LAKE ROUSSEAU — Bill Burgess of Lake Rousseau RV and Fishing said the Hydrilla has started to come up, so anglers have to pull the fish out of the grass. Bluegill is decent along the edge of the grass in 5-6 feet of water, using wiggler worms and crickets with a bobber. Crappie is in the same area, but only a few and not in good sizes. Catch bass with wild shiners, or also try a large, Texas-rigged worm floating over the grass beds. A few are also biting on poppers away from the weed beds.
WITHLACOOCHEE — Captain Zack Lewis of Reputation Charters (352-302-7928), via Hook, Line and Sinker Bait and Tackle, said, “The red snapper and grouper bite remains great, just having to run a little farther. Catching a lot of mangrove snapper, cobia and some lane snapper, as well. The snook, trout and redfish bite inshore remains great as well, catching a lot of trout on pinfish, and snook and reds on live shrimp and mud minnows. Get out and go fishing.”
CRYSTAL RIVER/BARGE CANAL — Ed’s Tackle Shop reports trout in 4-6 feet of water, biting on live shrimp or MirrOlure Lil Johns. Redfish are out around the mangrove islands and oyster bars, going for live shrimp or cut mullet. Grouper are in 60-80 feet, hitting on Spanish sardines and thread-fin herring. Cobia inshore and offshore can be caught using artificial eels in black or light colors, or try live pinfish.
HOMOSASSA RIVER — Bill Korade of Blue Water Bait and Tackle said snook and redfish are around the outer islands, going for live shrimp or cut mullet. Trout are holding in 10-12 feet, use a jig head with a light-colored plastic or live shrimp. Offshore, the grouper is biting on thread-fin herring or Spanish sardines. Red snapper in out in 80 feet, use live pinfish or Spanish sardines on the bottom.
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, “Scalloping season comes July 1 and we are looking to have a great season this year. Reports are showing good numbers being found in a short amount of time looking. Everyone deserves to try out the Easter egg hunt of the sea, so come on down to Crystal River and give it a try.
“Offshore we have been getting large gag grouper in 20-35 feet of water using live pinfish. There was even a small showing of mahi- mahi only 20 miles from shore here in Crystal River.”
Captain William Toney (352-422-4141) said, “As we get close to the first day of July the big question is ‘Are there any scallops out there?’ I myself have not been in the water to look but I have some very reliable sources who have really put in some time and had poor results. It doesn’t mean there is not any out there, possible out in deep water, maybe more in certain spots and I’m only talking about the Citrus County area. If we experience another summer of overharvesting a stressed population then some hard decisions need to be made. I feel we are cutting the eggs from the golden goose and I hope that this season proves everything I’ve wrote totally wrong.
“For catching something good to eat and abundant on the near-shore rocks and hard bottom go for grey grunts. The term ‘grits and grunts’ means invite me over! Although a non-regulated fish I generally will set a standard of size 12 inch and no more then 20 in the box for the whole angling crew. Use a 1/8th-ounce jig head with a fresh shrimp cast to the structure to get the bite. Moving water is best and expect other species like Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, black sea bass and flounder to join in the rally. High incoming tide will be early morning or late evening this weekend.”