Pepperfish Key Charters of Steinhatchee Florida
PO Box 752 Steinhatchee Florida 32359  °   1-352-498-9963
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Nature Coast Magazine Fishing Articles
By Captain Steve Kroll

November and December on the Nature Coast can be fantastic. In November of 2003 we had some great fishing trips. Speckled Trout, Redfish, Rock  Bass, super sized Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, Kingfish, Bluefish and others were the participants in the late Fall fishing bonanza. One notable trip found us counting the different species caught in one day. We reached the unbelievable number of 17 different kinds of fish. These included fish not usually kept for the table such as Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish, Sailcats that are great fun and pull hard too.

Talk about pull hard, the brood stock Reds found around the near shore sandbars in Fall will be a bonus catch to remember, especially on light tackle. When you do get bit by one of these swimming tractors, do your best to keep the fight as short as possible. Quickly snap a few photos and get her back in the water. Hold her tail, give a few back and forth pumps, and she will swim out of your hand to go her way and make more Redfish.

The weather last year was beautiful almost through November.  I recall wearing shorts fishing the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. The following weekend my party and I looked like we were going for a snowmobile ride instead of fishing in Florida. Cold and windy weather kept us close to shore for two days and catching trout in the river on the second day also provided a little break from stiff winds. This kind of fishing trip is normal for November and even December depending on how soon our waters cool.

What will this winter be like? I can remember wearing short sleeves fishing around Christmas Holidays. Well, whatever comes, we will do our best to stay on some fish, whether dressed like a day at the beach or dressed like we are going snowboarding. 

So enjoy this Fall on the water and be safe. Remember, when all else fails try white with pink tails.

Capt. Steve

September 2004

Where does a light tackle guide from the Nature Coast vacation? At this writing I am in Key Colony Beach in the Florida Keys. Our annual lobster trip has been fantastic. My wife, Ann and I decided we would like to have some lobster tails to go with our scallops and trout and redfish fillets!

The last party I had prior to the Keys trip was a redfish/scallop trip with the Thrift boys from Loganville, GA. We had a perfect 9:00 am tide. The tide was great for the neighborhood where I had been catching reds. We were there for the flood tide and fished it the first few hours of the outgoing tide. As I slowly idled up to the group of shell bars on this slick, calm and clear water morning, I told the guys how important it was to be quiet.  The reds would spook easy in these clear and slick conditions. There was a lot of mullet activity and that is usually a good sign. 

We started casting ½ ounce spoons and had a few bumps. I suggested they slow down their retrieve just a bit and raise the rod tip a little higher than the usual spoon retrieve position. Warm water redfish do not seem to hit quite as aggressively. If no success, change to a ¼ ounce spoon or a soft plastic Salt Water Assassin 1/8 or 1/16 ounce jig head and tail. Most any color of tail will do. The soft landing that you get with the jig and plastic tail can be helpful in slick and calm conditions. Again, keep the rod tip high and swim or retrieve the jig slowly with short pauses or rod tip drops to give the jig a little hopping action over the bottom. You will have more hang ups with this method but it can be very productive. Cast in the direction of the drift. It will help keep your tackle loss to a minimum. We caught three reds that morning - one oversized at 28 ½, and the others were 26 and 20. The 26 red was caught on a Saltwater Assassin plastic tail on a 1/8 oz. jig head.

About 11:30 am we moved to a scallop area I had selected and picked up our eight gallon limit, together with a few sand dollars and shells. We were back at the dock at 4:00 pm. Another day in paradise in a place we call the Nature Coast.

So enjoy the day and be safe. Remember, when all else fails try white with pink tails.

Captain Steve 

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