St. Augustine Offshore : June- July Fishing Forecast
HOT weather and calm seas. It’s time for bottom fishing. Trolling the blue water is a thing of the past – it’s time to sweat!
We are extremely fortunate in NE FL to have great bottom fishing; however, the people in control of our natural resources say there’s no way to open Red Snapper before August. If you have questions or comments you can call: NOAA/NMFS: 727-824-5301 or 843-571-4366. For email: roy.crabtree@NOAA.gov; or email@example.com
So, let’s focus on what we can catch and keep. The mainstay of anglers in the summer is Vermillion and Mangrove Snapper. The Vermillion or Bee Liners – as they are called locally – are plentiful from 100’ out to the shelf edge. They are easily caught and great eating. A double hook rig baited with cut squid is the rig of choice. In addition to Vermillion, Red Porgy and Grey trigger fish will be caught on the same rigs in the same areas. Gray Snapper or Mangoes as they are called locally are a little more difficult to catch. Dead or live sardines work the best. Floro carbon leaders between 30 and 50 pound test and just enough lead to get to the bottom is the best way to go. The best depths are 80 to 120 ft. Both of these species bite well after dark so if you are looking to beat the heat a night trip isn’t a bad idea.
In addition to Snapper – Amberjack, Cobia, and Grouper show up frequently in fisherman’s catches. Live bait like grunts or pin fish work well if you want to target larger fish. Cobia and Amberjack will readily take jigs worked vertically over ledges and wrecks.
On the trolling scene, King Mackerel are King. Live bait fisherman will take some large fish along the beach and the old school Captain will catch plenty of smaller fish using drone spoons pulled deep behind a planer. In addition to Kings – Bonita, Barracuda and the occasional Sailfish will be caught around the nearshore wrecks and reefs out to 100’.
The temperature is hot, but you can count on calm seas.
“Let’s go Fishing”
Captain Robert Johnson