Summer 2015 Fishing Report:
Summer is here and the fishing is fantastic! The weather is hot and the water levels are typically lower than usual. A lot of the fish are congregating around the schools of finger mullet. If you can find these schools of bait good chances are the reds and trout will be with them. Most fish are hanging off the deep edges of flats and bars, pushing bait fish in shallow waters and ambushing them. If you can find some cleaner patches of water not covered with abundant masses of floating grass, then throwing a top-water early in the morning usually will produce some awesome strikes. As the sun comes up and visibility increases switch to soft plastic such as jerk baits, DOA shad tails or shrimp, as well as ¼ oz gold or silver spoons.
Another great way is to sight cast reds using live shrimp and small bait fish. I like to scale down the size of my hook when doing this as to not hinder the bait as much as possible. If you are able to get pigfish, then fishing couldn’t be easier. A pigfish under a popping cork is the way to go. Be sure not to get to close to the schools of bait. The trout and reds are typically hanging just off the bait in the deeper water and pushing in to eat and coming right back out again. The trout tend to be in the small keeper size 14-16 inch range, but it is not uncommon to catch some of those bigger females weighing up to 8-10 pounds. We have been averaging 20-25 trout a day as well as 5-10 redfish in the 18-27 inch range.
Now is the time to target some of the seasonal predators, tarpon. These fish are amazing fighters and display incredible acrobatics. Tarpon can be taken on live bait or artificial, but can be very stubborn, and once hooked even harder to land. Most hook ups have been on new penny jerk baits and live finger mullets. The larger tarpon can be found around bridges and off main channels, but mostly they are starting to cruise the beaches. If you can catch live bait such as pogeys, mullet, or pinfish and target the fish hanging around the schools of bait fish. Keep in mind that some fish may be staying deep, so be prepared to have something that can put your bait elevated just off the bottom.
Larger school of black drum can be found around the river systems. Throwing chunks of crab, or shrimp (live or dead) will most likely produce a strike. Berkley gulps also work well and don’t get picked off by the abundance of pinfish. Try throwing a DOA crab or DOA shrimp and work them extremely slow. Try to get a cast out far enough in front of the school as to not spook the fish.
The Indian River is where you want to go if you are looking to catch a big bull red. These fish range from 15-40 pounds and up. They are getting ready for their spawn in the next few months and are aggressively feeding if not being overly pressured. Click here to read my Spring 2015 Fishing Report.
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