1. Crystal River/Homosassa: Captain William Toney writes that as hot as it's been while he’s out fishing, his mind is telling him how refreshing it would be to jump in and swim around. Well, we're getting close to that in a big way with the upcoming scallop season just a week away. Toney said he’s heard mixed reports from good local sources, as some are saying there are plenty of scallops and some are saying you're going to have to work for them. From what Toney has looked at from the boat he says the water is very clear and there are no jellyfish, so that's a plus.
For some inshore trout try south in Chassahowitzka in the many rock grass patches on the south end of the pole line. Toney said he has been using a D.O.A. Deadly Combo with a glow 3-inch shrimp and fishing it painfully slow. Give it two or three pops and let it sit for about five seconds before doing it again. Most of the strikes have been while it is at rest. Redfishing has been slow, and most of the fish that his groups have caught are on the small side with a few lower-slot fish mixed in. Look for mullet and cast tight to the mangroves with a cork and shrimp. Offshore is the same story, running out to 30-50 feet with live pinfish and moving until you hit the right rock is your best bet. Incoming tide will be in the morning this weekend.
2. Orange Lake/Lochloosa: Visit lochloosaharbor.com for updates.
3. Ocklawaha River: Liz at Fat Daddy’s reports that bass have been biting artificial baits (specifically mentioning plastic worms) and have been caught with regularity on the top water. Bluegill and shellcrackers also have been biting worms and crickets. She added that fish can be caught all day, but to avoid the harshest heat of the day, anglers primarily have been coming early in the morning or in the afternoon after 4 p.m.
4. Salt Springs: According to Liz at Fat Daddy’s, plastic worms have been very effective for catching bass of late. The same goes for crickets and worms if looking to bring in shellcrackers and bluegill.
5. Forest Lakes: Liz at Fat Daddy’s reports that most anglers have been bass fishing of late with great success. Plastic worms have been the most-used bait of choice. Those seeking shellcrackers and bluegill also have left happy, and most have used worms and/or crickets as bait. The heat has been unbearable at times during the day (though the fishing is still good then) and most have been coming early in the morning or in the evening.
6. Lake Weir: Liz at Fat Daddy’s reports that bass have been caught with frequency primarily using plastic worms. Shellcrackers and bluegill are being brought in with both crickets and live worms.
7. Harris Chain: According to BassOnline.com, bass often can be found here in the open water. The canals have them at times, too. Many catches often weigh in between nine and 11 pounds.
8. Ponce Inlet: According to floridasightfishing.com, redfish have been the main target since March in Mosquito Lagoon with better numbers of redfish this year than the last few. Most of these redfish are ranging 20-30 inches. Anglers are targeting them mainly on live bait. Giant trophy redfish of more than 20 pounds are starting to congregate in bigger groups on the flats in the Indian River Lagoon and holes in the intracoastal waterway closer to Ponce Inlet. Snook fishing around the tidal areas of New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet, even down into Mosquito Lagoon, have ramped up. There have been multiple trips lately with 10+ snook landed. Most of the snook are 18-25 inches. That will be steady from now throughout the fall. There also have been a lot of black drum in the last couple of months. Currently in Mosquito Lagoon most of the trout are up in the super-shallow water.
Tip of the week
According to bassfishing-gurus.com, use specific lures when bass fishing in the summer heat. On these hot days fish the bottom areas with plastic worms, jig-and-minnow combinations or slow-moving spinnerbaits. However, in muddy water use crankbaits. But only use these in muddy water or you risk startling the fish. In clear conditions fish feed predominantly by sight. Avoid using rattle-type lures at these times.
This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: Florida fishing: Weekly report for lakes and rivers in and around Marion County