by Capt. Bart Marx
Hello fellow anglers it has been a hot summer! The kids are back to school and this means that they are focused on the Monday to Friday classes and not out on the local waters. So, there should be some room to get out there during the week to do some fishing and relax. I have two grandchildren, which are boys, and they fish with me. We had a chance to go before the school year started. There was about a four-hour window of time before the afternoon thunderstorms were to start. We made a good time of it and traveled by boat to the Punta Gorda side of Charlotte Harbor. The tides were up enough to get close to the mangroves where we caught a nice 22” redfish and some mangrove snapper. With the time we had, along with the three-dozen shrimp, it was a memory making event. These are the type of trips that are enjoyable by all and you talk about for a long time.
Some other species that you can keep an eye open for this month are the schools of reds starting to show up to fatten up for the spawn. This is where they come to find the schools of pin fish, which can be huge. Where to look would be close to the passes and ICW. This too could be a great month to catch an inshore slam, snook, red, and trout. The S/W Florida areas that I fish are from Lemon Bay to Pine Island, Charlotte Harbor and out into the Gulf of Mexico. These are the waters that I have learned to fish for forty plus years!
Offshore this month, the lane and mangrove snapper action should be good. If it is too hot during the day to fish for some of you, try snapper on the close reefs and natural bottom out to sixty feet. On full moon nights, it’s fun to get out there before dark and start your chum. The snapper will surface and you can use light tackle – ten-pound test and just a hook, game on! Be sure to check the regulations as to where your fishing spot is, as there are different bag and size limits in state waters and federal waters. Where I fish, the regulation for state waters is five fish, ten inches and up, federal is ten fish, twelve and up, for mangrove snapper. If you fish between eight and ten miles out, it could be more productive. So, do some checking before you go.