Welcome to the June Edition

Welcome to the Okeechobee edition of Coastal Angler Magazine. June marks the beginning of the summer family vacation period. Public schools and colleges will be out and the kids will be looking for something special to do. So pack up the car, load the RV, hitch up the boat and make it a family outing to one of Florida’s great outdoor venues. Florida is blessed with world class fresh and saltwater fishing, great beaches, rivers, lakes, hiking trails, campgrounds, and State and Federal Parks. Instead of the same old routine, take it outdoors for a summer to remember.

The good news on the freshwater fishing scene is that a er a very wet winter, local lake and river water levels have dropped towards their seasonal averages. Though some lakes, such as Lake Okeechobee, may still be a bit higher than most fishermen like, for the most part it’s within normal operating levels. With the bass spawn over and lake temperatures rising, expect to see bass leaving the shallows and holding in the deeper parts of the lake or under the thickening cover. Tis the season for crank baits and chatterbaits; flippin, pitchin, and punching mats will come later. As summer approaches the early morning bite will be the best time to be out on the water and by early we mean before the sun comes up. So pack up the boat the night before and have the coffee pot set on automatic.

For festival and event goers, the local festival season is winding down and you’ll have to travel to the coastal cities for your fix of cotton candy and corndogs. However there still are some fun things to do around town, just fewer of them.

June also marks the beginning of Hurricane Season so spend a day and check your hurricane supplies and review your hurricane preparedness plan. In reviewing your plan, be sure to include the kids for all family members need to know what their responsibilities are during a storm and where to meet if you get separated. Also remember that only a handful of hurricane shelters take pets so if Fido needs to go with you then locate a pet friendly shelter before the season starts.

Finally, when you’re working or playing outside, be sure to stay hydrated and wear sun screen and UV-rated clothing. Exposure to harmful UV rays is cumulative so a sunburn today could lead to skin cancer years from now.

So until next month, take it outside and enjoy the great outdoors.