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I came back home this week. I know that sounds funny but, that's what it feels like, ‘cause I go to the fish. I spent the last two months spread out from Suwannee to Horseshoe Beach and the latest was Waccasassa Bay. These winters put a huge whoopin’ on the fish in Cedar Key.
Me, being a 365 day/52 week charter captain, the last thing I need is an area to go dud on me. It's fun fishing different areas but it is awesome coming back to my backyard. I grew up right here in Cedar Key and really love my home waters. I love fishing back-water oyster bars and my biggest passion is fishing our barrier islands. I fish 40 miles north and 20 miles south of Cedar Key and there's nothing like our waters from March through November.
I had a double day. The other morning at daybreak, I met my first group at the ramp. We headed out into low, dark water. It had blown for a week (or something like that) and the water was a little slow to come back to high. But, as it did, the offshore water pushed in and cleaned up our flats and back country.
I fished inside and out to fill a ten fish limit, on the morning trip. We didn't have any big fish - just nice respectable keepers. But, we did have to work for it. We moved a lot and changed baits a few times. But, the ending was, we never caught a bunch nowhere but caught fish every-where. I really don’t think we fished a spot and didn't catch at least one trout.
The afternoon trip was started by picking up five short reds. Then, we moved back to the grass flats. We ended up with nine keepers and had to use all the same tactics as the morning trip. It showed the same results - move a lot and catch a little each time.
I guess, as the winds lay and stop swapping directions three times a day, then maybe the fish will start to school up so going out and 80 to 100 fish days will happen again. The bait is there, the water is warming and the fishing season is underway.
Things to expect are: for the trout to get better and group up; to spend time on the shallow flats (three feet is a good number) and use soft, simple colored baits. The redfish will get better in all the creek mouths and outside bars. Shrimp with a bobber and gold spoons will work best. Also, in the next few weeks the lady fish, blue fish and Spanish macs will be more plentiful.
Basically, our waters will come ALIVE... Have fun and be careful with the hard winds.
Capt. Danny Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 215-3686.