August Tupperware Navy
This month marks my 11th anniversary sharing my thoughts and experiences with Coastal Angler. How about that? Thanks for your support and feedback over the years.
I want to share with you how to be productive in summer weather fishing. Let’s be honest, this time of year brings some challenges. When planning a trip, you need to have mapped out your trip, plan your spots, and be prepared to hit the water early. I mean that. If you’re not on the water well before the sunrise, you might as well have stayed at Dunkin Donuts.
The evening bite can be good as well for those of you who are, let’s say, just not morning people. Check your tides. On a recent trip to the St. Martin’s River, I didn’t, and I ended up not only not having a productive day, but we had to paddle up the river, against an incoming tide. We hit the spots when there was too much water, caught some small trout, and had a couple of nice blowups on the top water early, and then ended up having to paddle back against the out-going tide, on the way in. This is called fishing backwards. I don’t recommend it.
As of the writing of this article, the morning trout bite is still good at Aripeka, near the top of the high tide, in the early a.m. The trout are mixed in with the mullet schools. Best bait seems to be on the Glow GULP shrimp, or a Mirro/Dine. The bigger trout will often go for a free-lined piece of cut bait.
For those of you who want to go fishing for the fun of it, the gar population in our area seems to have exploded. The hole behind Baypoint, as well as anywhere along our coast, can provide some fun action. The best way to target them, and to spot their location, is to watch for them to breech (come up for air). Using cut bait, either free-lined or on a cork with a small treble hook, seems to work best. They’re not really edible (though I know people who have) but during a slow bite, hooking a 4-foot gar can be a lot of fun. Important point, if you let them take the bait and wait for them to run with it, you will be sure to get a good hook set.
As to good news, I’m starting to see the return of the reds and schools of black drum in some of my spots north of Baypoint. The black drum fooled me. I saw the school back in the creek and started working a GULP and Exude dart around the school, but couldn’t get anything to bite, so I paddled closer and ended up spooking a school of 20 to 30 slot-sized blackies. As they took off doing that “brrump-brrump” sound (my interpretation of a black drum drumming) I’m thinking, why didn’t I throw a shrimp. Well, if they are still there when I get out again, I’ll have a report on summertime black drum to share with you next month.
Well, it’s time to hit the water. Tight lines y’all.
Bruce Butler of Indian Bay Outfitters is a Hernando County premier fishing guide with full and half-day charters available. Kayaks, tackle and gear are provided. Just bring your lucky hat and a good attitude and be ready to see some pristine shoreline and experience great fishing.