Homosassa Fishing Report


Happy Holidays Citrus County Anglers. Our gulf waters are cooling, and many of our favorite species we like to target are heading East. The trout and redfish will be making their way towards the spring-fed rivers and back- county creeks. If old man winter hasn’t hit us hard yet, start your days near the mouths of the rivers, and target the adjacent oyster bars and shallow rock flats. Soft plastic jerkbaits, such as the DOA 5.5-inch model, in the glow and golden bream colors works equally well for both species. If the gulf water temperature has reached the low 60’s, it’s time to think warmer locations and slower presentations. Tie on a soft plastic jig or slow suspending twitch bait, and target the deeper backcountry holes with nearby shallow hard bottom flats. These areas will concentrate the majority of the fish who don’t seek refuge in the rivers. For the river anglers, the springs flow a warm 72 degrees and hold a variety of species, such as mangrove snapper, tarpon, trout, ladyfish, jack crevalle, red fish and snook. All of these species will be calling the rivers home for the next couple months.

One of my favorites, and one of the tastiest fish in the gulf, the sheepshead, will begin covering various hard bottom areas just off the coast in preparation for the late winter spawn. Rock piles and ledges are home to these guys and you never know what else that next cast may bring. Fishing these areas can be nonstop action, with grunts, porgies, sea bass, grouper, hog fish etc., and it’s really great for the kids. A live shrimp on a knocker rig is simple and works fantastically.

If you’re a fly fisherman, or thinking of giving fly fishing a try, the ladyfish are in the head water bays and coves by the thousands. This is a perfect opportunity to experience fly fishing and have guaranteed success. An 8wt rod, floating line and a hand full of clouser minnows in the white and chartreuse color combinations, will keep the rod bent. Remember to pinch the barb of the fly to make releasing a ladyfish more enjoyable.

December is our last month to take a gag grouper home, and I must say this has been an excellent season. From trolling and casting plugs – to dropping down live and dead baits, the grouper action has been great. Watch the weather before you venture offshore, as the cold fronts are coming more and more frequently this time of year. Depths from 10 to 40 feet are holding plenty of keeper gags. Good Fishing!