The start of a long hot summer is here. The fishing should start to churn and burn.
First up–Reds. They’ll be cruising the grass line wanting all the food they can find. From small crabs to shrimp with bait fish thrown in. Your best bets are fishing for them in the outer edges of grass lines or near that drop-off from 3 to 6 feet. These beauties like to run that slot for the shrimp. So grab some bait and get to it.
Next, the croaker and “yellow” mouth trout. They’ll be on all the deep holes near mile marker like eighteen through twenty-five. They like bait shrimp and night crawlers and when you catch a small croaker, cut him p to entice the Trout. So go for it if you choose.
Okay, on to the mullet. These wonderful silver fish will be at your disposal. They really like to be chummed up. From there, you’ll need some wigglers and/or white worms. Also split shot, #2 or #4 hooks and some split floats. And make sure you’ve got a cooler and ice to keep them.
Bream will be under the docks and in the creeks, staying as cool as they can. Baits of choice, fly rod poppers, small beetle spins and crickets. You can also go on the outer edges of grass lines and shell bars and use some grunts or reds or small pieces of shrimp and fish the bottom for shell crackers. So go.
Bass will be in their staying cool mode. Camping under docks in drop-offs and in the pads. Baits will be channel baits for the drop-off and dock fish. Also top water and jerk baits in the early A.M. or in cloudy situations. So have at it.
Next up are the stripers and hybrids. These line-sided beauties are around the Shands Bridge and are more than willing to take a nice bait shrimp on the bottom on or a float rig tossed near the pilings. You’ve got to have moving water. And it’s NOT a requirement that you use “fresh” shrimp. I’ve got customers that use frozen and catch a nice amount of them. You can also use shiners and let them swim past the piling and hold on. Lipless crank baits and minnow imitation baits work very well. So all you need is bait, boat and a little luck and perhaps you can catch some.
Now onto the shrimp. They should start showing promise by the middle to end of this month with each week getting better. Remember you can be well prepared if you get things ready now instead of waiting ’til the last second.
Check out your gear and be prepared. Well, my hand’s tired from writing all of this, so til next time, keep your line wet and your lure movin’. — Richard.