fishing Forecast

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  • 07/30/2017 11:12 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Redfish, trout, and snapper are August targets

    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    August is here and we’ve got lots of options to fish for in Southwest Florida. Fishing is usually best early in the mornings before it gets too hot. Part of August is that bait options are plentiful, so if you have a plan on what you want to catch finding the right bait should be easy. Pilchards, threadfins, pinfish, crabs, and shrimp are all plentiful through August. Tides, winds, and weather are the deciding factors as afternoon thunderstorms will be common just about every day.

     The stronger the tides the better, you need moving water to catch fish especially as it gets hot.  Windy days will give savvy anglers options of what sides of islands to fish on, where they’ll need to run to for the most options, and sometimes the opportunity to fish specific spots that will be awesome on certain wind directions. Likewise, on low wind days I’ll blow off the backcountry fishing and go out front nearshore fishing.

    Tarpon fishing will be a continued target both in the backcountry and along our beaches. The juvenile tarpon is plentiful this time of the year. Tarpon can be found regularly around or bridges, near the beaches chasing schools of bait early, and in the back bays usually where it’s a bit deeper than the surrounding flats. We’ll chase them usually early in the morning or late in the evening using everything from small white baits, artificial lures, all the way up to live ladyfish.

    Snook fishing is great during the summer, we’ll continue to find them along our beaches within feet of the shorelines, on our wrecks and reefs patrolling the edges, and in the backcountry laying up under the bushes as it gets hotter. They’ll be in schools usually, and when the waters clean are a blast to site cast.  Moving around slowly on the trolling motor looking for those big fish cruising is a blast in the Summer. Seeing snook up to 40” isn’t uncommon this time of the year and well worth putting a few hours of a trip toward.

    Redfish, trout, and snapper are typical backcountry August fishing targets. As redfish will be found often in the same areas as the snook and snappers, we do fish them a bit different however. Spreads for reds works out great as it gets hotter. We’ll put out an assortment of baits on jig heads or knocker rigs and keep the lines close to structure, shorelines, and potholes. By varying the baits you’ll eventually figure out what their most likely to eat and where that given day.

    Fishing our passes and cuts when the tides slow down can be a saving grace during August. These cuts and passes will have the last and first of the moving water and that’s where you’re going to get a bite during the tough times. Pompano, trout, snapper, etc… can be found in these areas. Jigs are my favorite rig tipped with a piece of shrimp and worked quickly. You’ll have to put some time into figuring out where the fish are hunkered down, but it’s worth it when you find a bite.

    Lastly shark fishing can always save the day during the summer. We’ve got all kinds in all sizes, from hammerheads, bulls, blacktips, all the way down to nurse sharks and bonnets. Sharks love a little chumming to get them going and once there enticed they will eat just about anything. Using a simple 5/o circle hook with a nice chunk of ladyfish usually gets it done. I don’t even use wire as I’ve found a freelined bait rarely gets cut off when using 50# leader for sharks up to 8 feet.

    Tight lines,
    Capt. Greg Stamper
    Snookstampcharters.com
    239-313-1764


  • 07/30/2017 10:25 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Blue water bite will improve

    by Capt. Tom Van Horn

    Angling on the in-shore lagoons will continue to show improvement as long as the brown alga bloom continues to subside and the summer squalls (hurricanes) stay away, with fishing in the predawn and late evening hours being most productive. Look for schools of redfish in the skinny water holding in the vicinity of bait concentration, and target them utilizing smaller top-water plugs or soft plastic swim baits like the DOA Bait Buster and Airhead. Once the sun starts to grow hot, the top-water bite will shut down, and bait becomes your better option.

    For larger trout, fish live pigfish in close to docks and other structure adjacent to deeper water. In deeper water, look for large schools of ladyfish, small trout, and tarpon pushing schools of glass minnows near the surface. These schools are easy to locate by watching for concentrations of birds, terns and cormorants, joining in on the frenzy, and they are perfect for fly anglers who are interested in the continuous fast and furious action provided by these speedsters.

    Last but not least, look for schools of black drum and pompano holding in the shadows of the causeway bridges where the water is deeper and cooler. For pompano, fish small jigs tipped with shrimp or sand fleas (mole crabs) along the deeper edges and drop-offs.

    Offshore, look for the blue water bite to improve along the inshore reefs and wrecks of Chris Benson, 8A Reef, and Pelican Flats, with kingfish, dolphin, and cobia serving as the primary species, along with an occasional wahoo or sailfish. This is also the time of year when cooler waters sometimes push the giant manta rays in close to the shoals off the Cape, bringing cobia with them. Further off shore, the Gulf Stream typically moves in closer making tuna a possibility for smaller boats working in the areas of anchored shrimp boats and thermals, and as long as the summer squalls stay away, running to the other side of the stream isn't out of the question.

    Along the beach, look for the silver kings (tarpon), smoker kings, blacktip sharks, jack crevalle, and redfish to be shadowing pods of Atlantic menhaden (pogies), thread fin herring (greenies), Spanish sardines, and bay anchovy (glass minnows) in close to the beach. Also look for snook fishing in the surf to improve, as we get closer to the commencement of the fall bait run. Remember snook are out of season, so if you target them, handle and release them with care. In and around the inlets, look for Spanish mackerel, tarpon, jack cervalle, and bonita to be working schools of glass minnows on the outside, and snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, and flounder in the area of jetties and other structure.

    As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn
    Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
    www.irl-fishing.com
    407-416-1187 on the water
    mosquitocoast@cfl.rr.com

  • 07/30/2017 10:17 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Fish early

    by Captain Michael Manis 

    Being the height of summer, this month is a good time to get out before the sun gets up. Redfish and snook fish best during the cooler morning period. Typically, the water temperature is so warm on the flats I like fishing around outer bar systems adjacent to deeper cuts leading to the open harbor.  Just like last month, I’ll still take a look around creek systems during rainy periods on high early morning outgoing tides; but overall, the cooler water adjacent to the open harbor is more consistent for the short available window before it gets too hot. That’s generally around 10:00 or 11:00 a.m.

    The area from Cape Haze Point at the southern end of the West Wall to Cayo Pelau at the bottom of Gasparilla Sound is good country. It’s one big bar with multiple cuts that come from both Bull and Turtle Bay. Just across the harbor, the bar that runs from Jug Creek at the northern end of Pine Island Sound to Mondongo Island that lies adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway is good.

    Around both these bar systems, especially considering the tight window of opportunity, don’t hesitate to throw top water plugs right off the bat. Lots of floating grass is the only reason I wouldn’t pursue this bite. When the sun comes up, I might move to a floating twitch bait that runs just under the surface and towards the end of the morning a soft plastic paddle tail works great. Of course, I’d rather spend a few hours on the bow of my skiff with a fly rod. During the calm early morning, a six or seven - weight with a floating line and small weed less baitfish or clouser minnow would be my choice.

    Tarpon are also an option this month and the upper Harbor is the place to look. Anywhere between the mouth of the Myakka and Peace rivers and down to the 20 foot hole should be good. Also, the bridges are good places to look and it’s not a bad idea to look up the Peace River around the I-75 Bridge. Look for rolling fish and a live threadfin or ladyfish is tough to beat.  Blacktip sharks should be prevalent around many harbor channel markers and don’t be surprised if one runs off with that threadfin you’ve got soaking.

    The mangrove snapper bite should be consistent in all the Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte canals with the perimeter canals fishing best. Moreover, the artificial reefs off Alligator Creek and Cape Haze should hold good numbers of larger fish. Jack Crevalle are around and it’s not unusual to see them just about anywhere. They come and go quick; but in most cases any bait thrown in their path will get sucked up and they put up a great fight.

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis 
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    (941) 628-7895
    mike@puntagordaflycharters.com
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com

  • 07/30/2017 10:07 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Snapper and trout best bite for August
    by Captain Charlie Conner

    As summer continues to bring the daily chance of afternoon rains and thunderstorms, fishing will take the usual second seat to the opening of lobster season.  It has been a fairly dry season so far and rain hasn’t been a big factor up to now.  Expect lots of boats on the water each day as they head out in search of the spiny critters.  Practice safe boating tactics and don’t be in a hurry to get out there.  Those dog days of August will continue with hot weather, so take the normal precautions while on the water.  Have a great August this year! 
    Trout and snapper will continue to be the best bite around the river.  Top water lures, like the DOA Airhead or Bait Buster, fished early, followed by a DOA shrimp or CAL jerk bait will be productive on the grass flats.  Water quality has been very good this year to date, but with all the hot weather the water temps have been higher than normal.  Queen’s Cove, Bear Point and Harbor Branch are usually active with trout.  Fish shallow early and move to the edges of the flats as the sun warms thing up each day.  Look for sand holes on the grass flats.  Trout love to sit in them and wait for the tide to bring their food to them.  We have enjoyed a good amount of big trout this year on the flats.  This month will provide great weather in the mornings for fishing the river. 



    Head out to the docks along the river for snook, snapper, sheephead and redfish.  Some big fish will be hanging under the shady areas around many of the docks along the river from Vero to Stuart.  Fish your lures slowly.  If you use the tide in your favor, the lure will remain under the dock longer and give you a better chance at hooking up.  Snook will be active around the jetties, bridges and docks of the river.  Live baits, Terror Eyz and Bait Busters will all work well for you.  As the rainy season continues, try some of the spillways when the water is actively running over them.  A root beer Terror Eyz is a great lure around those areas.

    Bridges will hold some nice snapper during the month along with some sheephead and black drum.  The turning basin should become alive with glass minnows and a variety of predators to feed on them.  Again the fresh water runoff will play a part in determining where to fish this month.  Everything on the water loves to eat those glass minnows.  Fish the edges of the bait pods and you should find some predators hanging out there waiting to feed.  The edges of the channel will also be holding lots of snapper around any of the structure or rocks.  It’s a great time of year!

    Make it a point to keep hydrated and lathered up with sunscreen.  Take those precautions early so that the end of your day will be as enjoyable as the beginning.  Sunburn or sun poisoning isn’t any fun and can become dangerous to your health.  Drink plenty of water or Gatorade.  Have fun in August and good fishing!

    Remember, as always, fishing is not just another hobby……it's an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing,
    Captain Charlie Conner

    www.fishtalescharter.com
    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852

  • 07/02/2017 10:50 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Water temperature is key
    by Captain Michael Manis

    Understandably, this month begins a period where I prefer fishing early.  The cooler morning water temperatures present the best opportunity to look for redfish and snook outside the cover of mangroves where they’ll spend most of the day as soon as the water temperature rises. Overall, rainfall amounts factored in with tide help determine where I’ll look on any given day. For instance, if we’re getting consistent afternoon soakers, I like looking around tidal creek areas on an early morning outgoing tide.  The east side of the harbor anywhere south of Ponce Park in Punta Gorda and all the way down to Matlacha can be good under this scenario. 

    If we haven’t had a whole lot of rain, I like to look around flats adjacent to mangrove shorelines that are in close proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway.  As it receives flow from the passes, it holds good amounts of clean oxygenated gulf water. Here, I’ll generally load at the Placida ramp and cover ground anywhere from outside Catfish Creek to all the way down to the Cabbage Key area in northern Pine Island Sound. This is a lot of ground and only a fraction can be covered in the limited time we have on any given morning. 

    This time of year, it’s not unusual to find yourself with calm conditions and a flat that can be very visual. By this, I mean the mullet are very apparent as well as pushes from both redfish and snook. You may not see the fish at first but you may begin noticing single V wakes pushing off. Slow it down and some sight fishing opportunities may materialize. It’s also the time you want to be on the poling platform and not running the trolling motor.

    Off the flats, this is one of the best times of year to do some mangrove snapper fishing. Inside Boca Grande Pass in about 20 or 30 feet up on the hill is a great place. Live bait or shrimp dropped to the bottom can provide some great fun. Inside the harbor, the Alligator Creek Reef is another good spot.

    Tarpon should start grouping up in the upper harbor at the mouths of both the Peace and Myakka Rivers. The bridges are always good places to keep an eye on.  In addition, the canal systems of both Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda hold small tarpon as well as lots of mangrove snapper and some good-sized black drum. The perimeter canals are the best place to look.

    Until next month, good tides,

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    (941) 628-7895

    mike@puntagordaflycharters.com
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com

  • 07/02/2017 10:45 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Kingfish and Tarpon on the Beach
    by Captain Tom Van Horn

    There’s no doubt about it, summer has arrived in Central Florida and the mid-summer doldrums are currently upon us. It's also the time of year when tropical weather systems and offshore water temperatures are unpredictable. Just when you think you've got the fishing figured out, a summer squall (tropical system) will blow in and kick up the seas, or the cold water Labrador Current (upwelling) will chill bottom water temperatures and shut down the seaward bite. Setting all these possibilities aside, many opportunities for angling adventure exists both inside and outside. 

    Near-shore, kingfish will be the staple on the reefs and wrecks in 70 to 90 feet of water, with a mixed bag of three, wahoo, dolphin, and an occasional sailfish, thrown in. The preferred method for targeting these species is slow trolling live bait (pogies) on steel stinger rigs in the areas of the Chris Benson, 8A, and Pelican Flats reefs. Currently the water temperatures are starting to drop.

    On the Port Canaveral buoy line and along the beaches when the water is clean, an assorted beach bag is available with smoker kings (large king mackerel), silver kings (tarpon), sharks, and gigantic jacks (school buses) all available at any given time. To target these species, focus your attention in areas of bait concentrations. This past week, large tarpon and sharks were located between Patrick AFB and Satellite Beach. As the month progresses, these fish should begin moving north along the beach to their favorite summertime haunt into the bight of the Cape. 

    In the Port and inlets, snook, Spanish mackerel, flounder and mangrove snapper number should remain steady. To target the flounder and snapper, try using DOA Shrimp on a ¼ to ½ ounce jig head in the areas of structure and along sandy drop-offs. For flounder or snapper cast the jig as close to the structure as possible without getting snagged, and let it sink to the bottom. Once it's reached the bottom, slowly drag it back letting it rest every foot or so. When jigging for Spanish mackerel or other toothy critters, use the same jigs, but retrieve it quickly to avoid getting cut off by not allowing the fish to strike the line. 

    Inshore, July is one of the best times of the year to catch redfish in shallow water. Water conditions remain good in most areas of the lagoon with some signs of algae blooms beginning to show up.  Redfish schools have already started forming up. In deeper water, look for ladyfish and small trout to be shadowing schools of bay anchovies (glass minnows) under clouds of feeding terns. These feeding frenzies are great fun, especially when fly fishing using a top water popping bug. Additionally, Calm conditions are ideal for paddlers wishing to venture back into the No-Motor Zone, where tailing redfish make great targets for both fly and spin anglers.

    On the St Johns River water levels have increased due to recent rainfall setting the stage for the catfish spawn.  As the water levels and volume increase, catfish move upstream out of the big lakes into the creeks and river.  When targeting these fish, try fishing in the deeper bends on the bottom and step up your tackle size to safely manage these larger fish.

    Remember, as the water temperatures increase, dissolved oxygen levels decrease, so it is important to step up your tackle and line size to facilitate a shorter battle, and to revive your catch completely before releasing them.

    As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn
    http:www.irl-fishing.com
    407-416-1187


  • 07/02/2017 10:43 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Read the water
    by Captain Charlie Conner

    July brings hot weather, chances of afternoon rains and Fourth of July parties. Oh....and lots of great fishing out there, too!  Watch out for afternoon thunderstorms this month.  Mornings on the river will bring action at first light on top water lures for snook or trout along the flats. They will seek deeper water as the sun rises.  It’s a hot, but very productive month around the Treasure Coast. 

    I will be fishing along the mangroves for snook and redfish with DOA shrimp, CAL jerk baits and top water lures, like the DOA Airhead, where the water will be 2-3 feet deep.  Trout will move to deeper flats in 2-6 feet of water and will most likely hit pigfish, DOA 2 ¾” shrimp or Deadly Combos.  Look for the trout to move to the deeper edges of the flats as the sun warms up the water.  Fish the sand holes on the flats!  You will find the bigger fish sitting in these holes waiting on the tides to bring the food to them.  

    It has been another banner year for big trout around the area.  Redfish will continue to hold up on the flats.  Read the water as you move across the flats and look for any activity that might be a school of reds.  Gold spoons, soft baits, like DOA shrimp or CAL jerk baits will work best for them. Search along the docks during the day for snook or redfish hanging around there as well.  It’s a fantastic month to be fishing!

    Bridges will be producing snapper, drum and sheephead during July. Live or dead shrimp will be hard for them to resist.  Watch the tides and fish the slower sides of them for best results. Whiting will continue to be in the surf with the occasional bluefish and Spanish mackerel. There will be larger snapper in the river around structure and along channel edges.  Sharks will be patrolling along the beach also.  The glass minnows will be flowing into the river in huge schools.  Watch for these bait schools and fish the edges for your best action. 

    Areas to fish in the river for July: Bear Point, Queen's Cove and Round Island.  South of Harbor Branch will be a great area to work for trout in the mornings before the sun heats up things. The flats in front of the power plant taper off to 3-5 feet and will be holding trout during the day.  Live pigfish are the favorite food for trout this time of year.  It’s time to set the traps to feed these hungry fish!  Try a DOA TerrorEyz or the DOA Airhead during the day also for trout.  The west shore down there will be good areas to search out redfish. Channel edges will be yielding snapper on structure.  Tripletail will be around channel markers and pilings to the south towards Jensen Beach.  Have a fun month out there!

    Remember, as always, fishing is not just another hobby……it’s an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing,
    Captain Charlie Conner

    www.fishtalescharter.com
    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852


  • 07/02/2017 10:30 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Respect the summer storms
    by Captain Greg Stamper

    Crazy that we’re half way through the year, and smack dab into our summer. July fishing has a theme that we’ll probably stick with us through mid-September and that’s “Start Early”. The afternoon heat can make for some rather tough times when hanging around islands with no breezes. It’s just flat out hot once you get to about 2pm around here. With that said as we get further into the month, the water in the back bays becomes a bit warm pre-thunderstorms.

    Yep, thunderstorms become a big factor and often dictate what’s going to happen next. There are good parts about having thunderstorms however. One good thing is we don’t see too much of them until the sea breeze takes over in the mid-afternoon, so you can factor that into the days fishing plan.

     Another good thing about the thunderstorms, is that they cool things off and hopefully keep the water somewhere in the high 80’s. The bad part about thunderstorms is you need to get off the water and take shelter as things can be quite dangerous when they push through. Today’s phones or boat electronics can warn you when lightning is approaching, so they’re a great tool as you’ll need time to get somewhere safe. 

    So, what are we going to target down here in Southwest Florida? Tarpon, snook, redfish, sharks, trout, jacks, permit, and snapper are a few of what we’ll be targeting all based on time of day and weather outlooks. The mid-afternoon low tides make things tougher as the water gets rather warm pre-storms. Working the stronger tides will help as the water temperatures increase. Warm water has less oxygen, so moving water brings more with it, thus making fish more active. Get good strong tides early in the mornings and “Fish on”! 

    We say, when living in Southwest Florida, if you don’t like the weather, just wait an hour. So, fishing after a thunderstorm can be excellent. The rain these storms bring, cools things off and gets fish giddy. Redfish on the open flats are one of my favorite targets just after a good storm goes through. Often, you’ll see a few degrees difference post storm and that’s all it takes to get the bite going again. Snook that aren’t on the beaches can be found moving to creek mouths and areas where water drains into, as small bait fish get flushed out and are easy pickings. Snook fishing can be epic for the next few months so they’ll be in play for awhile.

    Tarpon fishing shifts a bit in July, even though we still find big fish patrolling our beaches and nearshore waters. Most of the fish during this time of the year are locals. This means the big spawn is over and things get bake to the standard quo. We’ll find a lot more juveniles in the backwaters usually between 10 to 40lbs milling around in small schools. When targeting these small fish, you can throw fly’s, small artificials, and whitebaits under a cork, they all work well. With tarpon in July the early bird usually gets the worm, or the bird that doesn’t sleep as the midnight to sunrise hours can be fantastic.

    The nearshore wrecks and reefs are another option as snapper, cobia, permit, grouper and an assortment of random species can be caught. There’s lots of bait this time of the year so the fish are happy. There’s no telling what you may run into while cruising around from place to place. It’s not uncommon to see random cobia moving around or big sharks cruising. So, when your moving to another area keep your eyes open as you may get a lucky surprise.

    Tight lines,
    Capt Greg Stamper
    Snookstampcharters.com
    239-313-1764

  • 05/31/2017 5:16 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Snook patrol
    by Capt. Greg Stamper          

    Summer time fishing patterns are in full swing starting in June. Starting up the Summer heat, June brings us near 90 degrees daily and with that begins our late afternoon thunderstorms. We fish early as long as the tides are good to take advantage of calm conditions and morning temperatures in the 70’s. Anglers can target just about anything now, so based on the winds and their direction we can go after different things.

    Tarpon fishing is still the big deal throughout this month and will continue to be great. However, with so many anglers targeting tarpon it leaves many of the backcountry areas, rivers, and bays less pressured thus that fishing is excellent. So, if you have low winds you have the nearshore option available to target tarpon and nearshore species like permit, or play in the back bays and beach shorelines for snook, redfish, trout, etc.

    Snook fishing is one of the finest things to do this time of the year. Snook patrol the beach shorelines in good numbers and can be targeted many ways depending on the anglers’ experience. We target them with artificial lures, swimbaits, flies, and of course live bait. Snook will not be back in season till the Fall so handling these beautiful fish correctly is important for a good release especially in the warmer water. Typically, I’ll just hold them in the water and take the hook out, have the client get the camera ready to go and a quick out of the water photo opt then we’re done. Once you get the fish back in the water, just let her suck on your thumb till she’s ready to go and that fish will be just fine.

    Redfishing gets good in June as the afternoon rain storms cool off the water a bit in the evenings allowing for what is usually a good bite through the next morning. We target them on the open flats, around oyster bars, and as the tide rises along the mangrove shorelines. There’s plenty of bait around so you can go with the live stuff or throw artificial baits and do well. Some of my best redfish days have been throwing D.O.A shrimps or Rapala skidderwalks early in the morning.

    Trout, snappers, jack crevalles, pompano, and sharks are just a few of the other targets during June that gives anglers of all skill levels a chance to bend a pole and catch some fish. Every day is different and trips are catered to the clients wants so having options is a good thing. Besides it’s fishing sometimes you just know when what your trying to catch isn’t cooperating. Having a backup plan is always a good thing and mine usually consist of a popping cork with a shrimp below it. So popping corks in 3-5 feet of water usually in grassy areas with some sandy potholes can help anglers on those tough days. There’s going to be a ton of sharks around for the rest of the summer. We’ve already been catching a bunch of them as bi-catch when tarpon fish, so if you really try for them that will be a no brainer as well.

    Tight lines,

    Capt Greg Stamper
    Snook Stamp Charters
    239-313-1764

  • 05/31/2017 5:10 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Stay cool if you can
    by Capt. Tom Van Horn, Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

    There’s no doubt summer has arrived on the Indian River Lagoon coast.  With temperatures and humidity levels rising, it’s wise to concentrate your angling efforts during cool hours of early morning, late afternoon, and night. I know the best time to fish is whenever you have a chance, but stay cool if you can.  Fishing in June, July, and August requires some adjustments in your fishing routine, but it doesn’t mean the fish aren’t biting.  June will provide some of the best opportunities for shallow water anglers to tackle major fish along the Lagoon coast.Near-shore opportunities are typically the best you will see all year for skinny water boats along the beach.  June is the time of year when the kingfish move in close shadowing schools of Atlantic menhaden (pogies) along the beach and in the Port Canaveral buoy line.  When the summer doldrums set in, the waters clear up, and the seas flatten out, the window of opportunity opens for flat bottom boats.  

    Also along the beach, look for the tarpon and shark number to increase, and let’s not forget the large schools of jack carvalle and the tripletail fishery will be cranking up.  Remember, snook season closes this week, so lets give them a chance to relax and get jiggie. I try not to target them, and if I do manage to catch one, I handle it gently and release it with care. 

    Offshore, look for the dolphin bite to slow as the schools begin to spread out.  The kingfish concentration will remain good along the inshore reefs and wrecks of 8A Reef and Pelican Flats slow trolling with live pogies producing the most action. Bottom fishing will remain good for snapper and grouper until the first summer squall (tropical system) blows in and muddies up the water. 

    On the flats, focus your efforts in the morning and in the late afternoon after the thunderstorms dissipate.  Night fishing will also produce descent catches of redfish and trout. When fishing the flats at night, I prefer fishing real slow with glow in the dark shrimp imitation baits like the DOA Shrimp.  If you can only fish during the heat of the day, target docks with deepwater access.  In the early morning look for trout and redfish up in the skinny water around concentration of bait, and toss them your favorite top water plug.  Also look for schools of bay anchovies (glass minnows) in deeper waters near the end of June.  These schools can be located by watching for small terns and other sea birds working, and they usually are shadowed by concentrations of small trout and ladyfish.

    Currently the water conditions are the best I’ve seen in years, let’s just hope the summer rains and nutrient loads do not trigger another alga bloom. 

    Also remember as the days heat up, long battles will kill the larger fish, if you plan on targeting them, you may want to step up your tackle to shorten the battle.  Also leave them in the water as much as possible, and revive them completely before releasing them. 

    As always, if you need more information or have questions, please contact me. 

    Good luck and good fishing,

     Captain Tom Van Horn
    www.irl-fishing.com
    407-416-1187

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