“There’s no use in sugar-coating it. Fishing is pretty slow right now due to the oppressive heat,” says Capt. Dave Lear of Tallahassee. “Quality catches are still being made. But the motivation factor is low for anglers and the timing has to be just right to find the fish in a feeding mood.”
Redfish are more tolerant of bathtub-like water temperatures. Look for tailers at the bottom of dead low tides and the first of the incoming. Once the shore floods, those same fish will be prowling along the grass looking for crabs and shrimp. An Aqua Dream or Capt. Mike’s weedless spoon is a great search bait and realistic imitation of the prey. Gold, chartreuse and watermelon seed are top color choices.
Trout continue to lurk around the creek mouths and channels where deeper, cooler water is quickly accessible. Cast a topwater offering like a MirrOlure Top Dog, MirrOdine or Rapala Skitter Walk early in the mornings or just before dusk. Once the sun gets high, switch to a shrimp lure or soft-plastic jig and work the lower water column. Natural shades of tan, light brown or pearl are good in this heat. Chartreuse is another proven summertime color.
The nearshore depths are the best bet right now. Plenty of tripletail are holding on trap buoys, pilings and the refuge boundary floats. DOA one-quarter ounce standard shrimp or the 2.75 version are the top choices fished plain or under a popping cork. Most of the tripletail are undersized and most be released, but they are great sport on light tackle regardless.
Watch for a lingering ling around that same structure or near the many artificial reefs in the region. Gag’s Whip-it eel lures, big bucktails and large swim baits will entice the cobia. Live baiters often opt for a fat finger mullet or pinfish.
There’s no shortage of sharks around if you want a serious tussle. Gear up accordingly. Tarpon are still around too, although they pop up when you least expect them. Keep a DOA BaitBuster rigged on a medium-heavy spin outfit and you’ll be ready when they do appear.
Tides won’t be very pronounced with the ‘tweener moon this weekend. The daytime high will occur mid-mornings but will drop out by three feet by early evening. Winds are predicted to be mostly westerly. To maximize the chances, plan to fish from 10 to noonish when the solunar feeding period will showcase high activity. An average window will return the last hour before the tide bottoms out again.
There are still plenty of tagged redfish swimming all around the coast. Don’t miss out on winning a brand-new boat, outboard and trailer package, courtesy of the CCA Florida STAR tournament. You have to be entered to win and fishing continues through Labor Day.
To learn more, visit: www.ccflstar.com
FYI - In an effort to be a better citizen of our environment, Shields Marina will start using "earth friendly" shopping bags for your marina purchases. Let's all work together to keep our waterways clean and healthy!