July Fishing Report for Tampa Bay

By July 8, 2015Fishing Reports

It has been crazy hot the past few days, with water temps in the 90’s, yet fishing is still good in our local waters. Tarpon & Sharks are great mid-summer targets but beach snook and wreck permit are getting a lot of attention to by many anglers!

Additionally, scallop season has cranked up and it looks like another banner year is possible along the Nature Coast region.

Here’s some of the action you can expect in the shallows:

Trout-  Fish shallow in pre-dawn hours 4am to 6am with Mirrolure She Pups or Mirro-Minnows… the big trout are roaming flats during cooler water temp periods. After sunrise, go deeper where grass flats have 6+ feet with Mirrolure’s 52’s and Zman Pogyz on 1/4 oz. jig head. Trout are still spawning and voracious eaters so the bite should be excellent through the summer months. This will be the pattern for the next 60 days likely!

unnamedRedfish- Higher tides and water temps mean that redfish will be cruising the shade of mangrove islands! So start skipping those bushes to catch summer Reds. I prefer using the Zman Scented Jerk Shadz on a 5/0 EWG rigging hook. Best colors for this scenario are Gold Rush or Pearl… don’t be surprised if a snook busts these baits either. Super low tide will bring redfish off the edge of flats at sunset this month. Try tossing the Zman Shrimpz in Nite Glow or Red Bone colors in front of the big schools and hang on. Take time to release these bruisers carefully because warm water temps could kill them after a long battle on rod!

Snook-  The best play will be fishing the Swash channels and passes early & late. The beach is perfect for tossing flies, small buck-tails and the smaller Mirrolure profiles like the Mirro-Glass or Mini-Dine. The deeper pass zones are perfect for the Zman Swimmerz & Grass Kickerz on 3/8 or 1/2 ounce jig heads. Lighter colors that match bottom are best or imitate baitfish. Night time dock fishing is hot to right now with snook feeding voraciously in lights… Flies and small buck tail jigs dominate. Please practice catch and release with these fish and handle with care, it’s nice to see them rebounding.

Sharks- easy to target in summer months with fresh cut bait, threadfins and ladyfish work well but cut up Spanish Macks is preferred. Just find a good drop off adjacent to flats where current will carry chum downtide and the sharks will show up in no time at all. Have a hook out tool at the ready and take great care when the shark comes boat side because these beasts are unpredictable in nature.

Tarpon-  It’s starting to wind down now but plenty can still be caught for the patient angler. Mirrolure TTR and Catch 2000’s in Purple and Chartruese Fire are excellent on the beach. Also, the Zman 7″ Jerk Shadz on a Beast Swim Bait hook from owner (keel weighted) or the Zman Fattyz on a 6/0 Circle Hook 4X strong (nose hooked). On the live bait side, nothing beats live crabs under a float… best action is at the Skyway Bridge and Egmont Key on outgoing tides!

Here’s a quick reminder, The new episodes of Flats Class TV (Season 9) have already cranked up on both Sun Sports (Fox South) 8am and Discovery’s “Destination America” 7:30a networks!

Lastly, please consider joining the CCA and participating in the new CCA Star Tournament lots of incredible prizes that include a new HB Skiff, Pathfinder Bay Boat and much more… we need your participation, voice and support, CCA protects our resource & fishing rights! Let’s all get involved!

Until next time, keep them rods bent folks!

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