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August 2003

Big Bend

BIG BEND: Steinhatchee, Horseshoe Beach & Keaton Beach Outta-Here Charters (352) 498-2493  Capt. Wayne informs us that grouper fishing continues to be very good. Fish are being caught on a variety of live and dead bait. Grouper are now being caught in the deeper waters since it has become so hot. Snapper season will open April 21st in Federal Waters and remain open until Oct. 31. Fishing is still very good in the summer months, but it is very hot on the open waters especially when there is not a breath of air. Please visit their website for photos of recent catches at Sea Hag Marina (352) 498-3008  Danielle says that the scallop outlook is plentiful in the Gulf near the Steinhatchee River mouth. Steinhatchee is one of the only places in the world where you can collect scallops. It is best if you simply snorkel in approximately four foot of water and dive to collect them by hand. The limit for scallops is 2 gallons of whole scallops per person with a maximum of 10 gallons per boat or 1 pint of scallop meat per person or a half-gallon maximum of meat per boat. You are required to carry a saltwater fishing license to collect scallops. Currently they are catching redfish around oyster bars using a live shrimp.  They are catching some nice spotted sea trout and a lot of cobia on the flats. They are catching some very large cobia in the area; look for the cobia around structures.  Offshore they are catching some nice grouper whenever the weather permits them to get offshore.  They are catching them in as close at 18 miles, but most are being caught about 25 miles out.  They are going after thread herring, spanish sardines, cigar minnows, and squid. They are also catching some nice kingfish in the area.  Please visit for updated pictures and reports.

Horseshoe Beach Marina (352) 498-5687  Joe tells us that the trout are biting in six to eight feet of water.  The cobia are coming in very good sizes.  The tarpon are biting really well in the area.  The scalloping is decent up around Pepperfish Key.  Stop by Horseshoe Beach Marina and see what they have to offer.  When you’re out fishing be sure to bring your sunscreen and plenty to drink to help ward off the Florida summer heat.

River Haven Marina & Motel (352) 498-0709  Cliff tells us that the scallops a re producing a few limits.  They are catching some nice trout in the area. 

The grouper are biting about ten miles out.  They recently had a customer catch a nice 34-pound cobia using a piece of squid in eight feet of water. Captain Tommy Thompson (888) 843-9949  Capt. Tommy says that summer means scallops on the Big Bend!  Scallops mean crowded boat ramps and unusually large numbers of party-goers on the flats.  So, if you’re interested in fishing inshore, he recommends targeting redfish and trout that are closer to shore than the scallopers or looking for fish in areas such as Waccasassa and Yankeetown that normally don’t have many of the edible bivalves!  He has been having great luck with top water plugs in the early morning hours fishing around oyster bars for large gator trout as well as ‘slot sized’ and larger redfish.  The trick to this method is getting out very early and fishing the first few hours of sunlight for the ‘big ones’.  As the day warms up, the fish seem to move deeper and are best targeted with soft plastics such as DOA’s Terror-Eyz jigs or CAL jigs. 

Wood’s Gulf Breeze Marina & Campground (352) 498-3948  Wanda tells us that the scalloping season is off to a great start.  They are getting a lot of scallops off the north shore.  They are catching trout in about four or five feet of water.  The redfish are biting really well right up against the shore rocks; they are going after live shrimp and gold spoons.

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