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Tell Me About Navigating Homosassa

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Was talking to a guy recently about fishing locally (St.Pete) and he told me he had started going to Homosassa instead because the fishing (especially fly fishing) was much better, and that he hadn't fished here for awhile since he started going. But then came the topic of navigating the area which is much more difficult, he ended up spending over $3k on a Simrad and FMT and said it was a huge help trying to navigate around there. He didn't get into specific spots but mentioned Oyster Creek and Porpoise Bay as good starting points for exploring around and finding fish.

I was wondering if I'd be able to navigate the area without spending a ton of money on a chart plotter and FMT. Like are there any good phone apps I could use and just take things really slow? Or maybe get an older chart plotter used for cheap? If so which ones are dependable? My skiff is a cheap Rabco so i'm not worried about hitting rocks or oyster beds or anything and messing up the hull it's already beat up. I figured if we take our time we should be ok for the most part, but I could be horribly wrong lol. Would appreciate any input on this, part of us wanting to go is the adventure of a new place to explore but I want to be as prepared as possible so i know what to expect.
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I can't say for sure but I do believe people were fishing that area before the invention of Simrad.

I don't think I am wrong because I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.
We were! And long before we there was they! That said, if not for FMT, my backyard would have way less traffic than it does these days! Many still can’t follow me where I end up though so I have that goin’ for me! Not many folks can run from Chass to Crystal River without going into the gulf! 😉
 

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I am doing an “emergency” repair for a local guide tomorrow morning that hit a piece of rebar on his way in today! Yep, REBAR! He need the boat to fish Friday so before I feast, I fix!😉 This guide probably knows these particular waters better than any still alive today if that tells ya anything!
Hey JC
I was running out of Mason today and I am certain I saw the rebar in question. Someone added a marker that is only visible at low tide. The PVC was gone but I saw the rebar sticking up and it was bent. Thought to myself that would mess up a glass hull quick.

Skimmer, idle everywhere during the winter low tide with an east wind to learn the channels and you will still wreck a prop :)
 

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Hey JC
I was running out of Mason today and I am certain I saw the rebar in question. Someone added a marker that is only visible at low tide. The PVC was gone but I saw the rebar sticking up and it was bent. Thought to myself that would mess up a glass hull quick.

Skimmer, idle everywhere during the winter low tide with an east wind to learn the channels and you will still wreck a prop :)
Probably it!
 

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Hey JC
I was running out of Mason today and I am certain I saw the rebar in question. Someone added a marker that is only visible at low tide. The PVC was gone but I saw the rebar sticking up and it was bent. Thought to myself that would mess up a glass hull quick.

Skimmer, idle everywhere during the winter low tide with an east wind to learn the channels and you will still wreck a prop :)
I’m glad I didn’t find it the other day wet testing a client’s BT3 with some pretty serious drivability issues! I hate doing repairs!🤣
 
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Hey JC
I was running out of Mason today and I am certain I saw the rebar in question. Someone added a marker that is only visible at low tide. The PVC was gone but I saw the rebar sticking up and it was bent. Thought to myself that would mess up a glass hull quick.

Skimmer, idle everywhere during the winter low tide with an east wind to learn the channels and you will still wreck a prop :)
F'kin Mason, I'll pass in my skiff.
 

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Hey JC
I was running out of Mason today and I am certain I saw the rebar in question. Someone added a marker that is only visible at low tide. The PVC was gone but I saw the rebar sticking up and it was bent. Thought to myself that would mess up a glass hull quick.

Skimmer, idle everywhere during the winter low tide with an east wind to learn the channels and you will still wreck a prop :)
Probably Homosassa marine lol
 

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From what I understand and am open to be corrected is that FMT is based on a normal low tide. When there is a negative tide things change. I have fished and still fish this area mostly more north around Waccasassa. During extreme negative low tides I have seen tracts where there is no water. With a normal low and light wind I would run that same spot. This is the time you need to be beyond careful. Do not trust tide charts this time of the year because with a strong east wind the tide can stay out. FMT is probably the only one I will trust.
 

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First time I launched at Ozello, caught a fn rock 50' from the ramp, almost fell out of the boat.............wow, if i had FMT I probably would have known it was there (ya, right)
This week is a perfect week (big moon, winds been blowin out of the N/NE for days) to get out there spend time and learn the water
 

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First time I launched at Ozello, caught a fn rock 50' from the ramp, almost fell out of the boat.............wow, if i had FMT I probably would have known it was there (ya, right)
This week is a perfect week (big moon, winds been blowin out of the N/NE for days) to get out there spend time and learn the water
Big one that makes a small island on low tide?
 

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I launch mason a bit, and run the south and north paths in my Towee and panga. I have made some mistakes, despite having my own tracks that I trust. I want to hear more about this rebar that’s causing JC to be working on turkey day—like where it is and if it’s new that someone put in or maybe old that pvc fell off of!

To the OP, sure of course you can fish it with or without FMT. But what’s written here is fair—it’s a high probability of making a mistake and the consequences when you make one are pretty high, because it’s rock. A lot of the rock is light colored so it’s hard to distinguish even if you can see well.
Winter tides are nice for tailers and tough for running, so be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Yeah that's why I was gonna wait until summer, to avoid the winter tides. Also was planning on launching out of the Mason ramp.

He also mentioned Yankeetown further to the north as being a worthwhile place to explore....Is it any easier there?
 

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As many others have said, DO NOT run outside the main channels without local guidance or FMT. And even then, idle on your 1st couple passes until you're comfortable. This place will annihilate you otherwise. One of the most unforgiving fisheries I've ever navigated without a doubt........Definitely requires a good unit and chip if you care at all about your skiff.
 

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Yeah that's why I was gonna wait until summer, to avoid the winter tides. Also was planning on launching out of the Mason ramp.

He also mentioned Yankeetown further to the north as being a worthwhile place to explore....Is it any easier there?
Yankeetown is not a lot easier in my opinion. Water’s darker, and a lot more oyster reefs, so at least most hazards look dark. Still, if I didn’t have my tracks I just wouldn’t run. You will hit things. I’ve hit more there than south.
IMO there are hazards everywhere new. But the homosassa to lowes bay region does have a lot of them, compared to other areas I’ve fished. Getting to know them is fun though.
 
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