St. Augustine Offshore – July Fishing Report
It may be a little on the warm side but the perfect sea conditions more than make up for it. July, barring a tropical system, is one of the calmest months of the year. So what to do during these picture-perfect days? King Mackerel are King! Kings can be caught from the beach to 21 fathoms. Slow trolling live bait nearshore will produce large fish. If steady action is what you’re after its hard to beat the tried and true planner and spoon set up. I prefer a #3 planner and a silver drone spoon. Make your leader at least 30 ft. long with an inline barrel swivel in the middle. This is a great way to introduce kids to fishing. It doesn’t hurt to pull a few surface baits as well, there will be a lot of Sailfish caught within 20 miles of the beach during the summer months.
On the bottom, it is a literal smorgasbord of species that are available. Mangrove, Mutton, and Vermillion snapper are in full swing especially leading up to the full moon. Light tackle is the way to go when Snapper fishing. The best depths are 100 to 150 ft. if you’re after a Snapper dinner. Amberjack are literally everywhere from 80 to 180 ft. Large live baits or jigs work well on the reef donkeys.
We will have a very brief Red Snapper opening on July 12 – 14; then again on July 19 and 20. The bag limit is 1 fish per person with no minimum size limit. There is a thermocline or cold water upwelling south of Cape Canaveral. Time will tell if we get the effects and the severity of the thermocline this far north.
I suggest getting an early start. Pay attention to the afternoon thunder storms and wear plenty of sunscreen. Its hot out there!
Let’s Go Fishing!
Captain. Robert Johnson
Jodie Lynn Charters