A mixed of fish species has moved into the deeper flats. West of the St. Martins Keys in 6 to 10 feet of water there has been fun fishing catching trout, spanish mackerel, sea bass, blue fish, flounder, small gag grouper, blue runners and lady fish. Some of the best baits has been soft plastic tails like D.O.A. CAL Shads, MirrOlure LIL Johns, Bass Assassins Tails or Gulp! on a 1/8th oz. jig head. I always start with different color tails on each anglers line and let the fish decide what one works best that day. When drifting the deep flats cast towards color changes in the water, a yellow bottom will sometimes indicate rocks. One method I use to locate fish is to use a marking buoy. The first keeper trout that is caught I will drop the buoy to mark that location. Multiple drifts will generally yield more fish but on return drifts always give the area a wide berth to not disturb the school of trout and be courteous to other anglers by not cutting in front of their drift. I find that a marking buoy is a good visual land mark to set up the drift compared to using a GPS. Tide and wind can change very quickly and the buoy is the best reference point to set up a drift.
Back inshore the incoming tide on the outside keys is good for redfish. The best bait has been live shrimp. Look for keys that are holding big schools of mullet and one easy way to find them is watch for porpoise because they feed on mullet. Some big trout are on the rocky points also hitting D.O.A. glow 5.5 jerk baits. High incoming tide this weekend will be early morning. Capt. William Toney www.homosassainshorefishing.com
Capt. William Toney is a full time 4th generation fishing guide from Homosassa. Experience some of Florida’s best inshore fishing and beautiful unspoiled backcountry. His boat is a custom built 23 foot Tremblay and uses G-Loomis rods with Shimano reels. Trout, redfish and shore lunch are Capt. Williams specialty’s but many other species are caught or targeted.