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    Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island Fishing Report #596 09/19/07 09:01 AM
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    Capt. Ron Offline OP
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    Road Trip

    You can probably tell from the title, this report is not about fishing Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island but about a recent road trip to Homosassa for the Florida Outdoor Writers Annual Convention. If you are like me you like to get away from home once in a while and fish some other areas. Homosassa provides the perfect spot to do so.

    It is a beautiful area for fishing and sightseeing as well. Homosassa is home to the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, a wonder in itself. A 1.1 mile trail of paving and boardwalks puts you in touch with Hippo’s, Alligators, Bobcats, Cougar, Manatees, and more. The underwater observatory gives you excellent views of snook, redfish, sheepshead, snappers, and other fishes in their natural environment. With all the educational programs they offer you could spend a day in the park learning about nature and wildlife. You can even dine at the Wildlife Café located in the park.

    [Linked Image]

    There are plenty of other things to do in the area but we better get to the fishing. I went a day before the conference so I could do a little extra fishing. I hooked up with Capt. Don Chancey for some redfish action. Don operates Grouper Hunter/ Flats Chance Charters and specializes in Grouper, Trout, Redfish, and Cobia. You can reach him at 352-303-9399. I called him and ask about a morning charter. He said fine, lets start about noon. You guessed it, the tides are all important in that area and since we were going after redfish he wanted to fish the incoming tide and a 12:00 noon departure would give us the needed conditions.

    We ran out towards the Gulf of Mexico in the little Homosassa River. Capt. Don mentioned what many others had told me in the past. When running these waters be very careful to stay in the marked channels. There are lots of rocks and many lower units have been damaged by unsuspecting boaters. It wasn’t long until the characteristics of the river faded and the environment turned into rocky mangrove islands all of which looked fishy to me.

    Capt. Don explained that as the tide comes up over the rocks and fills the voids under the mangroves the redfish follow the rising water to feed. We fished rocky points and edges of mangroves using shrimp and cut mullet. Light tackle spinning rods were rigged with about 18 inches of leader and a 3/0 circle hook. A small split shot was added just above the hook for added casting distance.

    By the end of the day we had wrestled about 8 feisty redfish to the boat, the largest measured in at 26.5 inches. The color of the redfish were something to behold. The last red I caught in the Banana River was nearly silver but these Homosassa reds were a bright beautiful bronze, as if they had been working on their tan all summer.

    Well, I gotta’ go for now but my next report will be about the fishing tournament held at the writers conference. The tournament was scheduled in the morning and the tides would not be the ones the guides wanted. Tune in next time to read about the results.

    As always, you can visit my website at www.inshorefishingadventures.com to view pictures of the fish we catch in the Cocoa Beach area. That's what it's all about. Good fishin'.



    Re: Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island Fishing Report [Re: Capt. Ron] #598 09/19/07 12:32 PM
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    Ron-

    I was hoping to make Homosassa, but couldn't make the time. Sounds like I missed out.

    Will you be at SEOPA in Little Rock, AK next month? I think I'll make my Panhandle/West Coast/Keys trip in November. Should be on the road for 16 or 18 days of fishing heaven.

    Re: Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island Fishing Report [Re: FFF Staff] #602 09/19/07 06:09 PM
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    Ron,

    Homosassa is a beautiful area We make a trip there every year for scalloping. The kids love it!

    J.P.

    Make a stop in Hommasassa you won't regret it. If your in the Tarpon Springs area give me a shout. If nothing is going on mabye we can fish a little!

    Last edited by capttim; 09/19/07 06:11 PM.

    Capt. Tim
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    Re: Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island Fishing Report [Re: capttim] #604 09/19/07 06:43 PM
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    Thanks for the invite Tim! My middle west coast stop will be an AM trip with Doug Hannon. I'm trying to talk Tony Gergely (owner of Sure-Life Labs) in to joining me for the first 5 days of the trip, so he may be there as well. If we had 4 people, it would be a good excuse for 2 boats, which always makes the photos better. Doug and I both have bay boats, so you wouldn't even have to captain. smile

    Re: Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island Fishing Report [Re: FFF Staff] #618 09/22/07 06:30 PM
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    Originally Posted by J.P. Greeson
    Thanks for the invite Tim! My middle west coast stop will be an AM trip with Doug Hannon. I'm trying to talk Tony Gergely (owner of Sure-Life Labs) in to joining me for the first 5 days of the trip, so he may be there as well. If we had 4 people, it would be a good excuse for 2 boats, which always makes the photos better. Doug and I both have bay boats, so you wouldn't even have to captain. smile

    Even Better, I certianly would enjoy having some one else do all the work!~ grin


    Capt. Tim
    Swift Fish charters
    813-714-0889
    Re: Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island Fishing Report [Re: capttim] #649 10/01/07 02:21 PM
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    Capt. Ron Offline OP
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    Sorry for the delay in responding. Been in Tampa for the Florida Sportsman Show. Hoping to finish the report on Homosassa soon.

    Ron

    Re: Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island Fishing Report [Re: capttim] #650 10/01/07 02:24 PM
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    Capt. Ron Offline OP
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    Since I started this whole thing I need to figure out how to get in on the fishin'

    Capt. Ron

    Re: Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island Fishing Report [Re: Capt. Ron] #652 10/01/07 08:23 PM
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    Must have missed you Ron I was there Sunday.

    Last edited by capttim; 10/01/07 08:23 PM.

    Capt. Tim
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