fishing Forecast

  • 08/30/2016 5:32 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Stick close to outside edge and bar systems
    By Michael Manis

    High water temperatures, high 80’s and low 90’s, and lots of rain have combined putting numbers of redfish and snook on bar systems and outside edges at the harbors perimeter. In particular, areas adjacent to creek mouths have been most productive. In addition, it’s not unusual to see baby tarpon, five to ten pounds, in the same areas.

    Even on the higher tides, the warm water and the lower salinity are keeping these fish on the outside. Out of Punta Gorda, the bar that runs from Ponce Park all the way around to Alligator creek is a good bet. Early morning at first light is best and if possible a low tide is preferable. 

    Across the harbor, along the west wall just about any one of these confluences where creeks meet open water can be good. Because of the deeper cut with its resulting current flow, the lower end where the wall adjoins Cape Haze Point has been a good snook spot.

     A bit further west, the Catfish Creek area includes quite a number of drainages that flow into Gasparilla Sound. Here, the bar system that also borders the intracoastal waterway with it’s clean oxygenated Gulf water provide the habitat to hold redfish and snook with this combination of heat and salinity. At times, I’ve seen baby tarpon rolling here.

    Just like last month, there are tarpon scattered throughout the upper harbor. The bigger fish are in the deeper holes and around the U.S. 41 bridges. Smaller fish can be found outside the perimeter canals of Punta Gorda Isles around to Colony Point and down towards Ponce Park. Particularly with the smaller fish, early is better as they tend to disappear when the sun gets too high at about 9.00 a.m. Too, schools of Black drum have been bouncing back and forth between the U.S. 41 bridges and these canal seawalls.

    Keep in mind; redfish are grouping up as their spawn, which runs from August to Mid-November, peaks this month. As well, snook are at the end their spawn and should be looking to put on weight. With lower salinity brackish water, I like to keep an eye out for glass minnows. Snook shouldn’t be too far away.

    Lastly, we have two new and one full moon this month. The first and the 30th are new; and the 16 is full. No matter what the species, the three days on either side of these dates should be good.

    Until next month, good tides.

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


  • 08/30/2016 5:11 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Suspending lures work fantastic in September
    By Capt. Charlie Conner

                September is always an exciting month to fish along the Treasure Coast. August was another hot month for us. Anglers eagerly await the arrival of the annual fall mullet run. The beaches and rivers will be filled with mullet and you can find lots of predators following the bait this month.
                 Look for tarpon, snook, jacks, bluefish and many other species feeding on the mullet this month. Top water and suspending lures work fantastic in September. Try a DOA Baitbuster or Big Fish lure while fishing around the large schools of mullet. It's a great time of year to fish early mornings along the beach. The fish will be cornering the bait along the surf and action can be fun and exciting.
               Snook season opens again on September 1st. Anglers have been patiently awaiting the chance at keeping a slot fish for dinner. A few things to keep in mind while you are anxiously getting ready for the start of the season are making sure your license and snook permit are not outdated.
                 Know the slot size, which is 28” – 32” and a one fish per day limit. Check your rods, reels and fishing line. Don’t lose that keeper fish because of something that you could have avoided by a little preparation. Remember that there will be lots of anglers heading out the first several days of the season. Have fun and be safe!
                 You will be able to find some redfish schools this month as they gather up to head out to the ocean. Look around the shallow sandy flats for them to be feeding. DOA shrimp or CAL jerk baits can coax them into biting.
                 Trout will continue to bite around the usual flats like, Bear Point, Harbor Branch and Round Island. Deadly Combos fished on the edges of the bait schools will find some action with trout and other species.
                 Snapper can be found along channel edges and around structure. Sheephead, drum and snapper can be caught on the catwalks of the bridges. Live or dead shrimp will find these fish.

    September Tip:
              Fish the bait schools! It's easy to spot the bait this time of year. If you don't find bait around your favorite fishing spot, you will most likely not find many fish there. Move around if you need to in order to find active bait. Fish love this time of year and they are out there gorging themselves on the bait in anticipation of the coming winter months. Try a CAL Airhead or DOA Bait Buster around the mullet schools.
                 Early mornings can be exciting on the flats. You can find big fish in shallow water around the bait pods. It has been a long hot summer and finally temperatures will begin to mellow out and water temps will get back to normal. It's a great time of year to be fishing!

    Remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing and be Safe
    Captain Charlie Conner
    www.fishtalescharter.com
    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852

  • 07/30/2016 7:37 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Tarpon on the beach
    by Capt. Tom Van Horn

    The heat is on, as fishing opportunities kick in along the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. So far, the summer squalls have stayed away, and as long as they do, fishing along the beaches and in the inlets will remain equally as hot.

    Along the beach, look for the silver kings (tarpon), smoker kings, blacktip sharks, jumbo jack crevalle, and redfish to be shadowing pods of Atlantic menhaden (pogies), threadfin 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 until September 1st , so if you target them, please 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. If snook are of interest, Sebastian Inlet is the place to be.

    The Labrador current (cold water upwelling) as it's known is still holding off this year, but when it arrives it will cool down bottom temperatures and the bottom fishing in some areas along Florida's east coast. With average bottom water temperatures in the mid-sixties, finding warmer water is the key to locating fish. Studies have shown the phenomena is actually the effect of a prevailing south wind combined with the Coriolis effect pushing the warm surface water offshore and the cold bottom water moving up to replace displaced water, but either way it equates to some tough fishing at times.

    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, black fin tuna, 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, and as long as the summer squalls stay away, running to the other side of the stream isn't out of the question.

    Angling on the in-shore lagoons will continue to show improvement, 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. Once the sun starts to grow hot, the top-water bite slows 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 pompano schools holding in the shadows of the causeway bridges. Fish jigs tipped with shrimp or sand fleas (mole crabs) along the deeper edges and drop-offs. Lagoon water levels are extremely low, so please use caution when accessing skinny water.

    In closing, I would like to thank all of you who enjoy angling on Florida's east central coast for your courteous and respectful treatment of the resource, other anglers, and the sport, and as always, if you need information or have questions, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,
    Captain Tom Van Horn
    www.irl-fishing.com mosquitocoast@cfl.rr.com

    407-416-1187 on the water

    Book a charter at http://www.irl-fishing.com/reservations  and let's go fishing.


  • 07/29/2016 4:14 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    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.

    Tight lines
    Capt. Greg


  • 07/29/2016 4:02 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    August will be a lot like July
    by Capt. Charlie Phillips

    Hello again and welcome to another earth scorching Everglades August. Every year I catch myself talking about how I can’t remember it being this hot last year, but I think it’s just that; old age and not being able to remember!! It’s a normal patter and while it can be a little challenging this month can hold some real opportunities for quality fish if you are looking in the right places, at the right time.

    On both the inshore and offshore hunts, the keys this month will be to get an early start. Hit the ramp as early as possible and try to be getting close to your fishing area as the sun crosses the horizon or shortly thereafter. The water has had all night to cool down, the light is dim, and typically the water is glass. This is prime time to target some predators. If you were fishing in July, August is going to be pretty much the same with some slight changes as we move later in the month.

    Look for some good mangrove snapper bites coming from most all deep cuts, and deeper mangrove edges, especially those with good oyster or coral bottoms. You will certainly have to pick thru some shorts, but good slot fish are always around. I like to use a small buck tail jig tipped with live shrimp chunks bounced slowly back to the boat.

    Don’t be surprised if you don’t catch some other variety’s using this method. Ladyfish and Spanish higher in the water column, along with snook and reds along those edges. These little jigs really do a great job imitating a small baitfish and the shrimp chunk gets the scent side of the equation covered.

    Give it shot and put some mangos in the boat for supper. 10” minimum with 5 per person, but I would urge caution on keeping a fish that’s right at the minimum. If they go on ice, they will not be legal before you get back to the dock. I always look for ¼ to ½ over the minimum size before I will consider putting them in the box. This is good habit to get in for all species actually that are going in the box, none are worth a ticket.

    I have been hearing some good reports about lots of fairly decent sized sheepshead in the small creeks of our area lately. These guys are always a blast and for the newer angler trying to get into sight fishing, they make a great target that you can easily pick out against the bottom. That same jig used for snapper will work if you tip it well with shrimp. I also have folks that like to try and use shrimp imitating flies. Sheepshead on fly is a good notch in the belt.

    Of course the snook will be on most of the outside points and cuts that have good flow. That early morning window is the perfect time to go for some top water action. I like any walk the dog type lure that I can work back to the boat in a slow fashion, changing up my rhythm from time to time to try and draw a strike. Always lots of fun. All catch and release for this month, so treat them with care and send them on their way.

    The redfish have been decent all summer and this month should be more of the same with some of the fish starting to be found in some better sized schools. Look for them around the same areas you are hunting your snook as well as the oyster bars one bay back from the open gulf. Artificals are a given as well as the tried and true ladyfish chunk on a 2/0 circle hook.  

    Offshore we still have a pretty strong permit, and cobia bite going on around the structures of the area. Live crabs will catch either one, so make sure to stop by and pick some up. Red Grouper have been biting well out in the deeper live bottom areas off to our west, along with some bigger lane snapper and good eating grunts.

    The key is be back in before lunch, grab a siesta and then hit it again after the storms roll thru and once again cool everything back down. Always something to do down in our slice of paradise, just gotta know when to go a looking.

    Yall have a great time out there and get ready to start getting serious as we roll into one of my favorite times of year, Sept equals the start of fall fishing!! ee yall out there

    Capt. Charlie Phillips
    Photos
    1. Mike from St Pete with a tripletail caught on a live shrimp
    2. Adam from Wisconsin with a black drum caught on a bass assassin grub and jighead
    3. My wife laura with a nice Red Grouper we caught trolling our live bottom on a rare day off charters.


  • 07/29/2016 3:44 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Early and Calm
    by Capt. Michael Manis

    While enduring the current heat and humidity it might seem that options are limited.  However, there are some unique opportunities if you’re ready to get up early and be on the water before sunrise.

    The flat calm conditions make the boat ride worthwhile and it’s a short ride at that. Most days, plan on being back for lunch. 

    Basically, from what I’ve seen this past month, we’re in for a good late summer and fall tarpon bite in the upper harbor.  As most of the migratory fish move north, many stay and make their way up into the harbor where the deeper water and available threadfin herring make a great habitat.

    Joining resident fish, they’ll stage for a couple months until they make their way up the rivers when the water cools. There have been lots of fish scattered from the 20-foot hole off the west wall all the way to the U.S. 41 Bridge at Punta Gorda. This accounts for the short run from either Laishley or Ponce Park. 

    Moreover, I’m seeing fish in the ten pound class all the way to triple digit size. Smaller tarpon are at the base of both sides of the bridge and outside the canals from Fisherman’s Village on past Colony Point and over towards Ponce Park.

    The larger fish can be found rolling toward the bridge’s center and in the deeper holes of the upper harbor. On fly, I’ll throw a 3/0 red and black or purple and black Puglisi peanut butter pattern.

    On conventional tackle, the deep running D.O.A. Baitbuster is a good soft plastic and it’s always tough to beat a live threadfin herring.

    A bit tighter to the shoreline, on the other side of Ponce Park, redfish have been starting to group up all the way down past mangrove point towards Alligator Creek. It’s worth a look.

    On the other side of the harbor, there’s another good option, snook on the beach north of Gasparilla Pass. In fact, this is one of the best opportunities for shore bound anglers all year.

    Because they’re in the middle of their spawn, they’re grouped up around the passes. It’s important to keep in mind that this is a catch and release fishery this month. Again, I’ll throw a Puglisi pattern but here I like the 2/0 white mullet. This is a short run from the Placida boat ramp.

    There have been good numbers of pilchards or scaled sardines on the beaches so a suspending plug like a Mirrolure Mirrodine is a good rig on a spinning rod.

    Until next month, good tides.

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


  • 07/29/2016 3:26 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Seek out shade and fish slow
    by Capt. 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 will continue to be a challenge this year with all the fresh water run off flooding into the area.  Visibility might be minimal in lots of areas.  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, fished early, followed by a DOA shrimp or CAL jerk bait will be productive on the grass flats.  Water quality will be the key this year on where to fish.  Queen’s Cove, Bear Point and Harbor Branch are usually active with trout.  South of Fort Pierce has held up well with all the rains we have had lately.  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 lots 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!

    As always, remember that fishing isn't just another hobby.....it's an ADVENTURE!

    Good fishing and be safe,
    Captain Charlie Conner
    www.fishtalescharter.com
    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852


  • 07/01/2016 12:45 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Mid-summer Doldrums are Here
    By Capt. Tom Van Horn

    First and foremost, happy Fourth of July, and thank you to all who are currently serving, have served or have paid the ultimate sacrifice allowing us the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

    Summer has officially 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 will chill bottom water temperatures and shut down the seaward bite. Setting all these possibilities aside, many opportunities for angling adventures exist for us both inside and outside on the lagoon coast in July.

    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 in the areas of the Chris Benson, 8A, and Pelican Flats reefs.

    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 colossal jacks (school buses) all available at any given time. To target these species, focus your attention in areas of bait concentrations. This past week, 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 in the forbidden zone off the bight of the Kennedy Space Center.

    In the Port and inlets, Spanish mackerel, summer flounder and mangrove snapper numbers 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. Schools have already started forming up, and the sight of a feeding school of redfish is incredible. Once you've finished drooling over redfish, look for snook, and top water snapper along mangrove edges, and juvenile tarpon in the creeks, canals and backwaters.

    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.

    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 it.

    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
    (407) 416-1187 on the water

  • 07/01/2016 12:17 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    HOT Florida Bite for July
    By Capt. 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 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

  • 07/01/2016 11:36 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    The Heat is on . . .

    By Capt. Greg Stamper

    July is now upon us and its getting hotter, so as we move into the dog days of summer, the water will be much warmer. Redfish, snook, trout, and the transition back to our local tarpon will be a big piece of the backcountry fishing through July. Nearshore waters should also be very active with Spanish mackerel, pompano, seatrout, jacks and ladyfish -- just to mention a few species. Likewise, as you venture out deeper to the wrecks and reefs, all kinds of snappers, groupers, cobia, permit, etc… come into play. Fishing is great this time of the year as long as you keep tabs on what Mother Nature offers you.

    Most of the time, it’s best to get an early start and beat the heat, particularly as we get low tides in the mid-afternoon. When the rain starts to pattern, as it often does throughout the summer, you’ll be blessed with nice, low East winds for most of the mornings, followed by an hour or so of almost still conditions before the afternoon sea breeze and storms start to develop. So starting early in South West Florida gives anglers great opportunities to site fish laid up fish, or make that long run with relative ease, pre thunderstorms.

    Red fishing can be very reliable this time of the year as fish ambush the flats during the first part of the tides foraging for crabs, shrimp, and pin fish as they slowly work their way into the mangroves on the higher water. I personally love the opportunity to throw top water plugs or spoons during these times as they cover vast sloughs of water and come on who doesn’t love a top water bite! Snook fishing will be great as fish cruise almost all of the beaches attacking the schools of pilchards swimming only feet from the water’s edge. This is the time of the year to throw small swim baits, flies, or feather jigs parallel to the beach and be ready. Besides snook, many of the beaches will hold redfish, trout, tarpon, and certainly sharks.

    The nearshore waters and passes will be a great place to find action during the summer, as the moving water tends to hold fish longer. The passes can be a hodgepodge of different species, and if you see birds diving in these areas then there will certainly be fish there as well. Most pass fish won’t be that big, but there will be a lot, so if action is what your looking for you'll do just fine! If you lose a jig quickly then you’ve got mackerel, so a small tip of wire should suffice to allow for some fun without losing all your gear.

    The offshore wrecks and reefs can be super in July. There’s something to be said for a smooth run out to your favorite wreck and being able to see fish swimming all around you in pristine clean water. Be ready as you approach your spot as cobia may be greeting you as soon as you pull up. I like to have a large jig already to go as soon as I come off plane, or at least a nice shrimp on a 3/0 circle hook for you never know what might just pop up. If its snapper your after, they may be a bit deeper this time of the year, but chumming for a while along reefs or drop offs then dropping cut threads, pilchards, or shrimp on an extra-long 20lb leader can put some very nice mangrove snappers in the box or perhaps a few yellowtails. The grouper are moving out deeper and deeper now, however trolling some deep diving plugs in 30 to 40 feet of water may still get you that big gag grouper.

    Tight Lines
    Captain Greg Stamper
    Snook Stamp Charters
    Fishtale Marina on Ft Myers Beach
    239-313-1764

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