What can you say about August in Florida? Well, it is going to be pretty darn hot! In saying this, the bite can be very hot as well. Inshore species respond well on the tide movement, and if you can catch the tide right, in the early AM or later PM hours, you may just catch a mess of fish. This time of year, the bull reds come to town to spawn. You can find these fish on the outer spoil banks, looking for an easy meal. I recommend upgrading your leader to 30-40 lb. fluorocarbon, and using large shrimp or live finger mullet, to catch a nice picture fish. I say “picture fish”, due to the fact that most of these fish will be over 27 inches. Please make sure you revive these breeders before tossing them over the side. Along with the reds, the flounder bite will be picking up. I find that a quarter ounce Jim’s Jig, loaded with a mud minnow, will generate the bite you’re looking for. Look for sandy bottoms just off the rocks, to catch a nice one.
As the red snapper season has now passed us by, have no fear. The gray or mangrove snapper can be just as much fun on lighter tackle, and is great table fare. The mangrove can be leader shy; I recommend at least an 8-foot fluorocarbon leader, around a 30 lb., lighter if they will not hit, freelined or tipped, with a light quarter ounce jig. Mangroves can be found from inshore, out to the Middle Grounds, but a 30 to 40-foot depth should get your limit. While offshore, take a chance on a hog fish. Hog fish eat shrimp, along with crabs, and can be found just off the reefs, turning up the sand looking for food. While along the reef, have a rod ready for the gag grouper, as they are still in season. Even with the red snapper season closed, you can still bring home a healthy offshore bounty.
August will be extremely hot; bring plenty of fluids to drink, and follow the weather. Stop by Captains Cove Outfitters for your bait and tackle needs on your way to the water. Please reach out to me at [email protected] with any questions you may have. In addition, check out We Be Tailing for more tips and tricks at www.webetailing.com .
Capt. Eric Hasty
ShastyMcNasty Fishing LLC