The close-in coastline south of Steinhatchee often gets more than its fair share of attention by anglers, especially during the cool early-winter months. There are, of course, a couple of good reasons. First, the bottom is rockier there, providing shelter and warmth for the bait fish and crustaceans that are of interest to inshore species like redfish and spotted sea trout. And second, anglers, like the rats in the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin, have a tendency to ‘follow the leader’. If everyone else is heading south to fish, that must be where the fish are!
It’s taken me several years to recognize that I’d been missing some pretty good inshore fishing by not heading up the northwest-oriented coastline above Steinhatchee.
Yes, the fishing’s still good down south and if the winter winds are howling, it’s a dryer trip, but there are some excellent opportunities along the shore on the ‘upper’ side of the river.
One noticeable difference between the two sides of the Steinhatchee River is that the southern coastline is oriented south-north and the northern coastline is oriented southeast-northwest. This westward-leaning shoreline, beginning at Bivens Cove, just north of the river, acts as a natural catch-basin for bait and predators. That, along with some big creeks, bays and rocky points adds to the area’s potential for excellent inshore and backwater action as Christmas approaches.
To read the complete article, pick up a copy of the December 2010 Florida Sportsman magazine and turn to page 68!