Pier & Surf – June Fishing Report
June is our first month of 80 degree plus water. So we are past the major Pompano Run but not quite to the Mullet Run. The best part of this “tween” month is that the warmer water species are showing up. The two most exciting new arrivals are Spanish Mackerel and Tarpon!
For Tarpon, I’ve had my best success with fresh mullet chunks or whole large live mullet fish on a heavy duty fish finder or sinker slider rig. You don’t get a lot of hook ups, but when you do it is off the chart exciting! I’m amazed at how close to the beach that these huge fish swim, especially early in the morning or in the evening. I have even hooked them at night during the full moon while soaking fresh mullet in the first trough.
Spanish Mackerel are a hoot to catch off the pier or in the surf. I caught my first one in 1979 at Marineland, in the surf, on a red and white mirror lure. The same lure works just as good today. Other tactics for success are a float rig with live shrimp or live mullet. Also top water plugs and silver spoons are proven winners.
This month let us focus on my favorite species of shark. Hard fighting and good eating Bonnethead! Ok, first of all good eating? Yes, you are what you eat and they are crab eaters. Their main diet is Calico crabs which we can easily imitate with half of a Blue crab. Calicos are thick in the surf during the summer months. So if you want to target them you need to beef up your terminal tackle. My favorite rig is a fish finder tied with 100 lb mono and a 5/0 to 7/0 circle hook. This may seem like over kill but it’s not! It is the same rig I use for Tarpon and big Redfish.
To avoid the heat and to enjoy a better bite, go early. I prefer the first bait to hit the water just before 6
AM. You can take in a great sunrise and bring home some great groceries. See you in the surf!