Fishing reports for the entire United States coastline and freshwater systems.
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July 18th, 2009
Here in central Florida you can definitely tell that summer time is here. It is hot out, that's why. Cooking! The humidity has taken over for sure along with temps rising fast and the sun beating down hard upon you. Sunscreen is a must along with a ton of water on board. Days on the water are early, so back to the saying - "The Early Bird Gets The worm", or the redfish is what I like to say. It is nice to hit the water every now and then in the late afternoon hours of June/July and August but there is no way to predict the storms that we get here in Florida at this time of year. If you do go out late, be careful and have a game plan. So start early and you can have some very satisfied days in your pocket.
July this month has been a strange one with weather. Getting the west winds and even those northerly/west winds we had for a while there changed things up quite a bit. Along with the grass floating every where. Some days it has allowed for great to fantastic very early bites. There have been a handful of days where the action has turned on like a faucet at 10-11 A.M. The trout action has been great to throw top water plugs at them early on and then switch to soft jerk baits has the morning progresses. A Chug Bug or Skitter Walk properly placed along grass beds and drop offs will produce very decent strikes indeed. As the morning goes on move a bit deeper for trout. The really big ones will be roaming the skinny flats. Place it even better in front of some reds and they will crack that thing as they are up chasing the bait fish(that there is no shortage of). A for sure sight to see of a red hitting a top water. If you work your way down the sand bars along the deeper edges you will pick up the trout along with possibly a jack and ladyfish as well. With kids a popping cork and either shrimp or plastics on it will give a morning of fun for them. Use the cork in 3-5 foot of water.
On the flats the redfish bite has been strong early to mid morning. These fish are feeding aggressively on bait fish and crustaceans. Watch for tailing fish in extremely shallow water with some sort of escape access for them to a bit deeper water should they get frightened some how. Several baits are working for the redfish. A perfectly and softly placed shrimp is always a good choice but getting close enough to them for the cast can always be a challenge. So approach these fish with some caution. You can also use a nice live mud minnow, mullet, pinfish or if you have access to them a small "Live" blue crab(sends these fish into a stir for these things!). Of course there is always the cut ladyfish you can toss to them. Gulps are working very well also. Shrimp pattern flies with a well placed cast will produce a strike or two as well for you fly fishermen out there. Please just remember that in these warm/hot months to handle every fish gently. They use a bunch of their energy to get to the boat. Get them back in the water quickly and take your time in reviving them. Survival of these fish means future fisheries for you and me.
Black drum are still roaming the flats in fairly good numbers. However these fish are getting a ton of pressure. They become flighty quickly. Almost as if they are evolving. At times they are hitting a wide variety of baits from live shrimp to dead shrimp to Gulps to dark crab pattern flies. If you are able to get a hold of them, clams or oysters seem to be great right now. Keeping them on the hook is another story. Not just from throwing them off the hook but it seems the second they hit the water the bait fish are slaying them. You have to throw well in front of the drum - 10-15 feet, like a surface to air missile. So it meets them just right. If you land on top of them they will just spook. So again, timing is every thing. Smaller hooks and a gentle touch will produce for you.
I look forward to seeing all of you out there on the water.
Tight lines and bent rods!
Captain Drew Cavanaugh
Florida Inshore Fishing Charters
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