Now that summer is here options on where to fish are endless. If targeting redfish is your thing, first light on the flats has yielded some nice slot fish using live bait (mud minnows) or use topwater plugs, soft plastic jerk baits and paddle tails. Flounder will continue to show up on the flats and creeks while fishing for redfish. Mud minnows pinned on a Slayer jig head tossed around deeper creek bends will account for most flounder catches. Shallow water flounder will eat gold spoons and spinner baits retrieved slowly just above the bottom. Bigger flounder are making their way in from nearshore wrecks and into the inlets.
Trout fishing will be stellar during low light conditions along creek mouths that dump into the ICW. Subsurface diving plugs and soft plastic paddle tails that look like a mullet jigged in 4-8 ft. of water will entice trout to chew. Night time dock light fishing will be in full swing as long as the water is moving. DOA shrimp pitched up current and let drift through dock lights will fool just about any trout.
Maybe Tarpon is more your thing and they too can be found on the flats, rolling during first light when winds are calmest. A live select shrimp is a prime choice for juvenile Tarpon or whip out the long rod and place a black and purple toad fly in their path.
When the sun is up and things start to slow down in the skinny head for the inlets where Bull Redish will be roaming the rocks and structure sniffing out a piece of cut something (crabs, mullet or pogies). Don’t feel like battling jetty groupers, continue past the rocks and head for open water where big silver kings (Tarpon) can be seen crushing pogie pods. A live pogie tossed around the schools should entice ole’ bucket mouth into feeding.
Can’t find any Tarpon? No problem start slow trolling the pogies or mullet and see if you can’t find the other King, King Mackerel! Don’t forget to wire up for these toothy critters. Hey look at that shark, wait it’s a Cobia! That’s right, look for Cobia as they tend to be a bit curious and will show up when not expected so have a rod ready with a large artificial paddle tail. Look for Cobia piggy backing on Manta Rays heading back south as long as the water temps allow (71.5 is the magic number). If all fails you can still find huge schools of bruiser Jacks that will test your strength and tackle! Almost forgot, plenty of Spanish Mackerel around as well, trolling spoons or casting plugs will get your live well filled in no time.
Capt. Chris Herrera