As summer settles in on Florida’s east central coast, the summer doldrums begin. Calmer sea opens a window of opportunity for those of us with shallow water boats to venture out off the beach in search of silver kings (tarpon), smoker kings (kingfish) and much more. In June, the seas clean up and ocean predators push pogy pods (Atlantic menhaden) in close to the beach. Look for large tarpon, kingfish, sharks, and jack crevalle to be following these bait pods looking for an easy meal. For best results, try slow trolling live pogies in areas of active bait schools, especially if feeding activity is present. Make sure you are using adequate tackle size to handle these fish and some of the larger tarpons are well over 100 pounds.
Fishing on the inshore flats is best during the early morning and late evening hours for trout and redfish around concentration of silver mullet. Try working your favorite top water lure for explosive action. Focus your efforts between 4am and 9am, and in the late afternoon after the thunderstorms dissipate. Also look for schools of bay anchovies (glass minnows) in deeper waters. For trout and redfish on top water, I like the Rapala Skitter Walk and Storm Chug Bug, and then switch to the DOA CAL Shad Tail on a ¼ ounce jig in deeper water. Lastly look for the larger black drum to be holding in the shade of the bridges and in deeper channels where the water is a bit cooler.