Stuart Offshore: July 2020

We’re going to be celebrating Independence Day all month long off the Treasure Coast this year. Explosions from blackfin tuna, skyrocketing kings, tail walking sails and tackle busting bottom fish should keep you and your crew at attention and shouting for more this July. Let’s start with the big news of the year, we get THREE! days of red snapper fishing. If you’ve been out on the water in the last 10 years, you probably know that the red snapper fishery is as healthy as it’s ever been and that catch and release probably only exacerbates the growing shark problems we’re experiencing. Anyways, July 9, 10, and 11 are the days we get to harvest one per person. If it’s anything like the last few snapper seasons there’s a good chance it’ll be choppy, so bring your Grundens foul weather gear to keep it fun.

Grouper season is open, so while you’re going for the snapper, I would definitely recommend a bigger bait on a stout rod with heavier leader in hopes of catching a big gag or black. Heavy drag and non-stop reeling is the key to keeping them out of their dwellings. Each day I see larger and larger boats with trolling motors mounted on them; myself included with an 87 Minnkota Terrova on my 31 Contender. This is the perfect month to utilize this technology and bring your catching game to the next level. From bait fishing to kite fishing and obviously bottom fishing, even motoring along a weed line, having a trolling motor up front will double your fishing time and probably triple your catch.

Leading up to this month, we’ve had some incredible kingfish action with some of the largest kings I’ve ever seen. AFW Titanium Tooth Proof wire provides an excellent connection when targeting these razor lipped speedsters. We’ve been seeing most of our fish live baiting using a light or medium SFE kite and also sending a bait down on our Cannon downrigger, which we usually use as a dredge rod and reel. Speaking of dredges just because your live baiting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be pulling one. Strip Teasers work great while you’re drifting, and the new rubber fish shads from RonZ are amazing while bump trolling and slow trolling.

This June provided incredible Sailfish action and last July was good too, so I’m betting this year we’ll have it again. I use 12-to-20-pound test Blackfin circle hook rods with 15 pound mainline and 50- or 60-pound mono for leader. If we’re targeting kings, add a little trace of that titanium wire from AFW.

One of my favorite things to do in July is sliding out to the swordfish grounds in search of unicorns. There are some big fish that show up in the summer, so be ready and be careful. When weather permits, I definitely recommend bringing the Weber and making it a party, but always have someone watching that tip.

If you have any questions or would like to book a trip please give me a call. I hope your next outing is Off The Chain.

FORECAST BY: Capt. Scott Fawcett
Off the Chain Fishing Charters
Phone: (772) 285-1055