by Capt. Greg Stamper
Well we’ve already used up half a year, and how time flies when you’re having fun. July means that we are now full speed into the dog days of Summer. Here in Southwest Florida we like the early morning trips before the things heat up, preferably on good tides. When we fish through the afternoon, we bring lots of water and pray for overcast skies. Fishing will be good for just about everything, however one thing anglers will need to pay attention to, will be the weather. The weather becomes a big factor in what will happen to the fishing each day. Depending on how much rain we get, where we get it, and when it falls makes a difference.
Somedays we get morning showers usually along the coast during Westerly wind patterns. Other days the mornings have no rain and you can watch the storms brewing inland as they move towards the coasts blowing up anywhere in between. When it rains early morning the waters along our beaches and back bays get a brief cool down, a shot of oxygen, and that turns things on. The downside is it will get humid when the sun does pop up, thus super-hot. Anglers can pick areas based on the radar to fish, that won’t get lightning or hunker down usually at the dock and wait for it to blow through. Either way it’s a great time to hit the beaches for snook, or the nearshore wrecks and reefs when the winds under 10 mph.
On days when we can watch the storms brewing inland, usually due to Easterly winds you better pay attention. These storms usually travel fast, always have lightning, and can pack a punch coming through. Here we usually get them mid to late afternoon, so we can beat most of them in. These storms flood the ditches, ponds, and canals throughout the area. If you can get out after these storms come through fishing the weirs, rivers and creek mouths, can be awesome. The fish know that foods going to flush out and are usually fired up during that first few hours post storm. A variety of baits work, but my favorite is walking the dog straight out of these currents.
Finally, when it rains at night, and you’ve got a good tide the next morning it’s game on! These are the days when tarpon can be seen rolling around, bait fish of all types are being harassed by birds and fish, there’s happy snook along the beaches and redfish are all fired up in the back bays. For the most part these days are consistent for action. So now that we know the plan for the next few months, break out the raingear, be sure to keep tabs on the weather with your favorite app, and take advantage of what Mother Nature throws your way.
Tight lines, Capt Greg Stamper