Near Shore Fishing Heats up in June
By Captain Tom Van Horn
Calm conditions across the water will allow for those with smaller boats to venture further out into the deep blue sea in search for ocean predators, and facilitate a smoother and faster ride for those with larger vessels.
Offshore, look for the dolphin bite to slow as the schools begin to spread out and the kingfish concentrations will remain good along the inshore reefs and wrecks of 8A Reef and Pelican Flats, so slow trolling with live pogies (Atlantic menhaden) will produce the best action.
Additionally, bottom fishing will remain good for snapper and grouper until the first summer squall (hurricane) blows in and muddies up the water. Remember as of now the American red snapper season is closed on the Atlantic coast of Florida, so please handle them with care and return them to their proper depth. As the summer doldrums set in, the seas flatten out and the ocean cleans up, and near-shore opportunities are typically the best you'll see all year along the reefs and wrecks and the beach. June is also the time of year when the kingfish move in close along the beach shadowing schools of Atlantic menhaden (pogies), as well as along the Port Canaveral buoy line.
In the early morning on the Lagoon flats look for trout and redfish up in the skinny water around concentration of bait, and toss them your favorite top water plug. Focus your efforts between 5 am and 9 am, and in the late afternoon after the thunderstorms dissipate. Also look for schools of bay anchovies (glass minnows) in deeper waters. These schools can be located by watching for small terns and other sea birds working, and they usually are shadowed by concentrations of small trout and ladyfish. These fast moving schools produce fast and furious action for fly anglers casting small top-water popping bugs.
Night fishing especially during period of intense moon will also produce decent catches of redfish, snook, and trout. When fishing the flats at night, I prefer fishing real slow with glow in the dark shrimp imitation baits like the DOA Shrimp. If you can only fish during the heat of the day, target the docks with deep water access.
Remember as the days heat up, long battles will kill the fish, so if you plan on targeting large fish, you may want to step up your tackle to shorten the battle. Also, dissolved oxygen levels are low, so leave them in the water as much as possible, and revive them completely before releasing them. Also, snook season is closed on Florida's east central coast in June, July, and August, so if you catch one, please be respectful and handle and release it with extreme care.
As always, if you have questions on need more information, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters