August is the time of year when red fishing really excels, and large schools can be targeted. Concentrate your efforts on the outer mangrove keys, spoil islands, and fish around the major moon phases. The last couple hours of the incoming tide are hard to beat, and remember a stealthy approach helps with success. Push pole or troll motor up to a likely spot, anchor down, and position yourself up-tide. Locate points with a hard lime stone bottom and plenty of mullet activity. Free line a live pinfish, or for a sure hook up, try a fresh piece of cut mullet or my favorite, cut lizard fish (yes, try it, it works great). For those who prefer artificials, a ¼ oz. gold spoon or a DOA C.A.L. jerkbait in the glow, or new penny color, rigged weedless is ideal for casting along the rocky structure.

Gather the family, friends and get ready to cool off from the summer heat. Scallop season is still going strong and so far, the season is really good. Our vast area of crystal clear grass flats between the two rivers, is a haven for these tasty bivalves. Excellent starting locations are generally Gomez rocks off Crystal River and the flats just west of St. Martins Keys off Homosassa. Simple snorkeling gear, dive flag and a saltwater fishing license (for those 16 and older) is all that’s needed to harvest them. Check the current regulations and bag limits to ensure a fun day on the water.

For plenty of action and mixed bag catches, the deep grass patches west of the “Foul Area” in 8 to 12 feet of water, are always a summer time hot spot. To locate these deeper grass beds, let the sun get up a little, and run with the sun at your back. Look for the dark and light spots on the bottom. This “spotty” bottom (which is approximately 5 to 10 miles offshore) is the most productive area to target trout during the hot summer months. Flounder, black sea bass, Spanish mackerel, cobia and the list goes on… are all possibilities on any given day.

Most of the steady gag grouper action has been starting in 42 feet on out. Typically, the grouper migrate a ways offshore during the hot summer and getting offshore a bit, may be necessary to find steady keeper sized gags. However, it’s always worth a quick stop on the shallower spots to see what’s down there, and a live frisky pin fish will usually let you know in a hurry if there’s a resident grouper nearby. The mangrove snapper will be holding on the same structures as the grouper, so have some lighter tackle on board to out-smart the snapper. Chumming brings the “mangos” off the structure and a free lined live shrimp on a 1/8th oz Hank Brown jig head will help add a couple extra groceries to the cooler. Another great idea is to have a stand-by rod, rigged with a jig or live pin fish, for a summer cobia that may come cruising by.

As always, feel fee to contact me with any other questions about the area. Good fishing!