LAKE ROUSSEAU — Bill Burgess of Lake Rousseau RV and Fishing said crappie are spread out, move around to find them. Bluegill and shellcracker are doing well in 6-8 feet of water, being caught in good quality and decent quantity, biting on crickets with a slip bobber. Bass are on the bed and coming off the bed, most are fairly shallow next to the weeds. Find the potholes and use topwater bait to catch ones weighing 2-4 pounds. Catfish are spawning out away from the banks.
WITHLACOOCHEE — Captain Zack Lewis of Reputation Charters (352-302-7928), via Hook, Line and Sinker Bait and Tackle, said, "How’s everyone doing this week? With the fishing being as good as it is right now, we are still booking charters with everything going on right now. The trout and redfish bite has been very good as well as some very nice snook being caught. There are still plenty of nice sheepshead, grunts, hogfish and sea bass being caught in good numbers, and good-size ones as well.
"With the weather getting a lot better out and coming full swing into springtime weather, there will be a lot of people switching gears from hunting to fishing. Make sure you do the proper maintenance on your boat, motor and trailer before fishing a lot this spring, summer and fall. I see it every year where a lot of people don’t and they pay for it. I can tell you I have been there, and being in the business of trailering and using my boats we make sure that they are good to go.
"Check your hubs on your trailer; check your tires on your trailer and truck. Do a full maintenance on your engine from sparkplugs to engine oil and lower unit oil. Check the trim on your engine, make sure that the motors are working fine. On the inside of the boat make sure your registration is up to date as well as your fire extinguisher and flares. Always check to make sure you did not take your life jackets out. Check your batteries and run the engine to make sure that everything is running good.
"Hopefully this will remind you if you have not gone over any of the above. And that you don’t get stuck out there, so that you have more time to fish and less time working on your equipment. Tight lines and calm seas."
CRYSTAL RIVER/BARGE CANAL — Ed’s Tackle Shop reports snook are on the front edge of the island hitting on jerk shads. Trout are out on the grass flats around Tin Pan Gap. Mackerel are also showing up, free-line live shrimp.
HOMOSASSA RIVER — Bill Korade of Blue Water Bait and Tackle said there are a lot of Spanish mackerel around the mouth of the river, around Markers 12 and 14, and Markers 22 and 24. Use shrimp on a cork. A few nice trout are mixed in and sheepshead are on the Citrus County reef.
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 fishing has been spectacular since the warmer weather. The speckled trout and Spanish mackerel fishing has been very good near the inshore rocks. The tripletail have also decided to make a showing on the buoys near shore."
Captain William Toney (352-422-4141) said, "Great weather and good fishing is what anglers have been experiencing on the Big Bend. The area around the Bombing Range has been a traditional hot spot since I was young. I remember using Loves Lures while out there with my dad and uncles. One chore I preformed was to keep a small pile of cut shrimp, mullet or pinfish that we would tip our lures with. Using tandem lures we could catch two trout at a time, or a sea bass and mackerel or a blue fish and trout. It was fun fishing that can be experienced today.
"Back inshore the trout bite is good around rocky shorelines, points with redfish and snook mixed in together. Offshore there’s been a good mangrove snapper bite starting at 18 feet with some hogfish. High incoming tide will be mid-morning this weekend."