by Capt. Brian Boxx

Summer is officially here and with it comes a new set of challenges. Fishing in the heart of summer is all about timing and location. What are your instincts when you are facing the stifling heat? Aside from hydration, you search out a place to cool off. As the backwater surface temps heat up to the high 80s and low 90s, the fish are looking for the same relief. The shallow water flats are a great place to start in the mornings, but as water temps jump throughout the day change your game plan accordingly. Seek out shaded areas, such as under bridges, docks, and trees. The shade provided by these structures are sought out by fish looking to beat the heat. Look for deep pockets as deeper water usually holds a “thermocline”.  Thermoclines are produced by the separation of cooler more dense water that sinks to the bottom and warmer, less dense water, that remains higher in the water column. SCIENCE! This divide can bring temperature differences as much as twenty degrees. I’m sure you have experienced this temperature difference if you have spent any time swimming in a natural body of water in the summer. Using your fish-finder, a thermocline can be easily found. Bump up your sensitivity and you will see an obvious line of feedback a few feet from the surface. Bingo! Another advantageous place to use the knowledge of thermocline are places where the deeper waters are mixed, or “turned over” from heavy current and underwater topography. If science isn’t your thing, or you just don’t want to suffer the extremes of the Summer day, head back to the dock around noon and continue your day after the afternoon thunderstorms cool things down.

July brings some of the best snook fishing of the year. The beach bite remains the most productive during daylight hours, but that top-water early morning flats bite is what gets my heart racing. There is something about seeing that  ‘v-wake’ heading right for my Chuggbug.  It hits me right in the feels every time. If table fare is your goal for the day, summer inshore snapper fishing is where it’s at.  The redfish bite has slowed a bit, but they can still be caught working the deeper cuts. If the massive tug is your drug, the night scene reigns supreme during the summer months. Sharks, tarpon, and big snook have been the dominant quarry of our night endeavors. If you’re interested in booking a night trip, give me a call and book quick, as slots are limited.

Regardless of night or day fishing, hydration is extremely important. Make sure to pack the cooler with water and drink it as often as you can. Aside from the obvious health risk involved with dehydration, one of the first symptoms are cramps. You have put in a lot of time and money getting hooked-up on that fish of a life time. Don’t let the dehydration get you! Stay hydrated to avoid unnecessary catastrophe. One of these fights can range over the hour mark and call for extreme physical effort on your part. It would be a shame to lose the battle with her because your hand cramped up (AKA the Claw) and you couldn’t go the distance. Stay Cool, Stay hydrated, Stay Salty- Capt. Boxx

Capt. Brian Boxx is the owner/operator of Reel Salty Endeavours, a proud veteran owned and operated charter service. If you, your family, or guests are looking to get out on the water, contact him through his website,, Facebook at Reel Salty Endeavours, or call 904-866-5050.