July in Florida...it’s been hotter than a firecracker! We just wrapped up another busy June that provided some consistent fishing for a variety of species. Speckled trout, redfish, and tarpon are the everyday targets, with snook, black drum, tripletail, and sharks rounding out the opportunities. There are a variety of places to find and fish for tarpon right now and the migrating adult fish have pushed up the beaches and into the area backwaters. The spotted sea trout bite is phenomenal in the morning and we are catching loads of trout, including a few big ones up to 10lbs. Trophy class specimens are dominating the redfish action and we are catching numerous redfish each day in the 15-30lb range during the past month. And during this time of the year you never know what else we’ll come across and get shots at. Things won’t be changing much from now until we start nearing the fall bait run in September; so if you like what you’re reading the next two months will be right up your alley.
Speckled Trout are a great and easy way to start the day; guaranteed to kick start things with a bunch of fish to the boat. The number one way to target summer trout is with live pigfish and/or mullet. When trout fishing with live bait a slow day has been 5-15 fish and a busy day is 20-30 trout in the boat. It’s literally the hottest bite around during the summer months. Most of the fish are in the slot range of 15-20 inches, with the occasional gator trout between 5-10lbs. We caught several fish over 7lbs during the past month, with the big fish of the month being a 30”/9.5+lb trophy that exploded on a live mullet knocking it 2’ out of the water, an awesome sight to watch. If live baiting isn’t of interest, there is good plug and jig action on the deeper flats and sandbars as well, but the catching is a little slower.
The Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon are world famous for their trophy size Redfish. It’s perhaps the only place in the world to sight cast 20-40lb schooling redfish on shallow flats in clear water and this is the peak time of the year to target these bronze bruisers. Watching these tightly balled schools fin and tail on the flats is a sight to behold for even the most experienced anglers. Summer is spawning time and during the summer these schools will contain anywhere from 50-300 fish on any given day. Depending on the mood of the fish they can be targeted with lures and fly tackle, but they are a sucker for a frisky live bait. We caught many trophy class fish from 15-30lbs during the past month, with a few days producing 10-15 hook-ups on these giant bruisers. There are also plenty of smaller redfish in the 3-10lb range up on the shallow flats. These fish are also putting on a show pushing wakes down shorelines and tailing in the thick grass. Fly anglers have been having good success using my hand tied crab pattern, merkins, kwans, bendbacks and ep minnows. Light tackle anglers are having good success with topwater plugs, spoons, and soft plastic shad baits for a finesse presentation.
Tarpon can be found anywhere are between New Smyrna Beach and Titusville...along the beaches, in the river and in the lagoons. Most of the resident juvenile 20-40lb tarpon have moved out of their spring locations and are on the move daily. These fish are feeding on bigger baitfish so we are connecting on swimbaits, diving plugs and live bait. Depending on where they are hanging out for the day, we are also getting good shots on fly. The bigger adult fish (60-100+lbs) arrived in big schools along the beach and have been making their way down through the ICW and into the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon. Things are just getting started with these giant adult tarpon and they will be available targets over the next three months. We didn’t have as much time during the past month to target tarpon, but we still managed to hook another 12fish between 20-100lbs, landing a couple in the 30-40lb range. If you love tarpon fishing you know it’s not just about landing them, it’s all about getting that bite and ensuing jumps.
The best Snook fishing is at daybreak or at dusk with plugs and bait. We can also find them during the middle of the day when skipping baits and lures deep under docks. There just seems to be more and more Black Drum everyday in Mosquito Lagoon, when everything else is slow then they will be there to provide a daily consistent opportunity. The warmer water has fired up the Shark fishing up around Ponce Inlet and along the beaches. We've been catching hammerheads, bulls, blacktips, and spinners in 40-60' of water. Speaking of beaches we're finding good numbers of Kingfish in 50-70’ of water, live mullet are the top bait right now. Fair numbers of Tripletail are showing up inshore, more and more will be found over the next couple months. Pitch them a shrimp or live bait and enjoy one of the finest eating fish around. I road tripped up to SE Georgia for a day at the beginning of the month sight casting tripletail along the beaches, we spotted 50-60 fish and caught several in the 4-9lb range.
It’s been a tremendously busy year to date, and July isn’t going to slow down, I’ve only got about 12 July dates still left open as of today. Call now to reserve a date. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.