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Welcome folks to this week’s edition of “ Wishin I was Fishin”.
Every week when I sit down to write this column, I always think how much easier it is to catch fish, than for me to sit down and write about catching fish. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing this column, I love Cedar Key and I love talking fishing. But, writing and the whole imaginary part I haven’t exactly been known for. But, dadgumit, I do my best.
This week I’m gonna drop some helpful hints about our fishing seasons and ways to plan an inshore or offshore charter.
This is about the time that folks start making plans for spring break and all other spring getaways. So hopefully I can help. As our area enters March, it will start to show some kinda of weather trend and our water temps will begin to rise. Our water temps in March usually hit around low to mid-70s - this is the magic temp for our inshore world to explode. As bait reloads our flats all kinds of species join them. As that bait swing occurs, expect bluefish, Spanish macs, sharks, and most of all, Floridas number one targeted gamefish: the spotted seatrout.
This will continue until early summer or late May. As we click through May, expect some tarpon sightings and some cobia to pop up. This will bring a great mix to a already big menu of things to fish for.
As we head into late summer and early fall, our redfishing begins to get awesome as our fish school-up for spawning and are in big numbers. You can find Redfish in our area year-round but nothing can compete with the fall time.
Now, there are different ways to reach out for a guide for you day. I suggest doing your homework - the internet is a great place to gather info, but your local feedback is the truth. Talk with your condo manager, also pick guides with lots of local background and experience. When I first got my captain’s license I confronted one of our local business owners with experience in the fishing industry. Long story short, he told me just because I have my captain’s license didn’t make me a fishing guide.
As I’ve been around the industry now for almost ten years, I have learned and seen exactly what he meant - and buddy, so much truth was in that statement. I didn’t take offense at all. I knew I could catch fish and knew I liked dealing with people. It wasn’t but a year or so into charter fishing I started getting recommendations from his shop. But, long story short, he is right. There are a lot of certificate holders out there so do a ‘lil homework and make your money count. Lucky enough, Cedar Key isn’t a place that’s overloaded with this issue.
Now offshore is pretty cut and dry. We have grouper, snapper, rock bass and grunts. Those are all bottom fish that our local captians fish for. They move in a ‘lil when its cold and shift out some when its warming, but are there to catch year round. Also offshore, we have king Macs and bonita, some cobia and sharks. All those are more summertime pattern fish that most guides will play with but don’t really target unless the easy oppurtunities are there. We only have around five guides that work offshore here in town. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything bad about any off them. Again, just listen to the local owners feedback. They hear way more than me.
I hope this issue of “ Wishin I was Fishin” instead (ha-ha) helps with any planning and, as always, my line is open. Call if ya need any advice about our cool little town.
Capt. Danny Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-215-3686.