Keaton Beach & Steinhatchee (“STEEN-hatch-ee”)
February 17-21, 2021
Photos below…click a photo to open the photo gallery.
Steinhatchee (“STEEN-hatch-ee”) FYI if you wanna get served, you better not pronounce it (“STINE-hatch-ee”) 😁
Steinhatchee is about 17 miles south of Keaton Beach. It’s a fishing village of about 1,000 people. There are endless creeks and places on the river and Gulf to fish. The shallows are abundant with scallops, stone crabs and blue crabs. People come from all over to snorkel for scallops during the summer scalloping season. Steinhatchee is famous for its large population of spotted sea trout and redfish. Cary caught 19′-20” trout every day.
Keaton Beach is a true Florida Gulf of Mexico experience. Quiet, family friendly, not yet exploited by growth. It’s another Florida small town, hidden jewel. Our campsite was directly on the Gulf. Alongside the pier, were pilings decorated in scuba gear (boy) and hula skirts (girls) and yes, in Florida even the pilings know the difference between male and female!
Favorites: Great fishing all along the coast. We could easily wade out far in shallow water. Everyone has a thick southern drawl and all are super friendly. On our 2nd day, Wayne and Linda moved into the campsite next to us. It turns out they’re from MD and live on Kent Island! Cary and Wayne compared notes to see if they knew any of the same people and it turns out Wayne’s good friend, Tom Brown, was Cary’s high school lax goalie! Such a small world! They’re super nice and a lot of fun and we’re gonna get together back home.
Fish we caught: 8 spotted sea trout, 2 redfish (one twice), 3 Blue Fish, 1 Gar. Cary was fishing a live shrimp on a popping cork when a redfish hit. The fight was on when the line broke just above the cork and we watched the cork submerge with the fish. Then the cork reappeared at the surface and so Cary cast a spoon over it and caught the bobber, fish on again! This time the fish was landed and the cork was retrieved.
We had a major calamity when the trout were hitting so fast Jamie could barely get them off the hook and out of the net fast enough. At one point, Cary was trying to unhook a trout that swallowed the hook while I was holding both poles, one connected to the fish in the net, the other with a shrimp on the hook in the water. Almost instantly another trout hit on the shrimp and there was no way I was gonna let it go, so I shoved one pole under my arm and started reeling in the fish on the other pole. Cary was still holding on to the fish in the net, trying to unhook the fish while also holding the stringer with 1 redfish and 3 trout when suddenly, while trying to reel the fish in, I slipped on a rock, lost my balance and fell into the water in my waders. They filled immediately and Cary reached down and yanked me up when he realized that in all the excitement the stringer with the 4 fish was gone! We literally searched for the stringer, figuring 4 fish strung together couldn’t possibly swim far, but never found them. ☹️ But on the bright side, I kept reeling in the trout while I was bottomed out in the water and landed a nice 20” giving us two trout for the afternoon. 😁
*Unfortunately, I ripped my waders and so on the next day when I wore them again, they filled immediately. I tried toughing it out, but the Gulf water was too cold, and I had to stop fishing. I watched Cary have fun catching 3 Blue Fish that put up a nice fight and a nice 20” spotted trout.