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In the Middle of It!!

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Hi everyone! Welcome to my latest fishing report. We are in the middle of summer and as usual, we have to adjust to the temperature and behavior of the fish we target. I have had most success around the moon phases with the best tidal flows. Mid- July has had a surprisingly high number of Tarpon in my area as well, kind of a nice bonus, although the numbers are starting to dwindle.
Snook have been gathering in good numbers around the jetties and troughs on the beach. I am using grunts (pigfish) caught in pinfish traps I set out each day. Also, sardines have started to work well again as the small hatchling baits have taken over the beaches and the flats. Snook will begin to leave these areas in late summer after they have spawned, but for now there a few left around to pick on.
Redfish have been best on the higher tides. I have caught the majority of Reds around the mangroves and oyster bars, coming out after the high tides start to turn, eating as they exit the cover of the bushes. Most fish are at the top of the slot 25 - 28 inches. Cut baits have worked best since there aren't great numbers of fish to target. The scent of cut pinfish attracts them, however patience is the key. Sometimes the bites are spread out over time.
Tarpon season was good! I started out fishing around the Skyway bridge until the population of fish increased in my home waters of Dunedin. Several fish were caught and released, the biggest around 150 lbs. I utilized different methods depending on the area. Around the bridge, I used a chunking method. Cutting threadfins and sardines, letting the pieces drift back with the tide. Then, freelining a cut piece on a hook, enticing a Tarpon to eat. On the beaches, I floated grunts or pinfish 5 - 6 feet under a cork in the path of fish moving with the tides. There are fewer groups in the area now, mostly single fish making their way south.
Trout, Flounder, and even Grouper are still fish we can target. Some bdays we have to change things up to keep the bite going. I will always give my best effort even when the fishing is slow. Over the next month I expect to see the best bite in the morning. The sunny days will continue heating the water, pushing fish to deeper edges and higher tidal flows to stay cool.
There is still plenty of fishing left to do before the kiddos go back to school. If you've been thinking about a trip, now is a great time to book with me! Don't let summer slip by! Let's go fishing!

Capt. Brian

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