Nature Coast Fishing Report – June 2022

Gag Grouper caught by Red ED

June is the unofficial start to summer here on the Nature Coast, it’s hot, humid and as the weatherman rarely predicts correctly, there’s a chance of afternoon thunderstorms.  But even more importantly, it’s the start of Gag Grouper season! With the warm water temperatures, I’ve already seen 85 degrees; the Gags will be out in the deeper cooler waters.  We’ve already been catching and releasing some very nice Gags and hopefully they’ll keep chewing when the season opens on June 1st! Last year we started fishing in around 45 foot of water, which for folks not familiar with this area is 45 miles offshore, and trolled our way out to 50 foot until we discovered where these tasty beasts were hiding.

If there isn’t lots of grass floating we’ll troll the Rapala X-Rap Magnum or the Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Minnow Deep Diver, it’s a sure way to attract attention and drag the Gags away from the structure.  If you haven’t visited the newly renovated and enlarged Sodium Fishing Gear in Crystal River, their knowledgeable staff will set you up with everything you need to help catch some groceries!  On days when there is too much grass floating to troll, try dropping live pinfish, grunts or frozen baits, sardines or threadfins and hold on tight!  Fishing in the clear and pristine water of the Nature Coast, not only can you see the structure (rocks or wrecks); on the bottom sometimes you can actually see your baits hit the bottom!  We always warm our guests to hold on tight when dropping a frisky pinfish to the bottom; you’ll know quickly if a hard fighting, tasty grouper is at home on the structure.  Turn their heads quickly and keeping smooth steady pressure is the key to success, let them play out and enjoy the battle!  If you want to “get your arms broken” come over to Citrus County and try “shallow water groupa digging” at its best!

Cobia Fever is still at a high pitch here on Florida’s Nature Coast!  Get a good chum line going and cover the water column with baits and wait for the curious dinosaurs to arrive.  Most folks don’t believe it but a Catfish is Cobia candy and we always put one on the bottom directly under the boat.  It’s hard to beat the adrenaline rush of one of these monsters screaming drag off the reel! 

Cobia Fishing Florida Nature Coast

The 38th Annual Cobia Big Fish Tournament is June 4th and 5th out of Crumps Landing.  Check the website for all the details,  It’s the largest tournament of the year here in Homosassa and limited to 200 boats.  If you’ve never experienced the spectacle of 200 boats running out this river at the same time, it’s a sight you’ll never forget.  Many of the homes on the river have early morning “adult beverage” parties both days just to watch the hectic shotgun start.  The weigh-in at Crumps Landing is also very exciting and a fun time to be in the ‘Sassa!

Florida’s 2022 Gulf Recreational Red Snapper Season opens June 17th  and runs consecutively through July 31st!  The season will reopen in the fall for the following weekends:  October 8 & 9, October 15 & 16, October 22 & 23, November 11 – 13, (Veterans Day Weekend), and November 25 – 27, (Thanksgiving Weekend).  This season applies to recreational anglers fishing from private vessels in Florida Gulf state and federal waters.  Gulf state waters are from shore to 9 nautical miles.  Descend Act now in effect, anyone on a commercial, for-hire, or private recreational vessel is required to have a venting tool or descending device rigged and ready to use when fishing for reef fish in Gulf of Mexico federal waters.

Let’s go CATCHING!!!