Summer fishing is upon us, with warm offshore water scattered everywhere. At this time of the year you have a shot at more species of fish than any other time. A few of them that are very noteworthy and fun to target are species like Tarpon, Barracuda, Spadefish, Blue Marlin and Ladyfish. These 5 species are very focused on the warmest times of the year only.
Inshore fishing has been steady. The Flounder fishing is really starting to heat up as of lately. The flatties are being taken on nearshore wrecks,
in the sound, and in the ICW. The Sheepshead and Black Drum fishing is also very hot right now along the docks of the ICW.
Ladyfish are being caught after dark on live shrimp under the AB bridge lights, and they are known as the poor man's Tarpon. If you havent ever fished for them it's really fun and worth giving a try. Just free line a live shrimp on the surface, that simple! There are Spadefish on the wrecks, and these are very picky feeders and can be tough to capture. The King Mackerel fishing is as good as it gets right now, along with some very nice Spanish to pair along with them. These fish are being taken live baiting Menhaden or dead baiting cigar minnows on the slow troll on nearshore wrecks and in the shipping channel. There have been some nice gaffer Mahi being reported as close as the Sea Buoy, and also a report of a Sailfish hookup at the Sea Buoy as well. Tarpon are rare, but have been caught in the last week, they are migrating down beaches right now. Pier anglers generally catch them as bycatch while pin-rigging for King Mackerel on the piers. Top bait choices for a Tarpon would be either a small live Bluefish or else a live pinfish. Amberjacks are thick on the wrecks and are nailing topwater plugs and live baits. Speckled Seatrout is about to open, so it's fair game to target the gators soon. The topwater bite is the best way to catch a trophy trout in the summer, and that bite will almost always occur in the first 30 minutes during sunrise. Places that have good grass and shell bottom are ideal to try for the big Trout. Red Drum fishing has been great, lots and lots of slot fish are being captured in a variety of places. Tar Landing bay and the Haystacks are two great starting points to try for them. Barracuda are "all you want" on the nearshore reefs, you can catch them with tube lures or live baits.
Surf fishing has been good, with a variety of species being caught. Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Flounder, Red Drum, Croaker, Pompano, and a few Sea Mullet is the report on the beachfront.
Offshore most people are either Blue Marlin fishing or else bottom fishing for Grouper. The Mahi are much more scattered out now, but they are
available. Many of the Mahi are moving more inshore, making places like the 90 foot drop and even closer than that great options to try.
Look for good grass lines when Mahi fishing. The Gag Grouper fishing has been good, with some really nice fish being caught. 100-150 feet
will be just fine for Gag fishing, even areas like Northwest Places are holding some nice Gags. We've not heard
many reports of anglers pursuing Swordfish recently, but think there will be some fish boated after the Big Rock tournament finishes up.
Tight Lines from Freeman's Bait & Tackle