The inshore and nearshore bite is in full swing. Reds, snook, trout, flounder, snapper, and sheepshead are best bets inshore. Snapper, grouper and mackerel will be near shore and on the reefs in the Bay. It’s possible to have a shot at all of the species on one full-day trip.
The mornings are a perfect time to target the inshore bite, as the fish will be stacked up in the deeper potholes and channels surrounding the flats. Whitebait is still around and works like magic. A freelined live shrimp is also go-to bait. Cut bait like threadfins, pinfish and ladyfish will catch all of the inshore species except for the sheepshead. If you’re targeting sheepshead and snapper around the docks, rock piles or bridges, live shrimp is a safe bet. Frozen shrimp is an option, if you don’t bring live. For the lure fisherman, it’s the peak time of year.
As the tide comes in and scatters the fish, it’s a good time to check the inshore and nearshore rockpiles that are scattered throughout the Bay. Grey snapper, mangroves, sheepshead and gags are stacked up on the structure, the shipping channel and around most of the towers. Live pinfish and whitebait are best bets, as is cut threadfins and live or frozen shrimp. Cobia are a welcome addition to the party and tripletail will also be around the markers and buoys.
The Spanish will be around the bait schools. Look for the birds, and the macks will be there. For Spanish, live whitebait and shrimp are a safe bet. Small silver spoons or gotcha lures will provide steady action, too.
I want to talk about an awesome product that we use on our charter boats called Pure Marine. Pure Marine’s odor removal products deal with the source of foul odors. They attack and eliminate lingering smells of fish or dampness through an oxidation process, destroying the odor causing molecules. Pure Marine products are easy to use, safe on non-porous hard surfaces, provide a clean smell upon treatment, and will not fade over time like a masking scent.