Nature Coast Fishing and Scalloping Report
Report Date: July 16, 2017
The Heat is on here along the Nature Coast. With average high temperatures hovering around 90° most anglers and especially fish will be in search of a reprieve from the summer heat. For those anglers looking for the best fishing action, early morning departures are a must this time of year as most of the best fishing action will occur during the early morning low light hours. Snook, Tarpon, Speckled Trout, and Redfish will continue to be our top targets this month as they actively feed early and often on a variety of live baits, artificial lures, and fly’s.
For those anglers that prefer casting topwater plugs NOW! is Prime Time for some exciting surface explosions. Early mornings and overcast days are perfect for targeting Snook, Speckled Trout, and even Tarpon on topwaters. These three species primarily feed on prey that reside on the upper portion of the water column making these baits ideal for targeting these big fish on the surface. Walk the dog style lures such as Mirrolure Top Dogs, Heddon Zara Spooks and my personal favorite Rapala Skitterwalks are prime top water baits for this time of year. The walk the dog motion of these lures drives surface feeding fish nuts as they mimic an injured baitfish. Most of these lures come in 3”-5” patterns and as the old saying goes “Big Fish like Big Lures”.
As the heat of the day kicks in savvy anglers will continue to have options both in and out of the water to fill a cooler. Anglers that are still interested in bending a rod once that sun comes up need to look no further than our near shore waters. As the sun rises and the water begins to warm both Speckled Trout and Tarpon will begin to move out of the backcountry and onto our grass flats. The deeper water combined with a faster current allows these flats to stay cooler during the summer heat. With most of our near shore depths averaging around 6-15ft of water these areas are perfect for free lining a pinfish or pigfish under a cork or blind casting Mirrolure Mirrodines or Lil Jon’s. Just don’t be surprised if you are geared up for Speckled Trout and a Tarpon grabs your bait. Prepare for the unexpected!!
If the summer heat is to unbearable to continue on with a great day of fishing think about jumping in the water for some of the best Scalloping Action found anywhere in Florida. The crystal clear waters off Crystal River and Homosassa are considered by many to be the “Mecca” for harvesting tasty bay scallops. Bay Scallops prefer our local waters due in part to the pristine conditions of our grass flats and sponge beds. These two distinctive bottom landscapes are highly sought out by scallop hunters as they make great habitats for scallops to live and feed.
Scalloping the Nature Coast is a great family friendly activity that everyone is sure to enjoy. The shallow waters ranging from 3-5ft are ideal for young and older swimmers and if its planned right scalloping during the low or slack tide will yield the best results.
With so much fun going on in and out of the water NOW is a great time to hit the water for a great outdoor adventure.
Capt. Kyle Messier