In the Heat

by: Capt. Dave Stephens

During the later summer months here in Southwest Florida, while talking to anglers the most common topic is how hot the water temperature is. There are a few things that you can do that will help you have a successful day on the water. If you are a live bait fisherman, I am sure you have had this problem. First thing in the morning you go to your favorite bait hole load your well with bait, make a run to your favorite fishing hole to find most of the bait you just caught is dead. I would recommend not overloading your well. Most live wells when you are running will drain down putting a lot of stress on your bait. The obvious would be to fish early in the day during the cooler hours which has not been easy lately. I’m sure not everyone has that option, therefore I would recommend fishing the higher tides either the top of the incoming or the top of the outgoing. Also try focusing on deeper flats and creeks as many times the water will be cooler in these areas. Snook fishing will be very good, post spawn fish will be looking to put some weight back on. Creek mouths and points of islands are a great place to look for fish on the falling tides. As the tide starts to bottom out there will be a good number of fish on the open flats. A 30-40lb fluorocarbon leader is recommended due to their sandpaper like lips. Don’t let that big one get away because you wanted to save a couple bucks on leader, and check your leader after each catch, you may need to snip off a couple inches and re-tie. Redfish will be getting better due to the summer rains. Sardines will still be your best bet and patience is a must because the fish need time to smell their food. Mangroves with the best cover and shade will hold fish during the hotter times of the day. For you early birds keep an eye out for fish starting to school up on some of the local flats. A tall tell sign will be fish pushing a wake. Also fishing around large schools of mullet is a great way to locate reds. Trout fishing will remain good on the deeper flats. As the freshwater pushes out of the rivers, you might want to look closer to the Gulf. Trout will often come up to the surface and pop chum like snook. Just a reminder to keep an eye out for those afternoon thunderstorms as they can approach fast and have some deadly lightning.