by Capt. Brian Boxx
Summer will officially be upon us by the end of the month, but South Florida seems to have missed that memo. Oppressive humidity and extreme UV indexes have already left us grasping for our favorite rambler, seeking to suck the last drop of icy cool relief from its insulated core. Is it really worth all the suffering? YOU BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLOR IT IS! Though I may be on my 3rd set of lips for the week, the fishing has been just as hot! So suck it up buttercup, it’s time to get bent.
Schools of pilchard are still a dime a dozen off the beaches. A livewell full of these frisky baits is a great way to start your day. Use the magic of Boca Coast chum to get them grouped up, then serve them a 12ft pancake. Threadfins have also been easy pickings just outside the passes. Drift the color divide of the outgoing tide with a good chum effort and work the slick with a Sabiki rig.
The beaches have been producing excellent snook fishing during the early morning hours. Run down the coastline and look for shore birds grouped up waiting for an easy meal. Make a quiet approach with your trolling motor. Make a long cast with one of those lively baits landing it just outside the birds reach. This tactic has been producing a well mixed bag of trout, snook, and redfish. As the sun gets higher, if the water is clear, sight fishing has been extremely productive out front, producing some huge snook along the beaches.
Trade in the sunblock for bug spray and hit the night scene. Tarpon and big snook have been chewing on the outgoing tide in the passes. Weeks opposing the new and full moon have been most productive. Live crabs, mullet, and ladyfish rigged on circle hooks have been my top producers. Snook spawn May through September. Please exercise extreme care when handling them, especially the large females. Allow them extra time to “revive” boat-side. After the fight is over, let them “suck on your thumb” gently moving the head side-to-side till they let go. Never pull the fish backwards. Next, support them from the tail and belly lightly till they swim away of their own power. If you must remove the fish from the water always support the fish with 2 wet hands, (one on the lower jaw, the other near the anal fin). Be a responsible angler and we can all enjoy a better fishery.
The rains have brought out the mosquitos in full force, so plan accordingly. Wear a buff! They offer as much protection from bugs as they do the sun. Repell’s eucalyptus and lemon tree oil is my go-to bug spray. It also has a menthol cooling effect that brings relief from the oppressive humidity. If the winds are light, a Thermocell is a true lifesaver, there is a YouTube mod that will show you how to make the butane cartridge refillable saving you some extra coin. Mosquitos carry all kinds of health concerns so please do your best to protect yourself from them. Till next month, Stay Salty.