Typical summer fishing
Captain Mark Howard
Fishing out of Island Discount Tackle on beautiful Anna Maria Island on my 23-foot tower boat, the fishing this past week has been typical of the summer time fishing pattern. Mangrove snapper, redfish, speckled trout and flounder have been coming to the party and providing some nice tasty fillets for my clients’ dinner tables.
The bait game is getting better as the shiner hatch from early June is getting some size to 3 inches. Do not overload or crowd your live wells due to the high water temperature in Tampa Bay.
Mangrove snapper are coming off the full moon spawn and feeding around docks, piers, artificial reefs and bridges. The key to catching them is to fire up the bite by chumming a mix of live and dead shiners in your live well. Small pinfish also work just fine as bait. I like to use a 25-pound fluorocarbon leader and a size 1 hook rigged with a split shot weight. The key to success is to get the rig up close to the structure where the snapper are staging . Getting your 5 per person limit has been relatively easy the last few weeks.
Speckled trout are in a feeding frenzy and are finally getting some size to them. On my charters we have been catching a variety of different sized trout. On the smaller speckled trout, I like to use a dehooker, so you do not handle these delicate fish and remove the slime coat. The majority of trout have been caught in deepwater grass beds 4 to 8 feet and are hitting shiners.
Redfish are slowly gathering in schools and feeding on the moving tides. I have been following the schools of reds up the flats as the current moves toward high tide. The redfish bite will soon turn on as the fish begin to gather in huge schools in anticipation of the fall migration.
Looking forward the summertime fishing pattern is hitting on all cylinders, and those who are able to adjust and adapt their fishing techniques should be rewarded with some red hot action. This weekend, high tide will be early in the morning with a excellent falling tide later in the day. Until next time, keep the slack out of your line and learn to feel the thump of the predator inhaling your bait.