Area Fishing Report

John Patton
Special to The Star-Banner

Tip of the week: With the weather getting cooler, bass will be moving to shallower waters, according to Anglers should, too.

1. Yankeetown/Waccassa: Jim Zaloga of Captain’s Cove Outfitters writes cobia and kings are around. A live pinfish on a cork or maybe a black Hogy eel have been working for the Cobia, while a live pinfish on a cork and a shiny mackerel lure has been doing the trick for the Kings. Both Permit and Pompano are showing up at longpoint. Use a live shrimp.

2. Crystal River/Homosassa: Capt. William Toney writes that he’s looking forward to the month of October on the Big Bend. The water temperatures are prime for almost every inshore and offshore fish that swims in the Gulf. By the end of the month we'll be eating stone crabs that we catch ourselves or buying them at a local fish house. Trout will be in the bays close to river and creek mouths. Using popping cork rigs will get the bite but topwater plugs are a fun way to put some fish in the boat. The floating grass is generally gone so working a plug with a "walk the dog" action is easier. Toney said he likes using his conventional reels for top-water action but spinning reels work just as well.  With a spinning outfit he likes a medium action 7-inch rod because they are more stiff and easier to set the hook. When a trout takes the plug they usually will catch themselves, but when a redfish rolls up on it their mouths are down turned, so it's best to feel the weight of the fish before setting the hook. When a snook hits it most of the time it's a done deal because of their bucket-sized mouth. A  good angler told Toney once to just shut his eyes and wait for the pull, but then he said “it's watching the strike that makes it so fun.” The inshore grouper bite is strong now. Toney said he has heard of reports that some anglers have run out too far and had to run back in to catch some grouper. Not a bad problem, save some gas. Casting and trolling plugs are the best baits, but if you have to, a live pinfish works. The same inshore rocks also have plenty of mangrove snapper, grunts and a few flounder biting on live shrimp. Incoming tide will be mid-morning this weekend.   

3. Withlacoochee: No update.

4. Orange Lake/Lochloosa: Visit for updates.

5. Ocklawaha River: Liz at Fat Daddy’s reports that cooler waters are bringing in more specks, and fishermen have been using minnows and jigs to catch them. Those looking to catch bass have been using mostly shiners.

6. Salt Springs: According to Liz at Fat Daddy’s, anglers have been out often looking for specks. The baits of choice generally have been minnows and jigs. Some bass are being caught with shiners, too.

7. Forest Lakes: Liz at Fat Daddy’s reports that most anglers have been seeking specks of late. They have been around more as the water has begun to cool. Minnows and jigs have been the baits of choice. Some have been fishing for bass, using mostly shiners as bait.

8. Lake Weir: Liz at Fat Daddy’s reports that specks have been biting of late with minnows and jigs being the baits used most often. Some anglers have been fishing for bass, and the primary bait of choice has been shiners.

9. Harris Chain: Bass often can be found here in the open water, according to The canals have them at times, too. Many catches often weigh in between nine and 11 pounds. Specks also have been found here since the weather cooled the water.

10. Panasoffkee/Tsala: No update.

11. Astor Park: No update.

12. Ponce Inlet: Redfish have been biting all over Ponte Inlet and New Smyrna Beach, according to Most big bull redfish have come in upwards of 20 pounds with some coming in as big as 40 pounds. A lot of snook also have been caught in New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet with most using live bait but some using soft plastics. Generally, the snook have been between 26 and 34 inches. Several tarpon in the 50-75 pound range have been caught in New Smyrna Beach, as well.