CONDITIONS: Hope springs eternal……the forecasts show some diminishment of storm activity this coming week. Somehow we’ve got to outlast the incessant storm/rain pattern we’ve been immersed in the last two months…….need to get that water back to a “green” color; we’ve had enough of the “run off” tannic brown. We’ll see……as the week unfolds. As mentioned, the water will retain that mangrove tree stain that definitely taints the water quality back here until we get a major hiatus of the daily downpour problem. Other than the torrential rain problem, most of the other condition factors are showing positive; the wind will be a non-existent this week with the only issue being the wind blasts we get in the center of the storms. The tide are favorable with good water movement but not the racing 4’ tides we have seen over the past few weeks. The water temperatures will range from 86-90 this week depending on where you fish. Best sage advice however continues to be GO EARLY.
BACKWATER: Still have good action early on the warm-water-loving snook. Will require you to get out the net and scoop up a cooler full of pilchards / sardines et al……that is like M&M’s to the snook. Work the Passes (Capri / Caxambas / Hurricane) on the early morning outgoing. Look for the shallow edges where the current is running strong. Free line the live bait into the same area where you just provided a bait shower to excite the snook. They, unfortunately, are still out of season….so please use circle hooks to lessen the impact on the release of the snook. Redfish are still around but a bit lethargic in the extreme heat and super picky on feeding. But those early hours of the outgoing in the deeper exit cuts from the bays may have them feeding in the deeper water. Charts will show you the deeper exit cuts from the best bays (Rookery, Johnson and Upper Addison). Work a bigger shrimp freelined just off the bottom….they should be feeding in the cooler bottom water and you may get lucky. However, the prime attraction now is the mangrove snapper. They love the heat and feeding on the huge bait schools that thrive in the steaming hot water. They are just about everywhere and most maddeningly too small for harvest. So you’re quest is for the bigger ones. Couple of rules / tips on that subject. Work spots with good current flow and downed structure in the last and first hour of either tide. Keep an eye on action along your shoreline edge…….if you see bait ripples on the surface and birds working the outflow will gauge you a great start.
NEARSHORE: Action here best in the stronger periods of the tide i.e. Morning sunrise and late afternoon. First and second reefs areas for good bottom action on lane and mangrove snapper with a weighted jig tipped with shrimp worked to the bottom under a bit of chum. The latter ingredient will also entice a bite from the smaller sharks that are working those reefs. You can hook some fresh cut bait on a wire leaded hook worked off a major rig for some exciting action on sharks that are very active now in the extreme heat.
OFFSHORE: Water out here is finally nice and clean and conducive to some hot action on feeding pelagics working the wrecks and reefs at the mid range depths . Suggest you target king mackerel (Kingfish) which are very active right now. Will need to capture a live blue runner (rather easy) and string it out on a major wire leader rig and set it out at a 15-20’ depth under a balloon float. Suggest you tease the bite with a block of chum feeding into the current. Strike will be ferocious and the fight will be terrific. Elsewhere the red grouper action has moved deeper in the hot water but still a good chance of a take home. Look for that action now in 60+ depths working a live pinfish tight to the bottom on a drift.