches!
As for gear, you really don’t need anything more than 10# braided line, but you’ll want to keep that leader line up to at least 25# test for the bigger redfish and 30# test for the bigger snook. Hook sizes should match the size of the bait you’re using, not the fish you’re trying to catch. If you’re using a large chunk of cut bait, you’ll want to use a larger hook. I use the Owner Mutu Light circle hooks, which are larger in size than most other hooks, so a 2/0 or 3/0 work well.
The Nature Coast is on fire right now, and likely will be for the next few months. Give me a shout if you want to get out on some great inshore fish! Until next time, Tight Lines and Good Times to you all! Catch em Up!!
Hey y’all! My name is Jacinda. I live in Citrus County, and am a Kayak Fishing guide out of Ozello, Florida.
Jacinda’s Kayak Fishing Adventures