From: Tarpon Springs to Crystal River, Fl.
Date: 10 Mar 1999
Remote Name: 18.104.22.168
3/10/99 Fishing Report for Tarpon Springs to Crystal River, Fl. By Capt. Dennis Royston
A FULL TIME Fishing Guide
Winds of 15 to 20 knots blew the first of the week. The forecast for the up coming weekend looks good. Seasonal temperatures in the mid-70s and lighter winds should make for some good fishing.
HOLLY MACKEREL - That was the cry on the boat this past weekend. Tides were low in the morning and the water was cold so we made a run to the Power plant to take advantage of the worm waters. As it turned out about fifty other boats had the same idea. Boat courtesy was not in effect that morning. We were able to catch a few fish despite the confusion. Nice size Jacks proved great fun to get the day started. We moved north to escape the crowd and look for some Trout. My anglers landed a lot of short fish as well as a few keeper fish. Thus far the morning had been a ho-hum start. The tide still had not come in enough to allow us to get into the back country to look for Reds and Snook. We decided to run somewhat offshore to see what we might find.
Muds - As we were running out I spotted something I had not seen in several years. A long patch of mud in otherwise clear water. It took me a few minutes To remember what I was seeing. The muds are created by Spanish Mackerel Or Bluefish rooting in the grass for shrimp that have buried in the soft dirt. As the fish root for the shrimp they create a mud line that can be seen for some distance. Most anglers pass by these areas just wandering what may have caused it. When you spot one of these muddy areas stop your boat and take a few minutes to study the water. You should first determine where this mud Originates. As these fish dig the bottom up the tide takes the muddy water with it. An average mud will be about 60 yards wide and up to a mile long. If you have an incoming tide the origination point will be at the north/west end of the mud strip. If the tide is out going it will be on the north/east end. At the origination point you will find the Mackerel or Bluefish and as the mud is carried down tide There will other fish feeding on the bits and pieces of shrimp cut up by the digging fish. Trout, Grunt, Grouper and others will take advantage treat.
How to fish the mud's. After you have determined the head of the mud area work your boat on the outer edges of the dirty water. Whenever possible try to avoid running or drifting through the discolored water. If you have a trolling motor this is a good time to use it. Work your boat in the clear water and cast into the muddy water. It has been my experience that jigs with dark bodies work best. Root beer, dark green, black and chartreuse are good. A gold spoon is another good bait. Cut bait or live green backs work well, but they are just slower to fish. Determine the number of fish you want to take home and return the rest. Mackerel and Bluefish are best to eat the day you catch them. Two to three days are max in my opinion. These fish do not freeze well.
One last word. If you are not the first to arrive at the scene give the first Boat the right of way and be courteous. Good Fishin For more information call (727)863-3204 Capt. Dennis Royston
If anyone reeds these reports please drop me an e-mail and let know if it is useful. Thanks www.wimi.com/marine/guides/royston[fish/_private/boards_aftr.htm]