Fishing Report June 2015
Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sea Hag June Report
It’s here, and it looks to be a great one!!
Scallop season opened the last weekend of the month, and the results came rapidly. On opening day we saw boats with their limits by 11 AM on an initially rainy morning that kept people in port until around 9. All of the Sea Hag rental boats were out collecting the tasty treats. By the afternoon a steady stream of bivalve-laden coolers were lining up at the cleaning table. As the heat continued, more and more folks who were staying at the Sea Hag Cottages went into the brand new pool, and the Tiki Bar was rocking. It was a fantastic opening weekend. It should be a great three months of excitement at the Sea Hag Marina!
In terms of fishing earlier in the month, while trout are still being stubbornly difficult to find, there have been some very nice larger fish taken, which redfish have continued to be found in their usual haunts, around rocks, oyster bars and shorelines. Offshore, the red grouper bite was great and the one-week red snapper season provided some great table fare. We had two fun tournaments this month; the Nauti-Girls Tournament and the Doug Johnson Reeling for Kids tournament, one of the largest in our area. There were some great catches for both tournaments, as you can see in the following pictures.
Sea Hag Fishing Forecast for July
We are very excited about the number and the size of the scallops taken over the opening weekend and we think this will be the best season in the last four years. As a reminder about the rules and regulations for scalloping:
1. You must have a saltwater fishing license. You can get that online at: https://license.myfwc.com/Customer/InternetCustomerLookup
2. You must have diver down flags that meet certain requirements. They can be bought at the Sea Hag Ship’s Store.
3. Each person may keep 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meats. However, there is a boat limit of 10 gallons of whole scallops or ½ gallon of meats per vessel.
While there were scallops taken in a variety of locations, many of the boats were getting limits on the flat just north and a little west of the bird rack. Look for areas of mixed sand and grass. Unlike some years in the past, the scallops are currently in as little as three feet of water, and that should remain the case unless we get heavy rains that interfere with the salinity that scallops need to be healthy. The staff at Sea Hag can give you up-to-date information as things change with regard to finding your limits of scallops.
Along with our recently renovated Sea Hag Cottages for lodging, with our new pool, you can get everything you need for scalloping at the Sea Hag Ship’s Store. That includes masks, snorkels, fins, bathing suits and cover-ups, scallop bags, flags, and coolers. And we can also clean your scallops when you return. And you don’t even need to bring a boat. We have a fleet of 20 rental boats that rent for a very reasonable price. You’ll learn a lot about where to go and how things work.
In terms of fishing, we have everything you need for that as well, including a great selection of Penn and Shimano fishing reels.
Fishing-wise, the good new for offshore trips is that gag grouper are open starting July 1. Amberjack will still be closed until August 1. Inshore, your best bets are to be on the water early before the scallopers populate the grassflats. Be ready to fish with weedless lures, or using popping corks, because the floating grass will be getting heavier every day. Try drifting over mixed bottom flats with popping corks in 3 feet of water for trout.
Scallop season is our busiest time of the year, and it’s important that you make your reservations early for both our comfortable cottages and our rental boats. Give us a call as soon as you know you’ll be heading our way.
We also have some wonderful inshore fishing guides who do scallop charters, or can also do a mixed scallop/fishing charter. If you’re coming down for several days and want to get a good head start on the area, consider hiring a guide on your first day, then renting one of our boats to do it on your own.
Captain Steve Rassel 352-359-5902 www.lastcastras.com
June was a very good month for limits of trout. A lot of people were having trouble catching keepers but my crews managed limits or near limits all month. July is finally here and so are the scallops. You may have to work to get a limit but they are there and so worth it. Had a trip on Saturday and Sunday, the opening weekend of the season. We managed to catch a limit of trout and 5 gallons of scallops each day. Plenty of days open if you are interested in a fun day underwater! Combo fishing & scalloping trips available too.