Moving water is a must
by Capt. Greg Stamper
August fishing in Southwest Florida can be tough for many anglers. The fact is that you have to start early, and then end early or get it done at night. It’s not to say that you can’t get a good bite at 2 pm, but if you do, it’s usually because the tides were in your favor.
Moving water after 11 am is a must during the heat of summer, and when you get weak tides or slack water, you might as well pack it in. So, with that said, pay attention to early morning incoming or outgoing tides and be sure to focus on the prime spots during those times.
Tarpon, snook and redfish are predominately what I am looking for during this time of the year and we usually do quite well. When you target species like this, realize that downsizing your rigs can give you many more strikes this time of the year. As an example, try using 40 or even 30-pound leader as you target our local tarpon population. I personally would much rather have multiple hits versus maybe catching one, and the fact is that once you figure out the bite you can always up the leader by ten pounds should it be needed.
Snook will be very focused on beach areas and sandy shorelines as they wait, usually facing into the current, for small baits along the beaches or mangrove shorelines within feet of either. This time of the year if it’s snook you’re looking for, they won’t leave the shade of mangroves by more than a few feet and if they’re on the beaches you’ll probably see them within feet of the break.
Fishing for reds in August can be great one day, tough the next, as fish will not be in schools until October. When targeting fish that aren’t in your honey hole, often cut baits like pinfish or ladyfish will become your go to. Spreads for reds are very effective in the summer time and as boring as it can be at times, cut baits on 2/0 circle hooks held in place with a ½ oz weight can put fish in the boat.