August has arrived and will bring the warmest temperatures of the year so far, both in the air and on the surface of the Atlantic waters. Bottom fishing will be the way to go to get the most rod bending action but keep a lookout for a nice cobia that might be lurking around your boat. Usually the bottom temperatures will still be cooler in the deeper depths which can push the cobia to the surface.
This time of year is a great time for catching a lot of bottom species, such as trigger fish, sea bass and a variety of snapper. There are numerous areas to target these bottom species off the Treasure Coast from the beach to 150 feet depths and beyond. If you are new to the area and don’t know where these areas are, grab a chart available at any tackle shop. Also, be sure to pick up the latest fishing regulations for size and quantity limits for the area you are fishing. Be sure to vent the fish if you are fishing in deeper waters before releasing any non-keepers.
When on the water, look for structure on the bottom, if there is bait marking on the structure that is a plus. Anchor up near the area and get to catching. Bottom species will eat almost any live or cut bait that is offered to them such as sardines, squid and chunked grunt. Trigger fish, lane snapper and mangrove snapper will be relatively close to the structure. Mutton snapper will be a bit away from the structure waiting in the sand.
The terminal tackles you use to present your bait will be the most important. You will want to use just enough weight to get your bait to the bottom. I prefer a four-to-five-feet piece of 30-pound fluorocarbon leader; it is thinner than mono line and more abrasive resistant. I prefer a 2-3-O-size hook to not be seen. Braid main line is preferred by most for bottom fishing as it helps you feel lighter bites and does not stretch.
To beat the heat, fishing at night is a great thing and it is also harder for the fish to see your tackle. Please remember August is the start of lobster season so please keep your distance from divers and hopefully they will respect your area as well. There is a lot of ocean out there for all of us. Get out on the water, catch some fish, have fun and be careful!