Plan Ahead For 2018–FWC discusses regional bay scallop seasons on Big Bend

This information may not be “official”, but our guess is that it will likely become so before Florida’s recreational bay scallop season begins in 2018: At its December meeting in Gainesville, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) discussed draft changes that would create regionally-specific bay scallop open seasons and would allow a trial …

Don’t Fear The Gators in Melrose, Florida. Eat Them For Dinner at Blue Water Bay Restaurant or Try This Recipe!

One of the most common questions asked about Florida when Visit Natural North Florida’s volunteers are asked when making presentations around the U.S. and Europe is “Do you have alligators?”  And according to Capt. Russ McCallister, whose travels along the Suwannee and other rivers as guide for Suwannee Guides & Outfitters, the answer is “Yes, …

Fish Taylor County’s Lonesome (and Shallow!) Gulf Coastline

Taylor County, Florida has a a long and rugged Gulf of Mexico coastline, taking up a good portion of the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the lower 48 U.S. states.  Beginning at the fishing village of Steinhatchee and stretching towards the mouths of the Aucilla and Econfina rivers, it’s not only lonesome for anglers, …

2017 Bay Scalloping On Florida’s Nature Coast–An Abundance of Tasty Bivalves!

It’s July, and Natural North Florida’s 2017 recreational bay scallop harvest is off to a roaring start.  The harvest began on June 16 for the waters from Suwannee (in Dixie County) to the Fenholloway River (in Taylor County) and ends on September 10.  The remainder of Taylor County, all of Levy County, Jefferson and Wakulla …

It’s Not Too Late To Prepare For the Big Bend’s 2017 Scallop Harvest

It’s June and there’s just another month until the fun begins! New dates apply for the 2017 Florida Recreational Bay Scallop Harvest, particularly in all of Dixie County and part of Taylor County.  Those two counties are the nexus of the harvest on our Natural North Florida Gulf coast. “The 2017 bay scallop season for …

New “User-Friendly” Dates Announced For Big Bend 2017 Recreational Bay Scallop Season

In recent years, Florida’s Recreational Bay Scallop harvest rules were fairly simple.  You could “catch” your limit of these tasty morsels from the Pasco/Hernando County line to the Mexico Beach Canal from July 1 until September 24th.  Some places were better than others with regards to the size and number of scallops available.  But now, …

Florida’s Big Bend “Trout Drought” is Over and The “Bite is On”!

The spring and summer of 2016 were not great for anglers targeting spotted sea trout.  Lots of theories persist, but the “trout drought” is over and the fishing’s really improved since late October. If you believe in sources like the Old Farmer’s Almanac, we’re going to have a cold winter. After all, they’ve been in …

Florida’s 2016/2017 Stone Crab Season Opens October 15th–Great Eating Ahead

The result of stone crabbers’ hard work–a plate of mighty fine eatin’ There’s nothing more tasty than a Florida stone crab.  And some of the best come from the ports of Natural North Florida. Florida’s stone crab population is highly regulated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).  Not only do regulations apply …

Fishing The Big Bend Marsh–The Closer You Get, The More Reds You’ll Catch!

In the fall, high tides flood, pushing water well into the creeks and marshes all along Levy, Dixie, Taylor, Jefferson and Wakulla Counties, on Florida’s Big Bend.  We don’t have many mangroves, but we do have lots of spartina grass which offers comfort to redfish, or red drum. When the reds get back in the …

Fishing in October? Cooling Waters Heat Up The Big Bend Inshore Bite

I was pleasantly surprised last Sunday when Steinhatchee Capt. Rick Davidson told me he’d been reading water temperatures in the 70s all day. The day was cool and there were pods of bait everywhere, but I didn’t think that the temps had dropped that much in the past few weeks. That’s a good sign, and …