Summer in SWFL

Capt. Bart Marx

Summer in SWFL and things are hot already. And going offshore it may be a little cooler if there is a light breeze. On a good day offshore in the morning and inshore in the afternoon. Running out past the 100’ you can find those red grouper. For those that don’t have numbers look at your charts and find some areas that have hard bottom. Or look at your bottom machine while you are running and mark some of those areas. Then go back and rig your pole with a fish finder rig with a leader about 6-7’ long and 3 oz. of weight to start, and check the wind and current so you drift across your mark. Be ready to mark the spot when 2 of you get hooked at the same time, then go back and anchor on that spot and fish it for a little while and then move on. By doing this you will find some new spots. So, the more wind there is the more weight you need to add. Some guys like tying a chicken rig because you can use smaller line for your weight. This is good when you get snagged on the bottom as it is easier to snap the line and you don’t lose the whole rig. The weights that are shaped like a rain drop with an eye on one end work well for this method. Doing this can produce some nice reds for the dinner table. You may also find some areas that hold snapper or vermilion snapper. In the 60’ range keep an eye open for some permit on the artificial reefs that have some good relief. They like crustaceans to eat-shrimp or crabs. I usually keep a pack of D.O.A. shrimp available and tie one on and cast it to them. Triple tail like to hang around anything floating and you may cast to them also.

Okay lets go inshore-the snook should still be on the move close to schools of bait . They will follow glass minnows or green backs to feed. Redfish will be hiding under the mangroves in the shade looking for crabs and small fish on the roots of trees. Reds will eat cut bait soaked on the bottom or blue crabs (or I should say a half of one).  If you like to battle with the big boys, get out your big Penn reels and look for those guys in the grey suits with a mouth full of teeth. They like to play tug a war and will give you a work out. So, do yourself a favor and get off the couch and go catch some fresh fish for dinner. Always remember, singing drags and tight lines make me smile. <*((((((>{