Well, the fish have been chewing pretty much nonstop throughout the bays and along the beaches lately!
One of the best bites right now is the redfish – both on the flats and in deeper water around drop offs, points and structures. It’s best to hit the flats early and during periods of high water when redfish are most likely feeding near the shoreline. I’ve been having a lot of success as the tide drops out and the water gets warmer toward the middle of the day when fish tend to congregate in deep potholes and drop offs where the water is cooler. Try chumming them up with live pilchards, threadfins, glass minnows or menhaden and, once you get them going, you can put a real hurting on them. I definitely recommend circle hooks for the live bait so that you can release the fish healthy after catching them. Once you get them chewing, you can switch over to a topwater bait and they’ll probably wolf it down without hesitation.
Mixed in with the redfish has been a decent number of nice-sized speckled trout. I use the exact same gear for them as I use for redfish. In fact, you can pretty much count on catching some trout while targeting redfish except around deeper structure. Most of the trout have been coming out of 2-5 feet of water over thick patchy grass with some sandy potholes.
This time of the year when the water is hot, live bait can save a slow day. But, if artificial baits are your thing, then you should fish at first light with topwaters or suspending plugs. Once the sun gets up a little, you can switch to a jig and move to deeper water in order to stay on the bite.
Around the pass on the bay side and just outside the pass around buoys, there has been a pile of Spanish mackerel and bonita feeding on bait balls. It’s easy to spot these fish since they are nearly always feeding on the surface. Simply troll any type of small shiny or brightly-colored lure around the feeding fish to entice a bite or you can pull up to the action and cast small spoons on light spinning gear. To me, that “run and gun” style of fishing is a lot more fun than dragging a fish to the boat with a big trolling rod. By the way, I’ve been seeing bonita, bluefish, jacks and the occasional shark mingling with the Spanish mackerel.
As always, if you have questions about what’s biting, how to catch them or want to book a trip, give me a call or shoot me an email. Tight lines!