Capt. Rick Burns

Fishing report

Let’s go catch some grouper and kingfish.

We live in one of the best areas on the west side if not the whole state for grouper fishing. Several reasons come into play.

Our shallow water rocks in 5 feet to 15 feet of water for excellent grouper structure. And don’t forget the awesome offshore structure.

There is less pressure of boats and people because of the oyster bars, rocks and shallow extensive flats that intimidate a lot of folks. Don’t forget the middle grounds that have literally a smorgasbord of fish at times. Anytime you have an average depth of 75 feet  and then all of a sudden it drops off on a 150-foot ledge, there are going to be fish stacked up like cord wood. And that, by the way, is usually an overnight trip.

What about our many Nature Coast artificial reefs? A lot of the GPS numbers are public access. And more are obtainable from Sea Tow in Crystal River and Homosassa.

These are but some of the reasons why our neck of the woods are great for grouper hunters.

Now, if I wanted to pursue these gags and kings, I would want to know what type of boat is best. Or what kind of rods and reels to best utilize. Or what kind of tackle, plugs, hooks, line, weights, or baits to use. And most certainly I would like to have on hand a map of the area, and most assuredly some GPS numbers for an even better advantage.

Everybody knows, (at least the grouper diggers), that the much anticipated grouper season opened up July 1 and anglers have already seen good catches of “pullemus hardemus” coming to the cleaning table.

The latest report from my buddy Capt. Cephus Christian is that the good catches have been by trolling the stretch 35-foot plugs in 40 feet of water over good structure, such as rocks and rock ledges. He also reports that the red grouper fishing has been most productive dropping dead bait in 50-foot depths.

So get out and enjoy some great fishing and even better eating while the getting is good.

Capt. Rick Burns can be reached by visiting

Prep Zone

Get updates and player profiles ahead of Friday's high school games, plus a recap Saturday with stories, photos, video Frequency: Seasonal Twice a week

Unlimited digital access offer

To continue with unlimited access to Chronicle Online after this limited time trial click the button below. Offer expires September 30, 2019.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.