I went scouting Monday on a day off in Steinhatchee Florida. Conditions looked tough with 20 plus MPH winds. Tides were favorable in my opinion with a negative low in the morning and an incoming tide. I always fish places I’ve never been on these days so they can often be humbling. After a hard wet ride and a few dead zones….. well Lord Almighty I found a new spot. In less than an hour had multiple decent slot reds and some impressive trout. I was using pinfish and shrimp on a 0/1 circle hook on a free line and a Top Dog Jr. suspended bait along with a black with chartreuse tail DOA with a black 1/4oz jig head.
I went to scout some spots on Rodman 10/24. Fishing was real good with 15 bass up to 5lbs in about 4 hours. No big girls but, that’s scouting. Many of these fish are already have growing bellies as you can see in the pics. Makes for good padding on that PB we all look for. Water temps are down around 70-73 degrees so you crappie guys should start seeing them schooling up soon.
Plan your trips now as dates fill up fast in the winter!
I had the pleasure of taking the Gilbreath family out on Rodman Reservoir. This time of year I switch from mostly saltwater fishing to mostly bass fishing as between now and Easter is the best time of year for true MONSTER BASS.
The trip started in fairly dense fog with a good morning bite right off the bat. We had 20 fish 2 1/2 hours into a 4 hour trip. After that the bite died out to nothing. Managed 5 plus and a 6 as the best for the day. In February those would be pretty average fish but, always solid fish.
So many things going on just before the most wonderful time of the year! Not necessarily Christmas but, fall and winter in general. I fish so many locations and types of fishing it’s hard to contain my anticipation. Lets start with BASS fishing. The peak time to bust the big girls is from around Halloween to Easter. Typical trips for me are 4 hrs AM with 10 to 15 fish on average with rarely a fish under 4 pounds and usually 2 or 3 over 7 pounds. Most seasons clients catch 25 to 35 fish over 10 and many tapping the bottom 10 pounds. Close enough to tell your friends 11. Ha ha. I don’t go for numbers I use huge shiners for big fish. I will accommodate artificial trips but, advise to use some shiners as well.
Saltwater changes with cooler weather as the GATOR trout start moving into the grass flats of Steinhatchee and creeks of Palm Coast. West coast the sheepshead come in to spawn in big numbers and shallow water grouper are always a great time. I will miss the tarpon and snook when fishing Palm Coast on the East Coast but, enjoy the black drum, trout and sheeps head off bridges and shell bars there. Winter in general means bigger and better and most days much more comfortable temperatures.
Best, Capt. Chris Davy
While the big draw in Steinhatchee this time of year is scalloping, there’s still some good fishing to be found. Recent trips have produced 15 to 30 trout, sea bass, flounder, and for fun plenty of jacks and lady fish. Yes reds too. Expect the trout to mostly be 13 to 14 inches. That’s a bummer if your meat hunting, lots of fun action if you’re releasing. That doesn’t mean some quality fish aren’t in the mix. You’re just working harder for them than in the winter months.
Remember to visit my friends for boat slips and boat rentals at Steinhatchee Marina at Deadman Bay and mention Captain Chris Davy sent you.
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Scallop season is in full swing till Labor Day with daily limits doubling July 1st. If you’ve never experienced scalloping you’re missing out a great day of outdoor on the water fun. If you can swim you can scallop. The better your snorkeling and swimming skills the more likely you will be successful but, even beginners enjoy seeing all sorts of shallow water species like various fish, crabs, urchins, starfish and more. After a stormy start opening season the weather cleared and off to the scallop grounds folks were bound. Many limits were taken back. There are plenty of people who will clean your catch for nominal costs.
It’s not much of a secret that winter is Monster Bass time in Florida. The big girls are moving into pre spawn and spawning patterns now. The hot bite continues till around Easter with February usually the peak of the season. The really big fish are caught on natural wild shiners and this creates a unique challenge. Bait is reserved well in advance and becomes scarce as the season goes on with thousands of anglers placing orders with the bait guys who catch them daily. Last minute trips are rare as all us guides are booking now and it’s almost impossible to get bait without a weeks notice. many folks are disappointed thinking they can just book a trip when they get to Florida for their winter vacation. If you have an angler on your list consider a gift of a fishing trip and purchase a gift certificate. Remember to have a date in mind, or in my case they’re good anytime for a year providing I’m not already booked etc. It’s time for your bass of a lifetime!
Captain Chris Davy
Southern Fried Charters 386-986-7914
We have added a new sightseeing eco tour on the Silver River up to beautiful Silver Springs. The trip is around 3 hours and it’s common to see alligators, all types of birds, turtles, big fish, manatees and even monkeys. Come enjoy the scenic beauty from a private boat. 386-986-7914 Capt. Chris Davy Southern Fried Charters Southernfriedcharters.com
Glad folks are back to summer vacations and booking trips with me and my brother and sister guides. A few tips when booking….. with children remember the trip is about them and especially inshore and bass fishing your trip will be dependent on skill levels and keeping youngsters busy. That means lots of small fish. That doesn’t mean no big fish but it’s tougher. Another tip is it’s Florida, trying to fish past 4 hours is dicey due to our storms and the heat is ridiculous and real hard on children. Making the day fun and about the kids having a good time and family memories is what it’s about! Tight lines and great fishing.