December 10, 2018 | by Mike Farmer
The days are getting shorter and the nights are bringing just a bit cooler temperatures with them. Just around the corner December 21st will be the annual Winter Solstice which brings us the shortest day of the year and marks the beginning of winter. Gradually the temperatures of our gulf waters are dropping down and this sets the stage for what is going to come. December will be a month of change and transition in patterns. But don’t despair and put away your tackle boxes and rods because it also delivers us some of the greatest fishing of the year.
is a month here in Steinhatchee where we see water temperatures on
the shallow grass flats drop down to a point where they are colder
than the waters flowing through our river and abundant creeks. In
these places the fish will seek the warmer waters and find a home for
the winter where the temperatures are a bit more comfortable. Not
only are the conditions a more tolerable in the confines of the river
and creeks but here the fish will also find food sources which are
seeking more favorable conditions as well. This month as temperatures
rise and fall we will see a game of musical chairs play out. When the
fish make a move to the creeks and river it isn’t exactly a mass
exodus from the shallow flats but a few will move and then a few more
and finally the stubborn hardheaded ones will make their way along
and join in. Then several warm days will come along and a few fish
will migrate back out again. Until the weather stabilizes and water
temps reach a point where a few warm days just aren’t enough to
many years now the winter time fishing in the creeks and river here
has been a not so well kept secret. Once the word is out that there
has been a migration of fish to these areas you can expect it to look
like the Walmart parking lot during Christmas shopping season. Boats
will thoroughly cover the waters and it can be a bit crowded at times
in the confines of such small areas. Please be courteous to others
during this time and try not to crowd or cut off your fellow
fishermen. There are plenty of areas that will be holding fish so
take time to do a little searching and not just pile in where you see
a crowd of boats. There are many popular areas that will be holding
fish and fishermen such as Dallus Creek to the north and many popular
holes in the river such as the suicide hole. But the river holds
plenty of other secrets if you take some time and search.
way to locate fish is to slow troll a Mirrolure until you catch a
fish then circle back to work the area more thoroughly. More than
likely you will find plenty more fish in that area. You can cast the
same bait used for trolling or switch over to a Assassin Sea Shad on
a 1/16 oz jighead to slowly probe the rocky holes and ledges. A
jighead baited with a shrimp is also a very good choice as well. Go
ahead and plan on stocking up on jigheads and Mirrolures before
taking your trip, these limestone rocky bottoms are covered with
cracks and crevices in which you will lose plenty of baits. It’s not
a matter of if you will lose a lure but more a matter of when. A
fortune has been spent on Mirrolures and jigheads which now have a
permanent home at the bottom of the river. It can be a bit
frustrating and costly at times but the reward usually outweighs the
the Trout have moved into the river and creeks you will find them in
the deeper holes during lower portions of the tide. The best days are
the ones that bring a low tide in the early morning. The shorelines
and shallows where the water has receded will warm up as the sun
comes up. These areas absorb the sunlight and then as the water
levels rise with the tide they become much warmer than the
surrounding waters. When moving up into the shallows try using a
suspending bait such as a Mirrodine or the Rip n Slash or Shrimp Bait
from Unfair Lures. Cast these baits up into the shallows and just
keep your retrieve simple. A straight steady SLOW retrieve usually
works the best. If you have trouble with these treble hook style
baits then a great alternative is
Salty Snack from Bass Assassin Lures. It is a soft plastic that can
be rigged weedless and fished through most any type of cover. The key
to this bait is also a SLOW retrieve, when you think you are reeling
slow enough, slow down a little more. A very slow retrieve with
occasional pauses but and very slight twitches, don’t over work this
bait. This lure came out last winter and produced quite a few big
fish for me, it has definitely become a go to bait for shallow cold
water Gator Trout.
you for taking time to read this and I wish each of you wonderful
fishing this month and a Merry Christmas to you and your families.
October 30, 2018 | by Mike Farmer
This month will pretty much bring the end to the pelagic species that pass through each year as they journey south for the winter. Expect the beginning of the month to still provide plenty of action in the form of schooling Spanish Mackerel, Blue Fish and other species. These fish are lots of fun when they are in a feeding frenzy and can be easily caught on spoons, jigs or fishing cutbait or shrimp below a cork. A leader is a good idea as these species have a sporty set of dental work and will easily cut through braid or mono line.
The Speckled Trout will still be feeding up this month and putting on fat stores for the upcoming winter. Look to find them in 3-5 foot depths with a grassy or spotty bottom. A 5” Saltwater Assassin Jerk Shad on a 1/16 oz jig head would be my primary bait of choice during this time. Earlier in the month a Green Moon pattern will work well as it mimics the bait fish very well. Later in the month the trout will turn more towards shrimp as a food source and the Panhandle Moon is a color that I like a lot during this time period, also give the new color Baudreaux from Saltwater Assassin a try as it has been very hot lately. These same baits can also be fishing underneath a Saltwater Assassin Qwik Kork with 24-36 inches of fluorocarbon leader.
Redfish should be fairly easy to find and catch this month as they will be scattered across areas of rocky or hard bottom. Cut pinfish or shrimp underneath a cork would be a simple bait choice and provide you with plenty of bites.
This has became tradition for me in November to write and share this list. This is the month of Thanksgiving,even though we should remember to be thankful more than just this one day a year which has been set aside for it. I wanted to take a moment and share some things of which I am thankful for. I hope this will inspire you to take some time and reflect on all that you have to be thankful for as well. Each and every one of us has so much to be giving thanks for even as frustrating as life may seem at times with our chaotic lives and all the things that may go wrong. Even if you don’t show anyone your list, writing it down on paper helps to put things in perspective of how blessed we really are.
1. I am thankful to live in a country where we are free and have the ability to worship as we wish, live out our dreams and pursue our individual desires. (Even as frustrated as I may become with our government at times, bottom line we still live in a free country.)
2. I am thankful to all of the men and women who fought and to those who even gave their lives to make and keep this a free country that we live in.
3. I am thankful for a loving family (even though we are separated by distances and may not talk that much, we all know that each one is there for the other if needed and we may talk about each other and fight amongst ourselves once in a while but no one else better mess with them)
4. I am thankful for this little paradise of which I call home and being able to enjoy all of the vast natural resources and beauty that this area is blessed with, from the awesome sunsets to the star filled skies that glitter and shine in the dark of night and then followed up by the amazing sunrises that bring forth another beautiful day. This year I am thankful that all of the hurricanes during this very active year have left us mostly unscathed.
5. I am thankful for all of the wonderful friends that I have and the fact that they put up with me and still call me friend as well.
6. I am thankful for good health that allows me to get out of the bed and face each and every day.
7. I am thankful for all of my GOD given talents that hopefully I learn to better utilize so that I may help bring joy to others.
8. I am thankful for laughter, joy and smiles. Each day wouldn’t be as great as it is without these and I’m thankful for those that help to provide me with these things and I hope I help to provide them with the same in return.
9. I am thankful for a job that allows me to do the things I enjoy for a living. Fishing and Outdoor Writing are a passion. I am so thankful to be a full time Charter Captain and also be able to bring this article to you each month as well as the other writing that I do and I hope it is an enjoyment to those who read it. I am also thankful for each one of you who visits and does business with me.
10. Last but not least, I am so thankful that the blessings I receive are not reliant on the thankfulness I show for all that I have already been blessed with.
These are just a few of the things that come to mind that I am thankful for and only from my point of view and my opinion, each of us has our own.
Take care and hope to see you soon in the Hatch.
Captain Mike Farmer
Salt Addiction Charters
May 28, 2018 | by Mike Farmer
Can you believe we are at the halfway point in this year already ? It has been a great year and the time has just flown by. Thank You to all of my sponsors and customers who have helped to make this such a great year as Salt Addiction Charters just continues to grow. I just drive the boat but it’s all because of these folks that help us to get where we are. I look forward to many new customers in the future that get to become part of the family. I say that because it just seems that folks just become more like friends and family than customers. But that is partly the goal, it’s all about you having a good time and feeling comfortable while you’re here enjoying nature, catching fish and scalloping.
Speaking of scalloping, our season starts June 16th and if you haven’t booked a trip then it’s time to do so. Lodging is becoming scarce so you need to act now or plan on staying outside of town 30 minutes or so away. The FWC has not yet completed and released the scallop counts for all of the areas yet but I will try to update this as they release these numbers. From what we are seeing it looks to be a good year.
The fish should continue on providing us with a good bite throughout the month. Although there will be trout to be caught up shallow this month the best bite will be in a bit deeper water. Look for scattered grass on out in 6-10 foot depths. In these areas you should also find pods of bait rippling the waters surface. Once you have an area with all of these things you should be on target to catch some fish. My primary bait during this period is a 1/4 oz jighead with a 5″ Saltwater Assassin Jerk Shad. Since the primary food source at this time will be baitfish it’s a good idea to try and match the hatch. Colors such as Green Moon, White or Glow are good choices to start with. Just cast these baits out and bounce them along the bottom. During these summer months you may entice the bite of a Speckled Trout, sand Trout, Spanish Mackerel or even a Cobia. Many different species will inhabit these waters during this time, that makes it exciting because you never know what the next fish might be.
Thanks for reading and I hope you will join me soon on the water.
Capt Mike Farmer
Salt Addiction Charters
March 4, 2018 | by Mike Farmer
Well Sports Fans it’s that time again !! March is finally here and Spring will officially be upon us on March 20th when the Spring Equinox arrives. This is the moment in time that the sun stands directly above the Equator and day and night are approximately the same. But in simple terms it means that Winter is over in the Northern Hemisphere and Astrological Spring has finally arrived. Dawn will soon be a tick earlier each day and Dusk will fall a tick later each day. What does all of this mean ? It means Spring Fishing Season in Steinhatchee is about to begin !
Winter came a little earlier than what we have grown accustomed to last year but it seems that Mother Nature is making up for it and February has had quite the Springish feel for most of the month. Oh but She can be brutal and play some mean tricks too so I might should not brag too soon. Many migrational birds have shown up already, some have been here for several weeks. As you ride through the woods you will see Red Bud Trees, Dogwoods ,Wild Plums and many other species of trees in full bloom. God is painting a beautiful Spring picture all across our landscape.
Fishing has been great the last few weeks and a Spring Fishing pattern is beginning to come into full swing. Groups of smaller male trout are grouping up together and Big females are starting to group up as well. Spring is in the air and things are happening. If you want to join in on the fun you can book a trip right on my website or just give me a call. Don’t miss out on the fantastic spring fishing action.
Also still plenty of openings for scallop season if you want to book a trip. Don’t wait too long as the lodging in town for scallop season is limited and disappearing quickly.
Capt Mike Farmer