Shift Your Style

Capt. Dave Stephens

Here we are in August. We have already had a close call with a named storm and we need the rain, just not any major disasters. With the summer rains come changes to our water that can help you or hurt you. If you depend on mostly sight for your style of fishing, then this is probably not your favorite time of year. The rains tend to darken the water due to the rain. If you’re not very big on sight fishing? Well this time of year can be very productive for you. The darker water allows you to get closer to fish that are normally spooky. I myself rely on sight and knowledge of the area. I will admit the darker water can make it more difficult to set up on spots in the open water. Spots such as oyster bars and pot holes. With the technology of today’s GPS systems this shouldn’t be an issue as long as you took the time to mark them. I’m sure if you’re like me you had to learn the hard way.

The good news is our top game fish such as snook, tarpon and redfish can tolerate the freshwater. A lot of the time if we get a large amount of rain it will shut the bite off for a few days for the fish that require a higher salt level such as trout and snapper. These fish might be pushed out closer to the gulf or into deeper salty waters. One fish that seems to make more of its presence known in the upper harbor when the rain comes is tarpon. I’m not sure if these fish get pushed from the river or come in from the beaches. It’s probably a combination of both, however there seems to be more schools around this time of year. Areas like the holes in the harbor will be holding fish. Also, the mouths of our two rivers are great places to locate fish. If you get an early start on a calm morning you will surely come across some rolling fish. If this summer is anything like last summer, the mangrove snapper should be showing up. Last year was one of the best snapper bites I’ve seen in a long time. Areas like deep mangrove points with moving water will hold good numbers of fish. Local grass flats with potholes and oyster bars are a good bet. These little guys can be tricky sometimes so I recommend downsizing your tackle to a smaller hook and baits. Moving water is also key to have a good snapper bite. For their size these guys put up a pretty good fight and they’re also very tasty. If you would like to enjoy some of South West Florida’s finest fishing give us a call or send an email. All of our trips are customized to fit you and your party’s needs.