Fishing Florida's Central West Coast

From: Tarpon Springs to Crystal River, Fl
Date: 07 Oct 1999
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10/7/99 Fishing Report for Tarpon Springs to Crystal River, Fl. By Capt. Dennis Royston


Last weeks weather brought some 3 to 4 inches of needed rain. Winds were a little higher then most fisherman would care for. The forecast for this weekend looks good. A cool front inched its way through the area today drying things out. The winds are running about 15 knots today, but are expected diminish by the weekend. We will need to keep an eye out for a depression forming in the lower gulf.

The charter business has been slow lately due to the weather and the time of year. Lots of folks must be hunting, however the fishing has picked up all up and down the coast. Spanish Mackerel are showing up along the coast within easy reach of small craft. Water depths from 8 feet on out are starting to produce good catches of Mack's. If there is a secrete to catching Spanish Mackerel it is to keep moving until you find quality fish. As a rule I prefer to run out as far as am going for the day. (Boat size, weather and experience will determine the distance from shore.) I like to run out and work my way in as the day goes on.

Change depths a foot at a time until you find quality fish, Mackerel or Trout. Try using jigs or small heavy spoons. These lures allow you to cover the most area as you drift. Allow your jig to settle near the bottom and retrieve in small jerks. Work the entire water column. Fish 15 or 20 minutes before moving. Be prepared to loose lots of jigs to these toothy critters . I find I get a lot more strikes with mono leaders, but if you do want to use light wire leaders you may want to try tying your mono leader direct to the wire leader with out a swivel. This is done by bending the wire leader 180 degrees like a paper clip. Tie a snell knot to the wire - draw tight and brake wire as shown on hay wire twist example on the wire package. Mackerel are generally in schools and as one fish hits your jig his buddy hits the swivel. The direct tie will reduce the number of cut-offs .

This is the time to put out a dragline behind the boat with a Pinfish or other live bait about 2 feet under a float. A 20 lb. outfit works well for this. This time of year you could expect to interest Cobia, King Mackerel or Shark to your bait. Anyone of the above could make your day.

Redfish have been cooperative for the few folks that are fishing the flats this week. I have received reports of good catches Of Reds throughout the week. Spoons and root beer jigs seem to be the ticket.

Trout fishing on the grass flats is picking up week by week as the water cools.

Snook are in good numbers at the openings of the creeks and rivers. Anglers willing to fish late in the evening until midnight seem to be doing well on live bait.

Good fishin - For more information call (727)863-3204 - Capt. Dennis Royston