Inshore with Capt. Rachel

by Capt. Rachel Cato

What a great summer month June can be! Take the time now to fish before the summer heats up. As usual in summer fish early or fish late.  Every angler will have a preferred tide or time they like to fish and I’m no different.  My tendency is to prefer morning with an incoming tide for trout and redfish and then afternoon outgoing for snook.  It doesn’t mean you won’t do really well the other way around, it’s just a way I tailor some of my trips if clients want to focus on a particular species.  Near the end of the month fish will have moved off the hot shallow water.  Current is key and as the water warms look for deeper troughs near the shallow flats.  Generally, the bait has flooded the flats and it’s the perfect size for inshore fish.  If you are targeting Tarpon you will need to get the bigger bait size and those will be found along the Skyway piers as well at buoys and markers.  You will need a larger mesh cast net preferably 1/2 inch, a little extra weight is a bonus, larger mash and heavier weight helps to get down faster on the bigger bait. Large threadfin bait is typically the preferred bait for Tarpon in the passes along with pass crabs.  Always be on the lookout for pass crabs floating by so you can dip them as you go. The June Bradenton Boat Show at The Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto is June 8, 9, and 10. If you miss this one there is also the January show.  There will be seminars daily and hands on demonstrations on throwing cast nets.  I generally offer two seminars each day focusing on catching live bait, techniques on using live bait and general local knowledge on fishing the area surrounding Manatee River, Terra Ceia Bay and Tampa Bay south.  I hope to see you there!

Captain Rachel Cato has been a fishing guide out of Palmetto since 2005. She is on the pro staff with Evinrude through Gulf Coast Marine in Port Charlotte and specializes in catching many species year-round with live bait for up to 6 anglers. To book your next fishing adventure call (941) 524-9664, go to, or find her on Facebook at CaptainRachelCharters