June 15th 2018 Fishing Report
CONDITIONS: Looks like we’re settling into typical summer conditions here. Red and green blotches all over the weather radar streaming through the west side of the Florida Peninsula from morning to night…. gets to be commonplace. However, we have yet to see the steady stream of dense black clouds forming late afternoon in the eastern sky and heading our way amid raucous thunder and lighting cracks……all of that settles in as summer takes over here. So, for you folks that love the water and the fishing here….GET OUT EARLY…..it’s cooler / less chance of thunderbangers / and the fish are more likely to respond to you’re effort. And as most long term residents here do, take a siesta and reappear late afternoon. It beats the heat and provides you with minimum disruption and maximum safety. Also, this week is another part of the tide cycle and we’ll be coming off a new moon early week that will grace us with four foot outgoing tides for the afternoons of early week and then easing each day to weekend. Those super fast tides are mostly to be avoided……..fish have to work too hard to feed and hold in that tumultuous current. And finally…..the heat of the water is starting to COOK. Recorded readings of surface water in the back country to 86 degrees last week…..very bad sign for our expected storm season.
BACKWATER: Unusual back here…..is the descriptive adjective that describes current conditions and results. The disruptive water flow, the unusual amount of fresh water intrusion, and the corruptive deposits from Lake Okeechobie are causing strange happenings back in the inside waters. Fish species, almost historically foreign here are showing up in bewilderment. Trip last week produced spotted sea trout in 20” plus sizes in fast moving backwaters that were totally foreign to their expressed habitats and then a hour later we found permit in the deeper waters in some deep water cuts in Addison Bay (another first). So, bottom line, it’s an unusual turn of events probably caused by the melange of weather events occurring here over the past six weeks. But in all the aberrations, there is a steady delivery of the “summer” fish here the mangrove snapper. The sizable versions of the species will show in those last and first hours of either tide (as the water slows and the effort to feed eases) working small shrimp tight to the bottom with just some slight motion to enhance their presence. Other summer action has mackerel invading all three Passes on the middle to end of the incoming tide and jumping on tipped jigs worked in chum.
NEARSHORE: Conditions here should be generally favorable for the week. Some forecasted storm periods……so check those forecasts before you sail. Tough to outrun a storm front coming at you at 30 knots. Close in, between the Capri Barge wrecks and the “Pass Barge” there are schools of marauding mackerel and bluefish chasing huge bait schools. Watch for the bird action working the surface to give you a starting point. Can either anchor up and spread some chum or stay underway working jigs on a troll through the bait eruptions. Either way good action is generally available. The major reefs….the Five Mile Reef complex, the John Deere wreck and the Walton Reef off Caxambas Pass are all producing pelagic action on roaming mackerel schools as well as solid bottom action on lane and mangrove snapper. With activity on structure can expect to see good to very. Many of the spots with good water flow and bait schools are also attracting surface pelagics.
OFFSHORE: Check out the pelagic action that is picking up speed with the vanguard of the spring-summer migration of the pelagics heading north. Sites of deep water wrecks and as well as bait laden mid-depth reefs and wrecks can produce great action in these heated conditions. Look for the hard fighting kingfish to show on most of the structures that harbor bait. Capture a few mid-size blue runners and string them out on wire leader under a float at a 10-15’ depth in a chum slick and prepare for some serious action. Kings are ferocious fighters right to the very end and are worth the effort. The other major player out there now is the “curious” cobia. Cobia will be attracted by fishing commotion and odors of chum and appear on the surface tight to the boat. Have a rod ready armed with a live threadfin herring and sight cast and be ready to hang on. Exciting times out here.