Fishing this past week has been up and down. Those having the most luck were those fishing for tarpon. The best chances of success were either early morning or late afternoon. Finding bait (menhaden) has been problematic. On some days there was plenty of bait in the sounds on others it appeared to have vanished. Large ocean menhaden are the preferred bait. Small menhaden can be fine for chum. The question is whether to chum or not. The prevailing thought is if you have enough bait to fish with then put a chum line out. Most of the tarpon action was by fishermen anchoring along outer sand bars, sloughs, along the beachfront or inside troughs that run through breakers. Fishermen are typically putting in several hours for a chance of a big hook up! While fishing has not been fast and furious there was one report of an angler landing three out of four tarpon. When ocean menhaden can’t be found try fishing a live mullet. Mullet are great bait. If you don’t at least a dozen you’re probably wasting your time.
As summer heats up fishermen are landing some nice flounder! The largest numbers of flounders have been boated are by those gigging. However you go after them always follow the state limits. Looks like another good year! Flounder can bite at any stage of the tide; although the first of the incoming is a favorite. Favorite places are points, mud flats and small creeks close to the sound with a sandy bottom. Flounders will take a wide variety of baits from live to cut bait. A favorite bait is a large mud minnow under small float or pitched on small jig. Finder mullet are also a great flounder bait. For cut bait a strip off a blue fish can be effective!
Small, young of the year redfish are showing along oyster rakes, docks, creek mouths and most any area affording some structure. These little fish haven’t wised to way of nature. Small redfish are fun and easy to catch just be careful not to damage these little guys when unhooking. For larger reds during the summer try fishing deeper structure like rip rap, docks and snags.
Those fishing for whiting in sounds are finding some fish but competition with newly born twelve inch black tip sharks is intense. Typically as soon the whiting start to bite the small sharks take over. This isn’t all bad. Where you find small black tips there will likely be large ones as well. Fishermen wanting to tangle with a large shark will have to adjust their baits. Specifically fishing tougher baits such a sting ray wings.
The seatrout bite has been pretty inconsistent. Fish for what’s present. There are nice two and three pound spanish in the Shipping Channel, large sand bar sharks as well as some tarpon. The redfish bite while not hot is good enough to catch some quality fish. The best bite during the summer is usually close to the beachfront!
Hope this of interest and help!
Capt. Jack McGowan