Horseshoe Beach

It’s hot and going to get hotter. 

July was a month we can look back on, and remember as being a great month to be in Horseshoe Beach, and fishing the Big Bend. It’s one of the hottest months of the year and people have flooded across the cattle gap to enjoy all the great things going on.
Scalloping has been off the chain GOOD. Most people, who have spent a fair amount of time in the water, have been able to get a limit, or at least plenty to “stink up the grease”. The water has been a little murky south of Pepperfish this past month. It pushed a lot of boats north outside of Bull Cove and Tater Island. There has also been a ton of boats just south of Steinhatchee on the grass flats north of Rocky Creek. The water should clear up or be clear soon south of Pepperfish and around the Pretty Pole area. This area hasn’t seen the pressure that other areas have, but it’s just a matter of time for sure.
Offshore grass flats have been producing a great trout bite. Finding offshore grass flats in 8 to 12 feet of water, bouncing a Gulp across the bottom with a ½ ounce jighead, works well for both speckled trout and a lot of healthy sand trout. The Spanish mackerel have been plentiful and will help remove your hook from your line with those sharp teeth. Trolling spotty bottoms with a small jig, or flashy plug attached to your line with a wire leader, can be a lot of fun on these hot days, and you can load the boat with Spanish.
If you read my article last month, you know I was very critical of the 3-day snapper season in federal waters. I had the opportunity to amend my article the night before it went to press, (after the decision was made to grant us Recreational Fishermen 39 days to fish federal water), but I chose not to change my article. The reason is, we still need to show gratitude for the 39-day season, but continue to be a voice and advocate for this and other public resources. I’m very happy and satisfied with the decision on the 39-day season. I’ve only missed 5 days so far, however, it was the pressure put on local and state officials, representing us that brought this about. Be aware that NOAA could easily use this year as a reason to close it next year, saying that the Recreational sector overfished their percentage of ARS this year, so don’t quit paying attention to the fishery and the decisions being made to control it. I can tell you that the Red Snapper fishery is alive and well. We have yet to struggle to catch our snapper limit in an easy day. We just need to continue to be diligent and continue to be fair to our fishery and stand up for what is the right thing to do by it.
Horseshoe Beach has been busy and we enjoy this time of year with all the activity going on. We had a great 4th and already making plans for Labor Day; its right around the corner. Where does time go? It just seems to literally fly by. Come visit us in Horseshoe. We still have plenty of time to get some scallops, or come down for a good day of fishing. If we can help you in any way feel free to call, email me or contact Wendy at the Salty Shoe Apparel. Her number is in the add on this page. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer.