Weather & Tides
Tides should weaken a bit now that the new (dark) moon is in our rear view mirror, but the story remains the heat. With day time temps in the low to mid 90’s and heat indexes over 100, please exercise some caution when heading out on the water. There has been little to no wind this past week, making for some exceptionally difficult weather conditions, so be sure to get off the water by mid-day and drink a PILE of water. Water conditions continue to improve with the mild to non-existent winds and are clearing up daily.
Bait is everywhere. Literally, everywhere. Find a sandy stretch and you should find your fair share of bait. Pilchards are running thick as are the smaller threadfins, so be sure to have a watchful eye and know what type of bait you are throwing on, as you may have a “Christmas Tree” in your net if you aren’t careful!
Snook continue to shine as numbers are up as are larger fish catches. Pilchards continue to shine, but smaller soft plastic swimbaits in the 3-4” size adorned in darker hues are taking their fair share of linesiders this month. Early morning you also can get these guys to eat topwater baits and the prop style baits such Rapala X-Props, Heddon Torpedos and a few new prototype baits we picked up at ICAST have been doing awesome. Be sure to have your share of popping and walk-the-dog style topwaters on board, because on days they are more aggressive, they’ll smash them better than the subtle prop style baits.
If you want to beat the heat, head out to the dock lights in the northwestern part of the region after dark. Snook have taken up their summer residency in the countless urban canals in this area. Finding slightly deeper docks with some current on them is the key for the bigger fish, but countless upper teen to lower twenty inch fish are strewn throughout the urban corridors, so bring lots of tackle. Soft plastic jerkbaits wigged weedless are a great first choice, but try to have a bait that can get down quickly and hopped along the bottom. I like a
Sharks continue to be everywhere and of all varieties with blacktips, atlantic sharpnose, spinners and smaller hammerheads leading the way in the Gulf with lemons and bulls plying the nearshore and backcountry. Just about any cut bait will work using a fast action 20-30 lb class rod paired with a 4000-6000 sized spinning reel dressed with at least 40 lb braid. Longer steel and wire leaders that adorn circle hooks of 8/0-12/0 sized will get the job done.
With slicked out conditions due to mild winds, be adventurous and hit those numbers that are usually too far to head to. Some great American Red Snapper action can be had in 100-140 feet of water if you are willing to make the run. Be sure to check the FWC website for updated regulations as the ARS season has been adjusted to limited days of the week for summer. Good reports of gag grouper over live bottom in 60-75 foot marks, along with red grouper slurping up cut baits in 40-60 foot ranges. Live pinfish and smaller grunts will take the larger fish with assorted cut baits taking the action sized fish.
Mangrove snappers continue to shine as mini football sized maroon marauders invade the nearshore waters in 30-40 foot marks. Simple Carolina rigs with ½ to ¾ ounce egg sinkers depending on the velocity of the current will get the job done. Use a 2/0 sized circle hook tipped with shrimp if you can get them big enough or cut pilchards.
Permit are still being caught and with some size at that. Good schools of 10-20lb class fish are still milling around the wrecks with higher relief. Meaning those reefs that are more upright in nature. Smaller blue crabs are still the ticket.
Until next week, tight lines and screamin’ drags….