Crystal River Fishing Report
May 2015 Crystal River Fishing Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Donald   
Thursday, 14 May 2015 16:12

May is one of the best months to fish here on the nature Coast. Fishing is way hotter than the weather. All the migration patterns are in full swing. From Tarpon to Spanish mackerel ,all of the palagic fish are heading back north for the summer. The red fish bite will be hot.  With full bag limits and plenty of over slot fish released alive. Red fishing has to be my personal all time fish to target. The main reason being, you can fish for them here all year long, with the warmer months being the best time to target them. Red fish can be targeted with many different kinds of bait. Live pinfish, shrimp, cut bait, to almost any kind of artificial you can imagine to throw. Anything that will work for bass on your favorite fresh water fishing hole will work for the Reds. Top water in the first couple of hours in the morning is about as much fun as you can have. Reds primarily feed on the bottom. Their mouth is designed that way. This is why they "tail" when feeding on the flats. Head down and tail up rooting around on the bottom for small crabs, shrimp and other shellfish. When they feed on the surface it is a whole different ball game. Red fish have to come up over the top of their prey, this makes quite the show on the surface. The biggest mistake most people make is setting the hook when they see the "blow up", and end up pulling the bait away from the fish, you have to set the hook until you can feel the pull on your line.
Then the battle is on. Enjoy your time on the water, take time to enjoy the pristine waters of the Crystal River and Ozello area.
Capt. Kelly Kofmehl
Inshore and flats fishing


April 2015 Inshore Fishing Forecast and Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Donald   
Thursday, 12 March 2015 14:38

April 2015 Fishing Forecast and Crystal River Fishing Report

April is a month that most of the fish on the Nature Coast are on the move. Big Trout will be dropping off of the shore line to the deeper flats off of Crystal River. Snook are on the move as well. Leaving the warm waters of the spring fed rivers to the back waters of Ozello and the Mangrove creeks. As the water heats up Red fish are getting more aggressive.

Its not very that I will brag on a specific bait, but there is a lure out on the market now that has been slaying Big Trout. Unfair lures PAR70SU 01 live glow and PDG70SU 11black orange. When I do a fishing seminar the first question that I get asked, what are you throwing! Well there it is. Red fish and Trout are hitting this bait like a freight train on the flats from Steinhatchee to Ruskin, This I can speak from personal experience. Talking to some of the guys from Texas they are loving it too. Snook find it just as irresistible. So there is part one to the most frequent asked question that comes up in most conversations I have with fellow anglers.

When fishing for Trout on the flats in 6 to10 foot range, it is a good idea to keep a rod that is a little heavier for the migrating Cobia that might pass by. I keep mine loaded with a Savage Gear soft eel, they can't resist it. Spanish mackerel, another one of the many species that is likely to take a bait while fishing in this area. They have razor sharp teeth making it hard to keep your hook on the end of the fluorocarbon leader. Instead of wire line I use a 2x long hook, this produces more strikes than the wire while giving some protection against those chompers. All of the fish that I mentioned are great at dinner time. Nothing is better than wild caught seafood, except the wild caught seafood you caught yourself.

Spring has sprung, get on the water and enjoy a day or just a few hours. With family, friends, or just a little quite time. Slow down and enjoy our back yard.

Capt. Kelly Kofmehl


inshore and flats fishing






For Fresh Seafood for Sale try www.CrabPlant.com

Last Updated on Monday, 06 April 2015 15:20
The Crystal River Fishing Report for October 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Donald   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 16:55


The cold fronts have started pushing their way down into Central Florida. Bringing some much needed relief from the heat of summer.  The water temps continue to slowly drop,and the trout and redfish bite is heating up. Trout have moved on to the flats of the Nature  Coast. Spanish mackerel and Bonita are on the move back south for the winter. As as they head south they come close to the shore following the bait fish. I have been seeing pods of Spanish mackerel off of the Crystal River channel bars and along the edge of the spoil banks West of the power plant.
I Will be targeting trout and redfish in the month of November. I can target the Trout when the tide is not right for Red fishing. This time of year I like to use a popping cork with about 24 inches fluorocarbon leader to a 1/8 ounce Jig with a soft plastic artificial bait. Live shrimp is also a good choice under the popping cork. Look for patches of the yellow bottom with kelp Grass scattered throughout it. Work around the edges of this bottom for Trout with the popping cork. I like to drift fish this way to cover more bottom. Trout Will be in pods. You might drift for 10 minutes without catching a keeper trout then you will hit a spot where you catch two or three keepers in a row. After you have drifted through the fish and don't get you anymore for a few minutes go back around in repeating your drift.  You can expect to catch Mackerel, Seabass, Cobia and other fish while drifting. When the tide reaches the point to go and fish your favorite redfish  hole hang on because they are very aggressive with the cooler water temperatures and get ready for some drag screaming runs. November is a very good month to get your limit of trout and redfish in one day.
Stone crabs season as been open for about 20 days. The claws go very nice when you have company and for thanksgiving. Call the Crab plant in Crystal River to order them for your feast. 1-352-795-4700

Capt Kelly Kofmehl

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 16:56
2014 April May Fishing Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Donald   
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 17:57

I met Gary Yackel and his family at the dock at 8 on a Saturday morning. We took off, down the river. I knew that the CCBA fishing tournament was the same day. I headed straight to my pinfish traps, when I slowed down at the first trap I looked behind me and there were 2 boats following me. I thought to myself, I know how this day is going to turn out. We took off through the mangrove littered creeks ran about a mile, a wake popped up on the North shore line of the creek that we were in. Gary saw it also, he has fished enough with me to know that their was something to the wake. I shut the boat down and let the fish settle. Put the Minn Kota in the water and slowly eased up the narrow ditch that the fish entered. Slowly and quietly we pushed forward until I could see about 40 big Reds in the back of a pond that ditch opened into. I launched 2 live pinfish into the middle of the school. It was only about 3 minutes, it felt like 30, before the drag started screaming off of the reel that Gregg was holding. The oversized Red put up a hard fight, then it decided to head out the creek where the boat was anchored. As the Red came towards the boat it turned and went under 3 mangrove roots. I told  Gregg to open the bail on the reel, to give the large fish a free spool. I quickly slipped my shoes off and the wallet out of my pocket and into the water I went with rod in hand. I was able to slide the rod under the roots as the red shot under the the boat and out the creek. As soon as the line was free from the mangroves I handed the rod back to Gregg , so he could finish the fight with the 32 inch Red. The day turned out to be a good day fishing with some big Trout for dinner.

Capt Kelly
www.spottailscharters.com www.crystalriverfishingguides.com
March 2014 Crystal River Fishing Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Donald   
Monday, 17 March 2014 18:12

I was poling my Gulfshore 20 into a narrow Mangrove creek, when a school of over slot red fish started pushing a wake 40 yards up the creek. I told my client, Robert, There thy are, get ready. I knew where the fish were going to settle, so that's where we placed the large, live shrimp that Robert was using for bait. 60 seconds later the fish spook and come pouring out the creek like a bunch of Texas long horns on stampede. I tell Robert there they go look at all of them, as they blast out the creek 10 feet from the side of the boat. I'm looking at the fish as they rocket by, Thats when iI see it, Robert's line is going with them! I start shouting out of excitement, REEL! The bull on the other end of Roberts line took him around the boat 3 times. All I could hear, besides screaming drag, was Robert. " Lord please don't let this line break. When we got the fish in the boat it was 33inches and weighed 12.5pounds.

We have also been able to do some sight fishing for Trout getting our limit on most of the trips over the last 30 days. Fishing has been on fire, and will be as water temps are warming up. Book your adventure now.
Capt Kelly
November 2013 Fishing Report Crystal River PDF Print E-mail
Written by Donald   
Monday, 18 November 2013 17:27

November makes me think about turkeys, pumpkins, family and hunting. My Family always spends Thanksgiving in the woods at our hunting camp. Good times and great food, with friends and family. But I have to come out of the woods and fish; I can never stay away from the salt water of the Nature Coast for any length of time. What I have been doing lately and it will work right through November, is a new bait that I have been trying and having a lot of success with. It is the 3D TPE Shrimp, made by Savage Gear.

On a recent trip with clients I was trying the Savage shrimp while my clients were throwing another bait. We were using Cajun Thunder popping corks with about an 18in leader and the jig on the bottom of the rig. It is rare that I fish with my clients, but they insisted that I did. I wanted to try the bait, so I stayed in the back of the boat while the 2 of them fished out of the front. It was about 30 minutes into the trip when I was asked if they could use one of the Savage shrimp as well, of course my answer was sure you can. I wanted to try the unproven bait before I gave it to someone to use. In my book it is now a proven bait.
With the cooler nights of November and the waters cooling down, the Red fish bite will be a little more aggressive.  We have had a good summer with the Reds and with most of the fish that we have caught being at the top end of the slot or bigger. The fall months should be the same. Mackerel and other striking fish that migrate South for the winter are on the move as well. Some large schools have been spotted in about 30 feet of water. There will be smaller schools within a  couple miles off of the shore line. The Gag Grouper bite has also been strong in shallow water. All of these fish will stay strong until the water temps fall below 60 to 65 degrees. This Thanksgiving season lets all take time to be thankful for the things that we have been blessed with; we all have something.
Capt. Kelly Kofmehl
Inshore and Flats Fishing
September 12th 2013 Crystal River Fishing Report Scallop Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Donald   
Thursday, 12 September 2013 18:17

The night time temps are starting to drop just a few degrees, giving us
here on the Nature Coast the hint that fall is just around the corner.
October is the month of several changes here in the small stretch of
paradise that i get to call home. First Stone Crabs are back in season.
They will be on the market and ready to be consumed on October 15. With the
Crystal River Stone Crab Jam the first Saturday in Nov. Another change is
the opening of a new store here in Crystal River, Sodium Fishing Gear. I
had the opportunity to sneak a peek in the store the other day. Brandon and
Casey not only have fishing apparel from head to toe, but they also have
rods, reels coolers, a full line of Carbon Marine products, Fly fishing
gear and much more. Stop in and support one of the "local" businesses.
  On my trip yesterday I was polling my clients down a shoreline, I could
see fish working in front of the boat about 150 yards. I told my guys to
get ready to throw. When I was able to maneuver the boat into casting
position I told Bo and Jordan to throw in front of the school of Reds. One
guy made a perfect cast and the other was behind the school. About 2
seconds after the first bait hit the water, drag was rippin off the
Okumareel. We were able to catch 3 Reds out of that school before they
just blew out on us, the first one was 30 inches, the second 31 inches and the third
was 32. What a awesome bunch of fish. They defiantly had all of our hearts
pumping for a while.
    Trout will be back inshore once again in some larger numbers making it
possible to catch a limit without having to run way out into the open bay,
as the water temps begin to drop a few degrees. I have been eagerly
awaiting this event to happen. I typically fish with a popping cork rig
this time of the tear. Last October we did very well on the Trout and I
have already noticed some early arrivals.
  Capt. Kelly Kofmehl
 1- 352-302-5861 or 1-352-445-2755

Scallop numbers have been good. Call us for a Scalloping trip.







Last Updated on Thursday, 12 September 2013 18:21
August 19th Crystal River Fishing Report Scallop Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Donald   
Monday, 19 August 2013 15:35

As daylight started to break in the East, I picked up my client. The sky was black out to the west. We left the dock at 6:30 am and headed down the Crystal River. Grabbing for our rain gear in the idle zone. We ran a couple of miles and only a sprinkle or two. Then the bottom fell out of the sky. We had to idle for about ten minutes or so. When we came out of the rain we were almost to the first spot that I wanted to fish. I got the boat anchored and made the first cast and within about 5 seconds the drag on my Okuma Cedros 30 spinning reel was screaming. At the first sign of the big Red fish I knew that he was over the slot, 28.5 inches. The next cast was a 19-inch Red, then a 11 inch mangrove snapper. The bite was finished at spot number one. Spot number two, we set up and threw out some cut bait, fish were striking everywhere I looked. The action was hot as the weather. We were able to fill our Red fish bag limit and release 6 or 8 more fish. we landed 8 Blue fish, and about that many Jacks. I asked my client, Dan, if he wanted to go to another spot and see what was going on there and he said sure. Spot number 3 was a winner as well. 2 more top slot Reds and the last cast a 33-inch Snook. I had Dan back to the dock by 10:30 and started to clean his fish. These are the kind of days are what can be expected through out the month of September.

    As the full moon begins to build this month some of the big Trout will start to move back inshore to fatten up for the winter months to come. I love fishing in September when schools of Red fish show up and Trout come back. Look for action packed, drag rippin days for this month. The action will be hot. If you want to get in on some of this give me a call.

  Capt. Kelly Kofmehl 1-352-302-5861

Scallop numbers have been good. Call us for a Scalloping trip.






Last Updated on Monday, 19 August 2013 15:36
July 19th Crystal River Scallop and Fishing Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Donald   
Friday, 19 July 2013 18:25

As July begins to rap up and we roll into August the biggest thing going is still the hunt for Scallops. I have watched as many boats as I can remember seeing coming to the pristine grass flats of the Nature Coast to hunt for these tasty treats. I'm not sure where all of the scallops keep coming from but there seems to be no end to them. On a recent charter, my clients were able to gather their limit in an hour and a half. Some days it takes a little longer. I have also noticed a considerable  difference that a mile can make in the size of the meat. One of the best pieces of advise that I can give is to make sure that you have a good mask. I was standing on the bow of my boat today looking down in the water, I counted eight scallops in a ten foot radius, I called one of my divers over to the boat and watched as he swam over them and only saw one. I started pointing them out him. This is the same crew that did so good a couple of days before. He had started having trouble with his mask leaking a little and was having a hard time seeing them. I started to wonder how many he had actually swam right by and not seen. This is one of the reasons that you not only need a good mask but one that fits well.

   On the fishing side of things, we have been able to scrap a few Red Fish along. They have been a little slow to bite, I have been able to catch just as many on top water and spoons as I have on bait. Throwing the artificials has allowed me to cover more water faster with my clients. The Black Drum bite has stayed strong all summer and should stay that way until we start to get some cold fronts this fall. My clients have caught good numbers of drum in the 50 pound range. It is an awesome site to see them tailing on the some of the many oyster bars that litter our coast line. To see that massive tail come out of the water while they are feeding on top of the bars, then to sneak up on them and place your bait right next to a 50# fish is quite the rush when your line comes tight. The battle is on. These are just a few of the exciting fisheries that are going on on the shore line off of the mouth of the beautiful Crystal River. A place that I am truly blessed to call home. 
Capt Kelly Kofmehl
Inshore and Back Country fishing

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