The dog days of summer are upon us. While these are the hottest days of the year, the fishing over the past month has also been red-hot. We're heading into August on a roll, coming off another 15 charters, 25 days on the water, and 6 more grand slams for the year (including one slam all on fly). August is going to be another busy month with some of the best fishing of the year. So let's get to the report...
The local Tarpon fishing has been epic...best of the year. As I mentioned last month, the big ones would show soon, and they did. Over the past few weeks we jumped another 17 fish (closing in on 50 for the year), with 11 jumped fish being adult tarpon over 60lbs. Clients catches accounted for 8 of the total fish caught. It's everyday fishing right now whether that be in Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River, or around Ponce Inlet for fish between 20-100lbs. We're also getting point blank shots at laid up/finning poons in shallow water. I jumped one tarpon (approx 90-100lb) 5 times on a popular redfish flat, before she broke me off 15 minutes into battle. Lure and fly choices are a trade secret right now. It's just a matter of putting in time to find them, they are moving every day. Tides are dictating better bite windows in some areas.
The summer patterns are on for Redfish. Slot size (4-8lb) fish are working shorelines and bars throughout the day. GIANT adult (20-40lb) fish are working deeper flats and bar edges all day as well. Many of these big fish are forming giant spawning schools on the flats and at Ponce Inlet. Glassy mornings are showing lots of cruising fish moving on the flats. The tailing action gets going shortly after the sun gets up and has been good throughout the morning. We're catching redfish in a variety of ways, including plugs, spoons and soft plastics. Depending on where the fish are hanging out they can a little picky, in which a shrimp or pinfish has quickly changed their mind. For my fly anglers popular patterns lately have been my crab puff, clousers, and a bunny pattern I watched one of my clients use to put 4 redfish from 10-24lbs in the boat in one morning. While we're on the subject of drum, the best drum bite in July and now into August has been the Black Drum. We've been sight fishing a massive school of black drum on the flats recently and have caught 50 or so over the past few weeks in the 3-10lb range. They've been falling all over themselves to eat a shrimp and we've also caught a few on fly.
Spotted Sea Trout can be caught on the flats and/or the deeper creeks and channels based on the moon phases and spawning activity. The best bite is still centered around the early morning hours using topwater plugs and pigfish or mullet. Once the sun is up too high, they get much harder to catch as they are hiding in the grass shading their eyes from the sun. Snook fishing has been pretty good in the early morning and overnight hours around the docks in Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange and Daytona. Mullet, pinfish and croakers have been a great choice for bait, but they are eating plugs pretty well too. We've even caught a few on fly, using small clousers and deceivers. Speaking of docks and night fishing, there's always enough trout to keep you busy at the docks while probing for snook. The colder water has finally left the nearshore beaches and the Shark fishing has heated back up. When the waters are calm and we've made the run out Ponce Inlet we have been catching good numbers of black tip and spinner sharks with the occasional lemon.
My August and September calendar is going to be busy with available dates shrinking each week. Towards the end of September we'll begin to see the first cold fronts of the year and the fall bait run will be underway. This is the time of year most fish stock up their bellies preparing for the cooler months. Book a trip with me now to experience some of the best fishing of the year. I look forward to fishing with you soon, 386-212-4931. Here is a sample of recent pictures just added to the Galleries. You can also read reports from the past year by visiting my Report Archive.