Saturday, July 28th, my dad Dan and I loaded up the boat and headed to Cedar Key. The last few weekends I had been going over to Horseshoe Beach to fish and scallop. We had much more luck scalloping than fishing over there and I was more than ready to jump on some redfish, or any fish for that matter. I was also stoked about the prospect of not cleaning scallops after a long day on the water.
High tide was at 9:30 am, so we got up early and headed west. As we were driving over the bridge into Cedar Key, we could see the weather was nice and the water was up a good ways. This pleased us because it meant we wouldn’t have to wait around on the outside bars before heading to the fishing holes we planned on targeting.
About an hour after high tide and a few unsuccessful fishing spots, we decided we needed a change in locale and stopped at a spot we call the Pole Hole. I was fishing my usual shrimp on a jig head under a paradise popper and I wasn’t getting much in the way of bites. We had cast netted some really nice smoking sized mullet right before we stopped at the Pole Hole, so I figured I’d try some cut bait. I rigged up a rather large piece of cut mullet on a heavy jig head and fished the bottom. At this point I had two poles out. The combo fishing the bottom was in a rod holder and I was holding on to the pole with the cork and shrimp. Not two minutes after setting my rod and reel in the holder, it took off. I got really excited and basically threw down my other pole to get to the one with a fish on. I could tell it wasn’t a catfish when I picked it up and for that I was excited. It eventually rolled up on top of the water and I could see it was a keeper red.
I had to give my dad a short tutorial on how to take a picture with my phone. He’s no whiz kid when it comes to technology, but at least he managed to get the fish in the picture, so I was pleased with that.
Meanwhile, I still had my other pole still sitting in the water. As soon as I got the redfish in the cooler, I see my cork dart under water. I could immediately tell it was a nice fish. It was putting up a pretty good fight . Good enough for me to think it was a redfish for a while. It turned out to me a speckled trout just a hair over 21 inches.
At this point I was confused as to what I should do. I didn’t really want to fish with two poles in the water at once, but I wasn’t really sure which rig I should roll with. So, in my indicisiveness I continued fishing with the both. I really should have just stuck with the cut bait on the bottom because that was my bread and butter for the rest of our time at the Pole Hole. I caught another redfish, which was an inch larger than my previous redfish of 22 inches. I also caught another trout that was around 17 inches. My dad wasn’t catching a much at all, but did manage a keeper trout.
We fished a few more spots, catching a plethora of catfish and a few short reds here and there. It was a beautiful day, but rather hot. The tides were pretty extreme too. Barely two hours after high tide, it looked like someone pulled the plug on Cedar Key. The water was hauling ass out of there, so we figured we should too. My dad had a high school reunion and I had a birthday party to attend, so we called it a day around 1:30 pm. In total, we came home with two redfish and three trout. For a short day of fishing, it was entertaining and productive. I wish it wasn’t so damn hot, but it’s hard to complain when you’re catching fish.