Crystal River 12/17-12/18 back to back slams-Redfish, Snook, Trout, Bass
Since the water temps have been dropping I've been fishing the river alot more and it hasn't dissappointed me. Some days we caught alot more bass than anything else and sometimes we get on a school of snook and then sometimes the reds as well. The trout for me has been my biggest issue for completing the slam. George Gozdz the Host for Reel Time Florida Sportsman asked to go out sometime this week to get a slam so we planned for wednesday. So of course I had to go tuesday to make sure I could find fish. The air temps were in the mid 30's in the morning but the bass bite was on fire within 5-10 minutes of launching the boat we had caught 3 or 4 bass one being a nice 18" and the others a bit smaller then Jake got one just shy of 16" caught a couple little snook as well then headed out looking for trout. Started drifting by shell island not much going one but put a little trout in the boat and released without taking a picture hoping we would catch more but we didn't. Then we headed to the hot water discharge and caught a few rat reds and some mackeral. After we had the slam we went looking for dinner caught 3 sheephead at some rocks before heading home. The bass and snook were on white and yellow berkely jerk shads and the trout and reds were on doa cals as well as the mackeral, then the sheeps were on shrimp.
Met up with George and the camera crew around 7 at the plantation and went to the cove I normally target the snook in to start the slam well that cove got 3 of the 4 species we needed in about 20 minutes then we fished it a little while longer looking for more. Got a few ladyfish first then got a little snook or two then caught some bass then George found a few reds on the bottom I was using a weightless worm hook and getting more bass and George used a jig head with a jerk shad and caught like 4 rat reds back to back and I didn't get one. Then we head to my canal I normally launch at and the sun was already up more than I normally like to bass fish in because they didn't seem to be feeding at all. We figured they would be in the deeper water during the day and we drift over a hole and George hooked a nice bass and as he was flipping it into the boat it hit the side and back in the water. And of course we're on camera and he had to flop on the floor like it was a monster! :willynilly Decided to go look for trout the toughest to me to complete went to the discharge again and nothing no reds at all this time and just a little mackeral. Head back to shell island hoping to get at least a little trout like the previous day and George catches a little one on a berkely to complete the slam and a huge relief for me. Now we still have almost half a day left so time for improvements!! Headed to a deep hole hoping for bigger trout or reds and it was loaded with snapper but couldn't get anything we wanted I switched from a white gulp shrimp to a yellow and new penny color jerk shad on a jig and first cast little red. Couple casts later I get a perfect slot red probably 24" to upgrade the redfish. Then we went searching for bigger snook nothing at the first spot. Then went to some docks and quickly have a big miss which got us excited then bring in an underslot snook with a little better size then another and another each got bigger the biggest was a little shy of slot size but a healthy 25" snook is still fun. Now upgraded the red and snook we wrapped up the filming with some talking and later had dinner at the plantation. It sure is different to fish and eat with cameras with you. Didn't get any pics not sure when it airs exactly they said probably late February.
Today they wanted to do a destination type section for crystal river so we went swimming around the springs and the manatees were everywhere it was insane how many there were and how friendly they are. The first main spring in kings bay we were hoping to see the snook and tarpon everyone talks about but the visibility was terrible I couldn't even see manatees until I was face to face with them. One latched itself to George's leg and he couldn't move for like 10 minutes his new friend wouldn't let him go. The snapper were loaded in there and filmed some sheephead too I believe. Then we went to 3 sisters and filmed the manatees there and saw some nice bass swimming in there as well. It was a fun couple days with George and the crew thanks for having me on the show.