Category Archives: kayak fishing

September Report

September 26, 2016 Report.  First, a bit of bad news, as Tampa / St. Pete cleans up after spilling millions of gallons of sewage into Tampa Bay and a phosphate mining operation west of Tampa encounters a massive sink hole resulting in millions of gallons of polluted water flushing down into our precious aquifer.  Let’s be thankful we live in an area with lower population and a lower level of water quality problems.

The good news, of course, is that fall is just around the corner, along with some of the best fishing of the year.  I was out Saturday, and got 5 snook, four in the first hour after first light.  One was a bruiser, and the other 4 were in the 10-20 inch range.  If we can avoid a major cold spell this winter, next year could very well be the best snook season we’ve had around here.

I’ll be giving a presentation at the Fire-Up Citrus conference to be held October 6 at the Quality Inn on Hwy 486 in Hernando, where I’ll present some ideas for incorporating kayak fishing in the  county’s tourism program.  Everyone is invited to attend.

After Hurricane Hermine

September 9, 2016 Fishing Report.  Well, the remnants of Hurricane Hermine did a number on Crystal River and my fishing area.  Lots of debris all around the city with FEMA coming in to assess the damage.  My favorite restaurant adjacent to one of my favorite launch sites, Pecks Old Port Cove, was damaged pretty bad and is closed for repairs and Fort Island Trail out to the beach is closed.  I went out a few days ago and managed 3 redfish, however, it will take a few more days for the water to clear up and the floating grass to clear.  The next 2-3 months should be some of the best fishing of the year, so get ready.

Fishing Report

August 26, 2016 Fishing Report.  I haven’t been out much the last few weeks, deciding instead to sleep a bit later rather than putting up with the hot weather and slow bite.   The baitfish are starting to make their appearance, and reports of redfish starting to invade the coastal area will get me out more often.  The next few months should provide some of the best fishing of the year, so, like me, get off your duffs and head out there.

Florida Waters Condition

July 25, 2016.  The following letter to the editor appeared in the Citrus County Chronicle on this date.
Thanks, Governor Scott – your policies should go a long way toward boosting tourism, property values and prosperity in Citrus County.
Numerous recent articles in the Chronicle, Tampa Bay Times, Miami Herald and most other statewide newspapers have described the horrendous and worsening condition of Florida’s waters, and their effects on wildlife, coastal communities and local economies.  Headline stories have even made USA Today, CNN and other national media outlets.
Folks living under rocks may not have heard about Lake Okeechobee’s polluted water releases, and the resultant coca-cola colored water and toxic guacamole-like algae outbreaks covering beaches and estuarine areas on both sides of the State, or the new wave of manatee deaths in the Indian River Lagoon on the Space Coast, or the millions of gallons of untreated sewage recently released into the Tampa Bay area.  Not to mention the impacts to The Everglades from hindering the implementation of Amendment 1, although it’s becoming difficult to determine if it’s better to release more of Okeechobee’s water to revive wildlife habitat that has been drained extensively for farming and development, or less to reduce the the risk of further threatening the habitat from increased pollution.
As motel operators in the Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Cape Coral, Fort Meyers and nearby areas hold their noses while monitoring their vacant rooms, and realtors in these areas cancel increasing numbers of appointments with formerly prospective home buyers, the Governor declares states of emergency, and blames the Army Corps of Engineers for the problem while continuing to accept donations from Big Sugar which continues to prosper from his lax pollution control policies and further degrades the lake.  Sure, why not build an even bigger dike on its south end so the lake can become an even bigger cesspool before having to belch out its foul contents to neighboring areas!  Do you remember when this lake was regarded the best largemouth bass fishing lake in the country?
Of course, we all know that Big Sugar doesn’t expect anything in return for its support!  And, the stuff is even bad for your diet!
So, where will all the tourists go and homeowners look now that most of central and southern Florida are quickly becoming inhospitable, if not uninhabitable?
Hey, over here – Citrus County’s waters still look pretty good, at least until the muck rakers and weed planters can no longer keep up with the nutrient overload they continue to receive.
Our welcome mat is out, and, hopefully, at least for a few more years, our economy should benefit from your policies.  Thanks again Governor!
Gary Rankel