July 8- July 10: Heat Index
Weather & Tides…
As we wind down after the Holiday weekend and the passing of the New Moon, conditions should settle back down from a fishing front. This weekend’s tides will not be as strong as the 4th of July weekend due to the New Moon passing, but expect a falling tide as you launch the boat in the morning, making way to a dead low tide late in the morning and around lunch time depending on what day you fish and where in the region. Weather is your typical July forecast…..hot, muggy and showers in the afternoons with mild winds, making for some scorcher outings with heat indexes hovering around 100 degrees. Get out early and get back to the AC as soon as you can!
Snook continue to shine throughout the region on a plethora of offerings, with hand sized pilchards and free lined threadfin herrings taking the larger females. At first light, walk-the-dog topwater plugs in chrome, bone and those with some orange to their belly are taking some solid numbers. As the sun starts to ascend, find those shady mangrove lined points with some laydowns and current and switch over to the live bait and you should do well. Find those same areas with a little deeper water on them and you’ll do great. If you want a bit of a change of pace, good reports of linesiders are on the beaches from Cape Romano north to Naples, with Keewaydin being a safe bet. A pre-dawn launch should be in order to make it to your first spot at first light and topwaters, soft plastic jerkbaits and 3” paddle tail swimbaits are all taking fish right now. As the tide falls throughout the morning, simply set up outside the second trough that is defined throughout this area and the fish should pull into the second trough as the tide falls out.
Redfish are still taking cut baits with some consistency in the larger bays such as Fakahatchee. Concentrate on the oyster bars as the tide falls out and if you are brave enough to fish the incoming tide this weekend in the afternoon heat, be sure to stake out your best points and pockets with shade on them and be patient.
Nearshore tarpon action in the northern part of the region continues to be pretty consistent for those fishing super early and in the evenings. Live mullet, ladyfish, crabs and threadfin herring are all taking fish as they set up in that 12-20 foot mark. Watch for active rollers at first light and again as the sun sets and keep your eyes open for the large bait schools as they will alert you to where you should be setting up your drifts.
Be sure to take advantage of the AMAZING Red Snapper bite right now as the season closes. As a reminder, the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper State Season runs continuously from May 28th through July 10th, so this Sunday will be your last day to harvest these tasty pink morsels. The season will re-open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, and on Labor Day. Federal season is June 1st through July 16th for federally permitted charter boats and headboats, so book a charter if you can’t get out by Sunday. The fishing truly has been amazing with quick limits hitting the deck after you find them and they are eating just about anything that gets dropped in their lairs.
Until next week, tight lines and screamin’ drags….
Captain Steve Dall