The fishing out of Hernando Beach has been very productive. We had a mild front come through from the north last weekend, which made it difficult to find quality fish some days, but the inshore bite continues to be good throughout the entire region.
The trout fishing has been spotty thus far. Anglers need to be ready to fish a variety of spots until they locate bigger fish. Drifting deeper grass flats in 8-10 feet of water has put some nice trout in the cooler on recent trips. Working a 3-inch Gulp shrimp or a Lil John jerk bait on a 1⁄4 ounce jig has been very effective. Work these baits slowly across the bottom, but give them enough action to draw attention. This tactic will also catch small shark, sea bass, blue fish, mackerel and lady fish.
The snook fishing off this area of the Nature Coast has been best around the high tide. Target areas that have mullet activity. The most productive baits are a live pin fish and white bait on a 3/0 circle hook and cast to the middle of the mullet. Be sure to fish rocky bottom, mangrove shore line, or saw grass points. I put on a small cork to allow these baits to drift these areas with the tide and cover ground.
The tarpon have not arrived yet. I think the last mild front that came though delayed their official arrival. I expect better numbers to arrive once our area gets a healthy dose of humid southern air. As soon as the Gulf waters stabilize above 76 degrees the “poons” should really start to move through.
Good luck out there and tight lines!
Capt. Keith Tomlinson runs Bulldog Fishin Charters out of Hernando Beach. Contact him at www.bulldogfishin.com or (352)238-3581.