The Gulf waters have reached the lower 80s which means the fishing in our area of the Nature Coast should settle into summer patterns. As things start to warm up, I like to use tactics like fishing skinny waters early in the day especially when there is a good moving high tide. I also will move to deeper water as the day warms and the sun gets higher in the sky.
The trout bite continues to be moderately productive. We had a few slow days last week around the full moon, but the trout fishing in 8-10 feet of water produced eventually. Bouncing white and chartreuse Lil John jerk baits on a 1⁄4 ounce jig has been my preferred method. We are also getting some nice sea bass and mackerel mixed in.
The shark fishing has given my clients some non stop rod bending action. We are catching a lot of reef sharks with a few black tips mixed in. I like to target 6-10 feet of water and the size of these hard fighters is ranging from 2-6 feet. Heavy spinning tackle will handle most sharks we hook up on, but be ready to start the boat and follow a big shark so he doesn’t spool you.
Tarpon are finally starting to arrive in better numbers. We are seeing more pods of fish cruising the flats from Bayport to Homosassa. Look for them to be rolling early in the morning. As the sun gets high, target light sandy bottom in 3-5 feet of water and sight cast to passing fish.
Scallop season is just a few weeks away and I expect another great year of scalloping off Hernando Beach. I am starting to see some scallops already showing up in 5-8 feet of water. There are good numbers in deeper waters right now but they should be moved in to the shallow water by June 28. I offer scallop charters out of Hernando Beach. We provide equipment, license, and will help clean them at the dock.
Good luck out there and tight lines!
Capt. Keith Tomlinson runs Bulldog Fishin Charters out of Hernando Beach. Reach him at www.bulldogfishin.com or (352)238-3581.