WITHLACOOCHEE/RAINBOW RIVERS/LAKE ROUSSEAU — Captain Bob Jewett out of Angler’s Resort in Dunnellon reports bluegill are being caught on the Rainbow, and a lot of them, biting on crickets and wiggler worms. On Lake Rousseau, bluegill weighing up to 1 1/2 pounds are all over, use wild shiners. Up the Withlacoochee and down on Lake Rousseau, lots and lots bass, weighing 5-7 pounds, are hitting at the docks on wild or domestic shiners, as well as rubber worms.
LAKE ROUSSEAU — Bill Burgess of Lake Rousseau RV and Fishing said bass fishing has been pretty good as they move off the shallows and on to the edge of the grass next to deeper water, 8-10 feet deep. Use topwater baits, worms and also crank baits. Bluegill are not real hearty, but they can be found next to the weeds and the breaks, biting on wigglers and crickets. Best to look for catfish at nighttime with a favorite catfish bait.
CRYSTAL RIVER/BARGE CANAL — Ed’s Tackle Shop reports red snapper are out in 100 feet of water, biting on squid. Grouper fishing is good using thread-fin herring and Spanish sardines. There are also a lot of sharks out there.
HOMOSASSA RIVER — Bill Korade of Blue Water Bait and Tackle said there are really good grouper reports coming offshore in 30-35 feet of water, use thread-fin herring or Spanish sardines. There are some nice mangrove snapper mixed in, as well. Red snapper is showing up in and around 50-55 feet of water. Snook and redfish are steady around the outer islands, biting on live shrimp or cut mullet. Trout are in 12-13 feet of water, hitting on dark-colored jigs or shrimp on a jig head.
KING’S BAY — Captain Louie Argiro of Florida Fishing Adventures (352-601-1963, www.floridafishingadventures.com), based out of Pete’s Pier in Crystal River, said, “With the opening of grouper season we are seeing great signs of inshore grouper in the Crystal River area. Using live pinfish and trolling large-lipped plugs has been the best way to target the biggest grouper on our rocks.
“Inshore we are seeing great signs of redfish around the St. Martins Keys and on the outer islands around Grey Mare Pass. Once again the bait of choice is the live pinfish as using shrimp won’t last long with the abundance of pinfish in the waters.
“As for the offshore side of things we are seeing good red snapper fishing but we are having to make our bites count. With the extremely clear water the fishing can be tough, but with the upcoming forecast we are optimistic on the fishing in the coming weeks. Tight lines.”