fishing Forecast

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  • 09/30/2017 5:15 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Transitioning to schooling
    by Capt. Greg Manis

    This month continues the transition that began last month as we push slowly towards cooler weather. Although it’s still extremely hot during the day, I can feel the difference just before dawn. Before low tides and consistent north winds push our way, it’s time to take advantage of the best redfish angling of the year as the spawn peaks and fish are schooled up throughout the area. Although our redfish fishery is not what it used to be, there’s still nothing quite like setting up on a group of reds. Of course, catch and release is standard procedure. 

    Besides the obvious visual experience, there’s another advantage and even one disadvantage to working a group of fish as compared to the singles or doubles we find throughout the year. When grouped up, the fish tend to be a bit more aggressive as they have to compete for food. On the downside, it’s fairly easy to spook or scatter an entire school as all you have to do is alarm one fish and it can mess up the whole bunch. That’s just the nature of schooling fish; I see it with mullet all the time. It’s amazing how quick an entire school can just disappear. Fins and no fences we like to say.

    Fortunately, there should be groups of fish scattered throughout the bays and sounds that surround Charlotte Harbor. So, no matter where you load or fish from, you shouldn’t have to travel too far. To the north, Lemon Bay can be good and don’t hesitate to look on either side of the intracoastal around Stump Pass. Besides holding fish, I like the fact that it’s an idle zone outside the Intracoastal that means the fish aren’t getting run over all day. This makes a big difference.

    A little further south, the Placida area around the Boca Grande Causeway just outside the public ramp holds some good turtle grass flats that can fish well. On the other side of the causeway, over in Gasparilla Sound, all the flats from outside Gasparilla Marina to down past the Whiddens area and out towards Devilfish Key have potential. I also like to spend time in Pine Island Sound looking around the flats adjacent to the intracoastal in the Useppa and Cabbage Key area. If you like to load at Ponce Park in Punta Gorda, keep an eye out on the bar anywhere from Pirate Harbor down to Buzzard Bay.  

    Even though it’s prime redfish time; if you’d like, there are plenty of other options. Trout are scattered just about anywhere there is mixed sand and grass in two to three feet. Snook are transitioning and Turtle Bay and the west wall should fish well for catch and release. In addition, tarpon are in the upper harbor and the bridges are prime spots. Lastly, if you’re looking for a mixed bag that might include trout, jacks, spanish mackerel, and maybe even a red, try a drift or two on Cape Haze Point.

    Until next month, good tides,

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    (941) 628-7895
    mike@puntagordaflycharters.com
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com

  • 09/30/2017 5:12 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Red October
    by Capt Greg Stamper

    October is finally here and nicknamed “Red October” for a reason. Redfish will be top billing all month as they begin schooling up and chasing bait. Typically, this is the month in Southwest Florida when redfish school up on the flats, beaches, and offshore as they fatten up on the hordes of bait, crabs, and mullet available. It’s a great time to be fishing especially on the strong tide days as fish can be seen pushing water from great distances. The cool part about seeing pushes of water, is it isn’t always what you think it is. Often, you’ll be pitching baits at a school of redfish only to be greeted by snook, jacks, or trout all good with me either way. There’s a lot of other targets we will pursue throughout the month but redfish are certainly first choice when schooled up.

    Snook fishing is also very good during October, but being that the season is open they’ve also been subjected to a little more pressure. Regardless, if you know where they are, you can have a lot of fun with fish ranging as small as 18” all the way up to those pushing 40” plus. Your best bet is to put your trolling motor down and cruise slowly around the areas you think they should be in. Snook like to hang out in groups or packs this time of the year so if you see one, there’s probably a bunch more around so we’ll work those areas well. Snook can transition toward their Winter haunts during October if we get any cold fronts that make their way through the area. If no real cold fronts make it, then the fish won’t go anywhere till next month as there will be plenty of bait still on the beaches and nearshore waters. Last year that push to the rivers, creeks and similar winter haunts didn’t even happen till December, so it’s all up to Mother nature in that respect.

    Tarpon fishing can be outstanding October and November based on the cold fronts and what happens there. We had no real fronts make their way through Southwest Florida till December last year and thus we caught tarpon all the way till then as the schools of herring left end of the year. Tarpon will be found along our beaches, bridges, and nearshore feeding well till the water finally gets to cold and the bait continues its journey South. Typically, these migrating tarpon are around a hundred pounds so be sure to bring the right tackle to get the job done.

    Our nearshore wrecks and reefs are another awesome fishery during October. Permit, cobia, snappers, etc.. are all available to target as well as one of my favorites the tripletail. It’s not uncommon to catch tripletail upwards of 20 pounds down here over the next few months. Most tripletail are caught site casting, but those willing to put faith into their favorite markers and bridge pilings can also be generously rewarded. Tripletailing is a run and gun type of fishing, so covering lots of ground usually gives anglers the best chance of getting a big one.

    Finally, the cuts, river mouths, and passes heat up from here till it gets cold.  I use the word cold loosely as my Northern friends laugh when I say, “you realize it’s going to be 59 degrees tomorrow morning” but that’s cold for us! As we get close to the end of the month the water temperatures can drop into the high 70’s. That triggers pompano to start chewing, as well as trout, mackerel, and the occasional bluefish. When the water finally starts cooling off everything will change around here. So keep tabs on water temperatures and watch for those initial fronts moving down the coastlines and you’ll be able to plan out a great day of fishing for yourself.

    Tight lines Capt Greg Stamper
    Snookstampcharters.com
    239-313-1764


  • 09/30/2017 5:05 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Mullet run dominates
    by Capt. Charlie Conner

    October marks the transition into the fall weather patterns along the Treasure Coast.  You can expect temperatures to begin to cool down somewhat into more comfortable days to enjoy the outdoors.  Water temperatures will begin t!o slowly cool off as well.  This year has brought us lots of rain and Hurricane Irma so far.  Irma was not kind to Florida!  October provides great weather and hungry fish.  It's a fantastic month to be fishing

    The fall mullet run will continue to dominate the area as large schools of finger mullet fill the beaches, inlets and rivers of the area.  You can expect lots of big fish to be feeding on them both day and night.  Snook fishing will be best during the night hours on the higher ends of the tides.  Live finger mullet, croakers and pigfish will be the best live baits to use.  

    DOA Terror Eyz, Bait Busters and feather jigs will be good artificial lures to use for snook.  Try around the jetties, turning basin and bridges as well as many of the deeper docks around the river.  Lighted docks are especially productive when fishing at night.

    Redfish has continued to be a wonderful fishery for us again this year.  Each year has seen their population increase and many anglers have enjoyed the experience of fishing a large school of reds this year.  October will continue to be a productive month for those who seek redfish on the flats.  DOA shrimp or CAL grub tails are two of the best choices for redfish along with a variety of live and cut baits.  The west shoreline south of Fort Pierce is always a good area when looking for redfish.

    The trout bite will be good this month.  Get out early with a top water lure for some exciting action on the river.  Switch to a DOA shrimp or CAL jerk bait later in the mornings.  Harbor Branch, Queen's Cove and Middle Cove are all great areas to fish for trout around the Treasure Coast.  Look for some sheephead, black drum and snapper around the bridges, docks and channel edges.  The surf will be alive with jacks, snook, bluefish and other predators, which will all be chasing the bait schools along the beach.

    Snook season has been in full swing for the past month and anglers are always looking for that slot fish to take home.  Beaches, jetties, bridges and mangroves are all popular areas to seek snook.  Top water lures, DOA Bait Busters, CAL Airheads and live baits are all great ways to target snook in October.  Have fun this month!

    It's another great month to fish along the Treasure Coast!  Have fun and get out fishing soon!

    As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!

    Good Fishing and Be Safe,
    Captain Charlie Conner

    http://www.fishtalescharter.com
    email: captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com  
    772-284-3852

  • 09/30/2017 5:00 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    How to Reason with Mullet Season
    by Capt. Tom Van Horn

    Fattening up for Winter

    Shorter days, prevailing northeasterly winds and cooler nights are a sure sign fall is in the air along Florida's east central coast. Another sure sign of fall is the waves of baitfish working their way south through the lagoon and along the beach as the fall bait run commences. Hordes of black and silver mullet, Atlantic menhaden (pogies), thread fin herring (greenies), and bay anchovies (glass minnows) have begun their southerly migration following the warmer waters. This migration creates a smorgasbord of yummy little baitfish shadowed by a large array of hungry predators looking to fatten up for the winter. 

    Weather permitting, near-shore opportunities are the best you will see all year. Along the beaches, target areas of concentrated bait schools for a mixed bag of snook, tarpon, kingfish, cobia, jack crevalle, oversized redfish, and sharks. Additionally, snook fishing in the surf will improve as the baitfish move south along the beach. Also look for schools of glass minnows to begin showing up bringing larger Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and tarpon with them.

    In and around the inlets of Ponce, Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlets look for flounder, snook, jack crevalle and oversized redfish feeding on migrating baitfish along the jetties and just outside the inlets. Easterly swells, falling tides, and aggressive anglers can make for sporty angling conditions in the Sebastian and Ponce Inlets, so please pay attention, keep the engine running with someone at the helm, be patient and enjoy the rewards.

    In the North Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons, higher water levels will allow anglers to venture into areas normally inaccessible during the spring and summer months. Look for slot redfish in close to the grassy edges along the shoreline shadowing pods of finger mullet, and for the larger redfish staged in deeper water ambush sites where migrating mullet are forced to venture out from the safety of the shallow flats. In deeper water areas, look for ladyfish, spotted sea trout, jacks, and tarpon feeding on schools of glass minnows.

    These schools of fish are easily located by watching for bird and fish activity. Once located, these schools will produce explosive action on small top water plugs, or popping bug flies. Also, if you locate a school of the larger black mullet, try fishing spoons or soft plastic baits deep under the school. Even though, mullet are vegetarians, redfish and sea trout will often mingle in feeding on shrimp and crabs kicked up from the bottom by feeding mullet.

    Remember, in fishing we always try to match the hatch, or in this case the migration, so mullet imitation lures will be you key to success. For larger redfish, tarpon and snook, I suggest the DOA BFL or Bait Buster and if toothy fish are in the mix, switch to hard baits like the Rapala Skitter Walk or Sub Walker.

    As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn

    Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
    www.irl-fishing.com
    407-416-1187 on the water
    mosquitocoast@cfl.rr.com


  • 08/31/2017 11:46 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Early Transition
    by Capt. Michael Masin

    It’s the beginning of a transitional period around the harbor with some of our favorite inshore species on the move providing some of the best opportunities of the year.  As fall approaches, the next two months have good potential and this is just the beginning.  As for redfish, when the days begin to get a bit shorter and the water temperature cools down they begin their spawning period. As a result, the fish group or “school up.” They can show up in just about any of the bays and sounds that surround the harbor as well as the flats on either side.

    To the north, the grass flats on either side of the intracoastal inside Stump Pass in Lemon Bay are always worth a look.  A little further south in Gasparilla Sound, just about any flat outside Whidden’s Creek and towards the western edge of Bull Bay could be good. That being said, probably one of the most probable spots to find schooling reds is Pine Island Sound. Over the years, there hasn’t been a more consistent area. It’s a lot of ground to explore, but with so many passes bringing clean, cooler Gulf water, it’s simply great habitat.

    In addition, larger breeding size fish that have migrated to offshore schools to live out their lives tend to make occasional visits inshore during this fall spawn. The beach can be a great place to look for these larger fish. 

    Snook, if they haven’t already started, are close to being on the move. In a matter of speaking, compared with redfish, one is coming and one is going. In other words, while the redfish spawn is just starting, the snook spawn is winding down. They’re coming off the beaches and deeper troughs outside major flats preparing to settle down near backcountry creek systems, as the water temperature gets a little too cool for their liking. Moreover, they’re hungry and need to fatten up after the spawn and before food gets scarce over the winter.

    Unlike redfish, snook won’t be hanging out in open bays and sounds as they prefer sticking closer to shorelines and in particular, mangrove shorelines. With all the creek systems adjacent to Turtle Bay, any shoreline inside here can produce. Also, though it’s a busy area, the West Wall can be very good as it has quite a few creek systems and ends at the Myakka River which is where lots of snook are going to end up later this year. The other side of Charlotte Harbor, the east side or “East wall” consists of a labyrinth of islands that runs from Pirate Harbor north to Punta Gorda. Because of the island network, it’s not as busy as the West Wall and is one of my favorite spots, although it’s too big to call a spot, to look for snook.

    Until next month, good tides

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    (941) 628-7895
    mike@puntagordaflycharters.com
    www.puntagordaflycharters.com

  • 08/31/2017 11:39 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Constant action for kids
    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    September should give us the last bit of the hot days, transitioning SWFL toward a Fall pattern soon. Don’t be fooled it’s still going to be hot most of the month, however by the end of the month we should be blessed with temperatures beginning to cool off a bit. 

    With that said, fishing early in the mornings or late in the evenings near sundown is still the way to go. As we approach October, we’ll begin to see a transition as water North of us begins to cool. As the gulf water in the panhandle begins cooling off, fish move South into our backyard following massive schools of baitfish. This is an exciting time to be in South Florida as everything is active and the fishing will be very good.

    Snook will still be on the beaches and near the rivers and cuts, fattening up trying to stay clear of anglers that harvest them. 28-33” is the slot size and one per person is the limit assuming you’ve got your snook stamp. Many anglers fish snook as catch and release these days regardless, so until the water temperatures begin to drop significantly, handling these fish properly is very important as hot water tires fish quicker. Keeping a snook you’ve just caught in the water and reviving them well before release is a good practice verse becoming shark or dolphin food.

    Juvenile tarpon is still one of the top billings here in Estero bay and the adjacent areas through this month. These feisty 10-40lb balls of energy can be a blast on light tackle and jump around much more than the grown-up versions. You can target these tarpon with swimbaits, flies, and of course white bait for the next two months or more. Pay attention for finning or rolling fish as you can pattern them in the same areas for days at a time on similar tides. When fishing for juvenile tarpon I typically go with 15-30lb leader, based on how clean the water is your fishing. It's better to get the bite and get broke off verse no bite at all, besides if there chewing you can always up the leader a bit and do it again.

    Redfish will continue to get better and better as we move closer to "Red October". They'll be a big target in October for us, as they typically begin to school up late September thru November. Redfishing can be very good in September and can be targeted many ways. The easiest tactic is putting out spreads for reds. Basically 3-4 lines thrown out along mangrove edges, cuts, and oyster bars with a variety of baits like shrimp, pinfish, cut ladies and crabs. Once you know where they’re at and what they’re eating your good for days.

    Top water fishing especially on incoming tides is a blast. There's a variety of different types of top water lures that you use in different ways, walking the dog is my favorite as you never know what may hit it next. Finally twitch baits and paddle tail soft plastics are a lot of fun for anglers that cast well. Work them on open flats that have potholes early in the tide, and along mangrove shorelines when the tides higher, you'll find this can be very productive.

    If it’s constant action your looking for with kids or anglers that are less patient, our passes, bridges, and docks will give lots of options. Snapper fishing can be excellent as well as other good eats like pompano and trout. Typically, a simple 1/4oz jig tipped with shrimp will work just fine allowing anglers to cover lots of ground. For those that aren’t casters using a simple popping cork with a live shrimp or white bait can keep people entertained. Other options nearshore for many of the same species can be the same simple jig dropped down to any of our nearshore wreaks and reefs with a live shrimp hooked through the tail. These reefs can be a great place to see how many different species one can find in a trip. It’s not uncommon to catch a dozen different types of fish doing so.

    Tight lines, Capt. Greg Stamper
    Snookstampcharters.com
    239-313-1764


  • 08/31/2017 11:36 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Try early mornings along the beach

    by Captain Charlie Conner

    September is always an exciting month to fish along the Treasure Coast. Anglers eagerly await the arrival of the annual fall mullet run. The beaches and rivers will be filled with mullet and you can find lots of predators following the bait this month. Look for tarpon, snook, jacks, bluefish and many other species feeding on the mullet. Top water and suspending lures work fantastic in September. Try a DOA Baitbuster or Big Fish lure while fishing around the large schools of mullet. It's a great time of year to fish early mornings along the beach. The fish will be cornering the bait along the surf and action can be fun and exciting.
    Snook season opens again on September 1st.  Anglers have been patiently awaiting the chance at keeping a slot fish for dinner. A few things to keep in mind while you are anxiously getting ready for the start of the season are making sure your license and snook permit are not outdated.  Know the slot size, which is 28” – 32” and a one fish per day limit.  Check your rods, reels and fishing line.  Don’t lose that keeper fish because of something that you could have avoided by a little preparation.  Remember that there will be lots of anglers heading out the first several days of the season.  Have fun and be safe!

    You will be able to find some redfish schools this month as they gather up to head out to the ocean. Look around the shallow sandy flats for them to be feeding. DOA 2 ¾” shrimp or CAL jerk baits can coax them into biting. Trout will continue to bite around the usual flats like, Bear Point, Harbor Branch and Round Island. Deadly Combos fished on the edges of the bait schools will find some action with trout and other species. Snapper can be found along channel edges and around structure. Sheephead, drum and snapper can be caught on the catwalks of the bridges. Live or dead shrimp will find these fish.

    September Tip:
    Fish the bait schools! It's easy to spot the bait this time of year. If you don't find bait around your favorite fishing spot, you will most likely not find many fish there. Move around if you need to in order to find active bait. Fish love this time of year and they are out there gorging themselves on the bait in anticipation of the coming winter months. Try a CAL Airhead or DOA Bait Buster around the mullet schools.  Early mornings can be exciting on the flats. You can find big fish in shallow water around the bait pods. It has been a long hot summer and finally temperatures will begin to mellow out and water temps will get back to normal. It's a great time of year to be fishing!

    Remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing and be Safe,
    Captain Charlie Conner

    www.fishtalescharter.com
    captaincharlie@fishtalescharter.com
    772-284-3852


  • 08/31/2017 11:29 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Keep our Texas friends in our prayers

    by Capt. Tom Van Horn

    Let me begin this forecast by wishing everyone a happy and safe Labor Day weekend, and while we are enjoying the end of summer, let's not forget those in service of our great country who are on duty for our freedom and safety and also let's keep the folks in Texas in our prayers.

    Trophy Mosquito Lagoon Redfish

     I'm often asked the question, what is the best time of year to catch trophy redfish? Well, the answer is right now. September is the month the breeder redfish school up for the spawn in the Mosquito, Banana River and Indian River Lagoons as well as inlet passes of Ponce and Sebastian, so it's a good time to target these breeder fish. 

    September also marks the beginning of the fall bait migration, primarily silver mullet, which increase as we progress into October and November. It is hard to predict precisely when and how strong the run will be, but along with the arrival of the bait, come the predatory species we love so much. 

    My lure selection for these breeder schools this time of year is a DOA Bait Buster with a single hook instead of trebles. I like the shallow runner in natural mullet colors when the school is near the water's surface and the deep runner when fishing the deeper water of the inlets and near-shore.

    Look for snook, tarpon, jack crevalle, sharks, and large kingfish crushing bait pods along the beach. The pods are easily located by watching for fish and birds busting the bait. Once you've determined the direction of fish movement, usually south, simply set up in front and let them come to you. This is my preferred time of year for targeting snook and tarpon along the beach.

    Beach Snook During the Mullet Run

    The beach snook run started last month with a few fish already showing up, and it will began to pick up substantially, just in time for the opening of snook season on September 1st. 

    The technique I like use for beach fishing is to simply slide a ½ to 1 once barrel sinker onto your line, next attach a swivel which will serve as a stop for the weight, and help keep your line from twisting as it rolls down the beach. I use about 24 inches of heavy leader, 30 to 50 pound test, and a large Daiichi Bleeding Bait circle hook. You'll need to step up both the hook and leader size if tarpon are present. 

    My favorite bait is a live finger mullet, fishing the very edge of the surf, casting just beyond the white water. Walk slowly along with the direction of tidal flow, so your bait does not wash in with the waves. The same system will work for tarpon, just cast it out further, and make sure you have adequate tackle and line capacity to handle these mighty fish.

    Near-shore, good numbers of kingfish will continue to work the beaches, wrecks and reefs. When fishing for kings, slow trolling live pogies is one of the most productive methods.

    As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Capt. Tom Van Horn

  • 07/30/2017 11:12 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Redfish, trout, and snapper are August targets

    by Capt. Greg Stamper

    August is here and we’ve got lots of options to fish for in Southwest Florida. Fishing is usually best early in the mornings before it gets too hot. Part of August is that bait options are plentiful, so if you have a plan on what you want to catch finding the right bait should be easy. Pilchards, threadfins, pinfish, crabs, and shrimp are all plentiful through August. Tides, winds, and weather are the deciding factors as afternoon thunderstorms will be common just about every day.

     The stronger the tides the better, you need moving water to catch fish especially as it gets hot.  Windy days will give savvy anglers options of what sides of islands to fish on, where they’ll need to run to for the most options, and sometimes the opportunity to fish specific spots that will be awesome on certain wind directions. Likewise, on low wind days I’ll blow off the backcountry fishing and go out front nearshore fishing.

    Tarpon fishing will be a continued target both in the backcountry and along our beaches. The juvenile tarpon is plentiful this time of the year. Tarpon can be found regularly around or bridges, near the beaches chasing schools of bait early, and in the back bays usually where it’s a bit deeper than the surrounding flats. We’ll chase them usually early in the morning or late in the evening using everything from small white baits, artificial lures, all the way up to live ladyfish.

    Snook fishing is great during the summer, we’ll continue to find them along our beaches within feet of the shorelines, on our wrecks and reefs patrolling the edges, and in the backcountry laying up under the bushes as it gets hotter. They’ll be in schools usually, and when the waters clean are a blast to site cast.  Moving around slowly on the trolling motor looking for those big fish cruising is a blast in the Summer. Seeing snook up to 40” isn’t uncommon this time of the year and well worth putting a few hours of a trip toward.

    Redfish, trout, and snapper are typical backcountry August fishing targets. As redfish will be found often in the same areas as the snook and snappers, we do fish them a bit different however. Spreads for reds works out great as it gets hotter. We’ll put out an assortment of baits on jig heads or knocker rigs and keep the lines close to structure, shorelines, and potholes. By varying the baits you’ll eventually figure out what their most likely to eat and where that given day.

    Fishing our passes and cuts when the tides slow down can be a saving grace during August. These cuts and passes will have the last and first of the moving water and that’s where you’re going to get a bite during the tough times. Pompano, trout, snapper, etc… can be found in these areas. Jigs are my favorite rig tipped with a piece of shrimp and worked quickly. You’ll have to put some time into figuring out where the fish are hunkered down, but it’s worth it when you find a bite.

    Lastly shark fishing can always save the day during the summer. We’ve got all kinds in all sizes, from hammerheads, bulls, blacktips, all the way down to nurse sharks and bonnets. Sharks love a little chumming to get them going and once there enticed they will eat just about anything. Using a simple 5/o circle hook with a nice chunk of ladyfish usually gets it done. I don’t even use wire as I’ve found a freelined bait rarely gets cut off when using 50# leader for sharks up to 8 feet.

    Tight lines,
    Capt. Greg Stamper
    Snookstampcharters.com
    239-313-1764


  • 07/30/2017 10:25 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)
    Blue water bite will improve

    by Capt. Tom Van Horn

    Angling on the in-shore lagoons will continue to show improvement as long as the brown alga bloom continues to subside and the summer squalls (hurricanes) stay away, with fishing in the predawn and late evening hours being most productive. Look for schools of redfish in the skinny water holding in the vicinity of bait concentration, and target them utilizing smaller top-water plugs or soft plastic swim baits like the DOA Bait Buster and Airhead. Once the sun starts to grow hot, the top-water bite will shut down, and bait becomes your better option.

    For larger trout, fish live pigfish in close to docks and other structure adjacent to deeper water. In deeper water, look for large schools of ladyfish, small trout, and tarpon pushing schools of glass minnows near the surface. These schools are easy to locate by watching for concentrations of birds, terns and cormorants, joining in on the frenzy, and they are perfect for fly anglers who are interested in the continuous fast and furious action provided by these speedsters.

    Last but not least, look for schools of black drum and pompano holding in the shadows of the causeway bridges where the water is deeper and cooler. For pompano, fish small jigs tipped with shrimp or sand fleas (mole crabs) along the deeper edges and drop-offs.

    Offshore, look for the blue water bite to improve along the inshore reefs and wrecks of Chris Benson, 8A Reef, and Pelican Flats, with kingfish, dolphin, and cobia serving as the primary species, along with an occasional wahoo or sailfish. This is also the time of year when cooler waters sometimes push the giant manta rays in close to the shoals off the Cape, bringing cobia with them. Further off shore, the Gulf Stream typically moves in closer making tuna a possibility for smaller boats working in the areas of anchored shrimp boats and thermals, and as long as the summer squalls stay away, running to the other side of the stream isn't out of the question.

    Along the beach, look for the silver kings (tarpon), smoker kings, blacktip sharks, jack crevalle, and redfish to be shadowing pods of Atlantic menhaden (pogies), thread fin herring (greenies), Spanish sardines, and bay anchovy (glass minnows) in close to the beach. Also look for snook fishing in the surf to improve, as we get closer to the commencement of the fall bait run. Remember snook are out of season, so if you target them, handle and release them with care. In and around the inlets, look for Spanish mackerel, tarpon, jack cervalle, and bonita to be working schools of glass minnows on the outside, and snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, and flounder in the area of jetties and other structure.

    As always, if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn
    Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
    www.irl-fishing.com
    407-416-1187 on the water
    mosquitocoast@cfl.rr.com

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