For the best trout fishing think small. The area that I have been catching trout has gotten smaller. During the Fall bite, a long drift over productive water was the key to putting fish in the box but now that the water has cooled down the trout are more concentrated. Even though the same flat with rock grass may be productive you will find that there is less bites between bites. I have used a marking buoy this past week. As soon as one of the anglers catch a quality trout and the bottom looks right I will slip the jug over board. If we drift for fifteen minutes or more without a bite, then I would do a slow idle, wide berth around the spot and set up a drift near the marker. I saw a large school of trout on the yellow bottom just west of the St. Martins Keys while I was on full plane. After slowing down and poling my boat I found them again and the area that they were in was about the size of my front yard. So even on a large flat the fish are in tight schools. As the water cools more expect the same but further inland towards creek mouth and passes. Best soft plastics have been MirrOlure Lil Johns in watermelon red flake and the D. O. A 5.5 glow/gold rush belly jerk bait.
The redfish bite is good on the incoming tide. Western facing points and rocky shorelines with jumping mullet are the best areas. The snook are still on the outside keys all the way up the Homosassa River. Capt. Madison McDonald on evening fishing trips has been catching them around dock lights from town all the way to Blue Waters. The mangrove snapper bite is good also in the river but there are a lot of short ones before a keeper comes to the boat on live shrimp. High incoming tide will be late evening this weekend. W
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.