Snook, Bass, and Monster Bluegill

Working as a manatee tour guide has its perks. Aside from the obvious fact that I work on the water all day; I get off work with enough time to chase some fins before dark. The waters surrounding the Crystal River area can be very productive all year round.

Baby snook on a big ole fly!
Baby snook on a big ole fly!

My favorite thing about this area is that you never know what you will catch. Many of the backwater creeks that surround this part of the state have a few fresh water sources that eventually make contact with marshy salt water inlets. These hold a mixed bag of salt and feshwater fish species.

This little bass slammed this gurgler pattern!
This little bass slammed this gurgler pattern!

This week I was blessed with the oportunity to land a healthy mix of fresh and saltwater species. Catching a total of 4 snook, 2 bass, and 4 really healthy looking bluegill on my 3wt. Don’t get me wrong, I love catching big fish on the fly; but there is still something awesome about chasing big bluegill.

Colors upon colors!
Colors upon colors!

This day I was able to target these big blues as they were working on setting up for the spawn. We have had about 3 weeks of above average temperatures and these fish are getting ready to start bedding up. This makes them easy targets around the shorelines and flats.

Big Bluegill on the fly!
Big Bluegill on the fly!

Chasing fish in the backwaters isn’t always an easy task. However, when you find the fish it is hard to keep them off the hook. Get out there and start combing the backwaters in your town. You never know what you are going to find!

Remember, Keep your hearts right and your lines tight!


Published by Backwater Fly Fishing

I’m Capt. Jesse Males, an avid fly fishing, snook snatching, kayak paddling, tarpon slaying, mountain hiking, manatee swimming fool from Central Florida. Over the years fly fishing has had a huge impact on my life and particularly on how I view the world we spend our time in. I am currently the owner and operator of as well as our online fly shop, The lifestyle that is called fly fishing has taken me to some amazing destinations and has provided me with some amazing experiences in the wild. From chasing big salty critters in the Florida Keys, to roosters in Coast Rica, to small wild trout in the Carolinas, and all the way up to the high mountain cutthroat of Wyoming; I have been blessed to experience fly fishing at its finest.

2 thoughts on “Snook, Bass, and Monster Bluegill

  1. I think a lot of anglers take Bluegill for granted, at least up here in Ohio. For most of us, it is the first fish we encountered, plentiful, and often the easiest fish to catch in small ponds and lakes. When you actually take the time to look at one, the colors and variations can be amazing, let alone when you get some crossbreeding that naturally occurs. I’ve seen some Bluegill x Green Sunfish x Pumpkinseed that are gorgeous fish.

    That baby Snook is a cool looking little fish, really like the composition of that photo.

    Liked by 1 person

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