WITHLACOOCHEE/RAINBOW RIVERS/LAKE ROUSSEAU — Captain Bob Jewett out of Angler’s Resort in Dunnellon reports folks are doing real well fishing for bass on the upper Withlacoochee, using wild or domestic shiners. Bluegill are also biting on wiggler worms. On the Rainbow, the bluegill are going for the wigglers and crickets, as well as small jigs. Bass are being caught on wild shiners and domestic shiners in watermelon red or green pumpkin.
LAKE ROUSSEAU — Bill Burgess of Lake Rousseau RV and Fishing said bluegill and shellcracker are hitting on wigglers and crickets, and one report had them going for hot dogs. Work close to the drop-offs and up to the edge of the weed lines. Catfish are being caught on cut-up mullet and one angler used chicken livers soaked in Kool-Aid. Folks are catching bass on the topwater with Devil’s Horses and buzz baits, and out in 6-10 feet of water use Bandit 100 crankbaits.
WITHLACOOCHEE — Hook-Line and Sinker Bait and Tackle in Inglis reports for redfish, fish inshore structure; use cut mullet, mud minnow or live shrimp. Flounder are being caught, use live shrimp on a jig head. Cobia are being seen and caught well inshore. Fish live bait on the bottom, also site fish. Red snapper season is in full swing, fish 60-80 feet of depth, use dead or live bait. For grouper fish, try structure beyond 25 feet, live pinfish on the bottom. Look out for tripletail, pitch live select shrimp or soft baits.
HOMOSASSA RIVER — Bill Korade of Blue Water Bait and Tackle said trout are in 12 feet of water or better, use light-colored jigs or shrimp on a jig head bouncing the bottom. Offshore, there are good red snapper reports in 70-80 feet of water, use Spanish sardines or thread-fin herring. Inshore, snook are along the outer islands, try live shrimp.
SALT RIVER — Twin Rivers Marina in Crystal River reports grouper and red snapper being caught. Top baits are shrimp, thread-fin herring and squid. Check out water conditions by visiting www.twinriversmarina.com to view a live video feed.
Captain William Toney (352-422-4141) said, “Hot weather has put trout fishing down except for early morning. Look for good current around outside bars like at the Fort Island Beach and outside of the Chassahowitzka River. Popping corks with dark-colored jigs will get the bite. Another option is to head to deeper water and use a 1/8th-ounce jig head and electric chicken soft plastic starting at 10 feet. Incoming tide is best for redfish on the western-facing points using live pinfish. Look for large patches of jumping mullet for the most productive areas. I like to use a live pinfish with the tail clipped off and free-lined with the current.
“Offshore anglers are having better conditions than last week to target red snapper out to 60 feet. Gag grouper are also biting good in the deeper depths. Back up close on the near-shore rocks in the 10-foot depths good numbers of keeper-sized mangrove snappers are schooling on good structure. Slack tide is the best bite and chumming with bits of shrimp will get them fired up. I like to use a 2/0 Owner tail hook first in a live shrimp and free-line it with the current. Letting the shrimp drift the same speed as the current is very important because mangrove snapper scrutinize the bait before they take it. Incoming high tide will be midday this weekend.”