Summertime fishing usually finds anglers chasing tarpon and snook on the beaches along the west coast of Florida. So far, this has been an epic season with great weather making for perfect conditions to catch these majestic fish.
Additionally, there is plenty of action nearshore with Spanish Macks, Permit and Cobia. Most inshore fishing needs to be done in the early morning hours now with water temps being so high… by 11am your done.
Here’s some of the action you can expect in the shallows:
Trout- Fish shallow in pre-dawn hours with Mirrolure She Dogs or 7M’s… 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.
Redfish- 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! Docks along beach communities will also hold good numbers of redfish too. Zman Minnowz on 1/4 oz. jig heads will be deadly, best colors are Opening Night and Houdini.
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. 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. Please practice catch and release with these fish and handle with care, it’s nice to see them rebounding.
Tarpon- It’s prime time right now! Mirrolure TTR and Catch 2000’s in Purple and Chartruese Fire are excellent. 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! The beaches, Skyway, Egmont Key and (bar-none the best area for tarpon) Bean Point near Anna Maria Island are on fire right now…
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 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, to protect our resource & fishing rights! Let’s get involved Flats Class fans!
Until next time, keep them rods bent!