SUBJECT: Inshore/nearshore/fly fishing report NE FL
CAPT Bob Cosby (126.96.36.199) from FLORIDA on
We're now in the depths of summer and the tropical storms are cranking up. We've had cold water along the coast most of the summer caused by prevailing SW winds. Recent SE winds should warm the coastal waters and improve the tarpon fishing, which has been hit or miss. There have been plenty of pogies along the beach all summer, just very few tarpon feeding on them. I did find some tarpon crashing pogies a couple of days ago, but could not hook up.
If you want to fish the creeks, fish them early and late when the predators are not too lethargic and more likely to take a bait. Soaking crab, mullet, or mud minnows along the oyster bars should work for the reds. Surface plugs and Cajun Thunder rigs will also take reds and trout. The edges of the ICW can be productive for good size reds and trout. You have to fish early to avoid the boat traffic as well as the heat and afternoon storms.
Some early arriving bull redfish can be found up-river along the channel edges at the turn of the tide. Blue crab, croakers, or pogies are good choices for bait. There are some slot and oversize reds along the jetties, but the action is spotty. Slot fish and rat reds are in the ICW and its creeks.
There are lots of ladyfish and jacks in the river now. I had the pleasure of guiding anchorman Dan Rather, his son, and grandsons for three days this past week. They wore out the ladyfish and had a mixed bag of trout, reds, jacks, and various other inshore fish. They even caught a few on the fly. As you might expect, they were some of the nicest people I've had on my boat, and very skilled fishermen.
There are some flounder around, but lots of them are small. As the mullet run builds momentum, their size and numbers will improve. The surf fishing has improved due to the clearer water. Larger whiting are being caught along with the occasional red, drum, or flounder.
Captain Bob Cosby