Friends: What’s my name? Fishing out of the Homosassa River this past Saturday, 9/23, with Captain Jody Johnson, a Homosassa native, we had one of those days ALL anglers dream about! We didn’t reach Homosassa Bay until around 11 AM, which was fine as the tide was still going out. We drifted and fished the bay, while waiting for the tide to turn, hoping to catch our limit of Speckled Trout, for a plane ride back to my freezer in SoCal. The only Trout caught were to small to keep and released, but we’ll be back there in the Winter-time. We did manage to catch every TRASH fish in the Gulf, except a Stingray. This kept us busy until the tide started back in and we headed for some rocky points surrounded by oyster bars that Jody said had been holding big Redfish schools with HUGE fish over the 27 inch limit, for two or three weeks. As this was Saturday and the weather was awesome, 85 degrees and sunny with just a slight breeze, there were plenty of other boats fishing. We go CATCHING not fishing! The tide was starting to move with a good current across the rocks as we reached the first point and the water was crystal clear. We both tossed live shrimp under corks towards the shore and let them drift with the current. Almost instantly we both started catching little Rat Redfish, under the 18 inch slot limit. We had to catch and release at least 20 maybe even 30 Redfish! We were catching them so fast we couldn’t count them! There was another boat sitting on the next point Jody wanted to fish but he noticed they weren’t fishing it right and after they left we moved “Rosalita” within casting distance. What happen next can only be explained as an absolute frenzy behind the boat for the next couple of hours. The water was still crystal clear and we could see schools of HUGE Redfish moving back and forth across the oysters and rocks, 10 feet behind the boat! Jody hooked up first and line just screamed off his reel. When he got the fish close to the boat, we could see the school following the hooked fish just like a school of Dorado would! Of course I threw a shrimp right in the middle of the school and we had our first of who knows how many double-headers! Most of these Redfish were over the 27 inch limit and we fought and released them for two hours until our biceps were burning and we were out of bait! Jody did throw a Pinfish to the school and after hooking another MONSTER, we could see other Redfish trying to eat the Pinfish out of the hooked fish’s mouth. It was just unbelievable and we giggled like two little kids, playing hokey form school to go CATCHING! We guessed that we had to catch and released at least 60 Redfish total but it could have been easily more! We did keep our allotted two Redfish, one was 27 inches and the other was 26 inches, and I’m glad to report they did make it to my freezer in SoCal, joining the other two Redfish, I caught the previous two days! Let’s go CATCHING, Captain Red ED
PS. I spoke with Jody today and while he was back on that same point on Sunday caught and released a 43 inch Redfish!!! He could see the schools of Redfish pushing wakes as the came in from the Gulf!