It’s Officially Summer

By: Capt. Billy Norris


The water temperature is up, the boat traffic is down, and it’s time to get out there and fish!  Although it has been incredibly hot lately, we are just now starting to get into our summertime rain pattern, so the Gulf temperature should start to cool slightly over the coming days.  This is personally my favorite time of year to fish, and if you’re not out there targeting some of our local favorites like tarpon and snook then you are certainly missing out!

The backwaters have remained relatively productive over the past few weeks.  The snook have moved from way upriver to the bays and passes.  They have also started to show up on the beaches, creating ample opportunities for foot mobile fisherman to target them.  Trout have also been readily taking baits on the flats and in the passes.  There have been a ton of fish around, although most of them are on the smaller side.  The backwaters have also been producing good bites from other angler favorites like snapper, pompano, redfish and even some backwater tarpon.  Due to the hot afternoon temperatures, the backwater bite has been most effective either first thing in the morning or late afternoon.

The beaches have begun to explode with life as well.  Large schools of mixed bait (threads, pilchards, glass minnows) have showed up in the shallow coastal waters, and in pursuit of them are the gamefish!  The bait schools are hard to miss, just look for the hundreds of pelicans and terns diving down into the water.  Big jacks, spanish mackerel, and a seemingly endless number of sharks have been keeping rods bent.  Additionally, there are some nice schools of tarpon hanging around in the shallow beach waters and targeting them can make for an epic day!

Offshore has been steady.  The usual suspects like mangrove snapper, lanes, grouper and goliaths have all been making appearances.  The wrecks have also had some solid permit schools on them, however, they have been very picky lately and getting them to chew has been challenging.  Summer is an excellent time for night fishing as well, so don’t be afraid to head out and target mangos or yellowtail on an overnight trip, it definitely pays off!

We just wrapped up tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys for the whole month of May.  It was an excellent month, with numerous fish making it boat side, with some big 150 plus pounders being caught.  If you have ever wanted to fish for the silver king, I highly recommend meeting us in the keys next May for a tarpon fishing trip of a lifetime!

Summer is here and the fishing should continue to be excellent.  Whether you’re fishing the backwaters, the beaches or offshore, you should have a great day on the water!