WITHLACOOCHEE/RAINBOW RIVERS/LAKE ROUSSEAU — Captain Bob Jewett out of Angler’s Resort in Dunnellon reports crappie doing well up the Withlacoochee biting on yellow/yellow jigs and minnows. Bass are hitting on wild and domestic shiners. On the Rainbow, bluegill are being caught using wiggler worms and crickets. On Lake Rousseau, the bass are biting on wild shiners.
LAKE ROUSSEAU — Bill Burgess of Lake Rousseau RV and Fishing said folks are still catching crappie, though not many as they seem to have moved out. Best results come from trolling minnows and jigs. Quite a few bluegill have been caught off the docks, use crickets or wiggler worms under a bobber. A lot of smaller bass are hitting on Rapalas or Devil’s Horses as they move closer into the bank. They’re also biting on topwater using Texas-rigged Culprit worms in fire and ice.
HOMOSASSA RIVER — Bill Korade of Blue Water Bait and Tackle said a few redfish are being caught around the outer islands using live shrimp or gold spoons. A few trout are outside around the Bird Rack area and south of the boundary markers toward Chassahowitkza. Offshore, grouper had been hitting in 30-35 feet of water on Spanish sardines or thread-fin herring.
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, “Speckled trout have been showing up in great numbers since our recent cold fronts. Throwing popping corks with MirrOlure Lil Johns on a 1/8th-ounce jig head in areas with kelp, patchy bottom and deep trenches have shown to be the most productive. This cold weather has also brought the large redfish into the many creeks that run from Crystal River to Homosassa. I have been sight-casting overslot redfish at the beginning of the incoming tide with a free-lined shrimp.”
SALT RIVER — Twin Rivers Marina in Crystal River reports redfish, trout, snook and Spanish mackerel 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 some significantly cooler weather this weekend and that can change up the way we’ve been fishing earlier in the week. Strong north winds can blow out most of our inshore waters to some treacherous rocky, shallow, motor-destroying depths. So how does an angler get their fishing fix? Well lucky for us there are many deep rivers up and down the Big Bend that have fish, shelter and safe channels. It’s been cool enough to send redfish, snook, trout, black drum, sheepshead and mangrove snapper to look for warm water. Live shrimp on the bottom is the best bait.
“Each river has its own characteristics, from spring fed to deep and rocky. The deep stretch near the mouth of the Stienahachee River is well known for catching winter trout. Homosassa and Crystal Rivers are well known for winter snook fishing. Even feeder creeks that run off of our major rivers have their own unique structure and fish to catch. Our tides this weekend will be low and lower with incoming tide at dark in the morning and dark in the evening.”