The Opionated Sports Guy

As the days get longer, and the humidity gets higher it means only one thing here in central Florida, summer is on its way. The skies no longer contain gentle and pristine cumulus clouds gliding by like fly line through the rod guides. Now the darker high-energy cumulonimbus storms start to make their way into the daily June routines of afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

Along with the change in weather and seasons comes the way fish feed and species that make their way into and out of our beach area.

Working the surf last month was pretty tough. A low-pressure system and very strong rip currents stirred up what is normally a calm and clear ocean at this time of year. The fish are still there, no doubt, but because of the iffy weather and water conditions they seem to be a little pickier when it comes to eating. The locals have been happy mostly using cut bait. Shrimp and clams have done okay, too, but something about a shiny strip of meat has them eating.

I’ve heard of both big red and black drums hitting fresh cut bait as well as some remaining bluefish and maybe, if you are lucky, a sheepshead. The pompano, everyone’s favorite, are all but gone,although some still seem to be out there. and can be caught. These remaining pompano are so small they are not worth the hassle. Finding slot-sized pompano this time of year is just like finding a nugget of gold back in the old west. You know they are there, but… chances are it ain’t happening.

As usual whiting are fairly constant and, to me,one of the best tasting fish around. They haven’t been quite as big as the last two months, but they seem to still hit the clam and shrimp baits. The best part about whiting is they are always here. You just gotta take the time to find them.

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One thing is for sure that even during a down time you can still catch some fish here beachside NSB. The truly nice thing about being down here on the south end of the island is that if something isn’t working in the surf you can always walk across the street and fish the inner coastal. Yes that’s right it’s literally a couple hundred yards from the sea to the river. Generally the same bait can work in both waters and, if you are down near Turtle Mound, it’s almost guaranteed that if you don’t catch something on one side you can get always hook one on in the other. In fact, lately the river has been the place to be. Sheepshead, black drum, red drum, mangrove snapper, and even slot snook have been consistently caught. The season is right and there’s lots of movement around the area when it comes to fishing and its patterns.

As the summer rolls on it’s still a great time to fish with the opportunity to catch just about anything that’s out there. Not much should change over the next few weeks except those lucky who few might hook into a tarpon that gets here a little early. The 4 o’clock storms are on their way folks, so prepare for that early trip to the beach and catch those keepers before Mother Nature shows her daily fury and reminds us of who’s really in charge.

Thanks to everyone for reading me this month and be sure to send me a pic of your favorite beachside catch. Who knows your story and pic just might be on next months issue.

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