Hot and humid. That’s something you’ll be hearing over the next few months. So I’d recommend fishing the offshore waters and escape the inshore heat. I’ve been seeing the water temps in the low 90’s. Offshore fishing is really heating up as the heat index is reaching 100 degrees. Remember to bring plenty of water with you as you’ll sweat… a lot. Look for birds diving on bait pods. There are lots of Spanish mackerel and bonito crashing bait. Getting small jigs like pompano jigs, spoons or soft plastics in the action is a good way to get some fast action… and that’s how you’ve got to retrieve it as well, fast! Barracuda tube lures are a blast if you’ve lost a few fish or lures to the “blade of the deep”. Be very cautious with these power hitters as I’ve seen them launch 10ft out of the water!
The snapper and grouper bite has been pretty good. For best luck, go to your “secret” numbers…those that everybody and their brother doesn’t know about. If you don’t have any of these, visit the artificial reefs out past 10 miles and toss in a chum bag. The snapper have been responding well and we’ve been catching them by freelining a piece of cut bait on a 3/0 circle hook with 30lb flourcarbon leader. For keeper size grouper, we’ve been dropping live squirrelfish and pinfish on a traditional bottom rig.
The goliath grouper bite around Boca Grande has been hot. As of July 29, we have caught and released 186 goliath grouper. We just recently teamed up with FWC biologists and began collecting fin clips from each goliath grouper we catch. This data, along with other acoustic data, will allow researchers to compile a large genetic base and eventually be able to determine clans, movements patterns, and much more.
We have swayed away from fishing inshore this summer because of the heat and the better fishing available in our nearshore waters. However, the inshore fishing has still been pretty good during the few trips we fished around Bull and Turtle bays. There are a lot of snook to catch. Look around the areas with significant water flow. We have a lot of little bait in the area and it is being funneled in and out of these areas holding snook. Easy catch! Freeline a white bait or threadie on a circle hook with the current and let the bait swim as naturally as possible. The redfish fishing has been less than in years past but they are still there to catch. There are some good numbers of reds in Bull Bay. We have been having the best luck with cut pinfish and ladyfish. The “fun fish” bite has been great. The flats around Devilfish have a lot of spanish mackerel, bluefish, trout, and jacks when the current is flowing right. A poppercork or jig with a soft plastic is the best bet.
If you’d like to get out on the waters of Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande, give us a call and we can set you up for a fun filled day of fishing.
Captain Jesse McDowall