by Captain Michael Manis
With the heat still ever present, I’ll continue working early and concentrate on outside shorelines that run adjacent to open water bar systems. In particular, shorelines that adjoin creek mouths and deeper cuts are my favorites. This type of habitat can hold snook, redfish, and juvenile tarpon.
Redfish are beginning to school up now and they can be a lot of fun when grouped up. Keep an eye out for stingrays as they kick up a lot of sediment and redfish will hang close looking for an easy meal. When they’re on the feed like that they’re a bit less cautious and when there’s a few fish together they’ll also be more competitive. Also, the rays are sometimes easier to spot than a fish and that’s particularly true when the water is on the tannic side.
While on any outside bar system, don’t be surprised if you see a school of jack crevalle cruising and busting bait. They disappear as quick as they show up so be ready to throw no matter what you’ve got rigged.
The spotted sea trout bite will start to get better as the month progresses. For the most part, anywhere in two to four feet within the proximity of a turtle grass flat should be good first thing in the morning.
Tarpon will be scattered throughout the upper harbor. The bigger fish are around the deeper holes and bridges. Some smaller fish can be found around the perimeter canals of Punta Gorda and outer mangrove shorelines that adjoin creek systems. In addition, this is a good time to keep an eye out for schools of black drum bouncing back and forth between the U.S. 41 bridge and the same perimeter canals holding tarpon.
Also, don’t be surprised if you run into some sharks around the deeper holes. Black nose, blacktip, and bull sharks are always possible. Spanish mackerel could be anywhere especially if you’re around one of the markers. Smaller sharks are great sport on the bars that border the open harbor. When it’s hot, these bars stay a bit cooler from a decent tide flow.
Whether from land or a boat, fishing off the beach can be a lot of fun this time of year. There are still snook in the surf and many of these fish are also going to be making their way to shorelines and dock structure inside the passes.
Schools of Spanish mackerel are here too and will be moving in and out of the passes busting bait. As always, find the bait and the fish won’t be far off.
Until next month, good tides.
Captain Michael Manis
Punta Gorda Fly Charters