Flagler July Fishing Report
Tarpon are being targeted on our beaches and inshore waters all summer long. Along the beaches look for pogie pods with rolling and crashing Tarpon, approach by trolling motor and pitch a live pogy on the outskirts of the school, other alternatives is to fish the shrimp boats after they dump their by catch. For inshore Tarpon a live back hooked mullet or select shrimp with a Daiichi D18Z wide gap octopus hook will do the job. Look for rolling Tarpon and pitch live mullet or shrimp a few feet in front and hold on. Best places to fish are residential canals, Matanzas Inlet or the Tomoka Basin for juvenile tarpon. Afternoon thunderstorms will normally trigger Tarpon feeding frenzies before the skies open up.
Kingfish will be on the near shore wrecks and beaches, slow trolling (1.5mph) a pogy will attract smoker kings. Look for bait pods in 35-60ft. of water and troll around the bait for hook ups.
Starting early in the morning or just before sunset is your best bet for the dog days of summer when targeting redfish on the flats. Toss your favorite topwater plug during low light conditions then switch to live or cut bait (lady fish, crab or mullet) and soak baits along grass banks that are holding bait or soak baits around oyster beds on the higher tides.
Flounder are still targeted on the flats during higher tides and creeks during low tides with live mud minnows pinned on a jig head slowly bounced or dragged across the bottom. If you can’t make it to the shallows, pitch baits around docks closer to the inlet for flatties. Fish the last of outgoing and first of incoming tide at Matanzas inlet targeting deeper drop-off ledges, deep water rock/ hard bottom.
Normally snook can be heard popping shrimp under the Palm Coast bridges or nearby docks but with past winters devastating cold spells the snook took a beating and we suffered massive fish kills. Try to practice catch, photo and release till our snook stocks can replenish themselves.
Capt. Chris Herrera
Serving Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, St. Augustine