LAKE ROUSSEAU — Bill Burgess of Lake Rousseau RV and Fishing said bass fishing has slowed down a little bit, though there are still lots of them just on the smaller side, biting on Texas-rigged Culprit worms in fire and ice or swim baits. There are a lot of smaller bluegill being caught on crickets or wiggler worms. Some 14-16-inch crappie are hitting on minnows under a bobber.
WITHLACOOCHEE — Captain Zack Lewis of Reputation Charters (352-302-7928), via Hook, Line and Sinker Bait and Tackle, said, "The fishing out of Yankeetown right now is on fire. Almost anything you want to catch is out there, just waiting on you to go fishing. With Thanksgiving this week, if you have time or have a friend or family member or kids, get them out fishing. The grouper, trout, snook, redfish, tripletail and Spanish mackerel are out there for the taking just waiting for a free ride to the dock. If you’re looking for a day of fishing and it’s looking like there is a cold front pushing down, the day before the fish are generally on fire.
"There have been tons of trout around in good numbers, as well as redfish. If you’re after grouper and want to get some trout go out in the morning for your grouper and on the way in look for your tripletail. They will be free-floating or hanging on grass on a number of the stone crab traps. If you spot a tripletail I like to use free-lined shrimp with a 20-pound leader and a 2/0 circle or offset Owner J hook. Once you find a tripletail throw past them and slowly reel your shrimp to them. If you have one interested they will slowly disappear and head down toward your shrimp. Make sure they eat it good and seat the hook and then you will have a good fight on your hands, and even better table fair. Hope this little tip helps you this weekend. Tight lines and calm seas."
CRYSTAL RIVER/BARGE CANAL — Ed’s Tackle Shop reports trout are biting in 3-5 feet of water on D.O.A. Lil Johns or live shrimp under a popping cork. Inshore grouper fishing is still good around the scattered rock piles and Barge Canal, catch them either casting or trolling with FMAG15 or FMAG18 Rapalas. Snook are along the river in the back creeks, hitting on live shrimp or cut mullet.
HOMOSASSA RIVER — Bill Korade of Blue Water Bait and Tackle said there is good redfishing around the outer islands, use live shrimp, cut mullet or light-colored plastics. Mangrove snapper are in the spring, being caught using live shrimp under a popping cork. Grouper is excellent in 15-18 or 30-35 feet of water, go with Spanish sardines or thread-fin herring. There are a few trout in Mason Creek, try dark-colored plastics.
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, "The speckled trout have a made a good showing around the kelp beds in front of Fort Island Trail Beach. We have been targeting them with white jerk baits with a nose hook with no weight. Throwing that bait as far as you can across the kelp beds and then retrieving it with a slow twitch, twitch, pause method has given us the best results. The incoming tide has been the best tide for the speckled trout."
SALT RIVER — Twin Rivers Marina in Crystal River reports redfish, snook and trout are biting on live shrimp. Check out water conditions by visiting www.twinriversmarina.com to view a live video feed.
Captain William Toney (352-422-4141) said, "Looking at a week of Thanksgiving, we have a lot to be thankful for on the Big Bend. One is a good fishery that must be maintained and protected for our future generations. Two, plenty of area that anglers can stretch out and find some space even on busy weekends and three, it might get cold but we aren’t drilling holes though ice to catch some fish.
"Look for trout to be in the creeks near deep water but sunning on the edges during the warmest part of the day. Glow soft plastics with a chartreuse jig head are a good choice of bait. Redfish are very near the same location and as I’ve wrote in the past looking for jumping mullet won’t help you find them now. There will be a few mullet jumping here and there but most of them have the spawn on there mind so as they school to make the annual run offshore it will have nothing to do with a good redfish spot.
"I like to fish keys on the incoming high tide that run east and west. The reason is that a key like this will block a north wind and collect the southern sun. Coves with dark bottom will heat the cool water and create a winter time bite. Offshore the gag grouper bite is strong at 30 feet. Live bait or sardines will get the bite. High incoming tide this weekend will be very early morning or late evening."