Great fishing continues
by Capt. Greg Stamper
You can bet on another great month of catching, as we continue through some of the best fishing of the year. This month we wind down the big tarpon spawn, but don’t worry there will still be lots of opportunities to go after them. Snook are going full speed both on the beaches and in the bays, redfish can be found in good numbers, and trout should be easy to complete the back-country slam. There’s also a lot of fun things we can target for those that just want to have fun or catch a giant.
Tarpon will continue to be found throughout the area. We will target them along all the beaches as well as our nearshore waters. At times we may go less than a mile from the dock, other days you may have to run a bit looking for rolling fish, jumpers, or using your side scan to locate them. We still fish with the same baits consisting mostly of threadfin herring and crabs but busting out some catfish tails can also be very productive. It’s important to remember as the water continues to warm to use the appropriate tackle. Plan on hooking fish up to 150 pounds, with this mindset you’ll need to go heavy enough to get that fish in within 30 minutes. You don’t want to exhaust a tarpon fighting it for an hour and endanger its chance of a successful release.
Snook fishing is a blast for anglers of all ages during June. The average Jo can find them by foot. Individuals that are willing to put a few miles in walking the beaches will do well. Throwing your choice of lure down the beach within the first few feet works well. I’ll be targeting them more in the backcountry, docks, and wrecks. Preferable I’ll use white bait or threadfins to target most of mine. Occasionally when I have clients that can cast well, we’ll pound the bushes with the same artificial we use on the beaches. During July this pattern will certainly continue, so if you can’t get out this month you won’t be missing it.
Redfish are happy this time of the year as lots of anglers are trying to chase the tarpon or snook. This leaves the redfish less pressured in some key areas. Redfishing will be good, especially around the days with stronger tides. Shorelines, oyster bars, or cuts that have good moving water should have them. Swim baits, cut baits, or live bait will all work once you find them. Occasionally if you’re in areas with good grass, you’ll see tailing fish. When you do find tailers, I prefer throwing artificial lures to them. When fishing shorelines, freelining live baits as you slowly move down them works well. Finally, when fishing oyster bars I prefer the bait and wait approach as I’ll put out spreads for reds.
Shark fishing is now in full speed. They’ve been here for the last two months and will stay through November. That’s when the tarpon will be moving back down and through here from the North. There’s all kinds of sharks here from hammerheads, blacktips, spinners, sands, and even an occasional sawfish. Cut baits like mullet, ladyfish, etc. will all work well. I recommend 30 or 40-pound braid and a 80-pound leader. 6/o circle hooks work well, and I don’t even use wire leader. Once you chum a little they will start showing up, expect catching 10 in 4 hours as that’s standard around here on an average day. These sharks will be anywhere from 3 feet up to 10 foot so be ready.
Capt. Greg Stamper