by Capt. Greg Stamper
And so, it begins. The dog days of Summer are here so stay hydrated. Usually fishing early in the morning or later in the evening is best this month and next. July temperatures start off in the 80’s and will often hit the upper 90’s. It’ll be a hot few months with high humidity, rainstorms, and lots of sun. Starting early in the morning before the sun comes up is usually a good thing for both the fish and the fisherman.
Fishing’s good this time of the year especially for snook, tarpon, permit, and redfish. During these hot water months proper catch and release techniques will be important. Keeping your catch in the water before a quick picture is taken, makes a difference. Reviving your catch well before releasing, will be crucial to the fish’s survival. Remember the waters is hot, has less oxygen, and big fish can get warn out, especially on light tackle.
Tides and moving water will be an important piece of the puzzle for July. In general, good water movement between high and low tides is best. Strong morning or evening tides of which we will have about 12 good ones this month, will be the best days. With the real heat starting around lunch time here in Southwest Florida, slow tides or slack tides from noon till the afternoon rains begin, will make for tough fishing. Likewise, after we have the afternoon or evening storms the water cools down a bit, gets more oxygen and fishing in general will be better.
Snook will be cruising the beaches and passes this month as well as patrolling our wrecks out to about 45 feet. This month and the next three, we will see schools of tarpon, jacks, snook, pompano, and hopefully trout along the beaches from Naples to Boca Grande. There is a good chance even for those fishing on foot to run across all these species. Look for these fish in cuts with good moving water, or in the beach troughs. Those that like the artificial game, just match the hatch and you’ll be fine on spin or fly.
Those that get offshore during July will have a lot of fun as gag grouper, red snappers, as well as black tuna, Aj’s, and even some African pompano will be out in 120 plus feet of water. The boats that fish closer in from say 75-100 feet will find no problem catching mangrove snappers, yellowtail snappers, lane snappers, and even some porgies to fill their coolers.
Tight lines Capt. Greg Stamper
Fort Myers beach