We are in the dead heat of summer right now. This plays more of a role on our bodies than the fish. So, let’s fish smarter. Get out to your spots earlier in the morning or early evening. The bite has been nothing short of amazing at these times!
Snook are still on the beaches this time of year spawning. Fish the stronger moving tides for your best shot at a trophy fish. They are eating everything you throw in front of them, whether it’s artificials or live cut bait. Use 15 to 20-pound braid and pair it up with 40-pound leader. If you have trouble keeping your bait at the lower water levels, rig up a smaller scale knocker setup. These snook don’t mind an easy target at all.
Another fish that has been overlooked this time of year are the big sharks! We have everything from blacktips to bullsharks and even some hammerheads hanging around. The beautiful monsters are chewing on full sized mullet and jacks. I like to use 100-pound mono leader paired with an 8/0 to 9/0 circle hook. You can use a wire leader, but I prefer the mono just for the purpose of being able to cut it easier if need be. These sharks are hanging very close to the beaches just like the snook. Anclote Island is a prime location to catch a 6 to 7-foot beauty. Make sure you have plenty of chum, and make sure you have tide movement to create a slick. For the guys who shark fish off of land, remember the FWC has added new shark regulations and laws. Make sure you have the right credentials, so you can continue to fish and not receive fines for it.
Redfish are tucked way under the mangroves this time of year. The best bait right now is cut ladyfish or cut pinfish. Lazy baits seem to get the most attention right now. For the artificial guys, get your topwaters out and throw it through the mullet schools for some excitement! Don’t be surprised if you get a snook out of those mullet schools while fishing for the reds. Use 20-30-pound fluorocarbon leader for these fish. They aren’t too spooky and it’s a good leader size for both live and artificials this time of year. Just remember that redfish, snook and trout are catch and release until May 2020. So, please make sure they are handled with care and released to fight another day!