July is here and it’s freaking hot!!!  Let’s all just hope that the wind doesn’t blow like it did in the month of June.  July is a great month for everything here on the Emerald Coast.  Red snapper season is still open till the 10th in state waters and all the billfish tournaments are in full swing.


July is a pretty tough month for the inshore bite but it can be really good, you just have to adjust when you go.   Once summer really sets in and the days and nights are hot, fish start to change their patterns just like you and I.  They really don’t like the hot water, so they’ll move off the flats during the day out to deeper water.  Up in the day the fish are really tough to catch.  You can fish the deeper docks and bridges once the sun gets up high and you’ll get some bites.  The flats will still be good you just have to fish them the first couple hours of daylight and the last couple hours of daylight.  The dock lights at night are great to fish too and if you have the time it’s your best bet to catch your limit of trout.  July is usually a tough month to find bait.  That includes shrimp at the bait shops.  If you know you’re going fishing, try and plan ahead and go find bait.  It’s always good to give yourself a little extra time to find them.  Try fishing the soft plastic jerk baits along the grass flats if you can’t find live bait.


The offshore bite has been great in the month of June. It seems like most of the snapper are stacked up off the west beach towards P’cola with the east beach being a little slower.  For you guys fishing close to the pass it will get tougher to catch your snapper the next week or so, not because the fish aren’t there, but they’ve seen a lot of hooks the last month and have gotten a little more trained up.  Try fishing lighter tackle and if possible used cut bait to get them up in the water more.  The kingfish bite has been great too and should stay really good.  Use lighter wire and match your treble hooks to the size of the bait, you’ll get more bites.  Hit up all the inshore barges and bigger artificial wrecks within a few miles of the pass in the early mornings and don’t forget about fishing right out front.  As long as we keep the tropical weather away this month we should continue to see a red hot offshore bite.  Fishing has been great starting around the nipple and working offshore.  There’s a lot of bait and pretty water pushed in close for this time of year and a lot of guys getting multiple shots at billfish along with mixing in some dolphin and wahoo with the occasional yellowfin tuna.

Pete Wright

Ship’s Chandler | Destin, Florida