The bite in the bays and on the flats has gotten much better with the arrival of schooling baitfish such as menhaden, glass minnows and a few pilchards. The clear water and abundance of fish have created great sight fishing conditions.
Speckled trout are hanging out in 2-4 feet of water over grass and broken bottom. Target them early with surface/topwater lures or later in the day with jigs or suspending twitch baits. Don't be surprised if you find redfish mixed up in the same areas as speckled trout because they inhabit similar ecosystems and often hang out together.
Mangrove snapper have gotten thick on structures such as docks, seawalls, bridges and other submerged formations throughout the bay. You’ll find them in depths as shallow as four feet even when there’s deep water nearby. Natural baits work best for mangroves but they will occasionally eat artificial lures.
Redfish are widespread throughout the bays and you can find them schooled up in the shallows, cruising the beaches, in deep water around structure or patrolling open water in pursuit of bait schools. If you can’t spot the school with your eyes, then look for bird activity on the surface or locate them via sonar.
Fishing along our beautiful white sand beaches is a sight to behold. The emerald green water is vibrant and crystal clear, so it’s no wonder that our coastline is the migration path for many species of gamefish.
Schools of bull reds are a common sight as they cruise along the beach all the way up into the surf. Pompano are tasty, hard-fighting and fun to catch either from a boat or surf using sand fleas, shrimp or small, heavy jigs.
The jack crevalle is another great gamefish that cruises the beach in large schools and is easy to spot from a boat. Jacks are incredibly aggressive and will eat all types of lures so it's especially fun throwing big topwater plugs at them.
Cobia – also known as ling or lemonfish – can be found in the shallow water just off the beach. They’re big, strong, hard-fighting, aggressive and tasty, so it’s always a blast to hook into one.
Over the next few weeks, we should begin to see tarpon making their annual migration run along the beaches. The “silver king” is a high-flying, acrobatic fish that challenges the skills of even the most experienced angler. Tarpon are such finicky eaters and tough fighters that finally getting one to the boat is a satisfying and unforgettable experience.
The inlet is something of a “melting pot” for many species of fish because it provides a healthy environment of varying currents, deep and shallow water, structures and the confluence of water from the Gulf of Mexico and our inland bay system.
In the pass, you’ll have opportunities to catch redfish, black drum, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, black sea bass, flounder and other bottom-dwelling and structure-oriented fish. Trolling around the inlet is a good way to catch schooling fish such as Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bluefish and similar species. Fishing along the sandy edges and rocky points where the beach meets the jetties is a good area to look for pompano and a mix of redfish, jack crevalle and other species.
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!