Although trout season is closed, catch-and-release is the way I usually fish anyway. With a forecast of low winds for today, Tommy Thompson and I planned to scout some areas for redfish in preparation for a redfish tournament next weekend as part of the Steinhatchee Fiddler Crab Festival. Turned out the tide forecast was pretty far off, and the forecast high of 2.3 feet was closer to 1.7 and we never were able to get into some of the creeks we were aiming for. Additionally the water continues in the 50 degree range, so fish just aren’t that active. We saw tons of large trout in some of our shallow flats and rocky areas but only two were biting, and this one is by far my best fish of the year (yes, I know it’s only February). We only fished for three hours before the wind picked up and blew us off the water.
I’ve listed the major spring fishing events for Steinhatchee below. The spring is always the best time of the year to fish for a variety of species. I will likely be adding some redfish tour dates, but this is what I have as of now.
Feb. 19: Fiddler Crab Festival/ Lots of Spots Redfish Tournament. Music Friday night, parade saturday, Sauce Boss at Fiddler’s Restaurant on Saturday night (reservations needed for Fiddler’s)
March: March Trout Madness at the Sea Hag Marina (largest trout weighed in at Sea Hag over the entire month of March wins a major prize.
April 16: Steinhatchee Community Tournament
April 30: Shands Fishing for Kids Saltwater Tournament
May 7: Perry Optimist Club Saltwater Tournament
May 28: Wildwood Athletic Club Tournament
June 3 and 4: Doug Johnson/Donny Young Reeling for Kids Tournament
June 18th: Steinhatchee Ladies’ Tournament
November TBA: Cabela’s Speckled Trout USA