According to local Cedar Key guide, Capt. Jimbo Keith, Spanish mackerel, cobia and tarpon are making an early appearance at Cedar Key. Jimbo fishes from Cedar Key’s downtown boat basin, but many of the areas he’s finding fish can easily be accessed from Suwannee, Shell Mound, or the public boat ramp up the Waccasassa River. Your best bet for Spanish mackerel is probably Seahorse Reef, particularly the shallow ridge just north of the Steel Tower, located about 10 miles south of town. Cobia are known to roam the flats in Waccasassa Bay, near the old channel markers from the river’s mouth. And tarpon seem to be everywhere, especially in the channel leading from the Northwest Channel up towards Suwannee’s East Pass.
Of course, spotted seatrout are everywhere there’s a bit of grass and redfish are holding along shallow rocky and shell-strewn points. And don’t forget black drum. These whoppers can easily top the scales at 50 pounds and while not particularly edible, can put a tug on you line. Trout are biting soft plastic baits like those made by Saltwater Assassin in nearby Mayo, FL. Reds will likely eat the same baits, but catching one on a topwater plug can also be lots of fun, especially if you’re in shallow water. Black drum are finicky sometimes, but can’t usually resist a chunk of crab or a dead shrimp.
If you’d like an honest, up-to-the-minute fishing report for Cedar Key, Suwannee or any of Florida’s Big Bend, contact Robert Hornsby at Mangrove Creek Outfitters in Chiefland. Robert can be reached by phone at (352) 493-0071 or by email by CLICKING HERE