As summer in east Central Florida settles in, the summer doldrums begin. Calmer seas allow those of us with shallow water boats the opportunity to venture out off the beach in search of silver kings (tarpon), smoker kings (kingfish) and much more. In June, seas clean up and ocean predators push pogie 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. Heavy spinning gear is fun, use 50 to 80 pound fluorocarbon leader and a 8/0 circle hook. Add a short piece of #6 wire for the toothy sharks and kingfish.
Fishing on the inshore flats is best during the early morning and late evening hours for trout and redfish around concentrations of silver mullet. Try working your favorite top water plug for explosive action. Focus your efforts between 5am 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. Watch storm activity and stay safe. Be safe, have fun, and catch fish!