Capt. Dave Stephens
Well, we head into the heart of hurricane season, with a close call already. I’m sure we will have more to come. Hopefully we make it through with no major hits to our community. One thing has been for certain, it has been very hot the past couple months here in SWFL. The fishing has been good here also, however it seems the first half of the day has been more productive for us. I’m assuming the rising water temps play a role in this.
The snook bite has been steady over the past couple weeks. The spawn has wrapped up and fish are moving around a lot. The food sources play a big role in the areas that are holding fish. Areas like mangroves, that have oysters or grass flats adjacent to them, are great areas. The forage that snook feed on live in these areas. Potholes on the flats will also be holding fish, as we move through summer.
As we get closer to fall here on Charlotte Harbor, redfish will start picking up. We have been catching 4-6 reds on our half day charters, mixed with the snook. It won’t be long before we start seeing large schools on the flats and bars. Normally I locate open water reds mixed in with large mullet. Also on lower tides you can see them pushing down the bars. These open water fish can be very spooky and often hard to target. Being as quite as possible is very important. Once these guys are spooked, it becomes very difficult to get on them. On the higher water, the green shady mangroves are great places to locate fish. A nice shrimp or a pinfish will get their attention.
For the folks who like a fresh fish dinner, the mangrove snapper bite has been crazy this year. I have been catching these guys all over the place. As long as the tide is flowing good these guys have been chewing good. On the higher water deep mangrove points have been really good. I have also been doing well around oyster bars for snapper. You might have to drop down to a smaller hook and bait. Remember folks to keep an eye in the sky during the summer months. These storms come up fast.
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Capt. Dave Stephens