Seahorse Reef, a ridge of shallow bottom that lies due south of the town of Cedar Key in Levy County, is no secret to Big Bend fishermen. The “reef” is often overlooked as the ride from the downtown boat ramp in Cedar Key can be a rough one on windy fall days. However, weather fronts in the fall usually come in 3 or 4-day cycles, and you can pretty much count on a few days of slick water following the passage of a front from the northwest.
What makes Seahorse Reef so attractive to fish (and to fishermen!) is that it conveniently juts out into the main body of the Gulf of Mexico, with it’s shallow top covered with a bed of sea grass. That grass holds bait and that bait attracts species like Spanish mackerel, seatrout and even a few king mackerel. In the winter months, the Steel Tower at the southern end of the reef is a good place to target big wintertime sheepshead–a favorite at everyone’s table.
After making the aproximately 10-mile run to the end of Seahorse Reef, look for wheeling birds and striking fish. Several techniques are popular here. Many anglers prefer trolling small #00 Clarkspoons or Flowering Floreo jigs. Others anchor up and chum with Baitmasters frozen chum. In either case, there are usually plenty of fish–and lots of action- at this popular fishing hole in the cool fall months.