[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen I think of Mexico Beach Fishing in July, I think of really awesome King fishing. King mackerel will literally leap out of the water while hitting a cigar minnow floating out when using just a hook, called flat lining a minnow. Make sure you have a steal leader and around a 7/0 circle hook while using this technique. I also use chartreuse and gold king rigs loaded with frozen cigar minnows and troll very slowly to get the rig down deep in the water. They hit hard and make the reel’s drag smoke as they run so hard and far. Sometimes they will make you think you will get spooled they take so much line. The flounder are inshore and some nice ones are being caught. Flounder cannot resist a bull minnow. I use a Carolina rig with ¼ ounce egg weight and a size 4 Kahle or circle hook. Speckled trout and redfish are also being caught in the grass flats using alewives, aka LYs. Schools of LYs can be found along the walls of the marina. Throw a bait cast net and catch them, then head to the flats.
I have another cool fish story! While fishing on one of the radar towers at the mouth of St. Joe Bay, one of my ladies pulled up a most unusual catch. She caught a Mantis Shrimp. She caught it by hooking it in the dorsal carapace. It was attacking her white shrimp that she was fishing with. Mantis shrimp are also called Sea Locusts and Prawn Killers. It is very unusual to catch them on hook and line though. This specimen was around 8 inches long. The longest specimen recorded is 15 inches. They have spiny appendages topped with barbed tips that they use to inflict damage with blinding quickness to their pray. I handled this one with extreme caution; they are also called “thumb splitters.” They are very good to eat; the flesh is similar to the taste of lobster.