KAYAKING DESTINATIONS: OZELLO
Hi once again Yak fans, and welcome to December. Wow, another year bites the dust! Time for Christmas cheer and those great winter tides, and presents! Personally, I’ve received so much coal, I bought a Ben Franklin stove. If my wife reads this, I’d like a new kayak. Hint hint.
All right, enough of this. Let’s talk about Ozello, located just north of Homosassa in Citrus County. You take Hwy 19 to Ozello Trail (turn at the Circle-K) and head west almost nine miles. Ozello has been featured in just about every fishing show out there, and rightfully so. Ozello is rated as one of the top fishing spots in the state, and it’s right in our backyard!
When you go, there are several spots to put in. The first is off Ozello Trail on John Brown Rd. It’s a primitive ramp on the left hand side. This spot will take you on the inside, and provide some great spots for Reds back in the creeks. But, a couple of words of warning about this ramp; there have been several reports of vandalism in the past. Also, it is recommended that you take a GPS, as this area can be a bit confusing. If you don’t have a GPS, then watch your compass and landmarks. Then, continuing on down John Brown Rd. to the end, you come to a pier on the St. Martins river. This is pretty much a kayak spot–no real ramp. I’ve found the best bite on the outside and back in the coves.
The next spot is at the end of Ozello Trail and is my favorite spot to put in. This is located by an old “den of iniquity” called Pirate’s Cove. While it is now closed, I would liked to have seen it back in the day. OK. From the parking area (which by the way has always been safe) you put in and have miles of outstanding fishing and touring spots. If you head east, you will find several creeks, islands and oyster bars with nice deep cuts. The area varies from flats to rocky bays. Again, a good area to take a GPS or compass, as it is confusing. All of the areas around Ozello seem to grow some truly magnificent Reds. They tell me it has nothing to do with the proximity of the Power Plant.
Going to the west and north, you have the Gulf and some beautiful grass flats, as well as, many islands. Fishing the cuts and channels and the honey holes in the flats, can be very productive, as well as a scenic paddle. So why does one even go to Ozello? Well, besides the already mentioned Reds, Ozello has great Trout, Cobia and Sea Bass. It even offers spots to fish for inshore Grouper, in the springs and out in the bays. What more could you want?
So, if you’ve just started kayaking or you’re an old hand looking for a new spot to try, I would highly recommend a trip or two to Ozello. This is one of the spots that I guide in, and have some nice pictures on my web site from there as well. I’ve also filmed these areas with Glen Pla several times for bright house networks’ The Average Angler Adventures.
I want to take a moment to wish us all a happy and healthy holiday, a prayer for our men and women in harms way, and wish each of you good fishing and good luck.
Well, once again, time to hit the water for this month. Coming up, more great Nature Coast destinations.
KAYAKING DESTINATIONS: OZELLO