Fall is the perfect time to fish Florida. As summer moves out, and winter species move in, the variety of fish you can catch is limitless. We recommend using this insight to put your name on the books with a Grand Slam in Terra Ceia Bay.
A Grand Slam is the catch and release of three species in 24 hours. Proof of your catches results in several FWC publications in addition to t-shirts and other prizes. To prove your fish stories, you must take photos. Multiple grand slams result in recognition tiers that reward further prizes and raffle entries. Full details can be found here.
Grand Slam Categories Include:
- Inshore Grand Slam: Red drum, Spotted sea trout, Flounder
- Family Grand Slam: Any three fish in the same family (ex: Lane snapper, Red snapper, Mangrove snapper)
- Florida Grand Slam: Permit, Tarpon, Bonefish
- Shoreline Grand Slam: Sheepshead, Kingfish (whiting), Florida pompano
- Nearshore Grand Slam: Cobia, Tripletail, King mackerel
- Bay & Estuary Grand Slam: Mangrove snapper, Snook, Spanish mackerel
- Small Fry Slam (15&under): Pinfish, Grunt (any), Catfish (any)
- Blue Water Grand Slam: Dolphin, Sailfish, Wahoo
- Reefs & Rubble Grand Slam: Black seabass, Gag grouper, Gray triggerfish
To increase your odds for an inshore grand slam in Terra Ceia Bay, you’ll want to learn about each species and obtain some saltwater gear. There are many charter services available, but if you’re choosing to go it alone we have included some details to get you started.
Locals call them “Redfish,” and they are considered one of Florida’s top game fish. The ‘slot’ for redfish in Florida is between eighteen and twenty-seven inches. Due to their nose structure and highly attuned senses, they can see and hear the surface of the water, which means you have to be stealthy in your approach. Kayak fishing and wading are great ways to find them, and having a seasoned local along with you may also be helpful in sight fishing the tail tell signs of a redfish. Because they feed on small crabs and shrimp, our local bait seems to do the trick.
SPOTTED SEA TROUT
It is said that more money is spent obtaining this fish than any other species. Although sea trout aren’t drag-burners like some of the giants listed above, they are a true accomplishment for any angler. You can find them in grassy, sandy, muddy, and shelled bottoms where they’ll bite just about anything, including crustaceans, shrimp, small bait, and artificials. Regulations mandate catch and release only for this species until 2020, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking a photo and enjoying the beauty of this fish.
The Latin name Paralichthys lethosigma means “parallel fish that forgot its spots.” When you catch one, you’ll see the significance of this statement in their star-clustered skin and oddly formed faces. Found on muddy or sandy bottoms around bridges, docks, and reefs, they camouflage their presence, making one’s knowledge of the seafloor important in finding them. As ambush predators, they’ll patiently wait until the right bait presents itself, and with a swift, solid hit, you’ll either catch a flounder, or you’ll flounder as you reel up your hook, sans bait.
Current regulations require flounder be twelve inches in length, and bag limits allow ten per angler. Recent years have shown a reduced population, but this year flounder seems to be back in full effect. If eating fish is part of the reward you seek, then you’re going to love this fish!
We see and hear tales of redfish, spotted sea trout, and flounder in our local waters often, making a Grand Slam in Terra Ceia Bay a very realistic dream. With a private dock, a bridge full of pylons nearby, and shallow grass flats we won’t leave you searching far to find these fish. Fisherman’s Cove Resort was given its name for a reason, and if fishing is what you aim to do while you’re in Florida, you’ve come to the right place.
We look forward to having you here and celebrating your “Grand Slam in Terra Ceia Bay”!