Cooler water temps doesn’t cool down inshore, offshore fishing

With slightly cooler water temps than normal, the spring fishing is still going strong as we proceed toward summer.

Fishing offshore is host to a variety of fish — tuna, kingfish, permit, snappers and grouper.

Inshore fishing is host to just about as many species — snook, redfish, trout, Spanish mackerel and flounder.

Large quantities of bait fish are apparent both inshore and offshore which is the perfect recipe to bring in the predatory fish. Look for diving birds as they feed on these mass amounts of bait. Finding the birds will usually lead you to the fish.

On my Southernaire fishing charters, we are doing a lot of catch-and-release fishing. Snook is probably the best it can be right now. Seeing 20-40 fish being reeled to the boat in a morning charter is not uncommon. And since snook are only catch-and-release right now, they all get to be set free.

For fish to eat, I’m targeting spotted seatrout. Most catches are falling between 16-22 inches. For clients who wish to take a fish or two home for dinner, these trout fit the bill.

Spanish mackerel are another species we’re catching that can be taken home for dinner. Finding these fish schooled up around structure or deep flats is exciting as they tend to skyrocket out of the water when feeding on baits. They also put up one heck of a fight on light spinning gear.

Lastly, catch-and-release redfish action is pretty good. Free-lining live shiners around oyster bars and mangroves is yielding a bite for my clients.