Fishing Report JUNE 2018
Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor (email@example.com)
Sea Hag JUNE Report
Scallops, gags and snapper are the headlines for this month. The opening of seasons for all three has been a great success for those fishing out of the Sea Hag marina. Early in the month, before things went wild, the Nauti-Girls tournament took up all the headlines. Lady anglers only, males could only be boat boys. There was a huge turnout, getting bigger and better each and every year. This year there were some monster catches, as you can see in the pictures below. With both red snapper and gag grouper season open, offshore became the hot ticket as water temps rose on the flats, driving the trout into deeper grass flats. Inshore lure fishing was also hampered by the usual summertime floating grass, which brought out the gold spoons, and Texas-rigged soft baits. Scalloping went very well; the heavy rains last month did cause some staining but so far there are plenty of clear areas. Here are some pictures from this month’s Sea Hag catches, including the winners of the Nauti-girl Tournament.
Fishing forecast for July
July is always an exciting month at the Sea Hag. The Tiki Bar is open, the Ship’s Store is geared up for business, there’s live music in town, and this year the fireworks are on the fourth, being launched from the bridge with it’s new decorative lights. On the water, scallops and offshore fishing will dominate. As a generalization, the further away from the river the clearer the water; as of the beginning of the month, the water was very clear from Rocky Creek south toward Bull Cove; to the north, from the Dallus Creek area up to the Bird Rack has been clear, especially on lower tides. Scallops have been clustered so far this year; there are a lot of them out there, but you may need to move around to find the mother lodes. Look for sandy patches, especially with mixed eel grass (the wide-leaved most common seagrass) and manatee grass (much more narrow strands). Best results have been coming in 3 to 5 feet of water. Especially in areas with heavy eel grass, the scallops move higher in the grass column as the sun gets higher, so heading out at daybreak most of the time isn’t helpful….but heading out in the early morning is essential for inshore fishing. The usual shallow water inshore fishing has been a little challenging because of the decreased salinity near shore, so trout fisherman need to look for deeper grass flats (from 5 to 10 feet) and fish with jigs and Gulp baits. Inside of 9 Mile Bank, and west of the Bird Rack have produced fish, as has the area around Little Bank. Deeper holes closer to shore have also been productive at times. Offshore, bottom fishing with squid or sardines over hard bottom has been producing some great gag grouper in 20 to 30 feet; red snapper are plentiful from 60 feet out when you can find structure.
This is a great month to visit Steinhatchee. The Sea Hag Marina has a fleet of rental boats, recently upgraded accommodations, dive gear and flags for scalloping, live shrimp, and all the tackle you would ever need for a great trip. Our guides are offering combination scallop and fishing trips; spend a few hours early finding some trout, then as the sun gets higher, head for the scallop areas. Come see us and make some family memories this month at the Sea Hag.
Captain Kyle Skipper M1fishing.com (352) 317-1654
During scalloping season Marker One solely focuses on scalloping and it has been paying off. Lots of smiles and limits out on the flats of Steinhatchee this year. The scallops are thick but in very focused locations this year so don’t be afraid to move around if you don’t see many. I have plenty of openings if you would like to have me show you where they are. I include all the gear you need , all you need to bring is food, drinks and sunscreen. Looking forward to seeing you on the water.
Captain Steve Rassel 352-359-5902 www.lastcastrass.net
Scallop season seems to open earlier every year. Hopefully the scallops can handle the pressure. So far there seems to be plenty to harvest. Both north and south of the river are working well They can be found in deeper water to the north. Fishing is still good. Managing to get limits or near limits of trout and redfish. Fish shallow early and move deep as it gets hotter in the middle of the day. I have days open for both scalloping and fishing.