Florida's Central Gulf Coast Fishing

From: Capt. Dennis Royston
Date: 30 Sep 1999
Remote Name:


9/30/99 Fishing Report for Tarpon Springs to Crystal River, Fl. By Capt. Dennis Royston


A cool front is expected to move through Tampa Bay this afternoon, bringing lower humidity and somewhat cooler temperatures.

As predicted - the falling water temperature has increased the bite. Redfish are starting to move into the back waters in good numbers. Average sizes have been in the upper slot limit (18 to 27inches) and larger. There are several ways to locate to locate Redfish. The first is with the use of a push pole or trolling motor. With either you want to move slowly over the shallow flats looking for the wakes made by moving fish. After determining the direction the fish are moving, long accurate casts are nessary. Your lure or bait should be cast well ahead of and beyond the moving fish. A cast that lands next to or in the middle of a school will more then likely spook the fish. This type of fishing can be a lot of fun, however a bad cast can ruin all the time spent stalking the fish. Practice for this type of fishing should be done in the back yard or in the park and not in The boat. If you chouse to use the trolling motor, set your speed control on constant low speed. On and off speed control with the trolling motor tends to spook the fish.

An other method of catching Reds is locate an Oyster Bar or prominent point and anchor up and wait for the fish to pass by. This method is best when using live or cut bait.

Trout fishing is picking up as the water cools. High day time temperatures have kept the waters at a steady 82 degrees for the past week. The above expected cool front may help lower the water another degree or two. While fishing for Redfish a number of folks have caught some nice gator Trout in very shallow water. The numbers of Trout caught on the flats has picked up. Jigs seem to accounting for the better catches. Jigs allow the drifting angler to cover more ground.

Snook in good numbers seem to be right where they should be at this time of year. Look for them to be around points, river and creek mouths, as well as Mangrove shore lines. These fish seem to eating for short periods each day on the change of the tides. Feeding periods will increase as water temperatures fall to the mid-70s.

More and more boats are coming in with good catches of Spanish Mackerel. The per person limit is still 10 fish per person. In most cases this is too many. Spanish Mackerel are not a good fish to freeze. Mack's caught and eaten today or the next day are good table fair, however there quality diminishes in a relatively short time. When fish are caught they should be placed on ice when removed from the hook. Mack's have to be one of the easiest fish to clean. Most fisherman or fisher-persons leave the skin on when filleting. Personally I prefer to remove to remove the skin. Most of the time it does not pay to remove the bones. If the fish are large they can be picked out after cooking. If your fish are small to medium the bones will dissolve while cooking. Try poaching fillets in a little water, lemon juice, butter and a little season-all. Do Not over cook.

Good fishin - For more information call - Capt. Dennis Royston