I suspect there are more redfish at Yankeetown, in southern Levy County, than people. When the fishermen are at home, it’s a sleepy place with just two marinas (Yankeetown Marina and B’s) and one restaurant (Ike’s Old Florida). But when the fish are biting and it’s a pretty weekend, things here can get busy. Well, that’s really an exaggeration, as the mouth of the Withlacoochee River here marks the southern boundary of the longest stretch of “wild” coastline in the US. You’ll see other boats on the water, but if one gets closer to you than a quarter-mile, folks here consider it “crowded”.
The fishing here is excellent, particularly for redfish (red drum). The rocky coastline is pocked with creek mouths and oyster bars, all offering forage for these excellent game fish. And while low tides can make it difficult to reach the shallow northern shoreline, there are sometimes plenty of reds along the edge of the river channel itself. Favorite baits are chunks of cut mullet (fished along the bottom) and live shrimp (fished under popping corks).
If you’re not interested in taking your own boat to Yankeetown, consider hiring a local fishing guide. Capt. Rick Muldrow (352-629-3605) and Capt. Rick LeFiles both have years of fishing and guiding experience on these waters.
There’s a protected riverside boat ramp in “downtown” Yankeetown, near the Coast Guard Station, but it’s really suited for smaller jon boats, canoes or kayaks. The ramp at Yankeetown Marina will handle larger boats and you can get shrimp, ice and supplies while you’re there. The Levy County ramp at the end of CR40 is right on the Gulf of Mexico and is fine for most sized craft.
Local folks often laugh about Yankeetown being a “suburb” of tiny Inglis, at the intersection of US19/98 and CR40. Inglis isn’t any bigger than Yankeetown, but you find some good food, lodging, more bait and tackle, and fuel at the intersection.