Location

FL
United States
28° 54' 55.6956" N, 82° 39' 56.7648" W
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Weather: Sunny Air Temperature: 81-90 F Water Temp: 81-90 F Clarity: Gin Clear

Well, it’s been an epic scallop season for the Nature Coast so far this year.   The relatively dry weather (up until last week) has resulted in the clearest water in years, and the biggest crop of scallops this decade.  In recent weeks many scallopers have been finding an abundance of scallops loaded with barnacles on them.  This is a healthy sign for our scalloping grounds considering that barnacles are frequently found on scallops that have survived for two summers.

 

The positive news on the age of our scallops and the health of our turtle and eel grasses is just the start of the good news.  Our most recent scalloping trips have been targeting depths that are relatively shallow (4 feet or so), which makes scalloping much easier for kids.  It’s hard to list hot spots because literally anywhere you go with mixed turtle and eel grass, especially when there are sandy areas, you will find lots of scallops.  The grass flats outside of Gomez Rocks and areas between the St Martins Keys and Rock Island Channel have been holding tons of boats, so exploring other areas with sand and grass to the east and west of these congregations is a good idea.

 

Although most visitors of the Nature Coast will be enjoying the great scalloping action there are still tons for great angling opportunities available to anglers of all different skill levels.  The backcountry waters surrounding Ozello and Crystal River will continue be the top targeted areas due to the great Redfish action.  The relatively shallow waters encompassing many of the mangrove laden back bays are great places to target skinny water tailing Redfish.  1’ chunks of cut ladyfish, pinfish, pigfish, mullet and lizardfish are for sure bets as the pinfish activity is so bad that a live shrimp won’t last 20 seconds upon hitting the water.  In certain instances some of the larger schools of Redfish can often be extremely picky, when this occurs a quartered blue crab will often drive these finicky fish into a frenzy.  Circle hooks are a must this time of year as most fish are well over the slot size of 27”. 

 

For those anglers that are looking for a worthwhile trip, think of targeting HUGE Black Drum and Redfish in the morning before hitting the water to cool off while Scalloping.  Our VIP and ½ and ½ trips are extremely popular this time of year as it allows visitors to split their trip up between fishing, scalloping and swimming with the manatees in some of the crystal clear springs found in the Crystal River.  Can you imagine bagging 10 gallons of Scallops after landing a ton of backcountry Redfish and Black Drum ranging from 20-60lbs?  Sounds like a great time to me.

 

Capt. Kyle Messier

(352) 634-4002

kylemessier@yahoo.com

WWW.FLORIDAFISHINGADVENTURES.COM

WWW.CRYSTALRIVER-FLYFISHING.COM

 

5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Weather: Sunny Air Temperature: 91-100 F Water Temp: 81-90 F Clarity: Gin Clear

July’s beautiful weather and sunny skies have led to perfect fishing and scalloping conditions here along the Nature Coast of Florida.  This perfect weather scenario couldn’t have come at a better time either.  Here along the Nature Coast our opening week of Scallop Season was truly a historic one with copious amounts of tasty scallops making for very happy snorkelers.  This great weather has also had a major impact on our annual Redfish and Snook invasion, which occurs during weather brakes from July-September.  Currently all signs are pointing to a record setting Summer with huge numbers of giant Reds being taken on a regular basis during most fishing charters in the Crystal River and Homosassa areas.

 

Every year from July-September during our strong full and new moon tides the Crystal River area becomes a staging area for millions of glass minnows, scaled sardines and pinfish.  When all of this bait/food comes rolling in you can guarantee most swimming predators are aware of this.  First you will notice dolphins swarming the local flats, then you will notice a variety of birds diving into these pods, then finally the ever-present Redfish onslaught from below will begin to take place.  Within these Redfish feeding frenzies you can also find a smorgasbord of Jack Crevalle, Snook, Snapper, and Speckled Trout.  This is an awesome way to fish because everything is so visible.  The bait is on the surface and the predator fish feeding on the bait below will often launch themselves out of the water after their intended prey.  There is nothing like throwing a spoon or fly threw a feeding frenzy only to watch it disappear in the midst of 100’s of frenzied fish.

 

After all of this fast paced action is over for the day the plan of choice for most of our visiting anglers is to jump in the water, cool off and enjoy one of the most exciting underwater Easter Egg hunts on the planet.  Harvesting bay scallops is easily one of the more effortless yet rewarding water activities found any where in Florida.  The equipment needed to harvest scallops is limited to just a mask, snorkel, fins, and a mesh bag. 

 

Most Scallop harvesting is done in crystal clear waters ranging from 2-7ft.   Some of the best areas to find scallops are on shallow grass flats, sponge beds, and small coral reefs.  The added bonus when covering areas with shallow clear water is that there are tons of other species that one will see while floating along looking for scallops.  Crabs, fish, sea horses, dolphins, rays, sponges, and sea turtles are just a few of the many species that one will encounter while searching for scallops.

 

The most successful method for harvesting scallops is to swim against the current when first looking for scallops and then allow the current to drift you back to your vessel.  Best places to look for scallops are on the tops of the long eelgrass, amongst the dark patches of rolling moss (brown floating grass), and on the edges of sponge beds.  The key to successful scalloping is to not stir up the bottom once you have located a few scallops.  Once you have located your honey-hole slowly float back to the surface and evaluate the surrounding area.  Chances are once you have located one scallop, there are probably many more located with in the same vicinity.

 

 

Capt. Kyle Messier

(352) 634-4002

kylemessier@yahoo.com

WWW.FLORIDAFISHINGADVENTURES.COM

WWW.CRYSTALRIVER-FLYFISHING.COM

5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Weather: Sunny Air Temperature: 81-90 F Water Temp: 81-90 F Clarity: Gin Clear

Welcome Anglers!  This months fishing report is devoted to the most impressive fish species that cruises up and down the Gulf coast of Florida.  Tarpon are by far and away the number one most targeted species during the month of June.  With most Nature Coast Tarpon averaging close to 100lbs and the possibility of tangling with a fish close to 200lbs its no wonder why many anglers are calling in sick to work or quitting their jobs all together to pursue the obsession known as Tarpon fishing.

 

Every May and June along the Nature Coast spin and fly anglers come from all over the World to try their luck at Tarpon fishing one of the most famed fisheries found anywhere in the world.  The pristine grass flats encompassing Bayport, Homosassa, and Crystal River are some of the most prestigious Tarpon flats in the world and this time of year massive schools of Tarpon migrate north up the Gulf coast of Florida foraging as they travel.  The beautiful white sand flats off of Bayport and the gin clear grass flats off of Homosassa are the Tarpons final feeding grounds before many of these fish venture offshore to spawn.  Just like most pre spawn fish the Tarpon that roam the Nature Coast this time of year are some of the largest found anywhere in the world.

 

Targeting “Silver Kings” can be accomplished with a spinning rod and a well placed crab, pinfish, or large Jerkbait but most anglers will find that targeting Tarpon on Fly is the preferred method for most successful anglers.  The Nature Coast boasts the 3 largest Tarpon ever landed on fly including a behemoth weighing in at 202lbs.  As great as this accomplishment has been for men searching for personal records we now have women showing up on the flats and staking their claims on personal records as well.  Tarpon weighing in at around 160-170lbs have already been landed on fly by women in the last few weeks and with a pending women’s World Record on the way the flats off of the Nature Coast will continue to draw excited anglers to our local flats for years to come.

 

When choosing flies and fly lines to do battle with a Tarpon its important to consider the depth an angler will be targeting as well as the bottom color your fishing.  Normally our local flats tend to be shallow and clear with depths averaging around 4-6ft of water.  With water depths so shallow a weight forward floating fly line is a great all around line to use.  Scientific Anglers Mastery Series and Rio Tarpon fly lines are choice lines that most of my fly anglers prefer.  When choosing Tarpon fly’s think small.  Tarpon flies are normally tied on a 1/0 hook and tied with materials that create a dark silhouette and become lifelike when wet.  Flies tied in all black and black and purple with marabou, craft fur, bunny, or a couple of splayed hackles will bring a wet fly to life when stripped.  Variations of Toads, Megalopsicles, EP Baitfish flies, and smaller Black Death Patterns are very successful patterns that move just enough in the water to entice the keen eye sight of a hungry Tarpon.

 

Just remember to hold on after the strike!!  And always bow to the KING!

 

JUNE 25TH MARKS THE OPENING DAY OF SCALLOP SEASON.

 

BE SURE TO PLAN AHEAD AND RESERVE YOUR UPCOMING SCALLOPING ADVETNURES WITH FLORIDA FISHING ADVENTURES.

 

Capt. Kyle Messier

(352) 634-4002

kylemessier@yahoo.com

WWW.FLORIDAFISHINGADVNETURES.COM

WWW.CRYSTALRIVER-FLYFISHING.COM

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