Stop watching the radar and go fish
The weather is back to normal and the fishing is following suit. Light east winds in the morning followed by a sea breeze and 40% chance of rain in the afternoon. Ahhh. A sigh of relief.
If you haven’t been out since the storms dissipated, here’s what you’ve been missing.
On the flats, spotted seatrout can be found in depths of 4-7 feet. Live shiners under a popping cork are producing good action during a.m. hours and especially during stronger moving tides. Keeper-size trout are a little hard to come by, although persistence will generally get you a limit of fish. Rallies of trout are attainable, although most are 13 1/4 inches. I’m seeing 20 or more trout come over the gunwale in a morning session, along with a mix of jack crevalle, ladyfish and bluefish. All of these fish provide great light-tackle action for Yankee fishers from up north and usually they’re even getting a few trout to take home for dinner.
Mangrove snapper are back in force. I’m finally able to get back out to the artificial reefs due to the calm waters and light winds — and let me tell you it’s nice to be out there again. I’m finding mangrove snapper up to 18 inches under depths of 30-40 feet, which is a welcome sight. The small “hatch bait” that is everywhere right now is perfect for these hungry snapper. Both rigs are working on days when the water is slightly cloudy. On the clearer days, I’m having to free-line fresh-cut pieces on a long stretch of 20-pound fluorocarbon. Ultimately, try bottom fishing first. If you don’t get hit, it’s time to get stealthy.
Finally, snook are showing in numbers around the passes and piers. Although they are out of season, these fish provide excellent action on light tackle even for the most seasoned anglers. Plus, snook are a hearty fish with a great survival rate when it comes to catch-and-release fishing. It’s a win-win situation.
So, it’s time. You can come outside again and get out on the water. The storms have passed and the fish are waiting with their mouths open for you to drop your bait in.