Some of the hardest hitting and fastest fish that pass through the Nature Coast waters are biting now with the Spanish mackerel run in full swing. Best spots off Homosassa/Crystal River are on the near-shore rocks and coastal flats, where the mackerel are mixed in with trout over hard bottom in 3 to 5 feet of water. Just like the trout they will hit most jigs but the mackerel have sharp teeth and often snip off a jig.
A chum bag will help to bring mackerel near the boat. One of the most effective rigs for live bait fishing for them is a long-shank 2/0 Eagle Claw hook tied to 20-pound-test mono leader--the long shank of the hook acts as protection for the leader without causing the fish to shy away as wire leaders often do. You'll still get cut off at times but you'll land a lot of fish, too. Live shrimp free-lined in the chum slick is the way to get the most bites.
For details on this unique shallow-water action on Spanish, contact Captain William Toney at www.homosassainshorefishing.com
or call 352-422-4141.