With the temperatures teasing 80 in the last week or so, carolers might be singing "It's beginning to look a lot like 'springtime.'" The weather has however set the stage for above average inshore fishing and some awesome offshore fishing.
Inshore, most of the pinfish have left the flats and can be found just a few miles offshore, but the trout are still holding onto some of the areas of grass flats in our area.
Although it is common to find trout holding on the flats in the Horseshoe and Steinhatchee area, it is somewhat unusual here in Cedar Key to have such a good trout run this late in the year.
The larger trout, however, seem to be already in their winter pattern, relating more to the tidal creeks. Redfish seem to be holding out front longer than usual as well. Though most of the reds around the oyster bars out front are small, they offer some very good ultralight tackle opportunities, and seem to have a summertime appetite.
Offshore the grouper seem to be "on fire." To our south around Crystal River and Homasassa, impressive grouper catches are coming from less than 20 feet of water. I talked to an excited angler last week who said on one very calm day last week his group could cast to a set of rocks and see the grouper attack their diving plugs.
To our west and southwest, grouper are being caught in all depths, from 30 to 70 feet. With gas prices well above three dollars (for no apparent reason), the shallower rocks are much more appealing to most anglers. And the size of the fish may very well be the most impressive part, with loads of gags coming in around the 15-pound class.
The fishing pier out front is moving along well, as demolition is nearly complete. For reasons that I do not understand, the new pier is going to be five feet higher than the old one. I guess we are trying to get ahead on the "global warming, rising oceans" craze. Either way, it will make for some awesome sunset photos and another fishing opportunity for those who are boatless.
If you remember what happened on Dec. 7, 1941, please share it with the younger generation that they might understand. Even today, many of our brothers and sisters are on foreign soil protecting and preserving freedom, for us as well as others. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers at all times but especially during the holiday season.
Capt. Dennis Voyles is a fishing guide working out of Cedar Key.