FISHING REPORTS AND WEBSITES.
Several local guides provide reports of recent fishing activity along the Nature Coast. Captain Dan Clymer provides a daily blog of his fishing trips. Captain William Toney provides weekly fishing reports covering the Homosassa – Crystal River area, and also hosts a weekly fishing show on local TV. Captain Kyle Messier provides periodic reports of fishing activity in the Crystal River – Homosssa area, and also offers guided kayak fishing trips. Captain Rick Burns provides weekly fishing reports for the Crystal River – Homosassa area in the Citrus County Chronicle newspaper.
Monthly reports for this area are provided in the Big Bend Edition of the Coastal Angler Magazine. Captain Tommy Thompson’s Saltwater Angler’s Guide for the Big Bend Region includes reports for the area just north of Crystal River. The Tampa Times contains daily fishing reports for the Tampa Bay area. Brighthouse Sports Network provides fishing reports from various areas including the Nature Coast, and a variety other information.
My go-to fishing websites providing lots of great tips and info include capmel.com, saltstrong.com and theonlinefisherman.com.
Weather-related Websites for this area that I check before heading out include:
(1) the Brighthouse Bay News 9 website (http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/weather/klystron-9-radar/local.html),
(2) a National Weather Service site (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-82.69338&lat=28.86722),
(3) a National Weather Service Marine Zone Forecast (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?zoneid=GMZ850),
(4) a regularly updated live online weather station located near the end of Ozello Trail administered by Mr. Barry Schwartz at: http://bschwartz.net/weewxfl//, and
(5) a new (May 2015) real-time weather station located at the Marine Science Station on the Salt River just below the Crystal River (https://citrus.weatherstem.com/mss).
I prefer www.tides4fishing.com website because of the extra fishing-related information provided and the ease it provides in accessing data for different dates.
If you’re here without your kayak (kinda like being up a creek without a paddle), and want to give yak fishing a try (or maybe check out the manatees or arrange for a guided eco-tour), there are several places in the area that rent kayaks. You should check with them to see if they offer yaks equipped with rod holders and other accessories, and if they allow transport in your vehicle.
FOR LADIES ONLY.
The Nature Coast Lady Anglers is a low-key group of women who enjoy fishing along the Nature Coast. The group enjoys all kinds of fishing and several of the gals participate in kayak fishing.
Next to manatee mania, scalloping probably attracts the most tourists to this area, contributing much to the local economy. The scalloping grounds are located too far offshore to reach safely, so yak-anglers wishing to wet their lines during the busy summer scalloping season need to know that boat launch areas become extremely crowded, and might be best avoided. Think about using yak-only launch sites or those not suited for larger power boat use (see the Fish Finder page). The Pirates Cove area at the end of Ozello Trail is a good option.
Those wishing to test their scalloping skills (much like underwater Easter egg hunting), can contact many of the fishing guides operating out of the Crystal River – Homosassa area who can provide everything you need to secure your stash. Some may even combine a scallop snorkeling trip with a bit of fishing.
Numerous hiking, biking, birding and eco-walk trails exist in Citrus County, including the Withlacoochee State Trail, one of the top destination trails nationwide. Many are in close proximity to kayak launch sites and can be enjoyed by yakers on their outings.