Fishing Report for Homosassa, Florida
Capt. Mike Locklear
February 21, 2008
Homosassa - Saltwater Fishing Report
A Feburary Thing: Booking Trips & Flats Fishing
February and early March are the months to go out to the gulf and catch Sheepshead. They are sometimes called "convicts" because of their black and white vertical stripes. Their mouth is full of molars and ugly buckteeth. Setting the hook can be tricky as the nickname implies. The spiny dorsal fin saltwater bream are professionals at stealing your bait and run up to about 10-pounds.
Unlike the freshwater version these fish are great table fare. Along our west coast of Florida these fish are located around rock piles in depths from 6 to 12 feet of water and beyond.
We use fresh bits of shrimp to chum them up and the same is put onto a #1 hook with a small one-eight egg sinker.
7-foot medium action spinning rods with 10-pound line wound on a spinning reel is what I prefer. I like Power-Pro braid and find it unpleasing to use monofilament once you are used to the braid.
My choice spinning reel is the Spheros Model 3000 and the rod is a Shimano Teramar. I use this combination for redfish, trout, macks and blues. Basically anything under 10-pounds excluding grouper.
Most of my clients will switch off Sheepshead and target spotted sea trout beginning on March 1, opening day of trout the 11-month trout season. We will keep after them sometime around the middle of April. At that time we would rather target the hard fighting redfish and we usually try to fish for both species on a full day trip if the tides are favorable. However, a six hour trip for redfish is the preferred time I like to spend on the water. I also offer a 4-hour trip for those who prefer that.
On any given day in the mix could be Bluefish, Pompano and Spanish mackerel should the wind lay down enough to travel offshore to 10 feet of water, about 10 miles out. For the most part our shallow clear waters are made up of flat bottom and one can see redfish from a distance and sight fish those. Our Blues, Pomps, and Macks will come in closer as the water warms up to the mid 70ís.
We will use jigs, spoons, top water lures and cork rigs for everything except the Sheepshead. You probably would not want to come here in February to target Sheepshead alone, however, if you are in town and want to fish with me that would be an option. If our water temperature gets down in the high 50ís that is about the only game in town.
From mid-April to July we will be targeting tarpon on the fly rod or spinner. The big and mighty tarpon are king of the game fishes in my book. If you are an advanced fly rod fishermen that is a plus, but if you are just beginning donít hesitate to give it a try.
We will fish Homosassa waters until June 15. Then we will move up the coast to the Big Bend and Panhandle and fish through July among a very productive tarpon fishery where you are sure to get hooked up with the fish of your life. Heck if it is a tarpon they are all counted as fish of your life!
Go ahead and give me a shout if you are thinking about heading down this way and we will see if we can get hooked up on some fun fishing!
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