Once again, I wish all you fine fisher folks a happy and fishy day! As always, thanks again for checking us out this month.
Summer is sure enough in full swing along the Nature Coast and the fishing around Cedar Key is great. Our water temperatures are already almost peaked out and will remain in the 80 degree range until October and possibly November. Water clarity around Cedar Key proper is still not optimum. The mighty Suwannee continues to pump gallons and gallons of brown water into the good gulf. This month, things should start clearing up and be decent throughout the summer. In reality, the fish don’t mind the tea-colored water and have been quite consistent through the spring and early summer.
A quick rundown of what’s biting and where, is as follows: Speckled trout on any and all grass flats, sand trout in deeper channels and sloughs; redfish, try any of your favorite oyster bar systems and, of course, any and all rocky points around islands like North Key. Spanish Mackerel can be found on Seahorse Reef but also mixed with the speckled trout. On the incoming tides, shark and tarpon in any of the deeper channels, especially if there’s a good amount of bait moving in and out with the tide. The old reliable shark hole and Deadman’s Channel would be a good choice. Cobia; always check out the channel markers. One more inshore tip for summertime pursuit of Spanish, cobia, shark and tarpon is to set up a chum line and try some live or dead baits on a cork, free line and on the bottom. Overall, we’ve had a decent spring for inshore action and summer should continue the trend.
Finally, a few suggestions for our offshore species: Our bottom fishing has been a little below par so far. It’s taken a while for bother red and gag grouper to rebound from last year’s wild and wacky winter. Of course water temperatures are now normal, but clarity is an issue. While adverse water clarity is not as much a factor in having a successful day inshore, it can still be a negative factor. The browner the water the less abundant the bait is, and the less bait the less grouper and, of course, striking fish like kings. Speaking of kings, just like I mentioned last month, still no major run, just a few stragglers. Other bottom dwellers like grunts and sea bass are still hungry and active. Amberjack are also very aggressive on the few secret wrecks and springs in our area. My hunch is that our bottom fishing will only get better right on through this summer.
So there you go and here we go. Thanks again for checking us out in this fine publication. Happy Father’s Day to all and hope you and your family and friends can get out on the good gulf many times in June. Good luck and good fishing. See you next month, “if nothin’ don’t happen!”