Whether you were fishing in-shore or near-shore; July did not disappoint in providing us anglers with tons of options for action. I expect August will produce more of the same. The key to fishing these summer months is staying cool, and there is no better way to do so than to fish in the mornings and evenings.
During this time of year, my mornings typically begin with introducing my clients to the near-shore experience. As large schools of glass minnows begin showing up close to the beach, I apply what is known as the “run & gun” method of fishing. Essentially I “gun” the boat to wherever those large bait schools are being blasted by the Mackerel and Bonito that follow them. The degree of fun and excitement provided by these toothy critters typically borders on the absurd. Now I must say… from a guides perspective this type of fishing is great because clients don’t need to be all that experienced to catch fish and have a great time. In addition I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that there is an ulterior motive to chasing these schools along the beach, first thing in the morning… and that motives’ name is Tarpon.)
Not unlike us humans, there are a few favorite places that Tarpon like to hang out in the mornings during the months of July and August, and at the top of that short list is the beach. They run up and down the beaches looking for easy prey. (And no, I’m not talking about beautiful bikini clad sun worshippers.) Tarpon are running the troughs, just off the beach, looking to feed on and around those same schools of glass minnows that the Mack and Bonito are hitting. Keep in mind that those little baits are attracting all types of food of which the Tarpon loves, including but not limited to Lady Fish, Pinfish, Mackerel as well as the very glass minnows that all are feeding upon.
Probably one of my most favorite things to do on the outside, during these same summer months, is to target those big bruiser Snook that run the beaches, right along the waters edge, during those first few hours of daylight. There are few things more satisfying to an angler than stalking a big beach cruiser, placing a perfect cast and watching that fish eat your bait, only to explode as you burry your hook firmly into it’s jaw. Mind you this is a stealthy operation, as those fish can be terribly spooky.
One final alternative to keeping it cool while fishing during the summers here in Southwest Florida is night fishing. Motoring around the local bays at night in search of Snook and Tarpon that are hanging under the dock lights is, in my opinion, one of the most comfortable ways to get in your fishing fix.
All in all there are plenty of options for the angler during those hot summer months, so until next time… keep those lines tight and stay cool!