Florida's Gulf Coast Fishing

From: Tarpon Springs to Crystal River, Fl.
Date: 21 Oct 1999
Remote Name:


10/21/99 Fishing Report for Tarpon Springs to Crystal River, Fl. By Capt. Dennis Royston


Hurricane Irene was predicted to come ashore in west central Florida, but made a turn to the east and crossed south Florida. We had winds up to 20 mph. With minor sprinkles. ( Lucky again). A cold front is passing through at this time. It's expected to drop day time temperatures to the mid-70s. Turn off the air conditioning and open the windows. It is forecast to be clear, cool and nice for the weekend.

As predicted the fishing is improving up and down the coast. Water temperatures have dropped to the upper 70s.

The big story this week is the numbers of Redfish being caught. Reds were in short supply throughout the hot summer. I received reports this week of up to 30 fish per boat. Some were shorts, most were in the slot limit (18 to 27") and some were well above the slot. This indicates a good supply in all sizes. Most of the fish were caught on live bait (Pilchards) however jig and spoons will do the job. Another bait that should be mentioned is the jerk bait (Slug-O ) type baits. I use the new Cotee Button eye jerk bait. Pearle color has been my best in clear water. Work the baits slow around oyster bars, shale areas or other hard bottom. When working a jerk bait it is easy to miss the strike. If you have this problem, try retrieving with a high rod. When a fish strikes - drop the rod until the fish tightens the line. Then set the hook. You will rarely miss with this technique.

Spanish Mackerel are here in good numbers. Keep moving until you locate quality fish. I run a few miles offshore and cast jigs or spoons - moving until fish are found. Trolling small spoons or rattle trap type baits is also a good way to locate fish. When fish are found, anchor the boat and put out a chum bag. This should keep the fish down tide of your boat and give you all the fun you can stand on light tackle. This is a great time to get the kids into lots of hard fighting fish.

Snook are starting to feed around points, river and creek mouths. Fish the change of tides with live white bait (Pilchards).

Trout are eating over areas of good grass areas. Jigs, plugs and spoons are the bait of choice. Again keep moving. When fish are found put out a marker or mark a waypoint on your GPS and continue drifting this area.

NOTE: I have been using a floating chum BOX for years that keeps your boat clean when bringing your chum in and out of the boat. This box can be easily built for less then $10.00 . If you would like to duplicate this chum box give me a call or e-mail me and I will be glad to pass on the plans.

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