August 5th to August 11th 2016 Fishing Report
CONDITIONS: Staying hot and wet typical (or maybe a little more intense) summer weather here….this week will be no different with daily rain but will see some wind go gusty late week. That could rile the waters a tad and make near and offshore trips a challenge. But, hey, that’s summer here. Air temp real feel which is what sends the anglers home early, is forecast to reach 110 degrees by late week. The oft repeated tip is GO EARLY AND COME BACK EARLY and STAY HYDRATED. The tides come off a weak new moon early week and then decline in strength during the week; the afternoon outgoing will be the weaker of the two daytime tides. There will be rain most every afternoon which at some points will be quite heavy. The water temperature will continue to hover between 86 and 88 with higher in the shallower backwaters.
BACKWATER: Fishing back here this coming week could be a bit mundane but could well be punctuated with hot fishing sessions……of course that means being at the right place at the right time. Have experienced those special times being just before and after the slack tides when the water slows and the big guys come out to feed. That experience really shows itself in Capri and Hurricane Pass on the sought-after Florida pompano. Suddenly they will show in school form and attack every bait in the water and then for reason that only they know about the vamoose and scatter. Gotta be there at the right time working a small jig to the bottom on the current drift….either in or out. Snook LOVE the warm water and have been active all along the mangrove edges especially up close in Johnson and Rookery Bays; need fast moving water; either tide.
NEARSHORE: Expect good action early all along the first and second reef lines on pelagics (mackerel, bluefish, jacks et al) working those tipped flashy jigs under a good chum effort. Both surface eruptions of bait and gulls and terns working the surface will tell you that you’re in the right spot. As the chum bits decend, they will attract the bottom dwellers which are dominantly snapper, both lane and mangrove at the moment. Try hooking a tad of the chum itself on a #6 small hook and freelining it into the slick…..as it drops the bigger snapper will rise in the water column and smack you’re offering. Recommend keeping the bail open to keep the hit from shearing your light line. Walton and Five Mile Reef for some bottom action blacktip sharks on large cut bait soaking on the bottom under the chum. Need stout tackle and wire leader here. Careful handing the shark……sharp teeth.
OFFSHORE: Thankfully red and gag grouper remain as the prime target out here. With these guys you not only get a great fight but a delicious couple of filets that will delight the home folk. Process in “hooking ’em up” is quite simple. You’ll need a live pinfish set out on stout tackle with enough weight to hold the bottom and then work hard bottom on a drift. Target area for the red grouper starts 7-9 miles due west of Marco working that bait tight to the bottom on a drift. Gag grouper, which are usually a bit bigger (with a 24″ minimum harvest size) are a bit deeper using the same techniques in 60′ of water and working west. The really deep wrecks are stocking sizable (35-40#) amberjack which are a great and tough catch working most any live bait on a vertical drop right into the wreck structure.