Good Fishing Spots Near Suwannee, Florida

Redbank Reef

Loran: 14429.6 / 45662.1
GPS: 29-19.165 / 83-15.437

This is a shallow grassy/sand area about 3 miles west of the end of McGriff Channel on a 285 degree heading. It is marked by a single concrete post roughly in the middle. The amount of grass has been declining over the years, but there is still a fair amount. Drifting across this from about April to November will produce trout, bluefish, jacks, Spanish mackerel, immature gags (grass grouper), ladyfish, hardhead catfish and sharks, often blacktips. A pinfish under a bobber will sometimes pick up a cobia. It is also a fair spot to get pinfish for live bait for grouper fishing. The more bait there is on the surface, the more action you are likely to see. If there is no topwater action and you make a few drifts with no results, it is time to move on.

Hedemon Reef

Loran: 14423.1 / 45646.0
GPS: 29-17.074 / 83-15.543

This is a shallow grassy/sand area about 3.2 miles from the end of McGriff Channel on a 255 degree heading. A single concrete post roughly in the middle marks the reef. There is less grass here than there used to be, but still enough to attract bait and fish. The northwest quadrant out to the drop-off is the best place to try. The fish here will be very similar to those described for Redbank Reef. Trolling during the summer, especially in the morning or evening, will often get some Spanish mackerel, occasionally a bluefish.

Spotty Bottom

Loran: 14416.5 /45665.1
GPS: 29-16.202 / 83-19.566

This is a rather large area. The Loran and GPS numbers above get you in the general area, but you might have to look for other boats, topwater bait, birds diving, etc., to help you find fish. If you go about due west from the end of McGriff Channel for roughly six miles, you will be at Spotty Bottom. There are large patches of grass interspersed with open sandy areas, very much like Seahorse reef, off Cedar Key. Trolling for Spanish and king mackerel is the main activity here, but other fish can be found as well. Trout will be in the grassy areas in the warm weather and grouper, triggerfish, black seabass and other bottom fish will be found on rocky or hard bottom areas. There aren't many of these latter areas, but there are some, so watch the bottom on your fish finder as you troll. Trolling can include using spoons, feathers, jigs, plugs and live bait. If there is a lot of bait around, you might be able to catch some with the "gold hook" Sabiki rigs or other similar ones. Cigar minnows, herring type fish and blue runners will all be around in the warmer weather.

Seven Brothers

Loran: 14440.1 /45689.3
GPS: 29-23.950 / 83-13.865

This is an area about two thirds the way from Suwannee towards Horseshoe Beach. At low tide, Seven Brothers is a sandy/shelly bar which runs roughly east and west. It is about a quarter of a mile long, and sticks up five feet or more in places. Other bars will be near, roughly along the same line, with cuts between them. At higher tides, the bar will be submerged in places, giving the appearance of individual bars separated by cuts. (Are there seven? Well, if you wanted to change the name to Eight Brothers or Six Brothers or Marx Brothers nobody would give you a big argument.) The inshore side of the bar is deeper, but both sides can be productive. Redfish, black drum, flounder, and trout are the main species to try for. Work the cuts, the bottom on both sides and areas near the bar. Use shrimp-tipped jigs and put out shrimp under bobbers drifting with the current. If you have a cast net, you can wade the bar and find schools of small mullet and killifish to catch to use for live bait in addition to the shrimp. Be careful going to this area, there are other bars around it, (Seven Sisters for example) and there are large areas near it marked with posts and buoys leased to clam farmers. (Carefully working through the clam leases can sometimes produce black drum, since clams are part of their diet.) The first time you work into Seven Brothers, go in from the southwest from near the Horseshoe Beach channel. You will still find shallow water on low tide, but it is grass flats and sand, rather than hard shell. If you are taking kids fishing, working this bar on a lowish tide can be fun for them, since they can get out of the boat and "beachcomb."

East Pass/Dan May Creek

Loran: 14434.5 /45571.3
GPS: 29-16.551 /83-6.678

The wind is really blowing, but you've driven all the way to Suwannee and you want to go fishing. You know that on a windy day, people go "up the creeks," but you have never been up a creek, and you have heard some neat stories about people who got stuck on a bar way up a creek on an outgoing tide. Mosquitos carry off the people, slurp slurp, and a weathered rusting hulk of a boat is found months later, empty of humanity. Since you don't want to have this happen to you, what to do? Launch your boat, go out to the river, go north about a half a mile and turn right (approximately southeast) down the East Pass of the Suwannee. This is a large, deep passage with a lot of current that is quite scenic. You will soon reach the mouth and see the Gulf out ahead of you. Slow down and keep to the left near the small island with salt grass growing on it. You can work along the edge of the island fishing for reds at the edges of the grass. Shrimp-tipped jigs, gold spoons and shrimp under a bobber all can be used. Work your way around the island, roughly going east, and you will see the mouth of Dan May Creek in front of you. This is a deep creek with safe water in the middle of the channel. Work your way into the creek and in about 200 yards on the bank to your left you will see a wrecked covered dock/boat slips. The corrugated tin roof is falling into the creek and if you look closely you will see a small cottage back in on the island behind the dock. With your depthfinder on, you will note some deep holes as you work your way up the creek. There is a variety of bottom here, and there will be some shallow places, but most of these are sandy rather than hard shell or rock. Take your time and explore. While Dan May is not the best creek to fish, it is a good one to learn "creek-running" on. And, you can catch reds, sheepshead, trout and so on. Retrace your steps on the way out. Do not try to run out to the Gulf as there is a lot of shallow water and a lot of hard shell bars to go through. To make this run out to the Gulf, you need to follow someone who knows the ropes!

Last Updated 6 February, 1998
Russ Roy (