August 12 to August 18th 2016 Fishing Report
CONDITIONS: Morning showers just enough to have you alter your outdoor plans; then two hours of scorching heat wrapped in “Florida Sunshine”; then, batten down the hatches for the late afternoon thunderbangers ! Some routine…..huh? So if you love to fish, what do you do? You don that lightweight rain jacket and go as close to sunrise as you can. You can endure those scattered showers, peeling the rain jacket as the heat takes over……and staying hydrated to stave off the effects of that heat. AND take off for home at the first afternoon rattle of thunder. Otherwise, this week you will have a little wind turning gusty but mainly out of the east which, thankfully, will be kind to the already lessened water clarity and kind to you in cooling you off just a tad. The tides will be heading toward a full moon late week and that means some racing current especially on the afternoon outgoing that will dramatically effect the fishing (see backwater section below). The deluge of rain water has lowered the water temp….now hovering around 85 and turned the outgoing water to a slightly pale yellow hue which is off the mark for top quality.
BACKWATER: Will be an interesting warm water week back here. You’ll have the continuing threatening storm pattern to contend with as well as a full moon tide late week. You can work around the storm pattern but the full moon racing afternoon tide will be something you’d rather not contend with. Often ignored fact: Fish, especially BIG fish, don’t like to deal with fully racing tidal water. They pull off the feed and honker down until the tide slows….and when it does they are ravenous especially the bigger fish. So this week, in the backwaters, you’ll want to work all the morning incoming tides and absolutely avoid those racing waters of the afternoon outgoing. At periods that tide will be moving at a speed of three knots. As far as available species go, the medium size snook are red hot along the beaches as far south as Kice Island’s Blind Pass and inland along the Keeywadin docks taking most any bait…..white bait or whole shrimp best bet. The other warm water fighter is the mangrove snapper which are growing at about a half inch a month. They can be had on just a tiny piece of shrimp worked in the moving water on defined structure like downed brush.
NEARSHORE: If you’d have a hankering to land a slashing, angry shark for a long time……you’re wait may be over right here in “River City”. The warmth and the multitude of bait on the near shore reefs have them looking at SW Florida like the Promised Land. Best venues for shark action close inshore would be the Five Mile Reef; the Capri Barges and the South Keeywaden Reefs. You’ll need an official shark rig with a huge hook rigged up on wire line (think store bought at Rose Marina) tied onto at least 80# test on a rod and reel that you can hardly lift. Take the time to get a few smaller blue runners or jacks inshore as the bait and keep them alive in the live well or bubbler. Chum is another essential. Block chum works best but melts fast in the hot water. Buy a couple. Then it’s chum first followed by hooking those runners / jacks in the dorsal fin area to keep them alive and get them soaking. The strength of a 4-5′ shark will amaze you as you struggle to land. With all the shark species struggling against the outrageous slaughter by foreign entities, encourage you to be thrilled, take a shark selfie and release them.
OFFSHORE: The heat has kept hugh bait schools working the mid range to deeper wrecks and reefs which is turn creates a panacea for the voracious pelagics who stop and feed on their summer migration north. Primarily kingfish and cobia are in the closer in spots; permit are deep out around the USAF towers SW of the island. Kings will devour a well presented blue runner and then be yours if you’ve done everything right in rigging your tackle; Cobia, on the other hand, are a relative of “Curious George”, who can’t wait to see what’s happening and swim up to the boat of the surface and are suckers to jump on a well presented surface pinfish on threadfin herring. The permit are deeper enjoying the small crabs that are swept offshore especially in the faster tidal currents. This could well be a top notch week out here also.