The River Runs Red

Inspired by Tony's recent efforts on the Alafia, I had already planned on hitting the Alafia today. Couple that with yesterday's fun with DT and I was definitely going. It was to be a good tide today so I launched around 10:15am. High tide was in just over an hour. Wind was pretty bad all day and coming right down river. Add in the strong outgoing and it definitely made fishing docks more of a challenge. Water temp was 66, but got up to 70 later in the day.

Worked a few docks going towards 301 and nada. Over to the other side with shallower water, but more sun. Switched up from yesterday and was throwing the 4" mullet in Space Guppy color...a very nice chartreuse/gold flake color paired with a 1/4oz Bass Assassin jig head in chartreuse, which is nice in stained water. Got on the board with a snooklet at 10:30am. Kept working the shallower docks. Skipped under one at 10:50am and got crushed. This fish had some weight and gave me a great battle. Got it in the boat and it was a solid slot red of 25 1/2".



Skipped under the same dock again with the same lure and got a strike, but the fish pulled my swimbait down off the hook shank. Had to be a red. Skipped in again and hoped it off the bottom. Got a strike, but I missed him. Skipped into the same spot again. Third time was the charm and I set the hook on another red at 11:04am. It measured 19". Eight minutes later I hooked into another red of 18 1/4" using the same technique. Incredibly I caught another red off this same dock in the same spot at 11:16am. It measured 17 1/4". Four reds off of one dock. Never had that happen before.

Worked a few more docks, but no luck. Took a ride down river to some other docks. Caught a snooklet under a dock at 11:42am. Over to the other side of the river. Was working the space guppy in between docks and got a solid strike on a wind-blown bank. Turned out to be a nice 23" red caught at 12:07pm. Another little snooklet under a dock at 12:18pm. Two minutes later another small snook under the same dock. Couldn't seem to hook any snook with any size.

Down farther and got a solid strike under a dock at 12:32pm. It was another red of 21". Water was rolling out now and the current was strong. Skipped under the same dock and got the hardest strike of the day at 12:36pm. It was a nice spotty red of 20".



Farther down river now and after losing a snooklet, I caught one on the 4" new penny with chartreuse tail at a 1pm. I must have lost 8 small snook during the day. Another snooklet on the same dock with the same lure at 1:07pm. Caught a 19" snook on the same dock at 1:15pm.

Moved further down river and caught another snooklet on the same lure on the side of a dock at 1:36pm. Worked more docks, but no luck. Wanted to take a break from docks so further down river to a shallow bay. Lots of mullet and fishy activity in here. Tried open water, but nothing. Over to some adjacent docks. Switched to the 3" mullet in glow and fishing in about a foot of water. Caught a snooklet under one at 2:03pm. Next cast with the same lure and got hammered. Turned out to be a nice lower slot red of 20 1/4". Worked more docks in that cove and more docks going towards 41, but no luck.

Back up river to some docks that paid off for us yesterday. Switched to the Monster 3X shrimp in rootbeer color. Caught a snooklet under a dock at 3:24pm. Seven minutes later another snooklet under a dock on the M3X. Worked this line of docks, but no more fish caught.

Decided to head much farther up river to see if I could find some docks with some depth. The river was getting skinny. Caught another small snook at 4:08pm on the 4" np/chartreuse tail. Another mini-snook under the same dock two minutes later. Worked a number of docks much further up river past the Beer Shed and only managed one snook, yet it was my largest snook of the day at 21 1/2" on the shadflash caught a 5pm.

I worked a number of docks coming back down river, but to no avail. It was getting dark so I headed for the ramp. It was a pretty solid day of catching. The number of reds I caught surprised me and it was one of the best red days on the river ever. Lots of small snook were caught, but hopefully the big boys will be moving into the river soon. Loving the cooler weather and the dock fishing.

Final Body Count

Snook - 14 (19", 21 1/2" and 12 small ones)
Reds - 8 [7 slot reds (18 1/4" to 25 1/2") and 1 rat of 17 1/2"]
Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release

Replies

  • rkotinskyrkotinsky Posts: 155 Officer
    Nice report as usual! I see all it takes is a few cold days and the fish run into the rivers. Great spots on that red.
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    Thanks Ron!
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • HondoHondo Posts: 50 Greenhorn
    Good to see the reds are starting to move into the river. I always enjoy dock fishing in the winter. Dave...we will have to get out again and hit the river together some time this winter.
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,010 Moderator
    Very nice BA, front page too!
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    Sounds good Bill. Thanks RL.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • kmander3kmander3 Posts: 107 Officer
    At what point does the Alafia become more fresh then salt. I've wanted to fish some of the ones down there but only have a bass boat which on it's own I don't mind getting some salt it's more since the trailer is a painted steel instead of galvanized or alluminum.

    Was curious if any ramps were in the fresh part.
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    I don't know of any ramps that are in just fresh water on the Alafia. They are all in at least brackish water. Got to find a ramp way up river somewhere, but I don't know of any.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • LeftCoastAnglerLeftCoastAngler Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    kmander3 wrote: »
    At what point does the Alafia become more fresh then salt. I've wanted to fish some of the ones down there but only have a bass boat which on it's own I don't mind getting some salt it's more since the trailer is a painted steel instead of galvanized or alluminum.

    Was curious if any ramps were in the fresh part.


    I think that towards Riverview civic center off Balm Riverview Dr ought to be pretty fresh ish enough...
    If not, all theway down on Lithia Pinecrest would be LithiaSprings cnty park.... Thats clear, fresh, spring water that dumps into the alafia...
    -Ray.
  • LeftCoastAnglerLeftCoastAngler Posts: 55 Greenhorn
    Nice report on the Alafia BTW.
    Thanks.

    -Ray.
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    The Civic Center is brackish. There is only a canoe/kayak launch at Lithia Springs Park. There is a ramp way up river off of Kings Ave at the intersection of Center Ave and Alafia Blvd. It has a small lot for trailers. However, it is very tide dependent and on low tide, you can't really launch a boat. Further up river the water flows fast with ripples and shallows.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • Mango ManMango Man Posts: 11,058 AG
    BA, you're always tearing it up. :applause


    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
    Abraham Lincoln
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    Thanks Ray and MM! It was a good day. Just need to size up on a few of the snook and I will be in business.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
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