The weather was fantastic last week and so was the fishing and scalloping off Hernando beach. The break from the wind and rain has been nice to have a chance to get on the water and enjoy this area of the Nature Coast.
The deeper flats are still very productive in 8-12 feet of water for trout, sea bass, flounder, sharks, and more. The best bite seems to be on a higher tide no matter what time of day.
Work these depths with jigs. I prefer a 1/4 ounce jig with a 3-inch white GULP shrimp.
Keep the jig on the bottom, but be sure to pop it up off the grass to draw the attention of nearby predators.
The back country fishing is still best early in the day when it is cool. We have some good tides early in the morning this weekend giving anglers some great conditions to target redfish and trout. One of my favorite tactics is fishing these “skinny waters” at sunrise with top water plugs. I love working a white Skitterwalk across calm water and watching a big red fish hit the lure so aggressively the water seems to explode.
Anglers have a few weeks left to go for scallops and they are thick from Hernando Beach to Homosassa. We have been getting our limit of scallops every trip in short time. Target 4-7 feet of water on a low tide over grassy bottom. The daily bag limit is 2 gallons per person to a max of 10 gallons per vessel. Scalloping is a great way to beat the heat with friends and family so get out there and get your limit before the season ends.
Good luck out there and tight lines!
Capt. Keith Tomlinson runs Bulldog Fishing Charters out of Hernando Beach. Contact him at www.bulldogfishin.com or (352) 238-3581.