Sometimes fishing can be difficult. Especially if you aren’t catching any fish. But sometimes the opposite is true, and fishing is just plain too easy sometimes. Along the Nature Coast of Florida the serious anglers don’t consider it a great day unless they completed a “SLAM” and come caught three separate species of sport fish in a single day. Places like Homosassa Springs and Crystal Springs deliver millions of gallons of pure, clean freshwater to a uniquely vibrant section of Florida’s Gulf coast, helping to make magic waters that seem to put a spell on fish and fishermen alike. For anglers looking for an inshore slam, these enchanted waters are a top draw.
An Inshore Slam can mean many different things along the Nature Coast of Florida. For most anglers fishing the area, they mean Redfish, Seatrout and Flounder. Oftentimes Snook replace Flounder. But other variations do arise. The diversity of inshore fish making up the Grand Slam requirements reflects the diversity of prize fish waters this particular stretch of coast hosts. Red drum, black drum, sheepshead, flounder, snook, spotted seatrout, and even tarpon frequent the area.
Stretching 89 miles between the mouth of the Withlacoochee River near Yankeetown southwards to Anclote Key State Park, this expanse of coast receives a constant influx of spring fed water. Add to that shallow, unspoiled coastal wetlands where water temperatures change with more speed, and you end up with a special place that is already naturally temperature controlled. This attracts fish and animals looking for warmer water in the winter, and during the long, hot summers the spring fed rivers attract the same fish with cooler water. With built in central heat and air conditioning the fish love hanging around the Nature Coast all year long.
And these waters attract a variety of other wildlife that can turn ordinary days fishing into extraordinary days. Manatees, river otters, pelicans, countless wading birds and even endangered whooping cranes are sure to add to any trips. Three state parks and two national wildlife preserves grace this stretch of the Gulf coast. With winding tidal creeks and innumerable islets, sport anglers can easily have fun wandering around a bewitching beautiful labyrinth of fishing spots. For tourists that are new these waters, guided charters are the way to go. It’s easy to get lost in paradise, and with so many great fishing spots to choose from, experienced guides are invaluable at putting you on secret spots trophy fish haunt.
Ponce de Leon came to Florida seeking the Fountain of Youth, convinced that he was close to a mythical, magical place with the power to make you young again. Places he saw like the Nature Coast must have helped convince him of the reality of such a spot. Although the Fountain of Youth may have ultimately been imaginary, there is a place for sport fishermen where the action really is magic!