Welcome to the August issue of Coastal Angler Magazine’s Okeechobee edition. August is one of those months that just tugs at us emotionally from different directions. With the start of the public school year, for many of us August means the end of the lazy days of summer and the beginning of the craziness of school schedules, after school practices, and the shuttle service we provide to our growing families. Yet by Mother Nature’s standards, here in south central Florida we still have months of heat and afternoon thunderstorms to contend with. All this leaves us with a feeling of being short changed on our lazy days of summer. Just where did our summer vacation go?
For local fishermen, August marks the approach of the warmest waters we will be fishing in for the year. If you want to have a productive outing it means getting out early, real early. During the early morning hours the bass will be on the move foraging for food and searching for a nice cool spot to withstand the day’s heat. With lake levels down in anticipation of the rainy season, concentrate on deeper channels and flowing water. Flowing water tends to have a higher oxygen content which is a critical component this time of year.
As August marks the beginning of a new school year it also marks the beginning of the hunting season. Alligator season begins on August 15th but dates and times are specific to individual FWC Harvest Units and harvest permits. If you wanted to apply for an alligator permit, well you’re too late, they are already sold out. However you can still experience the hunt by hiring a local guide service that can take you out. Bow and crossbow hunting for deer begins on August 1st for Zone A. If you’re not familiar with the boundaries of Zone A you should consult the FWC website but for a general description it’s the area south of State Road 70 north and west of Lake Okeechobee and south of State Road 441/98 in Palm Beach County. For Zones B, C & D, you’ll have to wait until September or October.
Finally, August also marks the slowest period in our local economy. So pitch in and support your local merchants during this critical time of the year.