The Taylor County Gulf shoreline is hardly “civilized”, but if you compare the area between Steinhatchee and Keaton Beach to that north of Keaton Beach, you’ll find a vast difference. Heading northwest from Keaton Beach, you’ll see a few homes and settlements at places like Dekle Beach and Adams Beach, but from there on, it’s pretty desolate and deserted. The next settlement to the northwest is at Econfina (“ecofeeny”) and it’s 20 miles away. This is rugged and rough country, but it’s worth a visit if you’re a serious saltwater fisherman!
Access to the central Taylor County waters is from either Keaton Beach or Econfina. Both places have good ramps and facilities, but larger boats might “steer clear” of trying to navigate the lower Econfina River. It’s rocky and can go almost dry on lower tides. Consider calling ahead and talking with the folks at Econfina River Resort (850-584-2135) about lodging, camping and launching there. Keaton Beach information can be had by contacting the Keaton Beach Marina (850-578-2897)
The primary species found along this coastline are spotted seatrout and redfish. Both bite well all months of the year, and both make great table fare. And when the “bite” is on, they’re lots of fun to catch! Seatrout are likely the easier of the two species to catch. In warm months, you’ll find them on the near-shore grass flats and when it’s cold, they’ll move into creeks, especially Big Spring and Yates. Redfish can be more difficult to target (and to land!), but expect to see them hunting their prey near oyster bars and over rock piles. Live shrimp and pinfish, rigged under corks, are the baits favored by locals. However, when the fish are frisky, in warm weather, expect both species to attack topwater and subsurface lures.
… don’t forget to log your catches into our Fish Natural North Florida website!