July is here and so is the heat. It's been brutal hot out the last couple weeks along with the consistent afternoon thunderstorms. Best plan for a trip this time of year is to get out early and get back early. As long as we're back to the ramp by 3pm we're pretty much safe from the storms. That ocean is very unforgiving at times when it wants to be. It can change from glass flat calm to absolute chaos within minutes when a storm rolls in.
Our main focus has been offshore bottom fishing lately but we're still doing a little bit of everything. Depending on the weather we've been heading out to the reefs catching tons of lane snapper and mangrove snapper, limiting out on most trips. We've also had a few good days of catching toro snapper which is pretty rare and some fun fighting barracudas. The mahi bite has not been all that great this year. We've caught a few on freelines while bottom fishing but not really seeing the numbers like in previous years. The kingfish are around as well but that bite has also been a little slower than usual. As we move into July the kingfish bite should get a lot better nearshore and offshore. Cobia have been around hanging with the sharks but that's the obstacle we face, getting the cobia away from the sharks. This is the time of year when we start to get thermoclines offshore which is very cold water on the bottom which in turn pushes the fish closer to the surface. Instead of fishing on the bottom we switch to freelining live baits and cut bait without sinkers. As long as the ocean stays nice and calm we should be able to get some more fantastic days of fishing offshore this summer.
Inshore/Nearshore fishing along the beach and the inlet has been pretty good as well. We've had some epic catches in the last few weeks catching massive snook, permit, and big tarpon. I can't think of anything better than watching a big 100 plus pound silver king ripping drag and jumping out of the water. The snook fishing has been tough as usual for this time of year. Not for the bite but just getting them to the boat and avoiding them getting eaten by the goliaths. The goliaths are thick at the inlet, I'm talking 10 to 20 monster 500 lbers hanging under the boat just waiting for you to hook up on a snook.
As for river/flats fishing, the heat and the rain plays a big part in your trip. Being that it gets so hot throughout the day the water temps have been crazy warm come mid day. The water temps have been up in the 90's towards the afternoon. My suggestion is to get out as early as you can to have any success with flats fishing. This time of year is not a good time for river fishing if you're looking to bring home dinner. My suggestion, if you're looking to fill the cooler, book an offshore trip during the summer instead.
We still have trips available for our annual Red Snapper days (July 14 & 15) so book up a trip while they're still available. We are hoping to run three 5 hour trips both days, weather permitting. Tight lines everyone and thank you to all my loyal customers out there for fishing with Whatever Turns U On Fishing Charters.