Fiddler Crab Festival, Steinhatchee, February 14-16, 2020 — Bigger and Better!

Steinhatchee’s annual Fiddler Crab Festival has become the big event for this small coastal fishing community. From the very beginning, rain or shine, the event has attracted thousands of visitors to the riverside between Taylor and Dixie counties, in Natural North Florida. Steinhatchee is located in southern Taylor County, at the mouth of the Steinhatchee …

Cooler Weather = Hot Fishing on Florida’s Big Bend Gulf Coast

There’s something about cool weather fishing on Florida’s Nature Coast. Gulf of Mexico waters cool rapidly as cold fronts hit the coast on an almost-regular 3 day cycle. Air temperatures vary from the high 30’s to the 80’s as the Holiday season approaches, and water temperatures soon follow. In many cases, the Gulf water temperatures …

It’s All About Seafood….Florida’s Big Bend Shellfish Trail

Experience fresh, local seafood along Florida’s Big Bend Life on Florida’s Big Bend, especially in the coastal communities of Taylor, Dixie and Levy counties revolves around seafood, especially shellfish. Not only are oysters, clams, shrimp and crabs available at local eateries, they’re available at seafood retailers, often “fresh off the boat”. Certain species. like bay …

Florida’s Big Bend Recreational Bay Scallop Harvest Underway, June 2019

Tiny bay scallops “rule” the waters of Natural North Florida’s Big Bend during the summer months.  The harvest brings visitors from all over the state, as well as many internationals wishing to snorkel for these tasty treats.  Snorkeling for bay scallops isn’t about filling the freezer, but it’s about having fun one the water, followed …

Sunsets, Seafood and Six Other Reasons to Visit Steinhatchee

It takes a little effort to reach Steinhatchee, a coastal village in Northwest Florida’s Taylor County. You’ll find it’s worth every minute of the drive along sparsely developed Highway 51 to visit this town alongside a river of the same name. As you might guess, “Steinhatchee” was derived from the Native American language: “esteen-hatchee” means …

2019 Steinhatchee NautiGirls Fishing Tournament, June 8—NO BOYS ALLOWED!

What began ten years ago as backlash to some friendly kidding among anglers at Steinhatchee, the NautiGirls Tournament has become one of the largest of the local tournaments. It’s fun, and yes, BOYS are only allowed to captain boats, and are NOT allowed to enter.  In fact, some of the best anglers in the area …

2019 Florida Big Bend Bay Scallop Harvest Season Announced and Scallopers Are Optimistic!

Florida has one of the few recreational scallop harvests in the US, and it’s all centered around Natural North Florida’s Big Bend.  While the scallop region extends from Gulf County (in the panhandle) to the Anclote Key lighthouse (off Tarpon Springs), the epicenter of the harvest is in Dixie and Taylor counties, west of Gainesville. …

“It’s All About Da Crab” at the 11th Annual Steinhatchee Fiddler Crab Festival, February 15-17, 2019

        I remember the very first Steinhatchee Fiddler Crab Festival.  The community stuck it’s neck out, en masse, with a fishing tournament, a few food trucks, a chili cook-off, music and of course, fiddler crab races.  And it poured rain!  But in spite of the bad weather, the crowds magically appeared.  I …

Sheepshead–A Favorite Cool Weather Nearshore Fish Species on Natural North Florida’s Gulf Coast

Inshore and nearshore fishing along Florida’s Gulf Coast has as much to do with economics as it does with species. Of course, many inshore anglers long to be aboard a big sport fishing boat trolling the depths of the Gulf for fish of mammoth proportions. The reality, however, of a round trip that has fuel …

Winter Fishing’s Best Bet–Spotted Seatrout on Florida’s Natural North Florida’s Gulf Coast

I’m no expert on spotted seatrout biology or mortality, but for some reason the Big Bend saw a decided decline in that fishery this past year. At first, trout were scarce from Tampa Bay to Apalachicola, and then they started to bite. However, anglers catching a hundred a day only caught three or four keepers. …