Homosassa Area


It’s that time of year. Michelle Zielecke with a nice keeper Cobia off the coast of Homosassa.

Nowhere else in the continental U.S. can you go mono-e-mono with a giant mighty Mega lops Atlanticus (Tarpon) than right here in Citrus County.
With 50 miles of uninhabited coastline, there are unlimited places to target this aerial leaping, drag screaming species.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, there are other places like the Florida Keys, Boca Grande and the Charlotte Harbor areas that have good numbers of tarpon. However, Citrus County, namely the Homosassa area is world renown for the GIANT 200 lb. Plus Silver Kings.
The Homosassa area currently holds 6 world records on fly for giant Tarpon. The likes of Stu Apte, Billy Pate, Lefty Kreh, Rick Murphy and Dan Malzone to name a few have frequented these waters back in the 80’s and early 90’s to achieve these goals. Think about it. They could have at that time of their prosperous careers gone anywhere in the world to pursue these fish and records, but chose Homosassa. And guess what? These anglers have done their duty here, but………..the tarpon keep showing up.
People from literally all over the world come to this area in the peak season of May and June in pursuit of this awesome prehistoric fish, which sometimes lives a life span of 50 to 60 years. And, from most professional anglers when targeted by fly rod, it is considered the epitome of sport fishing. You’ll be the one hooked! It can be highly addictive! To the point of ruining marriages. I’ve seen it. But I don’t want to say that too loudly.
However, conventional tackle can be awesome as well. Just have the right size and proper equipment.
I’ve asked myself and researched why this particular area’s so good for the giant tarpon?
Here are the results and some theories that I have run across.
Some say this area is the meeting place of the yearly migratory track from the ones coming around the panhandle from Mexico and Texas headed down south. And then the other tarpon that come up from the Keys and the south headed north. And yet still others that are believed to come inshore at that time from the deep offshore depths.
Another belief is the crystal clear, good water quality from the many spring fed rivers in this county that flow out to the shallow water gulf flats like the Withlacoochee, Crystal, Homosassa and Chassahowitzka River. BTW. From the armpit of the panhandle and peninsula to Weeki Wachee is known to have the largest concentration of springs on the planet. And probably sinkholes. However, what a pristine environment for the tarpon children to grow up into!
Think about it. If you were going to have a baby, would you want it delivered in a county landfill, or a sterile, clean hospital? I would too!
Yet another belief is the tremendous bait and food source in the area at this time.
There are literally thousands of schools and schools of bait fish for these guys to feed on. And they know it.
Plus, add in the many, many mangrove islands and outer keys that are the vital estuary that all juvenile fish call their nursery, and you can easily see why.
And don’t forget yet another theory, their spawning time. They have to lay their eggs sometime. And late May and June are the prime pickings.
You wanna know what MY personal belief is? All the above!
So, why have to travel to Belize, West Africa or even down to the Keys? You can fight your big Tarpon right here in our beautiful Citrus County waters.
However, when fishing near or around other boats that are tarpon fishing, have the utmost respect and etiquette. You’ll know. They are the ones usually with flats skiffs and poling platforms, poling around an individual on the deck up front with a 9’ fly rod! If you don’t know, then it probably is best to fish somewhere else. Or better yet, hire a guide! There are good reputable ones. Just ask if they tarpon fish.
If you’re out there by yourself and don’t utilize the proper protocol, they’ll probably let ya know. Just saying.
As a reminder. Our scallop season in the citrus County area starts July 1. Don’t wait, give me a call at 352-201-6111 and book your trip today for an exciting fun trip you won’t forget.

Submitted By: Capt. Rick Burns
Reel Burns Charters

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