That's right. It's a redfish haven around Cedar Key Florida. They chose this region to stay in this fall season. They are all over the oyster bars and little cuts leading up into the backwaters. Around grassy points in shallow water 3 to 4ft deep. We're limiting out on redfish each trip now-a-days. I must be living right 'cause I've had redfish for dinner twice this week.
Here are some pictures of folks with their catches from the last week, sept. 25 thru Oct 3. First pic is of Kate from Alaska with a huge speckled trout. That monster is 26.5in. long. Caught it right up next to an oyster bar at Seahorse Key fishing for reds.
Next pic is Kate's son Hoss with a nice red. Next pic is of Ed with his 'bucket list ' redfish. We fished and all fisher-folks caught redfish except Ed.
On the last stop with a few minutes left, Ed caught the biggest redfish of all. Ain't that fishin' for you?
Next pic is of the girls of the Villages retirement community in central Florida.
They caught their limit of redfish and more we had to release.
We're having another hurricane to watch this week, Oct. 5 thru 9th, then the water will calm down enough to get out again. The water should have cooled a degree or two and the fishing will be just that much better.
It's warming up alright. We've had a few days when it reached a hundred degrees in this region of NW central Florida. It's always hotter in the cities. It's a few degrees cooler out floating and fishing on water 82 to 84 degrees F. The temperature of the water around the Cedar Key area lately has been between 82 and 85 degrees. That's not too bad especially with the Bimini top up and a little breeze blowing. The shade with the wind makes a lot of difference.
That's how it was June 21st as myself and 4 fishing folks motored around the flats and fished over the grassy bottom. We fished for speckled trout for the first part of our 4-hour trip. Ended up with 8 'keepers'. A keeper speckled trout is a trout between 15" and 20" long. Each of you can keep 5 trout. 1 of those 5 can be over 20". The FWC, (Fish and Wildlife Commission) doesn't want you to keep the juvenile fish or the big breeders. Just the ones in between. Plenty of those.
After the tide rose up enough we cruised over to the edge of Deadman's Key. One of the smallest keys in the Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge. Its surrounded by oysters. An oyster bar is a world in itself. Fish and crabs and shellfish big and small live all over and around the bar. Redfish feed on all that.
We tossed out cut up pinfish and weighted down our baits so they would lay on the bottom just at the edge of the bars and waited just a few short minutes before a redfish picked up Claudia's bait and really gave her a jolt of 'red power'. Line was peeling off the reel quickly and lots of it. I had set the drag of the reel pretty snug so I knew it had to be a big red. Then he came to the surface over the edge of the partially submerged bar and thrashed around, tossin' water and showing off his big tailfin. Then down again and ripping off more line.
The rest of the crew had their lines in and yelling all different encouragements. It’s nice when folks pull their line up and out of the way when someone has a big, special fish on. The red went up one side of the boat and then back down. Splashin' and thrashin'. Finally, we had it alongside and I dip netted it up and into the boat. There is a legal slot size for redfish too. Its 18" minimum to 27' maximum length. Don't you know that beautiful creature was 28" long. I measured it 3 times. Sure enough it was too big to keep.
This fish fought hard and long. It was tired and would likely have turned over on its side and died in the water, if I had tossed him overboard like a catfish and gone on about my business. You could tell it was weak so I held it under tail and head just under the surface of the water and moved it back and forth forcing water over its gills and gently flexing its gills open with the tips of my fingers. I had a light grip on its tail and could feel a slight flexing so I kept moving it back and forth and then I felt a strong muscle from the tail and then he blasted off and away from me and back down and out of sight. It took 3 full minutes but he was well recuperated.
We all clapped and yelled goodbye. We caught 2 more reds there. One was 17.5" and the other was 17". Can you believe it? No keeper reds. We anchored up and rode back to the dock where I filleted their trout and they said they would see me again in the fall season.
The one good picture I got was Claudia Leedy with her redfish. She was tired too so I held it up for the pic. (I didn't have to resuscitate her). Folks, the reds are finally showing up in all the easy spots here in Cedar Key Florida and I'd love to fish with you.
Call me at 352-221-5463 and we'll go get 'em. thanks, Capt. Dan
I have a big wide pontoon boat, real comfy, call me at 352-221-5463 and we'll go get 'em.
Hi folks, the water temperature is already up to 73 degrees F here in Cedar Key Florida and the trout and Spanish mackerel are really thick over the 'flats'. That's about 4 to 5 ft. of water with grassy sand bottom.
I took a family of 5 out March 18th and we really slammed 'em. We caught trout on jigs with soft plastic lures and fresh shrimp and cut bait. The cut bait was pinfish filleted and cut in strips. Imagine a strip of fresh fish about 4in. long and on one side are the scales glistening in the bright sunlight, giving off multiple colors and wiggling in the current and giving off a great scent. That's pretty good bait. I call it 'Mother Nature’s jig'. We caught our largest trout on the cut bait. There are fishermen who use only artificial lures and disdain the use of shrimp or cut bait. Fact is the fish are so thick now-a-days they would bite on most anything.
We caught about 20 undersize trout and released them and 22 plump 'keeper' size speckled trout. A keeper fits in a slot 15in. up to 20in. You're allowed 5 each with 1 of the 5 being over 20 in. My group ended up with 44 fillets in 2 ziplock bags.
That's Bonnie Kaye with a 15.25 in. silver trout. The silvers are mixed in with the speckled trout. Silver trout are just like speckled trout, they just don't have any speckles. No dots on their sides or backs.In the picture next to Bonnie is Joe Skok with a beautiful 15in. Pompano. He gave it to me and I promptly ate it that evening. The next pic is of Bonnie's son from way up in Illinois. He had never fished in the Gulf of Mexico. That's a 19in. speckled trout he's holding up. He said they were expecting another snow fall soon back home. Ain't it great in the sunshine state?
We left the dock to go fishing that Friday morning and stopped the 1st time and caught some real good ones. It slowed up a bit there so I moved the pontoon over a quarter mile and we didn't leave that spot for 2.5 hours. Folks, the bite is on. Look for a sunny day and call me at 352-221-5463 and we'll make arrangements to meet here in Cedar Key Florida and go out on my 24ft pontoon boat and have your own fishing adventure.
Last Wednesday the 20th of April I took five women out fishing among the keys of Cedar Key Florida. Just little 'ol me and five women from the Villages community in central Florida. It was a little too windy to go out in the open water so I kept close in where it was a little less choppy. As the day progressed and the tide rose and the wind died off to a light breeze. With the water up high and a soft wind the fish started to snatch everything we threw out. For bait we used old faithful fresh shrimp and gulp lures and strips of pinfish we caught. All baits worked to catch big speckled trout and a few mackerel also.
The girls kept me pretty busy netting fish up and into the cooler and picture taking and slicing up pinfish.
The women did a fine job with hauling in 13 nice speckled trout and 2 big mackerel. I cleaned all of them back at the dock and the girls from the Villages took home many fresh fillets. I hope they ate them all that night. They're best fresh, sure enough.The 1st pic is of Pat in classic fighting pose and the next one is Pat with a nice trout. Ida and Judy face out to sea awaiting a strike on their rods and then Judy holds up her big speckled trout. Look at Helen from Minnesota studying her line as it twitches and tugs out and down.
I have a big wide pontoon boat, real comfy, call me at 352-221-5463 and we'll go get 'em.
Hello folks, it's the end of September and the water temps are cooling down a little and the fish are biting pretty good. We're catching redfish around the oyster bars and the speckled trout are showing up in good numbers over the shallow 'flats' here as well. Mackerel charge thru the many pods of bait fish scattered around the keys. It's a beautiful sight to look on all sides of the boat and see schools of bait jumping and thrashing. Lots of bait around means great fishing.
All the factors are falling into place here to attract a lot of fish. The water temp falling from the high 80's into the low 80's, bait fish showing up everywhere, comfortable weather for us floating along on my 24ft. pontoon boat with the Bimini up. It makes for a nice fishing platform and real comfortable for 6 folks.
Call me at 352-221-5463 while conditions are 'just right' for this Fall season and we'll pick a good day and go out and catch us some fresh fish. I'll fillet 'em all back at the dock.