by Capt. Tom Van Horn
The heat is on as the mid-summer doldrums are currently upon us. It is also the time when tropical weather systems and offshore water temperatures are unpredictable. Just when you think you have things figured out, a summer squall (tropical weather system) will blow in and elevate the seas, or the cold-water Labrador Current will move in and shut down the seaward bite. Setting all these possibilities aside, many opportunities for angling adventures exist for us both inshore and offshore of the lagoon coast in July.
On the Port Canaveral buoy line and along the beaches, an mixed beach bag is available with smoker kings (large king mackerel), silver kings (tarpon), cobia, sharks, and colossal jacks (school busses) all available at any given time. To target these species, focus your attention in areas of bait concentrations. This past week some pods of 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 off the bight of the Cape.
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. My preferred method for targeting these species is slow trolling live bait (pogies) on steel stinger rigs.
Inshore on the Lagoon during the summer can present outstanding top-water action, with early morning and late evening bite being the most productive times to fish. If you can tolerate the mosquitos, night fishing on the flats and around dock lights can reward you with some very calm and starry nights, bioluminescent light shows in the water and outstanding fishing. Always be mindful of our Central Florida summer heat as it can sneak up on you, and keep a close eye on the radar for those sneaky afternoon thunderstorms.
In closing, lets remember to be patient and respectful to our fellow anglers while enjoying time on the water during our Nation’s birthday, and let us not forget to give thanks to our essential workers and those overseas fighting for our freedom.
As always, if you have any questions or need information, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters