Steininhatchee Fishing Report: July 2014

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[dropcap]I[/dropcap]mportant matters first, bring plenty of water on the boat. Plenty meaning, if you have a problem on the boat and it takes longer than expected to return to shore, drinking water would never be in short supply. One gallon of water per person is not excessive. Oh, and you drink it, drink a lot of it. I drink ~1.5 gallons of water per fishing trip to keep the heat monkey from dancing on me. Seriously, July in Florida is hot, wicked hot. The moment you step into the environment, you start losing your cool. The only way to keep cool is to drink plenty of water, even when you’re not thirsty. Heat exhaustion and stroke are real threats, even to people who work outside. Being on an exposed boat is different. And last, soft drinks and beer make heat issues happen quicker. Also, bring sun block and use it, remember the tops of your ears, feet, above your knees and calves. Let’s go fishing…

Gag grouper season opens July 1st and the crowd yells… Yea! We have encountered gags from 25 out to 85 feet. They have taken frozen, fresh cut bait and live bait of all sorts and one was caught on a piece of smoked chicken (no kidding). Which goes to say, you can’t even sling a dead chicken without catching a gag grouper. Enjoy!

While grouper fishing, always setout a ‘Kodak’ pole off the stern baited with any- thing. You’re giving yourself a chance to catch a smoker king, killer cobia, mango snapper or shark for minimal effort. I refer to that rod as Kodak because anything caught on it will be photo worthy.
Florida snapper (white grunt) are run- ning exceptionally larger, >2lb. A thirty- minute to hour jam on light tackle will make for a wonderful fish fry. For bait think dura- bility, such as squid and cut bait or mini marshmallows (no kidding).