Updated: Jul 24, 2020
I want to apologize for my late July fishing report, but we have been super busy this month. The fishing has been amazing along with some great catches and wonderful memories. Our red snapper season went fantastic despite the crazy rough seas that went along with it. It is so funny how there are spots that we fish all year long and never see a soul, but as soon as red snapper season opens there are 10 boats sitting right on your spot. The second red snapper day was also tournament day for the 2020 Central Florida Shootout. The tournament normally takes place in May but due to Covid 19 it was postponed. They opened up a new category, paying out $10,000 for the biggest red snapper. Unfortunately we were not able to take the glory for the big bucks but my 11 year old son did win 1st place in Jr. Angler Offshore and took 2nd place for the biggest dolphin weighing 21.6 lbs. I have to admit I had a few tears come down when he walked up on stage, just one of those proud dad moments. Also right at the end of June I got the privilege to take out the DDR fishing team to do some offshore filming. What a fun experience that was with an awesome group of guys so I can't wait for the video to come out.
Other than that offshore has been great as long as the seas cooperate. Trolling has not been very productive lately but we have been doing excellent with bottom fishing and free-lining live baits and dead sardines. Scattered weeds and rough seas have made trolling a little difficult. Get the chum bag flowing and everything eventually comes up looking for a free snack. The problem with chumming is the sharks will show up too. Great for the shark fanatics but bad for the snapper/grouper fishermen. We've been catching most of our mahi and kingfish with the free-lining technique. On the bottom we've been getting some nice mangrove snapper, lane snapper, red grouper, sea bass, amberjack and of course red snapper as long as the sharks don't get them first. I don't typically target sharks but the ones we've been catching are bulls, sandbar, sharpnose, and nurse sharks.
We've had some very windy days these last couple weeks so gotta catch what you can with the conditions. The inshore bite has been real good at Sebastian Inlet on the outgoing tide for snook but this time of year is hard at the inlet because the Goliath grouper are so thick. They sit right under your boat and wait for you to bring them dinner. The lagoon has been pretty successful as well. Fishing the mangroves early in the morning has been the most productive. We've caught numerous amounts of snook, redfish, and seatrout free-lining live finger mullet and live shrimp on popping corks. We're also having some good success on keeper size inshore mangrove snapper along the mangroves, docks, and open water ledges in the river. Lastly, there have been monster tarpon running the beaches from Vero Beach all the way up to Cape Canaveral. They seem to like slow trolling live baits and have been hitting the artificial baits as well.
I will be down under the water scuba diving this last week of July preparing and scouting for the mini lobster season coming up, so I'll let y'all know what I see down there. I just want to give a big thank you to all the people still coming down and supporting my business despite this pandemic. We will soon be offering lodging and package deals in our new rental house as well. The house is close to the boat ramp, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with a pool.